Movie Songs

Rhode Island Band’s Song Stars in John Cena Film ‘Ricky Stanicky’

April 1, 20243 Mins Read

John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band have been entertaining fans since the 1970s. Now the Rhode Island group is doing a victory dance with its first new music in over 30 years.

That new music is winning over new fans.

“Day in the Sun,” a carefree, summer-sounding bop, appears on the soundtrack for Prime Video comedy Ricky Stanicky, starring Zac Efron and Massachusetts native John Cena. Its prominent place in the closing credits is sending viewers straight to YouTube. The comments section for the song is flooded with variations of, “Who else is here from Ricky Stanicky?”

The movie premiered on Amazon’s streaming service in March 2024.

The band played the new tune during a high-energy, two-and-a-half-hour set at Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River on March 30. Cafferty told the crowd that director and fellow famous Rhode Islander Peter Farrelly asked him to participate. The band previously contributed to Farrelly Brothers comedies There’s Something About Mary and Dumb & Dumber To.

Cafferty said he’s impressed by the response “Day in the Sun” is getting, especially from young people. He also told his Fall River crowd more is to come. The band is finishing up a new studio album. “It’s so close,” Cafferty said several times throughout the night.

The new music will freshen the setlist for the guys, who seem to tour with the same drive that propelled them through their New England bar days in the 1970s. The group found some mainstream success in the 1980s with songs including “On the Dark Side,” “Tough All Over” and “Voice of America’s Sons.”

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Cafferty noted just about all the guys in Beaver Brown Band are in their 70s now. One notable exception is saxophonist Michael “Tunes” Antunes. The New Bedford native, 83, played the entire Fall River set with the enthusiasm of someone half his age. Each of his resonant live solos sounded album-quality.

The reception for Ricky Stanicky has been lukewarm at best. The comedy, about three grown men who hire a guy to play their imaginary childhood friend, scored 47 percent among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score skews higher at 74 percent.

The movie is set in Providence but was filmed largely in Melbourne, Australia. For real Rhode Island flavor, look no further than the soundtrack. John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, celebrating 51 years together, are as Rhode Island as it gets.

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