Steve Cunniff usually uses his skilled hands to comb, cut and color. But the Imago Beauty Group salon owner will be putting down
his scissors and files to play sharps and flats on his keyboard this Friday, Dec. 15. Imago will holding their annual Christmas at the Shannon Lounge (106 First St., Hoboken), and Cunniff’s band, Mr. Nice Guy, is ready to rock out and, hopefully, not embarrass himself too much in front of his employees and clients.”Anytime you step on stage, you open yourself up to that,” said Cunniff.
But Cunniff isn’t just a full-time hairdresser and a band member on the side, he’s also a part-time student. In May, he’ll be graduating from Rutgers with a Masters in Social Work. For school, Cunniff has spent a lot of time at Christ Hospital helping adolescents who have been subjected to Family Court and who have developed social problems like trouble managing their anger.
“I went back to school and decided to open this salon after I worked in a one of the top five beauty salons in New York City,” said Cunniff last week. “I like to help people in any way I can, and I like people to feel comfortable around me. When I was in New York, I was this Jersey City punk cutting hair on Madison Avenue. Now, I love coming into work, because it doesn’t feel like a pretentious salon. And I love doing social work, because I get to reach out to people.”
So this Christmas, he felt it was important to extend himself a little further in order for him to give back to his community. All of the money collected from the band’s $5 cover charge will go to Let’s Celebrate, a Jersey City soup kitchen that offers free lunches and will be giving toys to kids and gifts to seniors this holiday season. The charity has over 800 seniors enlisted for gifts. At the show, Cunniff’s band will be collecting donations and unwrapped toys and senior gifts, like scarves, hats, gloves and toiletries.
Mr. Nice Guy is a cover band that plays a lot of classic rock and a few obscure new songs as well, like the music of Blue October and David Gray. Band members include Steve Cunniff, keyboards and vocals; Phil Ippolito, guitar and vocals; Tommy Marguccio, drums; Tom Nadolski, guitar; Chris Rudo, bass; and Judy Moss, percussion and vocals.
“We’re not a top 40 cover band,” said Cunniff. “We play The Beatles and some Dead songs, but we mostly play party music. It’s strictly about fun.”
The band will be playing two sets at 10:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. For more information, call Imago Beauty Group at 222-9355.