Friday, July 8, 2011

Rock and Roll Reminiscences



ROCK & ROLL REMINISCENCES

Bill,
I love reading these posts on the Somers Point Clubs. I was the sax player for Tito Mambo & the Messiahs of Soul. We worked in the mid 60's at both Bayshores & the Dunes. As with the other posters here, I remember those times as some of the best. Great life for a young guy. Played every night/after hours/wknd afternoon sessions. Weight trained with bouncer Guy Borelli from Bayshores, Slept on the beach, ate lunch at the College Grill, & worked. Our band consisted of Tito/Vocals, BJ Stone/B3, Dick Sequino/Guitar, Paul Nunes/Drums, & Diz Lee & Saul Shocket/Tenor Saxes. This group was loaded with talent & it was an honor to work with them, especially Diz.

Saul Selitetrng - If anyone out there remembers any of these names, please feel free to email me @ saulselitetrng@aol.com

Joe Cerisano wrote:
Amazing. I was sitting here watching tv with my laptop and I typed in bayshore cafe somers point nj and got this blog. My name is Joe Cerisano and I sang with JB and the Bonnevilles. We were from Morgantown WV but every summer we'd come to Bayshores and play the whole summer. In 1968 it was me, Malcom, Dave Coombs, Jay Amentrout and I forget the guitarist's name. I was 17 at the time. Dave and Rita Coombs had to be my legal guardian so I could sing in the club. Caswell was on the front stage and we were on the back stage. Casewell was one of my main infulences. I talk to him once in a while. I also remember going out to the Dunes every night to see Ray Sharp. I could write a book about that summer being 17, hanging out with all the older guys. To say the least I learned a lot. I remember going over to Tony Marts on breaks to see the other groups. I went on to do pretty well in the music biz. Here's my website. www.cerisano.com you might get a kick seein' what it all led too. Anyway, to anyone who was there back then and remembers the Bonneviles there are a couple of neat photos of the band on my website.

Hello Bill,
I was the organ player for the Bonnevilles at Bayshores during the summers of 1968 and 1969. We were on the back stage and Johnny Caswell and the Crystal Mansion were on the front side stage. I'd like to compare notes... I enjoy reading events from the past. "The Good Ole Days". When I think of Tony Mart's I think of how hot it was on those humid summer days when the beer and liquor trucks were the only things moving, unloading there goods. We were meeting and listening to the latest "guest bands" practice during mid day getting ready for there week or two week long stint at Tony Mart's.

We, the Bonnevilles, a couple days a week, would be working on new songs across the street and would go to Coaches Corner, The Anchorage, Gregory's or the Point Diner for lunch then hang out back at the clubs. Really not much happening this time of day. Just hot and humid, empty parking lots, with the smell of the bay at low tide in the air. Cleaning crews and beer trucks moving about. Bar stools upside down on the bars so the floors could be cleaned. Dempsy Dumpsters full of broken bottles waiting to be emptied. The bar tenders would show up around 5pm or so preparing their areas for the night's festivities. Norman, the manager, would be there too. Bill, the Bayshores security guard who checked I.D.'s at the front door, and the bouncers would show up around 7pm. After that the whole area started to buzz. By 10pm it was going strong. Three sets to go, 2 sets, 1 set, let's go to the Dunes. "Til dawn" meant til after dawn. The Dunes had double door entryways, and 4X8 hinged pieces of plywood to swing down to cover the windows just before dawn. If you couldn't see it get light outside, you would stay longer. No idea what time it was, and really didn't care. Oh " the Good Ole Days". More later.
Joe. jdrcrj@bellsouth.net

cappie said...
I was the keyboard player, (Hammond organ), with Ruby Falls and the Rock City Band. The first summer, we were booked at Tony Marts. After the first night he fired us because he said that he didn't like Barbara, (Ruby) jumping up and down like a rabbit. Mcann let us play for him at Dunes and we got the house band gig for that summer. The next Summer, he hired us for Bayshores and we played on the back stage over the water while Malcolm and Hereafter played on the side stage. Ruby was married to our guitar player and the band folded when she and Malcolm got together. Yep, 7 nights a week with a jam on Sunday. What a trip!

