We’ve all, at some point, have been going to The Saint since it opened in November of 1994. In that time frame, we’ve witnessed some of the best local and national acts on the planet and made lifelong friends along the way. The Saint is a space that can be best described as a New York-style original music bar located in the heart of Asbury Park. With its oblong shape and original bar (it was once The Clover Bar), The Saint has always provided great entertainment within its homey, neighborhood space. But as original music bars continue to close, and the economy tightens everyone’s belts, rooms like The Saint become fewer and farther between.
Recently, in an effort to try and get routine repairs done to the place, The Saint started a fundraising page in an attempt to offset some of the overbearing expenses that have befallen them and their self-made space. As someone who knows the proprietors personally, I am aware that this was the last thing that they wanted to do. We all have our pride, and asking others for help is not something we do lightly. But sometimes that emotional set of circumstances just cannot get the job done. That’s where friends and music lovers come in.
The fundraiser page goes on to tell us, “Home of Live Original Music in Asbury Park, N.J., established November 18, 1994; a campaign has been launched to Support The Saint. One of the top small live music venues in the world, we are seeking support from the music and arts community to help us move into the future as we make necessary improvements to the structural, technical, and visual components of our historic venue. With all the love we have for The Saint, we’re going to do everything we can to keep The Saint around for years to come.
The Saint’s mission is to present and preserve original live music at the Jersey Shore. For 21 years, The Saint has provided a platform for local, national and international artists across all genres. The Saint does not receive tax breaks, is not funded by any corporate source and does not receive grants. The cost of doing business in NJ has significantly increased since we opened our doors. We have constantly re-invented The Saint with great passion and dedication to adjust to these increasing costs, as well as evolving with the ever-changing music scene and constant shifts in the music business.
If The Saint has been even a small part of your life in the last two decades, we ask that you consider a contribution to help keep our historic venue alive and humming. It is with great humility and respect for the music community that we seek your assistance. By making a donation, you will be helping our independent music venue move forward with a variety of sustainable objectives, security measures, and restorations.”
There isn’t one of us who haven’t benefited in some small way from The Saint’s generosity. Whether it is by no-charge admission or through drinks and friendship, we all owe it to ourselves and the bar to help them get back to operational status, and we can all afford to chip in a few dollars to help Asbury’s best original room stay current and keep the doors open.
Owner Scott Stamper continues, “Asking for help is a difficult thing to do. While some venues withstand the test of time, many of our historic venues haven’t fared as well. Many of music’s most iconic sites have been lost. It is with great humility and much respect for the music and arts community that I am reaching out for support on behalf of The Saint. I have been and remain devoted to providing an intimate stage for local artists and the touring road show, across all ages and genres. We are in the process of developing a sustainable business model for The Saint so that moving forward we can continue to bring original live music to New Jersey while providing a state-of-the-art haven for music and the arts.
Thank you to all of the artists, fans, media, record labels, promoters, agents, managers, and everyone else for supporting The Saint. Through this fundraising effort, we are confident we will secure the long-term future of our iconic music venue that has been a major part of the music scene for more than two decades. We look forward to seeing everyone at the shows!”
Now, some have said that it’s not the public’s responsibility to support a music venue for business repairs and such, but to me, that’s a personal view that I do not agree with. If this is a room that you frequent and a room that you get to see great bands at that you wouldn’t see anywhere else in town, then why wouldn’t you want to get involved and help out? Sure, no one’s forcing you to do so, but that’s the beauty of Asbury Park’s music community. Nobody has to ask twice because we all want to help out. As Scott Stamper has said, it’s difficult to ask for help, and most that feel that way don’t want to ask in the first place.
So think about joining the rest of us in giving whatever you can to help keep one of the area’s true original rooms running in the black and within our community for a long time to come. The Saint Fundraiser site is at gofundme.com/yuaxnd9f. As of this writing, the Fundraiser has raised over $9,000 of their total $25,000 campaign.
And speaking of great shows at The Saint, this month features Des And The Swagmatics as part of the LOD Holiday Sunday show on Jan. 17. Also on board will be The Flow & Friends and Shady Street Band. Special guests as well. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. Another great upcoming locals show will feature Thomas Wesley Stern, The Accidental Seabirds and Pocket Vinyl on Jan. 21. Admission is $10, and doors are at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on The Saint schedule, head over to thesaintnj.com.
And as usual, if there’s someone you feel deserves coverage here in the Shoreworld, please email me directly at email@example.com.