The COVID-19 pandemic marks an unprecedented time in modern history that will require the best of humanity to overcome.
The Saint, an important and iconic musical landmark located in Asbury Park, which has hosted everyone from fearless first-timers, to the Kings of Leon, Incubus, Mitski, Cake, Deftones, Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens, Joey & Dee Dee of The Ramones, Bens Folds Five, Everlast, Jewel, Sean Lennon, to Bruce Springsteen, is in imminent danger of closing.
To help save The Saint, Marguerite King, of the band Little Vicious, and Workhouse, CEO, Adam Nelson have created a fund to aid the 25-year-old institution. Your donation will help support monetary relief and all raised funds will go directly to The Saint, a defender of all things independent, innovative and idiosyncratic. Donations are being collected with the intention of providing support so that The Saint may survive, as it should, with integrity.
Words from Bobby Olivier (NJ Advance Media for NJ.com):
"The Saint, the longstanding Asbury Park rock club and one of the last bastions of independent music in New Jersey, is for sale amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We deeply regret this decision and never imagined we would go out like this but can’t think of another way around it,” wrote Meg Kelly, the Jersey Shore venue’s manager, on Facebook Saturday afternoon.
Both the 175-capacity club at 601 Main Street and its liquor license are up for sale after the iconic locale has been shuttered for more than a month, as have thousands of small businesses across New Jersey deemed non-essential by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The Saint opened in 1994 and for more than 25 years has hosted original live music seven days a week, providing stage time to national talent and local bands alike. A stalwart promoter of local music, the lovable dive has been instrumental in Asbury Park’s revitalization over the last 15 years as a destination arts and culture hub.
Brand-name artists that have taken the small stage over the years include Jewel, Joey Ramone, Cake, Creed, Incubus, Deftones, and Mitski, as well as thousands of lesser-known artists.
Bruce Springsteen was filmed inside The Saint in 1998 for a BBC documentary called “Bruce Springsteen – A Secret History.”
Expectedly, several-hundred comments were posted below Kelly’s announcement memorializing the little club that could and begging someone to step up and keep the place financially afloat."
Give what you can, and long live, original music.
Media who wish to interview or learn more about THE SAINT, please contact WORKHOUSE, CEO, Adam Nelson via email email@example.com
The Asbury Park and greater New Jersey music scene were absolutely shocked to learn on Saturday, April 18, that the iconic music venue, The Saint is now up for sale. Announced via Facebook, The Saint is seemingly another casualty of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many of us, (myself included) The Saint has not only been a landmark venue for performers, but it’s a spot where many of us, over the past two-plus decades, played our first shows (which we then followed by a slice down at TJ’s).
As if there was ever a doubt the local scene has stepped up in big ways. Initially, it was just changing profiles photos on social media to photos from the stages of The Saint, as well as spreading the update on the sale on their timelines. Then it became nostalgic remembrances from musicians, comedians, and fans alike — in both words and photos.
Then came the big one — a GoFundMe campaign was set up by Marguerite King (of the band Little Vicious) in order to save The Saint. The goal here is described as such: “All money raised will go to the Saint in Asbury Park and defender of all things live music. Funds are being collected with the intention to provide support to the Saint however needed, or to purchase outright so it may survive on as it should with integrity.”
As of press time, the campaign has amassed almost $30,000 (with a goal of $50,000). There have been updates on the status of the venue, according to Bobby Olivier of NJ.com, the venue’s Meg Donohue Kelly stated “We are thankfully already in communication with a person with interest in partnering / investing with us,” she wrote. “Partnering, an investor, would be ideal as it would allow us to continue doing what we love and were meant to do vs. sell. That would be amazing.”
Not only has everyone been pitching in financially, but many artists and key players from the local scene shared some of their thoughts on The Saint with The Pop Break…..
Tom Hanley, Host of Jersey Rock on 95.9 The Rat: For a quarter of a century The Saint fostered an invaluable environment for live, local music. When it looked like the fire of the Asbury Park music scene was going out for good, The Saint kept the embers alive. It was a light in the dark that made brighter days possible. Now it looks like that light is going out, however not without a fight. Judging from the reaction of the artists of the Asbury Park music scene, it’s clear they want to return the favor to this storied venue. They are carrying the torch. The story is not over yet.
Jeff Crespi, Photographer/JeffCrespiRocks.com: I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to make a decision like this. I don’t think anyone has to be reminded of what The Saint means to us. This venue was more than just a music venue it was a place that opened up its doors for a lot of people of different kinds. It put on shows other places wouldn’t. I know that everyone will want to help but also understand that it takes a lot more than money to make a venue like The Saint what it has been for all these years. Hopefully, someone with the financial means and understanding of what a truly great venue is will step up and not let this happen. You guys have been nothing short of great people to be around and always made us feel like family. Keep your heads up we all love you.
Pamela Flores, Singer/Songwriter: I believe the reason why this is hitting so hard is that The Saint is not just a venue. It’s a place of solace for many of us, it was home, it was a symbol of community and morphing the “Old Asbury” and “New Asbury” into one space. Just like many others, Scott [Stamper] gave me my first chance at playing. We both happen to be from Sayreville, and he grew up with the woman whose house I moved into when I first moved to Asbury. I knew absolutely no one, and no one knew me. But he gave me a chance. It brings a sense of nostalgia and hope all at the same time. By Asbury Park story wouldn’t be much if it weren’t for the Saint, and I know I’m not alone in thinking that. Clearly. And I honestly do believe the Saint will absolutely keep going. We need it to.
