A FAN WRITES: One of my friends just forwarded me “Tribute to Things From England owner, indie pioneer: Steve Lenge” from CLIFFVIEW PILOT today. You hit the nail on the head. Not only was he an indie music pioneer — he was also a local legend. I was devastated when I heard the news.
I first met Steve when I was 12 years old and huge into heavy metal. Things From England was THE store to go to for one-of-a-kind music imports. I practically grew up in that store.
Steve was the type of person who got to know his customers. He knew what I liked, how my tastes changed and what I wanted. I will never forget the first thing I bought from him – a Slayer “Angel of Death” picture disc that he procured from God-only-knows where.
I’ll also never forget on one of my random visits him telling me, “You’ve gotta check this out. You’ll love it.”
It was a Grateful Dead CD recorded in Eugene, Oregon, but it was released only in England. Not only was Steve right and I purchased it, but he sold it to me for some ridiculously low cost, like $10.
In addition to its rare music imports, Things… was the only place to get tickets when one wanted to see a local show. I’ve seen the band Phish 176 times, and Steve sold me at least half of those tickets, not to mention for various other bands.
Just this past March, Phish tickets went on sale for Saratoga Springs. Unfortunately, I was the last person on the line. By the time it was my turn, there were nothing left but lawn seats.
Instead of saying “Take them or leave them,” Steve kept trying for over a half hour, and managed to get me into the pavilion for all three nights.
He didn’t have to do that. He was just that type of person.
Twenty-six years after my first visit to Things From England, I can’t believe he’s gone, or the senseless way in which his life was taken.
Steve will always be remembered and greatly missed by music lovers. My heart hurts for his friends and family.
We truly lost a local legend.
Christina “Chrissy” Basile of Fort Lee works as Human Resources Coordinator for Corporate Occupier & Investor Services at Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc., in East Rutherford — near the crash site. She can be reached at: email@example.com
Funeral: 10:15 a.m. THURS., May 18, St. Matthew R.C. Church, Ridgefield
(Interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery, Fairview).
Visiting: 4 – 9 p.m. WED., May 17, A.K. Macagna Funeral Home, 495 Anderson Ave., Cliffside Park
TRIBUTES: Loving remembrances mount as we approach our final goodbyes to Steve Lenge, a North Jersey icon whose life was snuffed when he crossed the paths of two out-of-control speeders as he headed to a sidejob at the Meadowlands.
Among the tributes are one by a fellow rock-and-roll traveler who owes Steve a great debt.
Another is from Steve’s most trusted employee at the Things From England record shop in Cliffside Park:
YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: CLIFFVIEW PILOT has obtained the mugshots of two men charged with death by auto in the death of record store owner Steve Lenge at a Meadowlands Sports Complex service road over the weekend. The man whose car hit Lenge made bail. READ MORE….
TRIBUTE: Steve Lenge, the motorcyclist who died when his bike was rammed by a speeding Ferrari at the Meadowlands over the weekend, was a hell of a drummer who went on to become one of the first and most successful indie record store owners in the U.S. The 56-year-old father of two was once North Jersey’s King of Import Music. He was also the first kid I met when my family moved to 67th Street and Newkirk Avenue in North Bergen.
Steve’s Things From England record store in Cliffside Park, became a mecca for those seeking the hottest new independent music in the late 70s and early 80s.