April Kay Opens Up About Tell-All Frankie Valli Memoir

April Kirkwood2

“Jersey Boys,” the story of a group of Italian-American singers who escaped the hard mobbed-up streets of New Jersey through the power of rock and roll, hit the big screen at the start of summer. Clint Eastwood helmed the adaptation of the long-running. Tony Award-winning hit musical about the legendary vocal group, The Four Seasons, propelled by the inimitable falsetto of Frankie Valli.

The phrase “Rock and Roll” was a code name for sex in early R&B, and to some of his fans, Frankie Valli oozed sex. While Eastwood kept “Jersey Boys” clean: no sex, no drugs, just rock and roll, a new book remembers that when The Four Seasons hit towns, fans threw themselves at the stars. Years later famous rock fans like Pamela des Barres and The Plaster Casters made the term “groupies” a household name.

Last month, shortly after the film adaptation of the popular musical “Jersey Boys” hit theaters, April Kay announced that her book, “What I Did For Love: Why My Affair with Frankie Valli Matters,” would be published this summer. The book details her alleged decade-long romance with Four Seasons lead singer Frankie Valli. April claims she met Valli when she was 12-years-old, after a childhood during which she believes her parents were grooming her to meet him.

Despite requests from DailyOffbeat, Frankie Valli’s management declined to comment on the singer’s alleged relationship with Kay.

According to April

“Valli didn’t notice her when they first met because she was too young to catch his eye. But, by the time she was 16, the persistent fan got herself backstage where, she said, the rock and roll singer seduced her. The author and radio host said she was his lover from that moment on, even after Valli got married. The film “Jersey Girls” shows Valli juggling his time between a wife and a mistress. The film’s trailer also teases at consent laws. When one of the band, not Valli, asks two young women who are flirting with him how old they are, one answers, “together or separately.”

Daily Offbeat is not a magazine to begrudge a rock and roller from getting a little on the road. We reached out to Valli’s media team and will follow up if they reply but we know we’re a small outfit and might go under their radar.

April Kay graduated Youngstown State University with two master’s degrees in education in both school and community counseling. She currently does “workshops and presentations about romantic love and intimacy.” April helps people remove imprinting, which is when things are learned, usually as a form of conditioned response, at young age and imprinted on a person’s choices for the rest of their lives. Such imprinting affects sexual choices and has been called the root cause of most sexual fetishes. April hopes to help people “learn more about healthy love.”

The author spoke exclusively to Daily Offbeat in advance of the book’s release, to explain, to paraphrase the title of her first book “why my affair with Frankie Valli matters to you.”

Daily Offbeat: Your press release says you were brought up by your family to be a Frankie Valli groupie, are we talking more than growing up in a house that listened to a lot of music?

April Kay: As far as being a Frankie Valli groupie, I can’t say it really was that. At least not in my mind. I actually imprinted to him and the rest of my life was in sort of a pursuit to either marry him or someone that was close to the imprint. In fact, I was brought up in what might be considered a highly Pentecostal religious home spending my summers at revivals, Bible school, and working in the garden. We weren’t allowed to really listen to a lot of music. However, my parents divorced when I was young and my father played in a band. Therein explains a part of my little dream.

It seems your mother was trying to get you to catch Valli’s attention from the time you were eight? Did she have any idea what she was starting?

As far as my mom, who adored me and lived for me to be more than she was, let’s just say she was the Gypsy Rose of Ohio. My mom, I believe, was born with mental health issues. As years went by she did like so many others do, self-medicate. She also stated that there was some sexual abuse but that cannot be verified. I do know that my mother was never really happy and only glowed when I exceled. There was, therefore, a lot of pressure on me to do better, be better, and have a better life then a factory worker at Packard Electric.

Did you family have connections in the music industry to get you back stage?

I have no connections in the music business and the fact that a tiny girl on chicken farm from a working class family came to know Frankie and continue to be a presence in his life for three decades is quite remarkable.

In the ads, “Jersey Boys” says there were only two ways to make it out of the neighborhood, music and the mob, did you see any of that?

The part of the mob plays a huge part of my life’s story, the book, “What I Did for Love” and my imprinting. It’s all there in black and white. Bada Bing!

How were you seduced by Frankie Valli? Were there already expectations that go along with being identified as a groupie?

I was seduced by Frankie back stage at the Stambaugh Auditorium as he delicately untangled my seventies chains that hung onto my chest. I was speechless and spell bound to say the least. I was 16 when we were first intimate at The Holiday Inn in Youngstown, Ohio. This was right around the block from my home.

How were you groomed to be a groupie, as opposed to being groomed to just being a fan?

