The Palace of Depression was a real place in Vineland, New Jersey. A homeless drifter built it out of junk, sand and clay, then charged admission for visitors. Vandals destroyed the Palace after his death, but the original ticket booth still stands. Vineland is currently trying to rebuild the Palace of Depression.
The Fender Stratocaster guitar used by Michael Paré as Eddie Wilson in the concert scenes formerly belonged to John Lyon, a technical consultant for the film. Lyon is better known as Southside Johnny, leader of the New Jersey shore band the Asbury Jukes, and longtime friend and frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen.
As Frank pulls into his school's parking lot of, he hears the end of one of The Cruisers songs and the DJ announcing their music is becoming popular. The announcer is New York DJ Scott Muni. He also announces the call letters for WNEW-FM, the station where he was a broadcaster for almost 20 years.
Frank says he became a high school teacher in Vineland. However, the exterior shots are from the Vineland Developmental Center, East Campus. This is a New Jersey State School for the mentally challenged, still in operation today.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
A Season in Hell" is the title of a long poem by Arthur Rimbaud which Frank is reading in a paperback book. Frank quotes a line from the poem to illustrate the concept of a caesura, a meaningful pause. A brilliant yet tortured artiste who searched for a new style of literary expression, Rimbaud died at age 37, the same age as Wendell, the saxophone player in the band. Rimbaud turned his back on the artistic world and traveled to exotic locales for about 20 years. He never wrote for publication again after his major work "A Season in Hell". Like Rimbaud, Eddie pioneers a new musical style in his album "A Season in Hell", and vanishes from the society which knew him (faking his own death) until 20 years later when he is rediscovered and appreciated.