Four years ago, on August 21, 2014, cancer took my cousin Sara away. She was only 52 years old and I still miss her dearly. She would call and talk with me about what was going on, at least two or three times a year. We would talk on the phone for hours. Sara had moved to New Jersey many years ago when she married her husband Dave. During nearly every one of our phone conversations, I would mention my desire to get to New Jersey for a visit and every time I did, she would mention Asbury Park and the Stone Pony. She knew it was a place I would dig. Unfortunately, this trip never materialized before she passed.
Flash forward to 2018 and it finally happened. Life brought us to the greater “Philzy” area and I was able to meet up with Dave and his new wife Gloria. We had no certain plans for what we were going to go see and do but one of the options was certainly Asbury Park. Luckily, the rain held off and this is where we headed.
Stepping onto the board walk for the first time it was as if Sara was still right there by my side. Sara studied archeology and had a certificate in historic preservation, so I immediately grasped why she loved the place. It has this ancient Lovecraft vibe in the air that just feels like, hundreds of years ago, it crawled from the sea and landed on the Jersey shore. I also immediately fell in love with the place.
I’m already having thoughts about returning and making it a more substantial trip the next time I visit. I was able to tour inside Convention Hall and the wheels are turning as to how I can make some music magic happen there in the future. Set a goal and work backwards. Life goes on. I hope you enjoy the new song and the video.
YouTube video available here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW08-VqrL_g
released November 2, 2018
words and music performed and produced by John Orr Franklin