Ray Sharp wrote: Hi Bill,
I was just reading your blog about Somers Point, NJ. I played Bayshores and the Dunes for several summers in the late 60s. The Dunes was 100 days in a row, 30 min on 30 min off two bands. My Name is Ray Sharp and my band was the Soul Set. Malcomb and Ruby live in NYC. They are school teachers. Johnny Caswell is in La. He has a Audio Co and a huge rehearsal facility where you can rehearse and record and video your work. He does the sound for live concerts and TV shows. Paul Lorenzo that was the manager of the Anchorage owns a club in Fort Lauderdale call Cheers. Just thought I would bring you up to date on some of the old crowd. Somers Point has a place in my heart. Great place to spend your summers. Great memories and good times.

Ray Sharp
bata@newwavecomm.net


Bill,
An employee I work with, brought me the Sandpaper Nightbeat article about the original Bayshores. He knew it would be of interest to me because I had told him about my band playing there from 1962 to 1964 before I went into the Navy. Our four piece group was called the Searchers. We were all local kids that got a chance to play opposite groups like Mike Pedicin, Teto Mambo, Joey "D" and the Starlighters, and Bill Haley and the Comets. Easter weekend was the start of summer for us. We played well enough to hold the early afternoon crowds until the big named bands came on. We did well enough that the management kept us on through the summer as the alternate band. During breaks, we would run across the street to Tony Marts and enter the weekly talent contest until someone caught on.

My summer day job was just as exciting. I worked morning shift at the arcade next-door to Bayshores making breakfast/lunch for the band members like Dwayne Eddy etc. What a thrill!!! Our group also played dinner music at the Sandpiper restaurant next to the Dunes. from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. We would pack up our equipment and rush to Bayshores. Once 2:00 AM rolled around, we packed up again and headed for the Dunes (open 23 hours a day). They closed 1 hour to clean. All the groups would be there and we would jam together (no charge to the patrons) What a routine! If I had the money, I would re-establish that great time again in the same location. Yes, the crowd would be older, but I bet we could still party like we did.

Michael W. De Wees Lead Engineer IDS

Hey Bill,
I heard about you when I did a Google search on Bayshores Somers Point. Came up with "The Night Beat". My name is Joe "Sonny" Romino. I played with The Bonnevilles, (formerly J.B. and the Bonnevilles when John Borrell was the front man) in 1964 as a drummer, and as a keyboard player, Hammond B3, from June 1968 to October 1969, including two summers at Bayshores and over the July 4th weekends at The Dunes.

We would play 102 straight nights and afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays. A couple of times each summer we would trailer up to Philadelphia to do the Jerry Blavitt Show. We were out of Morgantown, West Virginia and Malcolm Swisher, front man vocals and guitar, Dave Coombs bass player and band leader, drummer Jay Armentrout and myself attended WVU. Other members included Nick Nicholas, lead guitar from Ventnor, NJ and Joe Cerisano, (now a recording artist who sang with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra), guitar and vocals.

We'd come back for Easter weekends each year until the start of the summer contract around Memorial Day. The rest of the time we played around Morgantown and traveled into Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky. Dave Coombs became a motorcross enthusiast and sponsored motorcycle races up and down the East Coast and published a nationwide motorcross magazine. Two of his children became attorneys, and his son Davey Coombs is an ESPN anaylist for Motorcross. Dave passed away about 10 years ago.

Malcolm was a New York City Central Park mounted policeman last I heard, and Nick Nicholas was a US Postal Service mail carrier still in the Atlantic City/ Ventnor area. Jay Armentrout had a music store in Richmond Virginia.

When at Somers Point the summer of "69", I didn't have anything to do during the day so I took flying lessons at Southern Jersey Airways at the Ocean City airport. I was drafted in October 1969 and ended up at Fort Bragg, NC. Got out in September 1969. Became a pilot with the Allegheny Airlines Commuter and then an air traffic controller for 22 years.Those two summers at Bayshores were the best.

Between Tony Marts and Bayshores the view from the back stage was just a sea of heads from the front of the stage, across the bars through Bayshores, through the parking lot , and across the street to the front door of Tony Marts from the 4th of July until Labor Day. It was like one happy carnival.

