The director of a documentary about the Asbury Park music scene recalled how he feared the project would collapse after Bruce Springsteen’s management declined an invitation to have the Boss involved.

Tom Jones had asked Springsteen, via his representatives, to appear in Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock 'n' Roll, but their response left him thinking he’d have to continue without one of the leading voices of the scene.

“I put together a package and sent it off to Bruce's management and they declined,” Jones told WENN, noting that he had secured “76 interviews, but we did not have Bruce in it.

"So we put it away, and then they started this film festival in Asbury Park and asked me to show clips from the film I shot. … It was becoming the world's most expensive home movie! We put it up at the Asbury Park film festival two years ago and Bruce surprised us and came. ... Then he called the next day and said, 'Hey, it's a really great film. I'd like to be in it!' Bruce saved me ... and now we have a theatrical release.”

You can watch a trailer for the documentary below.

The second version of Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock 'n' Roll – the cut including Springsteen – will be shown in theaters on May 22 and 29. The documentary also features Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny and the Upstage All-Stars. At a recent screening, Springsteen recalled seeing the first cut and asking himself, “Why am I not in this? I should be in this.”

Jones recalled his personal close calls with Springsteen in his youth. “When I was a kid, Bruce roomed for a while with my best friend's older brother – before he had an album," he said.

"His music was the soundtrack of my childhood. We also owned the house that was next to Bruce's house in New Jersey that he sold about six months ago, and I never met him! He was so nice to my grandfather. … They were pals, and it's ironic that I never got to meet him. I didn't meet him until we finished the first version of the film.”

 

 

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