The story of the Stone Pony of Asbury Park in a book

The story of the Stone Pony of Asbury Park in a book

The Stone Pony, the club located in Asbury Park, a place of worship for the many fans of Bruce Springsteen – see the title of his 1973 debut album “Greetings From Asbury Park NJ” (read the review here) – is the subject of a new book, 'I Don't Want to Come Home: The Oral History of The Stone Pony', written by journalist Nick Corasaniti.

The volume recounts the rise, fall and rebirth of the town of Asbury Park, nestled on the Jersey coast, using interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, Southside Johnnymembers of the E Street Band and the Asbury Jukes, Patti Smith hey Ramonesand also of musicians closer in time such as i Jonas Brothers, Jack Antonoff and others. The book also contains a foreword by Bruce Springsteen and exclusive, never-before-seen photos of Danny Clinch.

The publisher introduces Corasaniti's work thus: “In 1970, Asbury Park, New Jersey, was devastated by race riots that left the once-proud seaside town, an hour away from Manhattan, in flames, suffering and left for dead.

Four years later, a few miles down the coast in Seaside Heights, two bouncers, Jack Roig and Butch Pielka, tired of the daily grind, dreamed of owning a place of their own. Poorly prepared and with little funds, the two bought the first bar they considered, in a city where no one wanted to be, without even setting foot in it. They called it The Stone Pony and turned it into a rock club that Springsteen would soon call home and a dying city would call its beating heart. But the bar had to fight to survive. Despite its success in launching and attracting rockers like Stevie Van Zandt, “Southside” Johnny Lyon, the Stone Pony, like everything in Asbury Park for the last half century, has failed to withstand the hardships of a city depressed for so long time. How did he beat the odds to survive? How did it become an international rock pilgrimage site, not only for Springsteen fans, but also for punk rockers, jam bands, pop, indie, alternative scene musicians and many other musicians? How has he continued to inspire and influence a roster of stars from New Jersey and beyond? The story of the Stone Pony is the chronicle of a proud and unique cultural mecca that flourished in a difficult but not yet completely abandoned city. As Corasaniti reveals, the stories of Asbury Park and the Stone Pony are those of modern America itself, a place of broken hopes, big dreams and tenacious resilience.” .

Still about the rise and fall of Asbury Park, the beautiful documentary film directed by Tom Jones was released in 2019 'Asbury Park: fight, redemption, rock'n'roll' (read the review here).