The Stone Pony, like many of the music artists who play there, has had an interesting past, to say the least.
From a beer garden in the sixties (that supposedly was shut down because a waitress wore a see through blouse), to a biker hangout at a New Jersey beach, to the stepping stone to fame that it has now become, this great rock joint attracts a following from all over. Mrs. Jay of the beer garden fame, liked music, and so the restaurant/bar welcomed local bands to play, and that was the beginning of the road to success, at least for rock and roll in Asbury, if not for Mrs. Jay!
The original building - the one that was a beer garden and then a biker mecca - reopened under the famous present name in 1973 and has played an important role in the careers of major music names such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Jon Bon Jovi, Steve Van Zandt and, of course, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen (and his E Street Band). Upcoming bands and wanna be "Bosses" still vie for a gig at the Pony and get discovered by the crowd.
Even though it was upgraded in 2000 with sorely needed lighting and sound equipment, it kept its original seedy, but much loved, character throughout the years. But it was touch and go a few times, and it opened and closed a number of times, but it was always bailed out because of its importance to the music world. In the late '90s, live music was seen to be on the decline, but there was an outcry by musicians and fans when there was talk of closing the Pony.
Today, it is known the world over as a mecca for hard core rock fans.
Said by some to be one of the greatest rock clubs of all time, this great club still attracts hot names like the Kooks or Billy Idol. There is not a night that this hot spot is not rocking with great sounds. Just check out the Stone Pony and you'll see what we mean. Here's a recent lineup:
SUNDAY: Bobby Mahoney, Backyard Superheroes, Goodbye Tiger, more, 7 pm
MONDAY AT THE WB: Homeless Apians, Atlas Bloom, Shagwuf, Neighbor Carraway, free (21+)
TUESDAY: Gin Blossoms, the Cringe, 7 pm
WEDNESDAY: Cowboy Junkies, 7 pm
THURSDAY: The Struts, Dorothy, 8 pm
FRIDAY ON THE SUMMER STAGE: 311, Matisyahu, 5:30 pm
SATURDAY ON THE SUMMER STAGE: Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Minus the Bear, 6 pm
Something fabulous every night, and if new, upcoming artists don't bring your out (they should, this is how Bruce got his start), how about an old favorite? On Friday, September 2, Willie Nelson will be in Asbury Park for a very special engagement at the Stone Pony Summer Stage at 5:30 p.m.!
Check out their site and pick a band, or just show up when you are in the mood for some serious rock and roll. You can't go wrong at the Stone Pony.
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