(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- One of the most legendary clubs in Asbury Park music history was only open for a few years, didn't serve booze, and was literally open all night long until the early hours of the morning. During its brief era, it helped musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Bill Chinnock, Southside Johnny, David Sancious, Little Steven Van Zandt and many more hone their talent live on stage. A new documentary entitled Just Before the Dawn will tell the story of the Upstage Club - a venue that was as important as any in the world. The film will have its World Premiere on Friday, April 21 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park during the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival.
The screening will followed by a question & answer session with the film’s director, Tom Jones. The night will conclude with an all-star jam session to include E Street Band members David Sancious, Ernest Carter and Vini Lopez along with Sonny Kenn, Ricky DeSarno, Joe Petillo, Richard Blackwell, Albee Tellone, Chris Plunkett, Paul Whistler, Billy Ryan, Gerry Carboy, Tommy Labella and the Lakehouse Jr. Pros. Jeff Kazee, current member of the Asbury Jukes, will serve as the night’s music director. More special guests are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets are now available by visiting www.apmff.com and at the Stone Pony box office.
The Upstage was a historic rock club located on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park from 1968-1971. The club, opened by Tom and Margaret Potter, would become the venue where young artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny Lyon, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici and others would jam together for hours lasting until dawn. Stories about the club kick off the book, Beyond the Palace, by music journalist Gary Wien.
"This is where it all began," wrote Wien to start the book. "Musicians gathered each night at a club on the corner of Cookman Avenue and Bond Street that was set on top of a Thom McAn shoe store. The Upstage brought the sights of San Francisco psychedelia and the sounds of Greenwich Village together in an endless array of all night jam sessions, which attracted the best young musicians in the area."
Just Before the Dawn, directed by Tom Jones, will include exclusive interviews with many musicians who helped create the aura of the Upstage. The film will also take a unique look at Asbury Park in the 1970’s and how race riots would impact the city for years to come.
“When we started making Just Before the Dawn, we thought we were making a film about a single place, the Upstage, and the young kids who played there and went on to stardom,” said Tom Jones. “What we found was so much more...a story that affects all of us about a town that has learned some hard lessons and has something to tell the rest of us about hope, strength and our future.”
The Paramount Theatre is located on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ.