On February 8, 1974, The Stone Pony, one of the world’s best-known live music venues, first opened its doors in Asbury Park, across the street from the boardwalk. Founders John P. “Jack” Roig and Robert “Butch” Pielka bought the club without ever seeing the inside. On that first night, nearly eight inches of snow fell, the band canceled, and exactly one customer showed up. But The Stone Pony would go on to take a prominent place in an evolving music scene that helped launch the careers of legendary groups such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Stone Pony continues to showcase a wide range of live music acts and concerts, from unknown newcomers to headline stars, thriving to this day as the musical heart and soul of Asbury Park.
Photo by John R. Barrows