Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Egg Harbor Township After Hour Joints

Egg Harbor Township (EHT) After Hour Joints

For many years Egg Harbor Township allowed those liquor licenses within their jurisdiction to remain open 24-hours a day, and some of them did, especially those near Somers Point, where the bars were forced to stop serving at 2am and close by 3am.

Brownies Lodge, a rustic log cabin in Bargaintown was probably the first to become popular with the post-Somers Point crowd, and many old timers recall driving out there to continue the party after Somers Point had closed.

John McCann, Sr. and Dick McLain, the owners of Bay Shores built the most notorious of the after hour clubs – The Dunes, on Longport Blvd. at the intersection of where the roads from Somers Point and Ocean City came together.

Then there was Jack’s Grove, down past Route 9 on Mays Landing Road, just on the other side of the Patcong Creek. Jack’s was a laid back place under a grove of trees, but was renamed the Attic when a guy named Joe bought it and broke it up into two bars – one upfront with two pool tables, and another larger room in the back where bands played.

Joe sold the place to a group of guys who cleaned up the place and renamed it the Boatyard, and continued the live music tradition.

O’Byrne’s was a local taproom just on the other side of the bay bridge at Lousy Harbor on the Longport Blvd, that became the Mug and the Purple Dragon before Andrew Cornaglia bought it and renamed it Mothers, after the bar in the TV show Peter Gunn.

All of these places were either closed during the day or virtually deserted until around midnight when things would start picking up and they would get more crowded as the Somers Point bars let out. By 3 in the morning they were jamming, most of the them with live bands that didn’t even begin to play until midnight and continued to early in the morning. Dunes ‘Til Dawn was the slogan on the T-shirts.

The bands that played these places were special too. The Dunes had the best bands early on mainly because of their affiliation with Bay Shores, so many of the bands from there would go over to the Dunes when they got finished at Bay Shores and continue playing or jam with the band that had the gig.

Airport was the house band at Mothers for a few years, while Bob Campanell and the Shakes also played there a lot. Bob’s brother Gabbo had a band The Flys, whose equipment was destroyed when Mothers burnt down a year or so after Andrew sold the place to Charlie Brown.

Mike’s Towing was the band at the Attic for many years, and Mike and his pals would move to the Pocono mountain resorts for the winter after the summer ended at the Shore.

A lot of bands played Brownies over the years, including Jack Zwacki, Larry Hickman and Back Roads, which included Nancy and Tom, Jack Patch and Billy Mueller.

Today, none of these places even exist. Brownies is still there but after Joe Hoffman died his second wife sold it to some guys who operated it as a bust out joint for a year or two and then went bankrupt, and it now sits empty.

After Mothers burnt down its liquor licenses was sold and moved to the Cardiff Circle.

The Dunes was renovated into a sports bar by the Suttor family from Margate, who also owned, at one time – the Sailfish Café and Roberts in Margate, the Point Pub and the Owl Tree in Northfield.

Then they lost it and the Dunes was taken over by the State of New Jersey Division of Fish Game and Wildlife – and went from one wildlife to another.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Sax man Terry Hanck plays at the Somers Point Beach on Friday night and Formica's in Northfield on Saturday

FRIDAY Sep. 2 –

The Terry Hanck Band: World Class Honky Tonkin’ Roots Rock Saxophonist/Lead Singer Somers Point Beach.

Terry Hanck has long been regarded as one of the premiere sax players and performers in roots rock and blues. He has starred for many years with the world renowned Elvin Bishop Band and his new CD, “Lookout” has recently been near the top of the BB King Bluesville Charts on XM Radio.

Yavonne & Jack at Sandi Point Somers Point

The Mighty Parrots 7 Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesley Point

Lew London & Chris Sooy – Steve & Cookies Margate

Tony Pontari Steve & Cookies Margate

Carl Behrens 4:30 Brian & Deb Rusty Nail Cape May

Wesley Ochs 8 Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Dane Anthony Band 9 Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

52 Pick Up Cabanas Beach Bar Cape May

Michael James 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

The Loop Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

Jim Maher & Son 8:30 Deauville Inn Strathmere.

