Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Honor ‘Ambassador’ Kerry Layton at Stone Pony Memorial (Photos)
Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa paid their respects at a memorial to the late Kerry Layton, an ambassador of the Asbury Park music scene, Thursday night (June 20) at The Stone Pony.
Layton, 70, was known as the Ambassador of Asbury Park, and a friendly face often holding court in the back bar of the Asbury Park venue. A lifelong surfer and Long Branch lifeguard, Layton served as one of the Asbury Ushers at many shows held at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park. He passed away June 7 at his home in Deal.
Layton was celebrated o the Pony marquee reading: “Ambassador Kerry Layton: Celebration of Life.”
“Kerry and Pam (DeLisa, Layton’s lifelong love) have been great friends to me and Patti and I have known them a long time,” said Springsteen to the USA Today Network New Jersey after the memorial. “Kerry’s passing is a great loss to Asbury Park and to Patti and I. We’re going to miss him.”
The event, organized by Lynne Kirchdoerffer, the founder of the Asbury Ushers, precedes a scheduled “Paddle Out” in Layton’s honor, which will be held 10 a.m. June 22 at the Phillips Ave. Beach in Deal.
Many came to honor his memory, tell stories, and pay tribute to Layton, including: New Jersey State Assemblyman Sean T. Kean, Asbury Park Press writer Jean Mikle, Wonder Bar manager Debbie DeLisa and Layton friend Steve Fole, who spoke at the memorial, which was emceed by DJ Lee Mrowicki. Attendees included Light of Day founder Bob Benjamin, musician Lance Larson, music promoter Tony Pallagrosi, Springsteen guitar tech Kevin Buell, and Pam DeLisa as well as members of Layton’s Ambassadors. The Deal Fire Department added a special touch, with an antique fire truck parked outside the Pony.
What a cool night here in Asbury Park where family and friends make it happen. Kerry you will be missed but never…
Afterward, The Springsteens made a pilgrimage to Max’s Bar and Grill in Long Branch for a hot dog and onion rings: