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Founded by Tom and Margaret Potter in 1968, The Upstage, formerly located at 702 Cookman Avenue and Bond Street above a Tom McCan shoe store in downtown Asbury Park, was one of the original Asbury Park Clubs. Now defunct (it closed in 1970), it was best known as one of the first places where Bruce Springsteen and "Southside" Johnny Lyon, "Miami" Steve Van Zandt, and E Street Band members honed their musical skills. It remains an important part of Asbury Park's musical lore and history.

Asbury Park Historical Society's Statement
A primary mission of the Asbury Park Historical Society is the restoration and preservation of landmarks, buildings and sites that exemplify the city's historically diverse character and standing as a premiere New Jersey shore resort.

As part of that mission, the historical society recognizes that the rich and culturally diverse musical heritage of Asbury Park is of significant importance in preserving an important component of the city's history.

From the time of John Philip Souza and Arthur Prior, through the big band era, to the jazz and blues clubs on Springwood Avenue, and up to the present day legacy of rock & roll creativity in Asbury Park, the society believes this important and influential musical heritage should be preserved.

The Asbury Park Historical Society fought hard to preserve the Arthur Prior bandshell on top of the Fifth Avenue pavilion several years ago after a proposal was put forth by the waterfront redeveloper to do away with it's use. Fortunately, the society was successful in its efforts.

The society believes that musical venues, like the Arthur Prior bandshell , Convention Hall, Paramount Theatre, the Casino, Stone Pony and the Upstage Club have all added to the city's rich and diverse musical heritage.

Asbury Park has played a unique and pivotal role in New Jersey's music scene for more than 100 years and we look forward to the tradition continuing.


View the history of The Upstage Club