(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- A special day of music to honor the legacy of the original Stone Pony co-owner and manager, Robert “Butch” Pielka, will be held Sunday, October 7, from 2:00 to 9:00pm at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The lineup includes reunions of Cats on a Smooth Surface and The Shakes, and Lance Larson. More names are expected to be added.
Pielka, who opened the Stone Pony in 1974 with business partner Jack Roig, passed away June 9 at age 71 following a lengthy illness. The show will benefit the Asbury Angels Project and the Light of Day Foundation.
“Cats on a Smooth Surface and Friends, A Tribute to Butch,” will feature a reunion of the famous Stone Pony house band from the 1980s. The Cats line-up will feature Cats’ alumni Joel Krauss, Harry Filkin, Peter Schulle, Bobby Bandiera, Glen Burtnik, Vinny Daniele and many more.
The show is a Cats Sunday reunion, marking the day of the week the band played at the Pony through most of the 1980s. Cats was Bruce Springsteen’s favorite band to sit in with during numerous unannounced appearances at the Pony in the ‘80s.
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Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Bobby Campanell team up for the “first ever” The Shakes Reunion along with Lance Larson are just a few of the other performers who will take the stage that day. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tony Pallagrosi, original trumpet player for Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, said Pielka created a home at the Pony for Asbury Park musicians.
“The Pony was open seven days a week in those days, in rain, sleet, snow and ice!” remembered Pallagrosi, owner of UMT Presents Concerts and Events. “No matter where you had been traveling or living, no matter how long you’d been away, when you got back into town, you went to the Pony that night because you knew that friends would be there, definitely a good, maybe a great band would be onstage, the dance floor would be open, DJ Lee Mrowicki would be spinning the tunes in between the live sets, the drinks would be flowing and Butch would probably buy you a one or two! It was totemic, it was family, musically and socially, the proverbial Cheers of Jersey Shore live music venues.”
Long-time Pony DJ Lee Mrowicki said it’s appropriate that the tribute to Pielka will be a benefit show, since Pielka and Roig hosted hundreds of fundraisers at the club.
“Butch, Jack and I did hundreds of benefits during their tenure at the Pony, and it is simply a perfect way to pay tribute to Butch with a show featuring his friends that would benefit the Light of Day and Asbury Angels,” Mrowicki said.
The Asbury Angels Project, recognizes musicians, songwriters, disc jockeys, writers, club and venue owners and technical support staff who have made a significant contribution to the city’s music scene by placing plaques with their names and accomplishments on benches at the city’s beachfront. So far, more than 50 people have been honored as Asbury Angels.
The show will also benefit the Light of Day Foundation, which utilizes the power of music to raise money and awareness to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses, such as PSP and ALS. Light of Day Winterfest, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, draws thousands to Asbury Park each January.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show, and will be onsale at noon, Thursday, August 16, through Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, the Stone Pony box office, 913 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park. For more information visit The Stone Pony website.
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