2020 – Collections: Asbury Park, NJ

……………………………………………….(ignore May 1, 2017 publish date – this was published on March 25, 2020)


From two posts ago:

I was originally going to combine this with the place the (Garden State) Parkway took me to more often than anywhere else, but that will have to be the subject of the next post.

Welcome to the “next” post, which mushroomed in size and HAD to stand on its own.

So – yeah – the Parkway took me to Seton Hall University for one semester in 1965, down to Seaside Heights in ’68, on short hops to Montclair when I was shooting for The Aquarian in ’76,’77, but from 1974 to 1989, it took me to countless shows in Asbury Park, which culminated in two more trips there in 2015 (which you’ll read about later).


First, some history:

Asbury Park postcards:

Ever seen a 116-year-old LEATHER postcard that has a photograph of the old Casino attached to the front? AND has sparkles imbedded in the photograph? You have now:


Speaking of the old Casino, how about a 1918-dated Casino PC with a clasp that opens up a window in the middle of the image?


Fortunately, this card is from the husband. Unfortunately, he can’t spell “Jersey”. Also unfortunately, the card has no stamp or postmark – he never mailed it. But – and possibly, fortunately – he wrote “Love me only Sweetheart” where the one-cent stamp should be and maybe that got it a ride on Cupid’s arrow to the woman. Unfortunately, her address isn’t on it:


This is probably the oldest card in the bunch and it’s an Atlantic City card. Because I won’t be making specific posts about other shore towns, I’ve slipped a few in here so they can be shown. The card was postmarked in 1903. And you have to remember that the postmark is no indication of when the card was actually made, which could have been many years before. As you can see from the “Act of Congress” info on the flip side, it may be at least 5 years older:


This 1907-postmarked card shows something that used to be a really big deal: the Asbury Park Baby Parade. From the New Jersey Historical Society’s site:

The seasonal Baby Parade was a popular feature of several Monmouth County Towns, but Asbury Park held the biggest. The first Baby Parade was held on July 22, 1890, led by founder James Bradley. 200 children participated and only one won the grand prize, which was a baby carriage. Ten years after the first Baby Parade, about 500 children participated, and every state in the Union except two was represented. By 1910, Asbury Park’s Baby Parade had become the most popular event to watch, drawing 100,000 spectators. The parade consisted for the most part of decorated baby carriages and the prizes were given for the best decorated carriages. By 1919 the winner of the parade was awarded an automobile. With the exception of the Depression and war years, the tradition of the Asbury Park Baby Parade continued until mid-century.


Here are two more – both postmarked 1910:


This 1909-postmarked PC shows people going wild at an early Rolling Stones outdoor concert on the Boardwalk (produced by John Scher?):


This may be the program for the show:

(j/k, JS)


Getting back to reality………I’m guessing that this card is c.1912 because it says “NEW Monterey Hotel” and that’s when it was built:


This undated card is pretty old – there’s not a gasoline engine in sight (but there IS horsepower):


This card’s border tells me that this is probably from the 1915-1930 period and the cars look ’20s:


Likewise, this Convention Hall interior PC:


This example of ’20s humor was postmarked in 1928:


This card from Wildwood has a 1928 postmark:

(is she with the WWE?)


This looking-out-from-the-Convention-Hall-Arcade card has a 1931 postmark:


…as does this moonlit Convention Hall/Paramount Theatre image:


Another Atlantic City card…………but a really interesting one. I can’t find a definitive date (online guesses range from the ’30s to the ’50s), so I’m going with the second card of the same image (found online) that says “1940s”:


Another undated out-of-towner (Seaside Park)………….I’m gonna guess it’s also 1940s (when women wore high heels to play leap-frog in the sand?):


This nocturnal Asbury Park card has an 8-24-46 postmark:


Time to finish up the non-Asbury Park PCs with our friend Lucy from Margate. The first one looks 1950s and the second one is much more recent (translation: I have no idea when):


The last 3 cards are probably ’60s and a bit boring (though having Tillie on the flip of the last one brings a smile to my face):



Asbury Park items


Not many…………..and there’s really only one I consider to be old. I have no idea of its age, but look at the clothing. The diameter is 4.75”:


I only knew the Casino Arena for the couple of concerts I attended there, but it was also a roller skating rink, maybe in the ’40s?


Jumping to the ’70s (the plate is 10.25”):


This 3” x 2” Tillie pinback looks dirty, but all that stuff’s in the original image – not on the pin’s surface:



The Music


“The Sounds of Asbury Park” album:


Wanna know what that’s all about? Click to enlarge the back of the album and then click it again for full enlargement to read how the AP music scene came about (to reverse the process, click once and then hit your back button):

Note that it was written by Bob Santelli for The Aquarian Weekly – the first publication I shot for from ’76 to ’78. Bob went on to become an executive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is now the founding executive of the Grammy Museum.

Wanna hear the whole album? 