We started playing the first set at 8pm. Forty five minutes on. Forty five minutes off. Then it was 30 on, 30 off, continuous music across the stages. Once the break song started the other band would pick it up, and the first band would stop. We would end at 1 am and Johnny Caswell and the Crystal Mansion at 1:30 am. Then we'd head to the Dunes to have a beer and relax. I always liked to listen to some of the other bands that were playing in the area-Mother loade from Canada at Tony Marts, People of the Night at Anastasia's in Atlantic City.

I remember Norman the Bay Shores manager, Wayne the young man who was disabled and I believe now works at the Somers Point golf course as a cart man, and so many more. I remember the good times there. They were the best. The sights, the sounds, the smells (especially when the tide was out), the heat and the humidity from the back stage that hung out over the bay. These are memories I will never forget. I will cherish them forever. – Joe

Joyce said...
I tended bar at Bay Shores, Tony Mart and the Dunes...also Maloney's Pub in Margate...good times.

Kurt wrote: I spent years at all the Summer Point clubs in the late 60s and early 70s. They are memories that will never leave me. Pure fun. As much hell raisin we believed we made it was innocent compared to the insane America we now live in. Does anyone have any pictures to post of the clubs and the bands? Interior shots. I did have some pictures because I had friends who played in bands in both Bayshores and Tony Marts and I had shots of Ruby Fall and the Rock City Band when Malcolm was on stage and they where doing tunes together. After a few moves over the many years I have lost the pictures. Yes I woke up in the Dunes parking lot more then once and can’t remember how I made it across the 9th. street bridge.
Kurt Saldutti

Barbara wrote:
I was just reading the blog about BayShores in Somers Point. In 1967 or so, I was the girlfriend of Jerry Antonelli who was the bassist for Hereafter. I lived in Harrisburg, PA and would make that long trip from Hbg to Somers Point every weekend of the summer. At that time the band consisted of Jerry Antonelli, Malcolm, later Barbara (Ruby), Jay Armentrout (percussion), Jimmie somebody who was an awesome guitar player on Fender Stratocaster, Michael Abramson (vocals), Bob (Robert) Martin (organ), who later went to California to pursue his illustrious music career and was in Frank Zappa's group. I forget who the other band members were, excuse me, but age and events took a lot of memories out of my head. LOL.. Fat Rabbit, played at the Dunes, circa 1967-68, was an earlier group with some of the Hereafter members. John Opatkowitz was the drummer. Bob Martin (organ, sax, you name it), Jerry Antonelli on bass, etc.

I know we had so much fun, and I don't know how I managed to get back to Harrisburg in time for Monday at 8am for work, but I did. Youth allows us to do that!!
I lived through it.. OH I remember 10 for a buck at the Anchorage... Sunday jam sessions in Margate... Circle Diner where I watched in amazement when a guy fell into his mashed potatoes after a night of drinking. Lots of laughs!!
Barbara Eberly, Florida

Hello,
My name is James Monk who, in 1967, was a waiter at Russo's Gingham Club at Ottens Harbor in Wildwood. My roomates were fellow students at WVU in Morgantown, WV. One of my roomates in WV was Harry "the squirrel" Fuller....drummer for JB and the Bonnevilles. He had made enough money working Somers Point and the dunes that he bought a BRG Austin Healey 3000 mit cash. I recollect with great precision the memories of summer 1967, the only summer I spent in Jersey, listening to the Bonnevilles and the Monkey Men. I was a scant 3 months from my 21st B-day but the fake ID sufficed. The dead cat hanging on a coathanger from the Monkey Mens bassist Fender neck is burned sharply into my brain. Johnny Burrell, who as I recollect was a glass blower near Morgantown was a handsome man with a very good voice. I lived in Aspen , Co. for the next ten years and have been in Chicago for ensueing 3 decades.......I have not heard such awesome energetic music since I left New jersey.