I was groomed to be a star. I wasn’t groomed to be a groupie. That is so different. My mother made me walk with books on my hand daily and sent me to all kinds of modeling and finishing schools. I was in pageants. I was crowned Miss Ohio Teenager and about every other local pageant we could drive to. I was feature twirler, head majorette, teen board queen, etc. etc. Becoming who I am today was part of my training which is now part of my DNA.

You called your mom the Gypsy Rose of Ohio, were there other groupies in your family?

There are no other groupies in my family. They are all church going, hardworking, no nonsense folks. Very Midwest. But as I sit here discussing these questions with my grown up daughter who now lives in Brooklyn. She sites that I groomed her to be a groupie because of Frankie. And so it continues. My daughter is marrying a musician from Manhattan.

Is the music of Frankie Valli triggering to memories or specific emotions beyond what a “normal former girlfriend” would feel?

As I write these questions, the book, and the conversations….so much floods into my mind and my heart. It was so painful as first; now I am doing better with all of it. That is part of the healing that started this project. I wanted to write it down, to get it out, to cry, and then move on.

Would you consider yourself psychologically damaged? Are you angry?

I am not angry. I am hurt. I am healing. Yes, I would love to chat with Frankie alone. But I don’t think it will ever happen. It is a life time process I think. I think we all have areas of pain that need addressed. I do as well.

Is this what drew you into counseling?

I went in to counseling because I really needed it. It was a time when psychological help was considered taboo.

Have you ever run into other people who have gone through similar circumstances?

I would love to have other women share their stories of the effect powerful men have had on their lives as well as the entire imprinting theory.

What would you say to people who question the stories and the timing of your book against the opening of a major motion picture?

I started writing this book two years ago. I was shocked as heck when I heard about the movie. I must say it is a coincidence and I understand how others think it was planned. I don’t have the inside track to Frankie’s career though. Wish I could say I did.

The photographs on your page show someone who could have been a regular life-long fan, has anyone from Frankie Valli’s camp commented on your allegations?

I wrote to Frankie a few months ago and wanted his approval for the book. I never heard from him or his camp. I did get a nasty call from a New York voiced female. I wrote her apologizing for some of the misconceptions the press have printed. I would never hurt Frankie in a million life times.

April Kirkwood

About April Kirkwood

April Kirkwood LPC holds two masters and is presently working in the mental health focussing on both women’s issues as well as addiction. Her desire is to help others take the present, healing the past, and creating a wonderful tomorrow. Focus: child trauma, holistic methodology, sexual molestation and harassment.

13 thoughts on “April Kay Opens Up About Tell-All Frankie Valli Memoir

  1. Susan Hero

    April, Cryyiyi me a river. You slept with Frankie Valli and you have bragging rights. You and I are the same age and look strangely like we were separated at birth. I will never buy or read your books. Frankei Valli has a very loyal fan base. Why do people think that celebrities need to share anything other than their talent. What they do after a concert,or whatever is their business. I don’t think you are anywhere near to being “over” the fact that your name is April Kirkwood and not April Valli. It does have a nice ring to it, the problem is that isn’t on your finger. I am a former Public Defender, you getting rich off your obsession? Objection

    • Hi Susan:
      Thank you so much for putting in writing what I’m sure many others are thinking. It is so difficult to discuss a book before it is even out. I agree the story line appears to be all that you say. But I assure you Susan, this adventure is not about Frankie. It’s my story of finding men in all of the wrong places due to my very own creation during the romantic developmental process called, ‘imprinting.’

      I believe all women need answers to why many of their personal lives wreck havoc. There are patterns, of course; but not everything can be blamed on mommy or daddy issues.

      Best wishes in all of your future endeavors.

      God Bless.

      April of Course

    • Hi Mickey:

      I hope that you will find the book is not about Frankie Valli but about the sixties, dysfunctional women, a little girl, and imprinting. I have not made a cent on this book thus far though the sales have been impressive but it would have been nice. Best wishes for a wonderful fall.

      April of Course

    • Belinda Blake

      Just came across this site and I had to write. I read all this and have to agree with you Susan. I too was a fan of Frankie Valli from the time I was 14. I attended his concerts faithfully. When he was in town, I would call the hotel he was at and he would have seats waiting for me and a guest. I met him several times for photos. Talked to him on the phone many times as well. While in New York, went to his office and met his entire staff. This went on until I was 17. The crush ended as I grew up. I was a fan or a groupie, call it what you want when I was young. He never seemed to be a seducer in any way. He was charming and very handsome. I think that may have been prompted possibly by April’s own aggression to accomplish whatever she wanted to achieve or fantasize. Frankie was and still is a wonderful entertainer and always will be. He was meant to be charismatic & charming, that was part of his job. Sounds like April didn’t know where that line began or ended. Anyone in the audience would probably love to be with him, but his personal life is just that. It belongs to only him. He chose the path of love he wanted, and it did not include April. If April chose to sleep with him when he was in town, that was her choice. He was a healthy, virile young guy. What did you expect? But you can’t sleep your way into someone’s heart. To write this book, to me is disgusting and nothing more than a ploy to get revenge for someone rejecting you and make money. She said she wrote the book to help herself with trying to understand why she finds men in all the wrong places? She could have written this book without exploiting his name and destroying his own family. Especially so many years later. If you truly cared about him, as you say you do or did, you would have never not done that, especially as an adult knowing what something like this could do to a person. It served no purpose. So it is only revenge. She obviously likes to get her way at any cost. This is probably exactly what he saw in you and was why you ended up where you did. I feel sorry for you, only from the standpoint that your mother or father didn’t protect better you or teach you about all this. But once you were an adult, you knew better. By the way, if you think that I was some homely little town girl, I wasn’t.

