Asbury Park has been a bubbling cauldron of controversy ever since I can remember. Developers, residents, bar owners, locals, bands, artists and the constant news-making drama they bring to the table is way better than any reality show. I mean come on, the musicians vs. residents battle on Cookman Ave has made newspaper headlines and drawn thousands of hits on the “Support Live Music In Asbury Park” Facebook site, rallying the rock and roll troops with their motto “music made this town” point of view and changing town policies in its wake. And the mad scramble and claim to hot boardwalk retail and bar space is a never-ending action zone that has turned a once abandoned wino hangout into the hottest weekend destination in the area.
I can’t tell you how many times one of my friends has said to me, “Someone should carry a video camera around and document everything that goes on in this town.” And although that is an idea that is quickly being working into a reality (Asbury Dark), there is an individual that’s telling her own funny side of what she’s witnessed on the Jersey shore in the form of a play. Internet radio host Maureen Nevin follows many of Asbury Park’s plot lines in her two-act comedy, Ocean Mile, which is billed as a tale about a “Strangely familiar shore town.”
“Like many other fragile economies, Asbury Park has had its share of bubbles and boom times,” says Nevin. Vini Lopez’s recording of “Whatever Happened To Asbury Park,” the show’s opening number, chronicles the highs and lows in music. “And like most plays,” says Nevin, “Ocean Mile has a few themes running through it, not the least of which is what can happen when too much land is changing hands too fast and hungry people are hearing what they’ve longed to hear.”
Maureen’s experience with the area is about as good as it gets. She has reported on human interest, business and investment themes for more than 20 years, earning eight journalism awards, including a 1996 National Press Club First Place Award for Consumer Journalism. She wrote the Sunday radio column, “Radio Somewhere,” for the Asbury Park Press, part of the Gannett Corporation. She also created and hosted “Asbury Radio,” a weekly talk show over 88.1 FM and website. “Asbury Radio—The Radio Voice Of Asbury Park” broadcast live for six-and a-half years on WYGG, a station launched by Abner Luima. Nevin still blogs on local issues at the same website.
While Nevin’s goal may be to draw attention to the ongoing area and its struggles with developmental madness, her fun-filled delivery in Ocean Mile should garner a lot of laughs with its dark and comedic jabs at culprits on both sides of the proverbial fence. The Black Box of Asbury Park staged a reading of Ocean Mile in the upstairs lounge of the Paramount Theater a while back, and featured two actors actually playing parts about themselves. Developer Henry Vacarro played faux developer Rock Venezia and Asbury Park historian Werner Baumgartner took on the fictitious role of dour historian Fritz Lerner to the delight of a standing-room-only crowd. In a complete twist of irony, Baumgartner has been jailed several times for alleged zoning code violations sometime in or around his performances. And that’s not fiction. Bradley Beach actor Paul Nixon will be on board for these shows.
Ocean Mile opens July 24 for four afternoon performances at Asbury Park’s coolest new venue, Chico’s House Of Jazz over on 631 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park. Chico’s is a standout star in a town full of boutique burger and shot joints. Chico’s classy vibe, comfortable bar and roster of top touring performers are turning heads all over the county and it’s a great place to see a live show for sure. For ticket purchase information for Ocean Mile head over to asburyradio.com/oceanmile and be sure to check out the rest of Chico’s summertime schedule at chicoshouseofjazz.com.
East Coast Rockers Rally Their Troops @ New Jersey Navy Appreciation Benefit, July 24, Lousyland
Corpsman Kyle Schweers was
injured in Afghanistan in a recent incident. As a member of USMC Combat Logistics Battalion 6, Unit 73781, Kyle, along with other sailors and marines, give the essential support that ground forces in Afghanistan rely on to survive. However, as with many in the military who survive firestorms that have taken the lives of their fellow countrymen, he finds no comfort in the limelight and has been quick to insist on redirecting attention of his plight to his brothers and sisters still on the precarious fields and between the ticking of the battlefield clocks.
To this end, New Jersey’s musical community will be hosting a benefit concert on Saturday, July 24, at Lousyland (25 3rd Ave., Long Branch, NJ) with all proceeds going directly to USMC CLB 6, unit 73871. Benefits have been the quiet norm at Lousyland for almost a full decade now, with proceeds going to many causes ranging from 9/11 victims to Ronald McDonald House families. This time around, while the beneficiary may seem to be a single entity, it should be considered to be more of an acorn in a forest. And from one acorn countless forests can descend. From each and every action taken in the faith of their convictions, our U.S. military personnel give the seeds for countless dreams to be realized by those of us safe at home. Come take part with us, as it’s a great and just cause. It should be noted that Kyle was injured during his
first tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Schedule of Performers:
3-4 p.m. Thieves Of Leviticus
4-5 p.m. Doo-Dads
5-6 p.m. Charlie Don’t Surf
6-6:15 p.m. Solo For Dolo
6:15-7:15 p.m. Ultratorqued
7:15-7:30 p.m. Solo For Dolo
7:30-8:30 p.m. Gentlemen Wolf
8:30-8:45 p.m. Solo For Dolo
8:45-9:45 p.m. The Filthy 3
9:45-10:45 p.m. Ziggy Shock
The benefit organizers want me to point out that just as the war will continue well past the 24th, support is needed beyond the 24th as well. The smallest of care packages can make a difference to our armed forces. Use the address below to send packages:
LT. Alexander David W.
CLB 6 H&S Co. (BN Chaplain) UNIT 73871
FPO AE 09510-3871
This will insure that the items are distributed throughout the Battalion.
For further information on the bands, set times, and other details, contact Tony Tedesco.
I’m usually pretty good with details, however, every once in a while my facts go offline and my head fills with cotton. Jeff Beck’s bass player for the June 15 Paramount show was not Tal Wilkenfeld, but was actually Rhonda Smith, and drummer Narada Michael Walden played drums on selections on the Wired album. Also, in last week’s segment on Bebe Buell in Hollywood, I quoted a song title as “Baby, Baby” when it was actually the a capella song titled “Superstar.” Thank you for your musical vigilance. And as always, feel free to email me with new events and band info here at Shoreworld.