Joe Cerisano wrote,
Hey Monk, Joe cerisano here. I remember Harry real well. He was a great drummer and a really good guy. The one thing that stuck in my mind the first time I said him play was the painting on his bass drum head. It was a Hot Rod with the Bonnevilles written on it. He was the drummer when I first started singing with the group when they came back to Morgantown that fall of 67. I wasn't officially in the group until that following April but Dave Coombs the leader said I could come down from Fairmont and sing with the band on Friday afternoons whenever I wanted. It's funny how I found out that JB was leaving. Come to find out he was my 3 third cousin and my grandmother told me about him. So I just picked up the phone and called Dave Coombs. When told him I could sing. When he asked me how old I was. When I said 16 I could hear him laugh a little but said he still wanted to hear me sing. So the following Weds I went down to the Haunted House where they were playing with my mom and sang "Hold On I'm Comin". When they took a break Dave brought us to the band room. He had a big smile on his face and said "You can sing!"- that's when he invited me to come down and sing anytime I wanted.

One thing lead to another and I was asked to join the group in April 68. I has just turned 17. As I said, Harry was leaving so he sold me all his three piece suits which I had to have altered. I'm sure you remember that The Bonneviles had suits for every night of the week. I remember hearing about Sam Allen and the Monkey Men! I never saw them but they were a legend the summer of 68 at Bayshores. We play opposite Johnny Caswell and the Secrets which became the Crystal Mansion. Because of The Bonnevilles I took the long road and ended up in Central NJ by way of LA then NYC. Sill singing and did ok.. At least I'm still alive and kickin'. www.cerisano.com

Cappie wrote:
I was the keyboard player, (Hammond organ), with Ruby Falls and the Rock City Band. The first summer, we were booked at Tony Marts. After the first night he fired us because he said that he didn't like Barbara, (Ruby) jumping up and down like a rabbit. Mcann let us play for him at Dunes and we got the house band gig for that summer. The next Summer, he hired us for Bayshores and we played on the back stage over the water while Malcolm and Hereafter played on the side stage. Ruby was married to our guitar player and the band folded when she and Malcolm got together. Yep, 7 nights a week with a jam on Sunday. What a trip!

Ray Sharp wrote:
Hi Bill, I was just reading your blog about Somers Point, NJ. I played Bayshores and the Dunes for several summers in the late 60s. The Dunes was 100 days in a row, 30 min on 30 min off two bands. My Name is Ray Sharp and my band was the Soul Set. Malcomb and Ruby live in NYC. They are school teachers. Johnny Caswell is in La. He has a Audio Co and a huge rehearsal facility where you can rehearse and record and video your work. He does the sound for live concerts and TV shows. Paul Lorenzo that was the manager of the Anchorage owns a club in Fort Lauderdale call Cheers. Just thought I would bring you up to date on some of the old crowd. Somers Point has a place in my heart. Great place to spend your summers. Great memories and good times.
Ray Sharp bata@newwavecomm.net

Bill, An employee I work with brought me the Sandpaper Nightbeat article about the original Bayshores. He knew it would be of interest to me because I had told him about my band playing there from 1962 to 1964 before I went into the Navy. Our four piece group was called the Searchers. We were all local kids that got a chance to play opposite groups like Mike Pedicin, Teto Mambo, Joey "D" and the Starlighters, and Bill Haley and the Comets. Easter weekend was the start of summer for us. We played well enough to hold the early afternoon crowds until the big named bands came on. We did well enough that the management kept us on through the summer as the alternate band. During breaks, we would run across the street to Tony Marts and enter the weekly talent contest until someone caught on.

My summer day job was just as exciting. I worked morning shift at the arcade next-door to Bayshores making breakfast/lunch for the band members like Dwayne Eddy etc. What a thrill!!! Our group also played dinner music at the Sandpiper restaurant next to the Dunes. from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. We would pack up our equipment and rush to Bayshores. Once 2:00 AM rolled around, we packed up again and headed for the Dunes (open 23 hours a day). They closed 1 hour to clean. All the groups would be there and we would jam together (no charge to the patrons) What a routine!

