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Celebration of Life - Susan Lisle

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Asbury Park Music Scene lost another member of its community in July when Susan Lisle passed away at 61. Susan was truly one of the strongest supporters of the local scene and could often be seen throughout the clubs in the area. Unfortunately, in the end, cancer finally got the best of her.

The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park is holding a special "Celebration of Life - Susan Lisle" tribute on Wednesday, August 11 starting at 5pm. Many of the area's best loved musicians including Bob Burger, Bobby Bandiera, Vini Lopez, Ricky DeSarno, and Sonny Kenn are expected to perform. The music will run from 5pm to at least 10pm. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.

On a personal level, I will never forget seeing Susan at the shows. I remember one time when I was at the Celtic Cottage to see Bob Burger play and Bobby Bandiera made an appearance for the first time in several years. I had just come from another show so I still had my camera and managed to take some photos and a couple of videos of the brief reunion. Susan asked if she could get a copy. Well, for some reason I kept forgetting to bring her the photos show after show, year after year, but she never forgot that I had them. I finally remembered to get the photos to her several years later and she was very thankful. She loved the local artists like Bob Burger so much that it actually made you feel good. For me, it's always nice when you meet someone that believes the show they are seeing that night (whether it's a local show or a world-famous band) is the best show taking place anywhere in the world that night. That's how I often felt and I could tell Susan felt the same way.

This will be the second tribute to a fallen member of the local community following the tribute to Robin Suhoskey held a few months earlier. Both Susan and Robin were such great fans of the local music scene that it almost feels as though an era is ending. I'll be at the tribute and hope to see many of the people we've all come to know and be friends with due to our shared love of music.

Here's her obituary from

Susan Stewart Lisle, 61, of Tinton Falls, died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at home. Susan was born and raised in South Orange and graduated from Columbia High School. She spent many summers at the beach in Ocean Grove and lived there after high school before moving to Tinton Falls in 1977. She worked at St. Barnabas Medical Center until the birth of her first child in 1980. She devoted her time entirely to her children until they were school age. She then continued to care for her children when she re-entered the work force, first in the Tinton Falls school system, and then for over 10 years at the New Shrewsbury Racquet Club. She also provided meals for the youth groups at her church, Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church, for over 15 years. During the summer, Susan could be found at the beach every day that the weather permitted. Her love of the beach was eclipsed only by her love of live music. From early concerts of the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen to the current Jersey Shore rock scene, Susan could always be spotted in the crowd by her sparkling jewelry, long wild hair and easy smile. She was a devoted, kind and patient wife and mother, a lover of animals and a friend to all.
She is survived by her husband, John D. Lisle; her children, Suzanne, Jonathan and Stephanie Lisle; and her sister, Lyndah Hawtin.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 15 at the Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church, 255 Harding Road, Red Bank. Relatives and friends may call from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 16 at the Ocean Grove Memorial Home, 118 Main Ave., Ocean Grove. Those who wish, may send flowers to the funeral home. To e-mail a condolence message, please visit

Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at

For more by this author, click here

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