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Upstage Club

By Gary Wien


(ASBURY PARK, NJ December 18, 2005) It was a bittersweet day for the history of rock and roll music as musicians and music fans paid their last respect to the Upstage Club today. The short-lived, but greatly remembered place on top of the old Thom McCann building on Cookman is slated to be gutted for the arrival of a new condo building.

The Upstage Club is famous for helping to launch the careers of such legendary Jersey Shore artists as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Bill Chinnock, Little Steven, David Sancious, and many more. Artists were known to jam all night long until the club closed at 5am.

A film crew led by Tom Jones of the Halo Group was given permission to film inside the old club. Interviewees included former Upstage regular Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez; Robert Santelli from the Experience Music Project in Seattle; and Carrie Potter, the Granddaughter of Upstage founder Tom Potter. Long-time regulars to the club like David Mieras and Eileen Chapman were also on hand as people came in and out all day.

In between the interviews, a slideshow of photos from Tom Potter's extensive collection of Upstage photographs was projected on to the wall creating a ghost-like image that seemed to strike just the right chord for the occasion.

Although much of the club has long been picked apart, several pieces of the Day-Glo psychedelic artwork remain in excellent shape on the walls and the framework for the famous stage littered with speakers in still in place.

In recent years efforts were started to save or preserve the club, but the real estate market boom for Asbury Park pretty much killed that idea.

Robert Santelli, once said that the Upstage Club "was really the birth of the whole Asbury Park scene, the whole idea that the Jersey Shore had something to say musically."

Bruce Springsteen wrote about the club in the liner notes for Southside Johnny's first record. "That club brought out everybody's talents. The kids at the Upstage were each in their own way a living spirit of what, to me, rock n' roll is all about. It was music as survival, and they lived it down in their souls, night after night. The guys were their own heroes and they never forgot."



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Event calendar
Saturday, Aug 24, 2019


MUSIC


Game Grumps Live @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

SOLID BRONZE @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

WHO'S BAD: THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON EXPERIENCE @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

GLEN BURTNIK'S SUMMER OF LOVE CONCERT @ Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

NICKELBACK @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

O Sole Trio: Bravissimo Broadway @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Santana and The Doobie Brothers @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

Lola Montez & Special Guests @ Dingbatz, Clifton - 8:00pm

LEILA FOROUHAR & MANSOUR LIVE IN CONCERT @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:30pm

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at MAGGIE'S TIKI BAR & GRILL in JACKSON, NJ @ Maggie's Bar and Grill in Jackson / Lakewood, NJ!, Jackson - 5:30pm

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 8:30pm

WOODSTOCK 2019 @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 1:00pm

Cirotti Trio @ Middle Valley Community Center, Long Valley - 7:30pm


Rufus Wainwright @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Sugar Mountain @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Memoirs of a Forgotten Man @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Frozen Jr. @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


DANCE


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