The Asbury Angels first came to light in 2012. The mission for Asbury Angels was and is to honor the lives and history of members of the Asbury Park music community, including, but not limited to, musicians, tech support persons, DJs, journalists, club owners, record company personnel, managers, and promoters.
In its first year, Asbury Angels inducted well-known people such as Tom and Margaret Potter, Clarence Clemons, Bill Chinnock, John Luraschi and our first bona fide rock star, Arthur Willard Pryor. Each year the community comes together and honors the next batch of chosen inductees for that particular year. 2013 saw members such as Big Danny Gallagher, journalist Chris Barry and Kevin Kavanaugh joining the list, and luminaries such as Jim Giantonio, Bobby Thomas, Donnie Bertleson and Delores Holmes for 2014.
2015 inductees include Ahna Loehr Tesche Parker Reimers, pianist and a member of Starduster, who built the Wonder Bar; Joe ‘Bop’ Tomek, drummer of Mushroom and other bands; Buzzy Lubinsky, DJ, drummer and instructor; John Oeser, vocalist and percussionist with Cahoots; Walter Cichon, lead singer of the Motifs; Vivian Eley, singer, dancer and Broadway star; Sammy Pugh, classically trained pianist. Also joining are John and Ida Jacobs, and Jeanette Jacobs Weiner, the creators and operators of Mrs. Jay’s Restaurant [Stone Pony] and the Beer Garden. A Guardian Angel dedication is reserved for Walter Reade Sr., theater mogul and developer of the St. James and Paramount theaters. The list above now joins a group of 31 other ‘Angels’ who have been commemorated with plaques along benches south of First Avenue.
Like previous years, this year’s inductees were selected by a panel of industry professionals and historians that live and breathe music in the Monmouth County area. The Asbury Angels’ criteria combine length of time spent in the music scene, the significance of their contributions, and the lasting impact they leave on the community. Those eligible for induction this year and in future years include musicians, songwriters, disc jockeys, writers, technical support staff and club and venue owners. One unfortunate downside to being part of this exclusive club is that members must be deceased for at least one year.
Asbury Angels founder Tony Pallagrosi had this to say about the event: “The Asbury Angels Project is near and dear to my heart, and I am so happy that the Light Of Day Foundation as well as APP, Ansell, Grimm and Adam and Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce support the project as sponsors. As you know, our mission is to honor and memorialize the lives and history of these extraordinary individuals, and by keeping that mission simple and to the point, we can handle this labor of love in a most efficient manner. The continuation of the ‘Guardian Angel’ concept will ultimately broaden the reach and increase the depth of the Asbury Angel Project without taking away from our stated focus.”
This year’s induction ceremony and the show take place at 6:30 p.m. at the world famous Stone Pony on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The show will feature a veritable “who’s who” of performers from around the area and beyond.
Show headliner will be Jesse Malin and band. Fresh off the heels of New York Before The War (March 2015), Jesse Malin returns with his latest album, Outsiders, out as of Oct. 9 on One Little Indian/Velvet Elk Records.
Born from late night recording sessions in the Pennsylvania woods with producer Don DiLego, far from any expectations, this new record presents Jesse Malin in his rawest form yet. Malin describes Outsiders as “a record built out of optimism and disgust—one for the leavers, the believers, the hustlers and the chicken hawks who could never catch us.”
Malin began playing live the age of 12 years old in the seminal hardcore band Heart Attack, after which Jesse and his childhood pals formed the rock and roll band D Generation and released three albums, touring the globe several times over before parting ways. Following several in-between bridge bands, Jesse Malin embarked on a solo career and had published six critically acclaimed records, starting with 2002’s The Fine Art Of Self Destruction, produced by Ryan Adams. Followed by 2004’s The Heat, 2007’s Glitter In The Gutter and 2010’s Love It To Life, Jesse Malin has been nominated for the Shortlist Music Prize, received stellar reviews across the board, and collaborated with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, and Wayne Kramer along the way.
The night will also feature James Maddock and band. Maddock is currently out in support of his latest album, The Green. His included bio tells us that since 1999, James Maddock’s bold and vulnerable songwriting, honeyed rasped voice, and distinct folk and Americana aesthetic have garnered acclaim from icons, peers, and taste-making outlets. His consistency as a recording artist and a captivating live performer have attracted a devoted fan base engages and generous enough to fan fund his last two records. He’s performed with Springsteen, Willie Nile, Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) and David Immergluck (Counting Crows), sang on records with Susan McKeown and more. Previous to his solo career, James was the frontman for the Columbia Records band Wood. It was in this form that he was first introduced to the mainstream audience when songs from the group’s debut, Songs From Stamford Hill, were prominently featured in Dawson’s Creek.
Also onboard will be Asbury’s own Boccigalupe & The Bad Boys. The Bad Boys is fronted by Tony Amato, a well-known area musician who has played with everyone from Ecstasy to The Clique, Nicky Don & Co., The Brothers & Sisters, Dzae, Cahoots, Cold, Blast & Steel II, The Z – Band, George Theiss, Bee Gees, Big Danny & The Boppers, Hot Romance, Clarence Clemons & The Red Bank Rockers, Bill Chinnock, Bobby Rydell, Gary U.S. Bonds, Bruce Springsteen and many more.
Rounding out the bill will be Joe D’Urso and Stone Caravan, Bobby Mahoney, Ten Ton Mojo, John Caspi and First Gun from Brighton Bar Records, The Catching and much more.
Doors are at 6:30 p.m., all ages (21 to drink) with tickets available at Ticketmaster.com, outlets, phone charge (800-745-300) or at The Stone Pony box office (box office has the least amount of surcharges). Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the doors. For more information, head over to stoneponyonline.com.