If I had the money, I would re-establish that great time again in the same location. Yes, the crowd would be older, but I bet we could still party like we did.
Michael W. De Wees MR&D Lead Engineer IDS Phila.Composite Center
michael.w.dewees@boeing.com

Weicksel Family wrote:
Dear Bill Kelly, We traveled down memory lane last week. My 87 year old mother and my sister and myself spent the week down at Ocean City, New Jersey after many years of hiatus from our old stomping grounds. We had a super week and wanted to tell you how much we all thoroughly enjoyed your article about the "Old Clubs".
My mother heard stories that she never heard and my sister and I relieved our fun pasts.We both worked at the Sindia "Pennsylvania Dutch Restaurant" for 3 summers in the mid sixties. We're from Lancaster County Pa. and the owners then came to Lancaster to hire the girls from "Good Pa. Dutch families"....ha. They even interviewed our parents before they hired us. We lived above the Sindia those summers.( 22 girls, waitresses and kitchen help) We slept four to five a room, had only two bathrooms, one old bathtub, and one outside not enclosed shower and thought we were staying in the Ritz. We had three wonderful never to be forgotten summers.

As we got older and my sister graduated from college and myself from nursing school in Phila. we worked at the "Birdcage" which was a "Hippie shop" on the boardwalk. My sister spent many a night at Somers Point...I wasn't old enough yet.(That summer the drinking age went back to 21 much to my disappointment). We also knew Duncan MaCrae from our high school. He was ahead of us in school and we would go up to Mack and Manco's to say hi to him. He was always nice to us....he was a little older than us, and we also knew he was way too cool for us.....ha.

Anyways, 1969 I finally turned 21, but not till Dec. so I watched my sister and all our friends go to Somers Point every night, but the next year I made up for lost time. My nurse friends and I worked at a Phila hospital and in the summer of 1970 we thought nothing of once a week after working 3-11 driving to the Dunes till Dawn and coming back to Phila. around 6AM and going to work again at 3PM. We spent alot of time at Bashores,Tony Marts, and the Anchorage too. The bands that the clubs had were fabulous!!!!! We lived to dance back then.

My sister and I really enjoyed your article and I have always wondered what bands played there at that time. Do you have any idea or lists of some of the groups that are famous now that played there? We just liked the music, but I've often wondered who might have played there that we might now know. If you have any information that would be great. We have an elementary school in Lancaster that was named after Duncan MaCrae's mother. Are you in touch with him at all? I think he still lives here in Lancaster?? We did drive around Somers Point and it's very classy looking now, but I miss the look it had. There was nothing like it, was there? Long live the "Dunes" and Rock and Roll!!!! Thanks for making us remember and laugh...super article.
Chris Weicksel - keithw1@voicenet.com

PAM NELSON wrote: Dear Billy,
I found your webpage about Tony Mart's and am now strolling down memory lane thinking about the summer of 68' at that wonderful place, listening to a band called Gunther's Bus from Rochester, NY. They were the house band that summer and should have made it big as some of Tony's other groups did...they were excellent. That summer is probably one of the most memorable that I have ever had, spending my nights and some afternoons talking to Frannie the bartender and listening to Gunther's Bus. I am still friends with one of the band members and he has lots of old pictures of Tony's. We love to talk about the fun and excitment we had there. I'd like to get a copy of the scrapbook if I could...maybe two, one for me and one for my friend who played in Gunther's Bus. Thank you. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Pam Nelson pam.nelson1@worldnet.att.net

Hi Again,
So you remember The Bus? Great! What a glorious summer that was. I had just graduated from college and was having the time of my life in New Jersey. We'd hit Tony Mart's, Bayshore ( I remember Johnny Caswell), and spend the rest of the night at The Dunes. I'm from NC and I was finally on my own in New Jersey.

I spent last summer with Carl (band member) in Rochester. I found him last year after 34 yrs. It was wonderful. The band was still playing some then but not now. It got to be too much for them. They were very popular even after all these years.

Carl's E mail address is Fotichlbsd@aol.com. He loves to talk about "the good ol' days" so I know he'd love to hear from you. His name as you guessed is Carl Foti. His brother was also in the band. He's still a wonderful guitar player and singer. They should have made it big but they had "internal" problems. Tony loved them and they could have but at that time some of the guys were into drugs too much and it took its toll on the band. I guess lots of that kind of stuff happened back then quite a bit. Give him a call or E mail him. He's got quite a few pictures from Tony's. I'd love to see your book. Somers Point brings back good memories. Tell Carl that you talked to me.
Pam

Tell Tony Gunther's Bus Is Here The inside story:

In the fall of 1967 two bands in the Rochester, New York areas were in the process of breaking up. The Angry Men and the Gallant Men. Some of the members decided to merge and form a new band. Art Foti, Carl Foti and Jerry Cummings from the Gallant Men teamed up with Tom Bittle from the Angry Men, added Joe Dasheneau on bass and began rehearsing top 40 and R&B songs from that era.

