“Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll” tells the story of the long troubled town of Asbury Park, and how the power of music can unite a divided community. A once storied seaside resort, Asbury Park erupted in flames during a summer of civil unrest, crippling the town for the next 45 years and reducing it to a state of urban blight. A town literally divided by a set of railroad tracks, the riot destroyed the fabled Westside jazz and blues scene, but from the flames of the burning city emerged the iconic Jersey sound.
“Asbury Park” returns native sons Southside Johnny, David Sancious, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt, to the legendary Upstage, the psychedelic after hours club where they got their start, featuring never before seen interviews and performances. Shuttered for four and a half decades, the Upstage remains a perfect time capsule of the Club which united both sides of the tracks in Asbury and acted as a crucible for young talent. Now, as Asbury Park enjoys its long awaited renaissance, it is music which has brought it back from the dead.
This major theatrical event will also include a bonus feature of never before seen footage, as Van Zandt, Southside Johnny, Springsteen and the Upstage All-stars play a now legendary concert to a sold out Paramount Theater and trade guitar licks with the future of music in Asbury, a group of 11-year-old rockers who prove the best days for the town may just lie ahead.
He ran with teenage gangs in Brooklyn before becoming a global rock star in the Summer of Love. He was managed by the mob, hung with Hendrix, trashed thousands of hotel rooms, unwittingly paid for an unknown Led Zeppelin to support him on tour, taught John Bonham (as well as Fred Astaire) a thing or two about drumming, and took part in Zeppelin’s infamous deflowering of a groupie with a mud shark. After enrolling in Rod Stewart’s Sex Police, he hung out with Kojak, accidentally shared a house with Prince, became blood brothers with Ozzy Osbourne, and got fired by Sharon. He formed an all-blond hair metal band, jammed with John McEnroe and Steven Seagal, became a megastar in Japan, got married five times, slept with 4,500 groupies—and, along the way, became a rock legend by single-handedly reinventing hard rock and heavy metal drumming.
Carmine Appice has enjoyed a jaw-dropping rock-and-roll life—and here he is telling his scarcely believable story. Co-written with Ian Gittins, the coauthor with Nikki Sixx of the New York Times bestseller The Heroin Diaries, Stick It! is one of the most extraordinary and outrageous rock-and-roll biographies of our time.
July was an action packed music month for us. The month started with our vacation trip to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. Stay tuned for other music posts about more music events we experienced in July.
I brought along an essential music book to read on the plane, Mystery Train (Sixth Edition) by authoritative music journalist, Greil Marcus. The synergy of this book fit perfect with the music mission. The first chapter was about Harmonica Frank, 1951 (the year of my birth), Sam Phillips and Sun Studio. The book set the stage for the first leg of the music journey, Memphis. There was also a chapter about Elvis Presley but more about the King of Rock and Roll in Memphis later in this saga. 🙂
The path of American music discovery
A major goal in the music of our heart has been to visit the four homes (birthplaces) of American music, blues, country, jazz and rock n roll. We had previously visited the birthplace of jazz, New Orléans, Louisiana where we saw Preservation Hall on St. Peters Street.
We journeyed first to Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock n roll. We stayed at the Hampton Inn at 175 Peabody Place a half block away from Beale Street.
The music on Beale Street spirited us out of the hotel and around the block like a pied piper. We saw two blocks of motorcycles lining the pedestrian thoroughfare.
Beale Street is a majestic street. We took note of B.B. Kings Blues Club at the top of Beale. We decided to have dinner and catch a show there the next night. We had to pay our respects to the King of the Blues.
We had a fantastic dinner at the Flying Fish the first night. It was rated 4.5 stars. The fish was deeeelicious as my great-nephew Blake loves to say 🙂
The next day we signed up for a day tour of Memphis at the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. We had a wonderful tour guide. Our first stop was Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. I kept hearing the song, “Graceland” by Paul Simon in my head as we drove to the tourist attraction.
Graceland was a sight to behold. What knocked me out the most about Elvis’s estate was The Jungle Room and the sheer amount of awards he received in his lifetime for music and movies. Truly we were witnessing the King of Rock N Roll’s palace. What an honor it was to see it all.
The next stop on the Memphis tour was Sun Studio. A momentous place where Sam Phillips recorded, Howlin Wolf, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. We didn’t take the studio tour as the place was mobbed. We looked around, took some pictures, bought some souvenirs and got back on the shuttle. Finally got to witness the birthplace of rock n roll.
(RoadTripSports.com photo by Kendall Webb)
I preordered the book that Peter Guralnick has been writing about Sam Phillips for 25 years. My goal is to learn more about Sam Phillips from his close friend. Peter Guralnick is the definitive Memphis music historian. I can’t wait to get back to Memphis and continue the music discovery.
Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun.
The inimitable Bob Seger is readying his first new studio album in eight years, Ride Out. The album is scheduled to drop on October 14, 2014.
The first song to première from Ride Out is “Detroit Made”. Bob Seger released a cover of John Hiatt‘s “Detroit Made”, which served as the opening song on his Spring 2013 tour to radio stations, specifically timed to last weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual car event held in the Detroit suburbs.
2014 ushers in the 50th anniversary celebration of the British Invasion. I’ll never forget The Beatles arrival at New York’s Kennedy Airport on February 7, 1964. It was a school day and I had snuck my Sears
Silvertone AM transistor radio into 8th grade Science class listening to The Beatles being met at the airplane gate by thousands of screaming fans. I was fortunate that my Science teacher, Mrs. Barnum was hard of hearing so I could hear history in the making from inside my desk 😉
A baby boomer’s dream event. The Fest for Beatles Fans will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles in New York City. It is scheduled to take place at The Grand Hyatt in NYC (and later in the year in Chicago and Los Angeles) from Friday February 7th through Sunday February 9th 2014 (50 Years from the night that changed music forever when The Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show in front of 73 million viewers!).