Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Pony by Barbara Quinn

Rock and roll is alive and well on the Jersey Shore. In Asbury Park, The Stone Pony still hosts some of the finest music being played. I am fortunate to be walking distance from this venerable rock hall for many consider The Pony to be the greatest rock hall ever. It’s been going strong since the seventies and fans continue to make the pilgrimage to the bleak brick building that holds the heart of rock ‘n roll.

The Pony is a living rock museum. It’s filled with signed guitars hanging on the walls, including one from Springsteen. The posters of the venerable musicians who’ve played cover the walls, tickets and flyers sit under the glass of the small tables. The place is a dark cavern with multiple bars and every age of patron, all with the same thing in mind: to hear the best play.

I went to a Southside Johnny concert at the Pony a few days back. Southside’s concerts are a tradition around the 4th of July. The band plays on the outdoor summer stage. Behind the crowd are the Asbury Park boardwalk, and the crashing ocean whose cool breeze blows over the shoulder to shoulder fans while night slowly descends. The grills are cooking the famed Windmill hot dogs and the bars are serving up every type of drink. People are smiling and swaying to the music. It’s an infectious, upbeat atmosphere.

Before the concert Southside Johnny appeared at the gallery across the street where he autographed memorabilia. I bought a CD, got his autograph, shook his hand and have added the disc to my collection, happy to have met one of the originators of SOAP: the Sound of Asbury Park.

Long live The Stone Pony!

1 comment:

Angie Ledbetter said...

was there myself in 78 or 79 and hope to go again some day.

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