They were to be managed by James (Gunther) Kranz, owner and proprietor of Duffy's Hotel in the heart of downtown Rochester. Gunther, a businessman thru and thru who would never make a bad investment, had purchased an old gray school bus for reasons unbeknownst to the band and it remains a mystery to this day. It was during that conversation at a rehearsal that the band got their name.

One night at precisely 9:00PM Gunther pulled up in his old gray bus to the front door of Duffy's Hotel honking the horn madly and out jumped 5 beaming young musicians who proceeded to hop up on the stage and began playing "Even the Bad Times Are Good" by the Tremolos. The band, Gunther's Bus, was very well received. The place was packed and everyone, band and audience had such a great time. They all knew this would be the start of something really great

"Time to make it big," they go on the road. Their first stop would become their biggest challenge and one that changed them forever, they played Tony Mart’s in Somers Point NJ If you have seen the 1980s movie Eddie and the Cruisers and you remember the line “tell Tony Eddie and the Cruisers are here," in 1968 GB did exactly the same thing.

Here was this “cocky” band from upstate New York invading this club in little Somers Point about to be taught a lesson in how to become something special at the hands of a wonderful man named Tony Mart.

The first night they played they took the stage and began as if this was just any road club. Long delays between songs with young angry musicians the attitude that your lucky we are playing for you mentality. Jerry Cummings the drummer remembers looking down and seeing a stocky older man glaring up at him. At first he thought it was the professional Wrestling Manager Dr. Lou Albano, but soon dismissed him as if he had wandered in off the street wondering who these gods of music were. They soon found out whom that man was, it was Tony.

After there first set they were ushered into his office by their road manager Peter Salerno for a lesson they all remember to this day. Tony was sitting behind his desk. He looked up pounded his fit on the desk and said “listen, you are going to play your songs 1,2,3 and stop wasting time or I’m going to throw you bums out and you can go back home, now get out!”

Needless to say we did exactly that and the rest was an incredible three years working and living at the greatest club ever, Tony Mart’s, but most of all a man they will never forget, Tony Mart.

By the time he got through with them, they came back home with a whole new sound and show. They were a different band. The local fans were blown away.

The band has reunited with all the original members and will play again this coming year.
You can never go back but you can remember and enjoy.

Thank you Tony.

Bill, Who cares about Carmen and Tony Marts, he was mad that our band never played there, he tried but no luck...the Band was Hit and Run, played at Mothers in the summers of 1976-77-78 and other times in between. What a great time and what a great band...I was the sax player in the band...have pictures of the burnt out shell of Mothers that I was lucky enough to get... almost played there the week it burned...great times...great band...Will always remember - Shaulls Steve Lentz shaulls@aol.com

Hi Billy, In the summer of ’63, I was in a rock group called Jack & The Beanstalks. We played all that summer at Tony Marts. The other two bands were The Fall Guys, and the Rooftopers. Would you happen to have any photos of the marquee or perhaps photos of the band on stage. We started that spring and early summer in New York City, at the Wagon Wheel, on 45th Street (a few doors from the Peppermint Lounge). Something happened with the band that started that summer at Tony Marts, and we were asked to replace them. We were set up on the stage that was surrounded by a bar. The other two groups were on the center stage. I was 18 at the time. Probably the best summer of my life. Would love to see some photos. Thanks for your time. Regards, Nick Roberts 856-722-1066

Bill, I saw your name and email address on a site that talked about Tony Marts. While I was a college student in the late 1950s. I worked in Ocean City several summers and would go to Tony Marts when I had the money (of course I had a fake ID, but back then no one cared). It was something else. For about a month in the summer of 1959, I worked in the kitchen of a first class restaurant that, as I recall, was just off the circle. It had valet parking, a 4 piece string quartet, real freshly cut (never frozen) french fries, etc. I have tried to remember the name of that restaurant for years. Any ideas?
Dave Willison Willison1@comcast.net