Mr. Greengenes Ocean Drive Sea Isle City


Terry Hanck and his great band will perform a free concert at Formica Brothers Bakery Café, 200 Tilton Road in Northfield on Saturday night. This special added free concert event will feature 2 shows by Terry Hanck and his great band from 7 to 10 PM at the Café where you can always enjoy Formica’s legendary bread, pastries, rolls and those famous canoli as well as sandwiches, salads and soups. This special concert is provided as an expression of gratitude by the Marotta family and the Formica family who collaborated so successfully on the Mardi Gras on the Boardwalk free concert series,

Love and Branca 6 Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Steel Drums 1pm Baia on Bay Ave. Somers Point

Lew London & Bob Mower 8 Sandi Point Somers Point

Gregg Carpenter 4:30 Guy Petersen 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

Darin MacDonald Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May
Frank Bey 9 Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

Crystal Roxx Carneys Cape May

Grape Street Riot – Cabanas Beach Bar Cape May

Beachcomber 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Juliano Bros. 4 Goodman Fiske Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

Go Go Gadjet & Kirko 4 Burnt Siena Ocean Drive Sea Isle City

SUNDAY Sept. 4

Honey Island Swamp Band one of New Orleans hottest rock ‘n roll jam funk extravaganza bands 6:30 New England’s rockin’ blues big band world renown Roomful of Blues 8:15, Kennedy Plaza

Steel Drums 1pm Verdict Caribbean 7 Baia Bay Ave. Somers Point
Bob Campanell Back Bay Café 6 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Joe Mancini & Paula Johns along with The Potts Steve & Cookies Margate

Reggae Sundays 12:30 Audrey Snow 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

Erik Simonsen 8 Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Animal House Carneys Cape May

Star 69 Cabanas Beach Bar Cape May

Blondage 1 Beachcomber Bill 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Juliano Bros 4 Please Please Me Springfield Inn Sea Isle City
Secret Service 4 Ocean Drive Sea Isle City

MONDAY Sept. 5 Labor Day

Acoustic Fish 5 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Madelinje Sandman and Bill McGrady Steve & Cookies Margate

Greg Carpenter 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

Secret Service Jam 4 Go Go Gadjet Ocean Drive Sea Isle City


Anne Oswald 5 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Lew London & Chris Sooy Steve & Cookies Margate

Celtis McBride Irish Music 9 O’Donnells Pour House Sea Isle City


Bob Campanell 5 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Joe & Friends and Phil Stocker at Steve & Cookies Margate

Bubba Mac Band 6 Beach House Deauville Inn Strathmere


Hawkins Road w/Danny Eyer Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Joe & Friends Steve & Cookies Margate

Marnie & Nate 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

Darin MacDonald 8 Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Gary & the Kid 7 Beach House Deauville Inn

Blind Drunk Ocean Drive Sea Isle City

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where the Bands are this Week August 26 - 1

The Reba Russell Band: Tennessee Country Blues Diva from Beale Street in Memphis.

Beale Street at the Beach - The Somers Point Beach

WHERE THE BANDS ARE August 26 - September 1

FRIDAY Aug. 26

- The Reba Russell Band Somers Point Beach.

- Danny Eyer duo 3 Steve LaManna 8 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

- Paul Sottile – Ebbett Room Virginia Hotel Cape May

- Delany & Reeves Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

- Billy D. Light Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

- The Mighty Parrots Back Bay Café Tuckaoe Inn Beesleys Point

- George Mesterhazy at the Merion Inn Piano Cape May

- Carl Behrens 4:30 Guy Peterson 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Cheers Carneys Cape May

- Scream 10 Cabanas Cape May

- Michael James 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

- Lew London & Chris Sooy Steve & Cookies Margate

- Tony Pontari acoustic guitar Oyster Bar Steve & Cookies Margate

- Kix House of Blues Showboat Atlantic City

- Frankie Valli & Four Seasons Borgata Music Box AC

SATURDAY – Aug. 27

-Gregg Carpenter 4:30 Twelve:02 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Big House Carneys Cape May

- Dead Poets Cabanas Cape May

- Dane Anthony Band Boiler Room Cape May

- Beachcomber Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

- Not Worth Stealing 12 Mike Thompson Band 3:30 Steve LaManna 8 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

