Speaking with Frank Vespe about his song, Another East End Christmas, is truly a wonderful East End story. Vespe, originally from Astoria, Queens, bought land in the Springs in October 1998 when he concluded a most successful career with Time Warner. Vespe noted, “I moved out here full-time in August 2008 and fell in love with the area, the people and the traditions. I started up a video business and purchased the best gear and became quite good at making/producing professional videos. I made many, some of the local musicians, too. You may have seen me at the Stephen Talkhouse. One video I am proud of is the video on YouTube of Joe Delia’s Under the Montauk Moon. The footage from the moving car is a favorite of mine.”
So, what is the genesis of Another East End Christmas? Vespe told us, “It’s a great story. Do you have a couple of hours…?” What he proceeded to weave together was a story of a bond with his daughter. He recalled, “My daughter Elizabeth Vespe, she’s a writer, and she is very athletic – but with me, she walks almost every night. Exactly two years ago right about now, after parking near East Hampton’s Stop & Shop in the Village lot, we crossed by the movie theater and then while crossing by The Hedges Inn, I looked to my right and I saw the two big swans in the pond by the South End Cemetery. So, the two swans are in the water, and behind the two swans is the blue Christmas tree that they put in the pond, and behind that is this big tree in front of The Maidstone Hotel all lit for Christmas. I turn to my right and say, ‘Elizabeth, wow! That’s some shot! It’s like one of those shots that you never see. It was perfectly laid out, framed perfectly.’ We continued walking and now I am taking notice of how the town looks like Bedford Falls in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Then, I am by the East Hampton Library and continue to walk towards L.V.I.S., and all the Christmas trees are lit up on Main Street. I said to my daughter, ‘Wow! Christmas trees on Main Street like straight out of a Hallmark card.’ She replied, ‘Dad, that’s the opening for a Christmas song!'”
Vespe went on to describe in great detail the metamorphosis of how that thought over two years has evolved into his demo recording of the song he is hoping will become a traditional Christmas song all over the country, especially on the East End.
He spoke about getting the lyrics just right and the journey to get the music score just right. As all stories go, there is an almost divine intervention element – because while he was doing work videotaping Mass at Most Holy Trinity Parish in East Hampton during COVID-19, the magic happened. A bell went off in his mind when he heard the church keyboard and singer Christine Cadarette singing and playing the hymns of the High Mass. He shyly approached her and that started the process of the song getting completed and recorded.
He expressed how happy he is with the version Christine Cadarette has helped complete with her “fabulous piano arrangement and vocals,” he noted. “I know it would make a great Hallmark or Netflix movie addition, it could end with someone singing the song!”
As for now, Frank Vespe is doing all he can to spread the good cheer and sentiments that glow within the lyrics of the song. “I believe that this is the first Hamptons Christmas song,” he said. “I know it is a special song about a special place at a most special time of the year.”
To watch the Another East End Christmas music video, click here.