Hi my name is Vera. I just read an article about "Tony Marts" in Somers Point, N.J. I used to go there in my younger yrs.I was wondering,if the Nightbeat-050704, Tony Marts Scrapbook is avail. for purchase? If it is...how much? Could you please respond, and let me know! Thank You! Sincerely, Vera Bohn Vera dragonfly7375@verizon.net

Hey, I’ve been on line just reading more about The Mart. I am from the area and move on to Florida in the 90's. Tony Sr was a good friend of my grand father so when i was 16 going on 17 my girlfriends and i were able to hung at the marts. Tony would sit in the left corner bar and tell us not to drink and listen to the great bands there. That is where i met friends who i knew and hung out for a few years. Like the band Mace who played in the 70;s also Marach the T birds to name a few. I am trying to find old pictures and things about those bands and others. Can you help me please, I will be visiting family (my brother) who is a Scuillville fireman in oct to help with the Hayrides in EHT. Would love to be in contact with Carmine or Tony Jr who where i can find infor on the past bands.
Billy, Debi Riley Carty Njgirl1356@aol.com

My name is Brian Fike, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I lived in Ocean City from March of 1978 till June of 1981. I'm originally from Vegas, but went back east to pursue my career in the gaming business, opening up Resorts International in March of 1979. At the young age of 20 years I partied a lot on the South Jersey Shores, had the time of my life, and got in a hell of a lot of trouble. Now that I'm 46 I look back at those fun times and miss them dearly, Tony Marts, Merals, Maynards, Gables, Kilarney's there were so many. Do you know of any web sites where there are any photos posted from that era? The child within me thirsts for a walk down memory lane. If you could forward those to me it would be great. My E-Mail address is apachelv@lvcm.com.

Hey Bill, Yes, I have the link. I enjoy reading events from the past. "The Good Ole Days". When I think of Tony Mart's I think of how hot it was on those humid summer days when the beer and liquor trucks were the only things moving, unloading there goods. We were meeting and listening to the latest "guest bands" practice during mid day getting ready for there week or two week long stint at Tony Mart's. We, the Bonnevilles, a couple days a week, would be working on new songs across the street and would go to Coaches Corner, The Anchorage, Gregory's or the Point Diner for lunch then hang out back at the clubs. Really not much happening this time of day. Just hot and humid, empty parking lots, with the smell of the bay at low tide in the air. Cleaning crews and beer trucks moving about. Bar stools upside down on the bars so the floors could be cleaned. Dempsy Dumpsters full of broken bottles waiting to be emptied. The bar tenders would show up around 5pm or so preparing their areas for the night's festivities. Norman, the manager, would be there too.

Bill, the Bayshores security guard who checked I.D.'s at the front door, and the bouncers would show up around 7pm. After that the whole area started to buzz. By 10pm it was going strong. Three sets to go, 2 sets, 1 set, let's go to the Dunes. "Til dawn" meant til after dawn. The Dunes had double door entryways, and 4X8 hinged pieces of plywood to swing down to cover the windows just before dawn. If you couldn't see it get light outside, you would stay longer. No idea what time it was, and really didn't care. Oh " the Good Ole Days". More later. Joe.

Hello Bill, I was the organ player for the Bonnevilles at Bayshores during the summers of 1968 and 1969. We were on the back stage and Johnny Caswell and the Crystal Mansion were on the front side stage. I'd like to compare notes. Thanks.

Bill, I think the manager of the club (Tony Marts) whose name was Pete is wearing a white shirt and tie in one picture.

I had another one of those “hot dog” moments when we first landed in that summer of 68. I was using a big double bass drum set much like what Ginger Baker from Cream was using. When this Pete questioned the feasibility of getting them all up onto the center stage all the rest of the bands equipment, he said, "Do you need all these drums?" My retort was "do you need all these bars in here?" Of course he said yes and my replay was" well I need all my drums!" I don't know if that ever got back to Tony but needless to say I never felt that Pete ever warmed up to me after that tiff!