- Secret Service 4 Dave Gustafson Scene Changer 8 Denis Holmes 10 Windrift Avalon

- Juliano Brothers 4 Springfield Inn Sea Isle City – Windrift 8:30 Avalon

- She’s Trouble Springfield Inn 4

- Jerry Blavat Memories Margate

SUNDAY Aug. 28

- REGGAE Sunday 12:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Bob Campanell Band 6 Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

- Animal House Carneys Cape May

- Dennis Donnell acoustic blues Mad Batter Cape May

- Open Mic Nite Boiler Room Congress Hall 8

- Juliano Bros 4, She’s Trouble 4 LeCompt 9 Springfield Inn

- Verdict Caribbean dance Baia Deck Somers Point

- Darin MacDonald 6 Windrift Avalon

- Joe Mancini & Paula Johns / The Potts Steve & Cookies Margate

- Lynyrd Skynyrd Borgata Events Center AC

- Frankie Vallie & Four Seasons Borgata Music Box AC

MONDAY Aug. 29

-Guy Peterson 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Greg Carpenter 8 Brown Room Congress Hall

- Ann Oswald 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

- LeCompt 4 Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

- Saxman Mike Pedicin, Jr. jams jazz in the loft at Sandi Point Somers Point

- Madeline Sandman & Bill McGrady Steve & Cookies Margate

- The Curtis Salgado Band. Kennedy Plaza. AC

- Billy Walton w/Southside Johnny Martells Tiki Bar Pt. Pleasant

TUESDAY – Aug. 30

- Joe Kozak 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Don Shaw Brown Room Congress Hall

- Sal Anthony 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

- Lew London & Chris Sooy Steve & Cookies Margate

- Billy Walton w/Southside Johnny Martells Tiki Bar Pt. Pleasant


-Wesley Ochs 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Jazz at the Batter – Mad Batter Cape May 6:30

-Matt Santry Brown Room Congress Hall

- Sal Anthonly 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

- Bubba Mac Blues Band at the Deauville Inn Beach House Strathmere 6

- Joe & Friends Steve & Cookies Margate

- Everybody Loves Italian. Italian heritage is celebrated just down the street from Ducktown, Atlantic City

- Secret Service Ocean Drive Sea Isle City

- Phil Stocker Steve & Cookies Margate

- Jerry Blavat Lighthouse Point Wildwood

THURSDAY – Sept. 1

- Marine & Nate 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

- Danny Eyer sits in with Hawkins Road at the Back Bay Café 6 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

- Lefty Lucy Atlantic City Country Club patio Northfield 6pm

- Paul Sottile Ebbitt Room Virginia Hotel Cape May

- Darin MacDonald Brown Room Congress Hall

- Animal House Carneys Cape May

- Goodman Fiske Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

- Joe & Friends Steve & Cookies Margate

- Matisyahu Borgata Events Center Atlantic City

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mick in Atlantic City

The Rolling Stones in Atlantic City


Mick & Keith




Albert Grossman 1926-1986


Managed Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and others

ALBERT B. GROSSMAN, WHO AT ONE time was the most powerful and influential personal manger in pop music, died of a heart attack on January 25th while on a flight to London. He was fifty-nine years old.

Grossman, who at the beginning of the Sixties, recognized the genius of a scruffy folk singer named Bob Dylan and helped turn him into a rock icon, was traveling to MIDEM, an annual music-business convention in Cannes, France. “He just went to sleep on the plane and never work up,” said Bill Ader, a close friend of Grossman’s for over forty years. “Albert was a peaceful man, and he went in a peaceful way.”

A large man who tied his long, gray hair back in a ponytail, dressed casually and looked like a hippie Ben Franklin, Grossman rewrote the book on personal management during the Sixties, winning major increases in artists’ royalties and helping songwriters gain control of their publishing rights. “He was really on the front lines of the whole business revolution in the record industry,” said Robbie Robertson, who as a member of the Band was managed by Grossman during the late Sixties and early Seventies. “He was also a teacher. He taught me a tremendous amount about everything that you can imagine in life….I felt that he changed my life.”

