Asbury Park is where you go when you don’t want to go home. Waitresses may lose their desire but the aurora is always rising. There was a certain place in time where something was happening in the seaside resort that “wasn’t happening any place else,” the city pimp’s main prophet Bruce Spingsteen explains in the new Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption and Rock N’ Roll trailer. The music scene was so buoyant it “lifted you off the ground, remembers disciple of soul Steven Van Zandt.
Directed by Tom Jones, the film explans how an unemployment crisis led to riots that scorched the Jersey shore’s jazz and blues scene. Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll will premiere In Theaters at The Asbury Park Music & Film Festival on April 28 before hitting theaters on May 22, (with a second show on May 29 in the U.S.
Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll tells the story of “the long troubled town of Asbury Park, and how the power of music can unite a divided community,” reads the official synopsis. “A once storied seaside resort, Asbury Park erupted in flames during a summer of civil unrest, crippling the town for the next 45 years and reducing it to a state of urban blight. A town literally divided by a set of railroad tracks, the riot destroyed the fabled Westside jazz and blues scene, but from the flames of the burning city emerged the iconic Jersey sound.”
Springsteen, Van Zandt, Southside Johnny Lyon and David Sancious, who all started at the legendary psychedelic after-hours club Upstage, talk about the impact the city had on how they played and how they all came together. It features never before seen interviews and performances, the Upstage All-Stars playing a sold out Paramount Theater show with a group of local 11-year-old musicians. The film is supported in association with Jersey Mike’s, which allows all profits worldwide to be dedicated to promoting and creating music education programs.
“Asbury Park has had such an influence on the American music scene and culture which has now impacted the whole world,” Kymberli Frueh, SVP of Acquisitions for Trafalgar Releasing, said in a statement. “The significant talent that has come from this Jersey town and the way they have come together to support each other and the community is impressive. We are excited to bring this amazing event to cinemas around the world and give audiences everywhere the chance to experience the magic of Asbury Park.”
You can watch the trailer here:
Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock n Roll screens at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park as part of the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28. It will play in theaters across the United States and the world on May 22, and in U.S. theaters only on May 29.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.