      • I guess the point of my story is once your are an adult you can still act, sad to say, like a child. In fact, I see many adults making mistakes from what happened or didn’t happened during pivotal developments in their growth.

        As for Frankie, I no longer want to really share in discussions about him but have finally moved on an adult level to help others who may have gotten on the wrong road of love.

        Best,

        April

  2. Joanne

    Are you a fuc…g nuts
    or what ,,your stories are so full of bullshit , what I feel for you is pity . I don’t even know how you believe your lies. I feel really sorry for you, the only thing that you are right about is that Frankie is a asshol. , but other then that your dates and facts are totally wrong . You should have been able to prove yourself better .

    • Are you speaking of the stories of my life? Cedar Point, Stambaugh Auditorium, Pittsburgh? I’m not quite sure. I shared my heart and in the sixties and seventies as well as part of the eighties there was little way to check facts. As a little girl back then, I write from my perspective. Love is hard to prove. If you do find a way, please let me know.

      Best wishes,

      April

    • Please let me know which dates you are referring to? I am a loss!

  3. Debbie Earp-Rubenstein

    Why would anyone take something so personal and announce it to the whole world ,unless there was a motive. I feel April has been rejected and did not get what she wanted . This is a way to hurt Frankie Valli. The only thing is Frankie will not be hurt, for one he is well respected and like April said her self he did not care for her in the way she wanted, if he did he would have married her long ago. And this definitely, will not hurt his professional life. April, Frankie does not love you,so get over it and move on. I am sure you blew a lot of this out of text, and I feel very unbelievable. You made a mistake writing this book.

    • Hi Debbie:

      I’m so glad you wrote. As a woman, I’m sure you can relate to how we grow up and realize things very differently than when we were young. I wrote the book after I had a severe emotional moment with a present relationship. It was a relationship I initially sought for all of the wrong reasons. As I sat back and did much soul searching, I came to learn many truths. I have found that only with truth that we can heal and grow. I was inaccurately basing what I thought the perfect should look and act like on a little girl’s vision. I feel that through dialogue like this book, women and men and conversate about why they pick the people they do and why sometimes it turns out to be a total trainwreck.

      As far as Frankie…well, as you know, the first love is always very special and he will have a place in my heart throughout eternity. The book does not reveal anything about him of a personal nature. His second wife was only twenty when they married. He has had many lovers of all ages. He is one of a kind and has the hearts of many ladies, I’m quite sure. God Bless him.

      That being said, to put it more abruptly, this memoir isn’t in the least about him. Many women and men have a “Frankie Valli” that messes with our romantic notions and the outcomes of present relationships.

      The story is also about a Godly love that surpasses understanding realizing on a deep level that each person who magically enters our space does so to teach us lessons about emotions and what it really means to love no matter what. For truly, there are no mistakes in the universe and no one is to blame. I feel each man in my life has presented me with opportunities to learn more about myself, fix the messups, and nourish the positives.

      I wish you love and understanding. Syncronicity brought you to this site, we have passed through each other’s lives for a reason.

      Always,

      April

  4. Captiva

    I feel that you were just a groupie that spun a great fantasy in her head. I’ve loved Frankie Valli as long as I can remember. We’re the same age, and yes, I *felt* I loved him, I still do. I can’t get enough of him or his music. Would I have gone to bed with him given the chance? Definitely! But that never happened. I don’t make up stories in my head that it did. I think you are F…ing nuts!

    • If I hadn’t slept with him, the man would have sued me. The reason there are no legal issues is that it is true. The pictures kind of tell the story in the book and the upcoming movie. It’s been a long thirty years and now I get the fantasy part was that there was something in him I wanted to be. It truly wasn’t about him at all. It’s about the process of imprinting. Lucky for you that it never went further than a crush. You got out with just a wonderful childhood memory.

    • Who’s living in a fantasy now? People who lie get sued. People who tell the truth get left alone. Talk about naive!

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