Tear Sheet: Coastin’ Down To Asbury Park

Backstreets Coaster Set_Vol2_042018

Some cool news dropped today over at Backstreets.com.

Chris Philips, the editor there, announced that pre-orders for the new Album 2 Collection, Vol 2 1987-1996 are now being taken. And with each pre-order submitted through Backstreets, people will get a limited edition coaster set featuring four of my photos.  Pretty darn cool, huh?

Chris reached out to me back in the fall about this. He gave me his concept and wanted to build on what we did for Volume 1 back in 2014 (wow, was it that long ago). What he wanted to do with these was have them relate to some of the albums or songs in this collection. So, he/we landed on the Casino on the Asbury Park boardwalk (where Springsteen filmed the ‘Tunnel of Love‘ video), the Paramount Theatre (host to three landmark shows on the 1996 Tom Joad tour – here’s the full audio of one of the shows), and of course, a crossroads for the E Street Band in Belmar, New Jersey. The fourth image, of the Empress Hotel, was immortalized by Joel Bernstein for the cover of the single sleeve Hungry Heart.


Courtesy of Backstreets.com

Back when Chris and I first started talking about this, it felt like we had a lot of time to work on something. Then Fall turned into Winter and I wasn’t getting many good new shots down in Asbury Park. Everything was too drab or the sky wasn’t right.

Even getting a fresh shot of the E Street marker was a challenge. I’ve shot it a lot;  you can’t roll through Belmar and NOT photograph it  People come from all over the world to stand next to it and grab a shot. But it’s also hard to get a shot with a clean background – usually there are cars on the street.

One day in early December though, I headed to AP. On the way, I drove through Belmar. I parked my truck, grabbed my X100T and headed up the street, past the contractors working on a beach house. I jammed my hands in my zip-up hoodie pockets against the chill. And lo and behold…and empty street! I shot the street sign for all possible angles. I either looked like an anal-retentive tourist or the world’s goofiest superfan. So that one was in the can.

The shot of the Empress is one of my personal favorites, something I shot in the early spring of 2016. I had gone down to Asbury Park during the week, to get out of the house and work out of a coffee shop down there. And also to get some air on the boardwalk. As I was driving up Cookman, I saw that old car in the parking lot behind the Empress. Rest of the lot and street was empty. Looked like 1974 to me. In fact, I turned it into a Friday Noir story.

The shot of the Casino came on a trip to AP this past December when I took Gary Chapman and his wife, Vivian, down. Sky was cool, boardwalk almost empty.

Chris likes that shot a lot; in fact, it’s the Backstreets Facebook banner now.

Backstreets_Facebook banner_040218

The coaster are a cool little special add-on to these orders. Heck, I can even see Patti, Bruce’s wife, telling him to use a coaster when he’s sipping his tequila while watching a ballgame in his Colts Neck man cave. (that link above, scroll almost down to the bottom to get the reference.)

It’s great to again be part of this project with the team at Backstreets. Hopefully, they will do a nice job with the pre-orders and people around the world can slap down their coasters, sip a cold one, and think on my images from Asbury Park.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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