Event: The Stone Pony: Then And Beyond

Stone Pony At Night

The line for the sold-out event stretched down 2nd Avenue.

Since I’ve become involved shooting some of the people and personalities of the Asbury Park music scene, I’m often left driving home from events thinking “Wow, that was pretty cool.”

On Monday, for Backstreets.com, I had the opportunity to photo a special event hosted by The New York Times: The Stone Pony: Then and Beyond.

The gist of the event was a panel discussion that piggybacked on the recent NY Times oral history, beautifully brought forth by reporter Nick Corasaniti. The panel consisted of Jack Roig (one of the original Stone Pony owners), Eileen Chapman (once manager of The Stone Pony and now an Asbury Park Councilwoman), Caroline O’Toole (current manager of The Stone Pony) and Vini “Maddog” Lopez (original E Street drummer).


L-R: Eileen Chapman, Jack Roig, Vini Lopez, Caroline O’Toole, Nick Corasaniti

While much of the same ground from the article was covered, a few nuggets were interesting to hear first hand: How Bruce Springsteen once took on bartending duties one evening and almost put Roig out of business by liberally over-pouring; how small the original stage area was; how, after all these years, The Stone Pony and it’s patrons really are one big family. It’s a neighborhood music club that also just happens to be iconic and world-renowned.

After the panel discussion, “Southside” Johnny Lyons and local guitar maestro Bobby Bandiera performed a few songs to string the night along. My friend, Rose Montana (herself an Asbury Park institution) did a great job recording their set. Check it out here.


Southside Johnny and Bobby Bandiera




On this night of looking back and remembering, I also wanted to capture the place itself.  Every time I walk in there, it feels like hallowed musical ground to me.

But it also feels like hallowed photographic ground as well. The walls are lined with fantastic shots by many local photographers, the ones documenting the musical history of Asbury Park. Frankly, I do feel honored to be getting the chance to shoot there.



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After Johnny and Bobby finished their set, Nick came on to thank the crowd for coming out (and to remind them to subscribe to the NY Times). People started to file out, but I hung around trying to get just another shot or two.

I took a few shots of AP friends I know, but just kind of hovered, not really wanting to leave. Then I grabbed this shot, of Joe Prinzo, Southside’s stage manager.

NYT_TSP_John Prinz_mkrajnak_102218_MG_2535

For sure, an interesting evening. To read more of recap, head over to Backstreets.com where they are running some of my pics (you may have to scroll to find it.) The NY Times was filming it (I was trying to NOT knock over their cameras all evening. If I ever come across that video, I’ll link out to it.

Click here to see more of my photos from the evening. I was shooting with my Canon 70D and the 70-300mm lens, my Fuji X100T and a few with my GoPro (but didn’t really get anything I liked. Something to try, though.)

On the way back to the truck, I walked down Kingsley for a bit.  The town was quiet, all the parking spots open. It was a Monday night, after all.

The summer season is over, the Summer Stage is down. But, on this night, with the New York Times in town, this fair city had light.

Empress At Night_102218_DSCF0138

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

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