Brian Morelli, Morningside Lane, The Great Rock N’ Roll Time Machine, Black Tooth Grin: I’m terribly saddened. I know The Saint as a “cultural hub” of an Asbury Park venue. They would support any showcase, from hip-hop to hardcore, to spoken word performances, and everything in between. The Saint was always a venue that cares about the art that takes place on its stage.
Jeff “Spags” Spagnola, End of an Era, 18th & Addison: The first show I ever played in Asbury was a Jersey Shows Sunday matinee at The Saint when I was sixteen – long before the “Asbury renaissance”. It was where almost everyone I know in the area got their start and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played or hung out there since. Asbury Park isn’t just losing another venue….it’s losing a piece of history.
Charles Laurita, Charles Laurita & The Mischief: It absolutely breaks my heart to hear the incredibly sad news about The Saint. One of my absolute favorite places to play with my boys by far. Meg, Scott, and Jack (Hinge) have always welcomed me and the band with loving open arms and treated us like family. Unhappy is the understatement of the century. I’m crushed.
Mike O’Keefe, Improv Jam, ComedySportz: Scott used to reach out to Improv Jam when The Saint would have a quirky, eclectic act come thru for a show. He would ask us to open or do a set at some point during the night. The best one was back in the 90’s he had us open for the San Diego band, The Rugburns. Of course, we thought we were crushing it, but audience-based improv comedy rarely works in a live music setting. I think Scott’s brilliant strategy was just to get a bunch of us, improv idiots, on the front of the stage creating a diversion while the headliner set up. Scott has always been great at bringing things in that keep the whole night full and fun, and we were always game to help him create that. I have a lot of love and respect for him and Meg and they will certainly be missed.
Corinne Cavallo, Verity in Stereo, Universal Remote: Truly the end of an era. I hope there’s a way to keep this from happening. My first band was given the chance to play here when we were just starting out in high school, and I’ve played many shows there since. They were the only venue who could ever mic my wind instruments correctly when I was in Verity in Stereo. They were so supportive of our local community of musicians, and even after Verity ended, Scott always told Mikal and I that we could have a spot to play there whenever we wanted. There are so many great memories from this place – thank you, Scott and Meg, for giving so many of us musicians a home!
Jack “Hinge” Pitzer, Audio Engineer at The Saint: To all of the people I worked with at The Saint over my 17 years there, thank you for your support, kind words, and friendship. Together, we all made something beloved and special. Hopefully, this too shall pass, and we’ll all get to help people enjoy live music once again.
Melissa Jouben, Comedian in The Warm Things: Every person that I love – every friend who has played a huge role in my life – everyone who cares about me – have entered through those doors at some point. Without The Saint, I would be nothing and have nothing. We all have each other because of this place. I want that for everyone else who hasn’t had the chance to find that yet.
Jess Alaimo, Comedian: The Saint was not just a bar. Scott and Meg really made it a home for so many of us, continually giving artists a shot when no one else would. Original live music will take a huge hit with this loss, but the scene that was created will hopefully live on. In many ways, the Saint feels like a weather vane for the city. It was the last of the real independent rock n roll clubs in Asbury Park. The music scene was doing just fine as long as the Saint was still around. It’s going to be a different place now.
Bill Bodkin, Editor-in-Chief at The Pop Break: The Saint is a vital part of the DNA of the Asbury Park, New Jersey, and the national music scene. (See our cover photo of Zach Deputy – as photographed by Matthew Heasley) It’s a hallowed ground for creativity — whether it’s a comedy, or literally any genre of music. That venue is a throwback to the Wild West times of Asbury where artists and creatives had a blank canvas to work at.
While my life didn’t allow me to be a regular at the venue, it is a venue that so many friends of this site and friends of mine personally have performed (see the videos in this piece as evidence), made art, made a living, and brought joy into people’s lives. I believe this current outpouring of love from the community is a testament to what Scott and Meg have created at The Saint. I don’t care how many million-dollar condos and 5-star eateries end up in this city, Asbury Park is first and foremost a musical city, and The Saint is the gatekeeper to this city. We’re lucky to have this venue, and let’s work together to keep it open.
W O R K H O U S E is one of the country's leading public relations and integrated creative agencies. Celebrating 20 years of service, the agency provides forward-thinking public relations, social media, brand promotion, creative consulting and modern-day marketing. Clients have included Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, Hugh Jackman, Francis Ford Coppola, David LaChapelle, CBGB, Max's Kansas City, Interview Magazine, Galleries Lafayette, Chase Contemporary, Porsche, Ford Motor Company, Virgin, Jazz at Lincoln Center, International Emmy Awards, Assouline Editions, Rizzoli International Publications, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Versace, and Avroko. Workhouse offers untraditional service across a broad spectrum of entertainment, culture, fashion and lifestyle spheres. Visit workhousepr.com
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