Asbury Park Through The Years

  • Construction of Convention Hall Begins

    In 1929, the current Convention Hall and Casino building began construction, causing the city to become a cultural and shopping destination, not only for fine stores but for movies, theater, and concerts
  • First Convention at Convention Hall

    The first official convention held at Convention Hall was the annual meeting of the New York Friars' Club. Since that time, the hall has hosted countless other conventions like trade shows and antique automobile shows.
  • WCAP Moves In

    AM radio station, WDWM, moved from its studios in Newark to downtown Asbury Park, changing its call letters to WCAP for "Wonder City of Asbury Park". The Chamber of Commerce, which owned the station, moved into a studio of Convention Hall in the fall of 1931. Warren & Wetmore had wired the hall for radio capability, and the on-hand studio allowed the station to broadcast live performances.
  • Rock & Roll Almost Gets Banned

    Rock & Roll Almost Gets Banned
    A concert by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers at the Convention Hall ended prematurely when a fistfight in the audience erupted into a full scale riot. Three people were stabbed and then-Mayor Roland J. Hines threatened a city-wide ban on rock and roll performances. The ban never came to pass.
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    KISS, Pink Floyd, And Much More Play

    Between 1965 and 1975, the Convention Hall housed Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys, James Brown, The Byrds, Ray Charles, The Dave Clark Five, The Doors, The J. Geils Band, Herman’s Hermits, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, KISS, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Pink Floyd and The Who, among many others
  • Led Zeppelin Chooses Asbury Over Woodstock

    Led Zeppelin Chooses Asbury Over Woodstock
    Led Zeppelin played at the Convention Hall the evening of August 16, 1969, after their manager, Peter Grant, rejected an invitation to Woodstock.
  • The Stone Pony Is Born

    The Stone Pony, one of the world's best known music venues, opened its doors in a building which formerly housed a popular restaurant called Mrs. Jay's.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd Plays One Of Their Last Concerts

    Lynyrd Skynyrd Plays One Of Their Last Concerts
    The original Lynyrd Skynyrd band played at the Convention Hall. They would only play five more concerts before their tour plane's fatal crash on October 20, 1977.
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    Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, And More Play

    In the 1980s and 1990s, acts such as The Allman Brothers Band, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Blue Öyster Cult, Tool, Ted Nugent, King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, The Clash, No Doubt and The Goo Goo Dolls
  • The Stone Pony Almost Dies

    In the late '80s, many clubs offering live music closed due to the rising costs of insurance. A decision in 1991 to file for protection from creditors brought a forced sale of The Stone Pony in bankruptcy court a year later.
  • Springsteen Swoops In

    Springsteen Swoops In
    Convention Hall gained a strong association with Bruce Springsteen in the late 90's. He held rehearsals for upcoming tours there, ticketed public rehearsal shows, and several Christmas specials. The large lighted sign on the top of Convention Hall now reads "Greetings from Asbury Park", in reference to Springsteen's 1973 debut album, "Greetings from Asbury."
  • "The Pony's Last Ride"

    In 1998, new owners decided to convert The Stone Pony into a dance club called "Vinyl." The Stone Pony closed a week later after a long weekend of shows called the "Pony's Last Ride,"
  • The Pony Comes Back

    The Pony Comes Back
    In February 2000, the very popular singer, Santana held a news conference at the club to announce he and several investors had bought the venue and guaranteed the Pony would be open by Memorial Day weekend.
  • Sprinklers Could Cause Closing

    Madison Marquette officials say they can not afford sprinklers for the Convention Hall complex, six years after signing an agreement to comply with the fire code by 2011. The sprinklers would cost over $1 million after taxes. Madison Marquette has not scheduled any events after May 1 at Convention Hall or the Paramount Theatre and Grand Arcade.
  • Convention Hall Given Another Chance

    The Asbury Park City Council agreed to give the company an extra six weeks to file its plans for the upgrade. The new deadline is June 15.