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A unique kind of "booked gig" - The Stone Pony celebrates the publication of I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME

Updated: Jun 14


Image courtesy of Nick Corasaniti

June 12, 2024


When you think about a party celebrating the publication of a book, what comes to mind? Folks sipping an oaky chardonnay in a bookstore or library-type setting, perhaps some wearing corduroy blazers, listening to the author expound voraciously and in a circumlocutory manner about their work?


That's not how The Stone Pony does a book-publication party. Not at all.


Swap out the library-type setting for arguably the most famous seaside bar in the word, the oaky chardonnay for ice-cold Asbury Park Sea Dragon ale, and corduroy blazers for denim. Lotsa denim.


And kick it all off with a three-piece brass band, The Ocean Avenue Stompers, marching from the boardwalk right in through the front doors of 913 Ocean Avenue, Mardi Gras-style.





Last Saturday night, The Stone Pony hosted a book-publication party for New York Times journalist Nick Corasaniti and his new book, I Don’t Want to Go Home: The Oral History of The Stone Pony. Corasaniti himself was on hand for the event, along with various legends and local legends from the Asbury Park music scene, representing many different periods of the Pony’s fifty-years-and-counting history.




Over the course of three hours, a boatload of musicians led by the night’s band director, Marc Ribler of Little Steven’s Disciples of Soul, would jump on stage to do a song. A few, like Billy Hector and Bobby Bandiera, did more than a couple of songs, but generally it was a fast-moving night of music. And famed music photographer Danny Clinch was on hand both behind the lens and behind his harp to add his verve to a number of songs.




Perhaps the most emphatic performance, and one that got the biggest ovation, as Lord Gunner himself, Lance Larson, sang an absolutely incredible version of “With A Little Help From My Friends,” based on Joe Cocker’s arrangement of The Beatles’ classic. Lance’s voice was strong, his face passionate, and the crowd loved it.



Here’s the complete June 8, 2024 book-publication party's set list:

Marc Ribler and Friends - “Trapped Again” and “Talk To Me”

Bobby Bandiera - “Arms of Your Love” and “Like A Hurricane”

Billy Hector - “Someday Baby” and “I Know How To Party”

Stringbean - “Mystery Train”

Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez - “Strange Brew”

Lance Larson - “With A Little Help From My Friends”

Renee Maskin - “Atlantic City”

Dave DiPietro (of TT Quick) - “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Rachel Bolan (of Skid Row) - “Highway Star” (with DiPietro, and Lily Slix of Arkist)

Pam Flores - “18 & Life” (with Bolan, and Darrin Bell of Arkist)

Paul Ritchie and Eric Rudie (of Parlor Mob,) and Slix - “Rock and Roll” (the Led Zeppelin song, not the Velvet Underground one)

Brian Fallon, Alex Levine (of Gaslight Anthem), Bryan Kienlen (of Bouncing Souls) - “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”

Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken (of The Smithereens) - “Blood and Roses” and “Behind The Walls of Sleep”

Harry Filkin and Peter Schulle - “Bitch” and “No Surrender”

The night then ended with a crowded stage that included Corasaniti on guitar, and everyone performing “The Promised Land,” “Born to Run,” and a wonderful long version of “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” of course.



Finally, the house lights at the Pony flickered on, and people did indeed have to go home. They left, however, with another great Stone Pony memory – a book-publication party that included genre-and-generation-spanning music and musicians, one that nodded to the big history of that little bar on Ocean Avenue, in that sand-dusted town that many call Little Eden.



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