In addition to Dylan and the Band, Grossman guided the careers of Peter, Paul and Mary, Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield, the Electric Flag, Gordon Lightfoot and Richie Havens. “He was an extremely astute picker of original and unique talent,” said the president of Arista Records, Clive Davis, who, as head of Columbia Records, worked closely with Grossman. “He was one of the most highly respected managers of his day.”

Grossman was born in Chicago on May 21, 1926, the child of Russian Jewish parents. While earning a degree in economics from Roosevelt College, he sold shoes for Bonwit Teller, then spent several years working for the Chicago Housing Authority. In the mid-Fifites, deciding he was better suited to private enterprise, Grossman opened the Gate of horn in Chicago, one of the first folk clubs in America. There he met, befriended and, in some cases, managed artists like Odetta, Big Bull Broonzy, Bob Gibson and Joan Baez. “Albert was a very generous man,” said Baez. “Though he never managed me, his cajoling me to perform at the Gate of Horn when I was eighteen marked the beginning of my career.”

Moving to New York at the end of the Fifties, Grossman co-directed the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, a pivotal event for the emerging folk movement. He also put together Peter, Paul and Mary and brought them Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” one of their biggest hits. “He elevated folk singers to a much higher status,” said David Braun, a top music-business attorney who represented Grossman for most of the Sixties. “He brought them into the pop field.”

The real jewel in Grossman’s management crown was Dylan. He lived in Grossman’s house off and on for almost two years, and the cover photo of Bringing It All Back Home was taken in Grossman’s living room. “He protected Bobby from all the crazy parts of the business, a world that could have terribly injured his growth as an artist,” said Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. “Bobby was allowed to be Bobby.”

Then there was Janis Joplin, whom Grossman courted around the time of the 1967 Pop Festival. “Janis adored Albert,” recalls Braun. “I remember once he was talking to Janis – we were walking down the street together. She asked him how come he never tried to put the make on her. And he said, without batting an eyelash, ‘Cause if I was bad, you’d never forgive me.’ Which I thought was a very funny, typical Albert Grossman remark.”

In 1969, Grossman’s music empire began to crumble. First Dylan decided not to renew his management contract. Next, in 1970, Peter, Paul and Mary split up. The worst blow came when Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the end of that year. Joplin’s death deeply affected Grossman. He withdrew from personal management and with his wife Sally, lived the life of a retired millionaire in Bearsville, a hamlet in the town of Woodstock in upstate New York. He built a recording studio and established a record company, Bearsville records, for which Todd Rundgrin, Jesse Winchester, Foghat and a select group of other artists recorded. He also opened to restaurants, the Bear Café and the Little Bear.

Grossman’s last public appearance came just two days prior to his death, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. He showed up for the black-tie affair wearing blue jeans and a peasant shirt. “He dressed like he always dressed,” said promoter Bill Graham, “It could have been an Indian wedding. With somebody else, you wouldn’t believe that was real, but that was really Albert. That’s who he was.” – Michael Goldberg. Rolling Stone Magazine Issue No. 469, March, 1986.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Richie Havens at Woodstock 42 Years Ago Today

Jerry, my friend from the old neighborhood emailed me to remind me that this was the anniversary of Woodstock, and was recollecting our trip there.

I remember how I tracked high school mates Jerry and Marc down in Wildwood, where they lived in a motel room and worked as short order cooks at a boardwalk grill. Sitting in their motel room they were excited about a new album by Santana, and played it for me.

Then they said Santana was going to be playing at this festival at Woodstock in upstate New York, where Dylan and The Band were holed up, and The Band was playing the festival too. They were planning to go and wanted me to go with them, even though I was committed to working for the summer, especially weekends.

A few years ago, on another anniversary, Jerry wrote what he remembered. How him and me and our high school mates Mark and Bob left Ocean City in my father's car as soon as I finished work at Mack & Manco's around midnight.

It was the weekend or so before Labor Day, and I had gotten a letter from school - I was to be a freshman at the University of Dayton, Ohio in September, but they sent me a letter saying I had to be at a special "orientation" class the same weekend as Woodstock. I showed the letter to my boss, Mr. Mack, and he said my education came first and I had to go, but be sure to be back on Monday because I was needed for the busy upcoming Labor Day holiday.

