Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ
Here I am. Back where it all started. It’s amazing. It’s amusing. It’s a place I’ve iconized in my minds eye. It was a place of growth and a place of rebirth. For me. For many. Part of something bigger than all of us. Youth. Art. Music. Lust. Passion. A culmination of time, talent, opportunity, and friendships, crystallizing into the stuff dreams are made of. But at what point do we wake up?
It’s now 2010 some 25 years later. Time has taken a toll, on memories and conditions. Asbury is still a town in transition. A town possibly on the verge of rebirth, but still a slow and painful one. As I walked the streets with my friends Geoff Hoover & Dorothy Orant Morrison, ghosts of days past shown themselves and at times were laid to rest. Places that were once dead were now gentrified. For better or worse. Time marches on. And so did we.
From my digs on Bond Street, a once old decrepit storefront, came sounds of industry and rebirth. In 1986 I found this place, after a bit of searching. It looked like something “post WW II … after the bombings”. I came in and pumped a few thousand dollars into the interior. With the help of an unemployed carpenter hungry for work, and my friend Ziggy Shock, we re-framed, insulated, sheet rocked, and painted, both upstairs and down. Turning the downstairs into an (illegal) apartment for myself, and the upstairs into my practice space and recording studio. The outside looked as “trashed as ever” to disguise the new-found gem within. I had worked out and signed a five year lease with the landlord. I would pay $75.00 a month for rent the first year. The second year jumped to a whopping $150.00, and every year after would only increase 10%. By the end of the fifth year I’d still be paying under $200.00 per month rent! Not a bad deal!