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By Gary Wien
originally published: 01/26/2012
It’s safe to say that if Bruce Springsteen hadn’t burst on to the national scene with Born To Run the history of rock music along the Jersey Shore might have been a rather short chapter or two. For years, New Jersey had not only lived in the shadow of New York City but record labels there couldn’t care less about bands from the Shore. Even though Asbury Park is only an hour away from Manhattan, it was a world’s away in their eyes. Until Bruce made it big, they wouldn’t even bother come down to see what the area’s biggest bands were all about.
The success of Springsteen changed everything. All of a sudden places like the Stone Pony were crawling with record executives hoping to find the next big thing. Not only that, but people growing up in the area were given hope that they could make it. After all, Bruce was a local boy.
One of the greatest things about Bruce Springsteen is that he never forgot where he came from. From making guest appearances at local clubs to performing benefits to support a myriad of causes, Bruce Springsteen has remained a major role in the area. And now that Asbury Park appears ready to fly again, Springsteen has stepped up his focus in the city. His performances at Convention Hall for the upcoming Rising tour brought the world’s attention back to Asbury Park. It had been far too long since the city had been portrayed in a positive light.
There have been scores upon scores of books written about Bruce and his history. This book chooses to focus on the parts of his musical history that have somewhat faded away with time and with the rest of the Asbury Park music scene. Many of the artists in this book are friends of Bruce Springsteen’s, and many have either been influenced by Bruce or feel as though their music is the direct opposite of Springsteen’s, almost an anti-Bruce if you will. But one thing is for sure, the entire Asbury Park music scene really is focused around Bruce Springsteen. He’s the reason many of the musicians live here, he’s the reason many of the fans come to the shows and he’s the reason Asbury Park is known as one of the greatest music scenes in the country.
One of the most important things that can be said about Bruce Springsteen is that he is still, above all else, an artist. The Rising was every bit as good of a record as he has ever put out. That an artist can create a work which defines a time period is impressive. That he continues to do so over a period of over thirty years is simply amazing.
It is my hope that people reading this book will take a look at and listen to all of the artists throughout these pages. Some clearly sound influenced by Springsteen and some do not, but all of them understand the role that Bruce has played in this area. There is no music history in Asbury Park without Bruce.
From the book Beyond The Palace by Gary Wien
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Mungion To Perform At The Stone Pony
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Since their inception in the Spring of 2015, Mungion (pronounced mung-yin) has quickly made a name for themselves as one of the rising stars of the jam scene. The band will open a pair of shows for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on January 24-25.
MPAC Presents Disney's DCappella Live!
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Disney's highly acclaimed a cappella group, DCappella comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 15 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $39-$89.
Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Present Benefit Concert for Leonia High School Music Department
(LEONIA, NJ) -- The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Leonia, New Jersey, presents "Our Hearts in Music", a benefit concert, on Sunday, February 10 at 4:00pm at Leonia High School’s Little Theater, located at 100 Christie Heights in Leonia, New Jersey.
The Newton Theatre Presents Ruben Studdard
(NEWTON, NJ) -- Ruben Studdard, the Grammy-nominated R&B, gospel and pop singer was the winner of American Idol’s second season. He has recorded six studio albums, appears frequently on tv, toured extensively and has sold over two million albums worldwide. Studdard officially confirmed that he will be releasing RUBEN SINGS LUTHER to his musical hero Luther Vandross on March 16th and will be launching a 25 city ‘Always and Forever Tour’ starting in Sacramento, California on April 8th. Locally, he will perform at the Newton Theatre on Friday, March 29 at 8:00pm.
Bill Frisell To Headline the 8th Les Paul Festival Concert at Ramapo College
(MAHWAH, NJ) -- Guitarist Bill Frisell will headline the Les Paul Festival Concert on Saturday night, February 16 in the Sharp Theater at Ramapo College. Often hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 35 years and 250 recordings, including 40 of his own.
The Empire Strikes Back in Concert with the NJSO LIVE! at the State Theatre
Some of our favorite childhood memories growing up at the Jersey Shore involved going to our town’s grand old movie palace, The Community Theater, in Toms River. Built with colonial architecture and featuring large white columns in the front, paned glass windows in the lobby, a circular brick walk from the sidewalk to the box office, and a white picket fence which enclosed a lawn and a flower bed, this local gem presented the latest Hollywood films. For kids like us back in the 1960’s, that meant pictures like Mary Poppins, Cinderella, The Love Bug, and Flipper.
Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie.
He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own.
Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
Sorry, no events listed for today.
Here are some upcoming events.
Rechnitz Halls DiMattio Gallery, Monmouth University @ 10:00am
West Long Branch
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