Bill, forgive me for writing so much, but I want to share a sentimental moment that I had with Tony. After he chewed us out that first night regarding our performance and the religious moment of being called bums and being threatened to be thrown out, things started to go well for us. Tony would routinely stand over on my side of the stage and watch us. I was teaching school in Rochester and in 68’ needed to maintain my short hair.

One night prior to coming to Tony's I went out and bought a blonde Afro wig as a joke and wore it to a job. The band though it was a good idea because it matched the rest of the freaky hair in the band and didn't have the appearance of a bible salesman playing with a freaky rock band, so I continued to wear the wig. (In the white uniform picture I am the second from the right). Tony never saw me without it.

One morning I was down in the bar adjusting my drum set and Tony walked in. Of course I wasn't wear the wig and he thought I was a set up guy or something. He said to me in his unique combination of Old World Italian and Jersey dialect "I wanta to get da drummer up in the air so people can see him. Come with me across the street and help me get a riser for his drums." I didn't say anything because I was still scared half to death of him and went across the street and we dragged this riser into the club. I set my drums up and was finishing adjusting them when he walked back in. He told me to go get the drummer to make sure that they were playable like this. I informed him that they were fine but he insisted that I get the drummer’s approval. Finally not knowing how he was going to respond I said "Tony, I am the drummer". He looked at me and said " you're not da drummer, da drummer has all that hair!" I said "Tony that's a wig I am the drummer!" At which point I sat down and went into one of my drum things that he seemed to like when he would stand and watch us at night. Bill, you would have loved to have seen the look on his face, he called me a SOB,” laughed and walked away shaking his head.

Hey Bill, I heard about you when I did a Google search on Bayshores Somers Point. Came up with "The Night Beat". My name is Joe "Sonny" Romino. I played with The Bonnevilles, (formerly J.B. and the Bonnevilles when John Borrell was the front man) in 1964 as a drummer, and as a keyboard player, Hammond B3, from June 1968 to October 1969, including two summers at Bayshores and over the July 4th weekends at The Dunes. We would play 102 straight nights and afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays. A couple of times each summer we would trailer up to Philadelphia to do the Jerry Blavitt Show.

We were out of Morgantown, West Virginia and Malcolm Swisher, front man vocals and guitar, Dave Coombs bass player and band leader, drummer Jay Armentrout and myself attended WVU. Other members included Nick Nicholas, lead guitar from Ventnor, NJ and Joe Cerisano, (now a recording artist who sang with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra), guitar and vocals. We'd come back for Easter weekends each year until the start of the summer contract around Memorial Day. The rest of the time we played around Morgantown and traveled into Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky.

Dave Coombs became a motorcross enthusiast and sponsored motorcycle races up and down the East Coast and published a nationwide motorcross magazine. Two of his children became attorneys, and his son Davey Coombs is an ESPN anaylist for Motorcross. Dave passed away about 10 years ago. Malcolm was a New York City Central Park mounted policeman last I heard, and Nick Nicholas was a US Postal Service mail carrier still in the Atlantic City/ Ventnor area. Jay Armentrout had a music store in Richmond Virginia. When at Somers Point the summer of "69", I didn't have anything to do during the day so I took flying lessons at Southern Jersey Airways at the Ocean City airport.

Those two summers at Bayshores were the best. Between Tony Marts and Bayshores the view from the back stage was just a sea of heads from the front of the stage, across the bars through Bayshores, through the parking lot, and across the street to the front door of Tony Marts from the 4th of July until Labor Day. It was like one happy carnival. We started playing the first set at 8pm. Forty five minutes on. Forty five minutes off. Then it was 30 on, 30 off, continuous music across the stages. Once the break song started the other band would pick it up, and the first band would stop. We would end at 1 am and Johnny Caswell and the Crystal Mansion at 1:30 am.

Then we'd head to the Dunes to have a beer and relax. I always liked to listen to some of the other bands that were playing in the area-Motherloade from Canada at Tony Marts, People of the Night at Anastasia's in Atlantic City. I rememder Norman the Bay Shores manager, Wayne the young man who was disabled and I believe now works at the Somers Point golf course as a cart man, and so many more.

I remember the good times there. They were the best. The sights, the sounds, the smells (especially when the tide was out), the heat and the humidity from the back stage that hung out over the bay. These are memories I will never forget. I will cherish them forever.

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