Here are a couple of music-related Asbury Park bumper stickers, including one for the live S.O.A.P. show at the Paramount Theatre:


The below images represent just 20 of the shows I shot at Convention Hall, the Paramount Theatre and the Fast Lane (I don’t think I shot that Casino Arena show):




I just came across the negatives for two important shows I shot at the Paramount in ’79 and ’80. The November 24, 1979 one had the non-succinct title of “A Night of Rhythm and Blues and the Roots of Rock and Roll”. According to my contact sheet, the performers were:


Mr. Popeye

The Attributes

Garry Tallent

Max Weinberg

Clarence Clemons

Billy Ryan

Norman Seldin

14 Karat Soul

Nick Addeo


I selected these four photos:

Mr. Popeye (Kenny Pentifallo)


(Left to right and shot from onstage): Max Weinberg, Norman Seldin, Garry Tallent, Billy Ryan, Mr. Popeye, Clarence Clemons:


(L to R): Garry, Max, Clarence, Norman, Nick Addeo, Billy, 14K Soul with Mr. Popeye:


Clarence waves goodbye as the curtain comes down:



The other show was the aforementioned “Sounds of Asbury Park” on August 30, 1980. The performers – shown in show sequence – are identified in each picture:


Emcee: WNEW-FM’s Vin Scelsa


Sonny Kenn:


Lord Gunner:


Lance Larson:


Vin Scelsa and promoter John Scher:


Ken Viola:


Ken Viola and Mary Glogoza:

(Personal note: among her many duties as an assistant to John Scher, Mary worked the Capitol’s box office and handed me more photo passes than anyone else in my entire career. She’s a real sweetheart and it surprised the hell out of me when she came out to sing onstage with Ken.)


Ben Newberry (Kog Nito of Kog Nito and the Geeks) and Joel Gramolini:


(L to R) Gene Boccia, Ben Newberry, Patti Scialfa, Holly Sherwood, Lisa Lowell:


Patti and Holly:


Vini Lopez, Ben Newberry, Joel Gramolini:


Kevin Kavanaugh, George Meyer:


(L to R) Kevin Kavanaugh (I think), Gene Boccia, Ben, Holly, Mr. Popeye, Joel, Ernest “Boom” Carter, Lisa, Patti, and Ed Manion:


Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg:


Patti, Lisa, Holly, Paul Whistler, Mr. Popeye:


Billy Rush, Ben Newberry:


Vini Lopez and Ken Viola after the show:


My 2015 return to Asbury Park


Actually, this is a two-parter: once in November and once in December. I previously posted 13 AP pictures here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=2165

I shot a lot more pictures on those two visits and here are the rest of them.


This is the event that made these pictures possible (click to enlarge):


And here are two pictures from that evening:


Two WNEW-FM DJs you may remember – Dan Neer (l) and Jim Monaghan (r) flank John Scher:


John and I stand in front of the sign that graced the Capitol Theatre marquee for Bruce Springsteen’s 3-night stand there in 1978. I have a small site just for that event: http://bobleafe.com/darkness/enter.html

(my shirt is a takeoff on the “Sons of Anarchy” TV show that ran on FX)

There was another picture taken that night that I’m in with John, the DJs and other guests that I really would have liked to include here, but the event photographer never saw fit to reply to my emailed requests for it. So much for “professional” courtesy.


Somehow, I was up bright and early the next morning and on the boardwalk to shoot as much history as I could. Here are the shots that are not in https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=2165:



Just a guess, but does this represent Asbury Park’s southern border with religious Ocean Grove?


Of the 8 December shots, the first two were taken at the John Scher Tribute gallery showing at Where Music Lives on Cookman Ave in AP. The rest were taken later that day in the boardwalk vicinity:


I guess it’s fitting that the Asbury Park pix end with the sun setting behind the Stone Pony.


So where are my Stone Pony concert pictures?

I don’t have any.

As I learned early in my career, the most legendary venues are not always the best places to shoot.

I DID go to the Pony once – I forget who was playing – but it had no photo pit……nor should it have one. It’s almost impossible to shoot a show properly without the lateral movement that a photo pit gives you – you’re stuck in one spot.

Can’t see the drummer? Too bad. You’re SOL.

The only place I shot a lot without a pit was the Cat Club in Manhattan because they let me in early to pick the best spot to be stuck in, based on my MTV video research of who stood where in each band. Did the singer hold the mic with his/her right or left hand? That was important info in figuring out where I’d be shooting from for the next two hours.

The other legendary club with the same no-pit problem as the Pony was CBGB – HORRIBLE for shooting a show. If a band I wanted to shoot was playing at either venue, I would find out where else they were playing and go there instead.

So – I went to each “legendary” place ONCE and I have a total of ONE picture to show for it…………but it’s a goodie (and it wasn’t taken in New Jersey):


And on THAT note…………….



One Comment

  1. Elaine April 1, 2020

    Well, that was extremely entertaining.
    Thanks Bob

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