Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Asbury Park club, home of early Springsteen shows, faces wrecking ball

Bruce Springsteen performs at the Upstage with his band Steel Mill

A recent Bruce Springsteen album is titled Wrecking Ball, and that’s exactly what might come for the Upstage: a club in Asbury Park, New Jersey where Springsteen, Little Steven Van ZandtSouthside Johnny, and others played important early gigs in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The club has been closed since 1971, but remains substantially intact; it’s now in danger of being demolished to make way for new condos. After 14 months, a crowdfunding campaign to save the venue is only $705 towards a $3 million goal. (Billboard)

In other Jersey news, Jon Bon Jovi will be a commencement speaker this spring at Rutgers University—Camden. The university, in turn, will bestow an honorary degree upon the Bon Jovi frontman. (Billboard)

Wilco have reinstated an Indiana show that they’d cancelled in protest over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The band were concerned that the law permitted discrimination against GLBT community members, and were pleased when the state legislature amended the act to add protections for members of that community. (Wilco)

Joni Mitchell remains hospitalized after being found unconscious at her home last week, but is steadily improving, her representatives say. (Rolling Stone)

Bob Burns, the founding drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died Friday night in a Georgia car accident. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and authorities are still investigating the potential causes of the accident. Burns, who was 64, played on classic songs including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.” (Rolling Stone)

Dance Me This, which is being called the late Frank Zappa‘s 100th and final album, will be released on June 1. Prior to his death in 1993, Zappa said that he was working on an album called Dance Me This that was “designed to be used by modern dance groups.” (Rolling Stone)

Director John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) is putting his planned Tupac Shakur biopic on hold “because we’re trying to figure out some things.” Singleton says that he has a script for the film, as well as the approval of the late rapper’s family. (Billboard)

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Kendrick Lamar will deliver the first pitch when the Dodgers face the San Franciso Giants on April 27. (Billboard) As rappers-turned-pitchers go, Lamar is likely to do better than 50 Cent.

Rockinhaim reunited at an L.A. charity concert with a rendition of “Mustang Sally.” That would be the Haim sisters’ early band, featuring their mom on vocals and their dad on drums. (Billboard)