It’s been almost two months since Long Branch’s legendary Brighton Bar was torn down. In that time the world has continued to change. Perhaps one of the only constants in life is that nothing stays the same. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually all things come to pass. When something important to us is ripped from the present and relegated to memory that fact becomes more evident. Thankfully there are people out there working to preserve such memories. On of them is Jersey Rocker Tattoo Tony Rodriguez of Broken Past.
Following the destruction of the Brighton Bar, Tony salvaged a precious artifact from the legendary venue: The sticker-covered back door. Sitting in the rubble, it may have seemed like an insignificant slab of mangled metal, however nothing could be further from the truth. So many people passed through it over the years and many left their mark by placing a sticker on it. It’s covered in images of bands who rocked the location throughout its long, storied history. The door is a memory-soaked musical nexus for all who called The Brighton Bar Home.
Anything that, over a long enough period of time, acquires marks from a number of linked people becomes something of a cultural touchstone. WRAT has at least two of them. When the time came for the original on-air studio to be decommissioned in favor of a brand new state-of-the-art studio down the hall, we saved 2 of the studio doors. The portals, which acquired marks from bands, DJ’s, and other personnel over the years are mounted on the wall in the current WRAT on-air studio.
Tattoo Tony had the same idea. He and his friend TJ Horner straightened out the bent chunk of history. Tony mounted the restored door on the wall of his recording studio. He said in a statement to Jersey Rock:
“The places we all have grown up are slowly disappearing I’m just trying to preserve what I can how I can.. the door is in my recording studio mounted on the wall and it’s funny I was just jamming and looked over and saw the door and it truly brings back so many memories…”Tony also managed to save the guitar couch from the Brighton Bar. As it had seen much action over the years, he had it re-upholstered. We think that was a good call.