We were going to take my '59 Jeep that had no doors or side windows, but it wouldn't start and my mother said to take dad's car and we didn't argue with her. I fell asleep in the back and someone else was driving when we got pulled over and a State cop shined a flashlight in my face. He had seen the "County Detective" sign on the visor and asked me if my dad knew I had the car and if we were going to that rock concert, but he didn't give us a ticket and said to have a good time.

Woodstock the Festival, as everyone who was there knows, wasn't really at Woodstock the town, the artist community where Albert Grossman, Dylan and The Band lived. They were going to have it there, but when the community decided it didn't want all those people coming in, they got Max Yasker's farm near Bethel, New York, about 30 some miles from Woodstock.

As we got closer and the traffic was backed up, they set up road blocks and turned people away, but the "County Detective" sign got us past a few checkpoints. As Jerry remembered, it, he was driving when we picked up a hitch hiker who had already been to the concert site but left to get some supplies. We drove on the side of the road full of stalled traffic and then the hitch hiker told us about a small, dirt side road that led right to the stage and showed us where it was. Before long we had pulled up about 30 yards from the back of the stage, and within an hour we were blocked in so we just made camp right there.

It wasn't rainy or muddy at first, and I think we all went to together to near the front of the stage, which was pretty huge. I think Mark may have stayed behind, but me and Jerry and Bob were right down in front. Jerry now only remembers him and Bob in the front row, but I was there with them for the first half of Richie Havens set, which really was remarkable. He was on for a long time, and since few people paid admission - we didn't have tickets and nobody asked for any - the rumor was that the other acts wouldn't go on without getting paid. So Richie Havens had to play an extra long set.

After awhile I left them at the front of the stage and went for a walk about, to the back on the hill where they had food concessions and a makeshift hospital.

Thousands of more people had arrived so there was no way I would ever make it back to the front row again, though I later learned that Jerry and Bob hung out there for quite some time.

Occasionally we would meet back at the car, but Mark didn't like it at all, especially after it started to rain, and he wanted to go get a motel room somewhere.

While I don't remember too much else, there was the time on Saturday night, I think it was while The Band was performing, when I climbed a tree and laid across a big branch to stay off the wet ground. While up there Jerry was walking by and yelling my name, and was quite surprised to find me at all let alone up in a tree.

I remember taking a dip in a muddy lake with a bunch of naked hippie chicks, but I don't remember many of the acts, even the ones we went there to see, like Santana and The Band.

By Sunday afternoon, enough room had been cleared around the car that we could move it out, and at Marc's insistence, we left early, so we didn't see or hear Hendrix.

I will never forget the smile on my father's face as he stood on the porch at 819 Wesley when we pulled up in his car, totally covered with mud. He was just glad to see us and his car.

Then, still in our muddy jeans and t-shirts, Jerry and I went around the corner to the local hippie coffee house - The Purple Dragon, and were celebrities for day for being Woodstock veterans. But the next day when I went to work at Mack & Mancos I couldn't tell anyone where I was because I was supposed to have been at college orientation.

I guess that's one of the reasons why I've been a bit disoriented.

And no, I didn't do any drugs at Woodstock, though we did have some wine, and I think Bob did some acid though I'm not even sure about that.

Then later that winter when I was at school in Dayton, Richie Havens did a concert at the basketball arena and I found myself down front in the first row again. After the concert was over I wrote down the address of a house where we were going to a party and gave it to Richie on stage. He smiled and winked at me. Then an hour or so later a limo drives up to the party house and Richie Havens gets out. I was back in the kitchen, and in walks Richie Havens, looking for me, and when he sees me he smiles.

Richie Havens changes strings on stage at Dayton, Ohio, circa 1970

Can he light up a joint? Sure we're all in college, and he proceeded to roll a joint like he was a cowboy on a horse, twisted it up with one hand and then lit it up.

I think Richie now lives somewhere in Jersey not far from where I am though further north. I was thinking about taking a drive someday and paying him a visit.

Then I'd like to visit the real Woodstock, the town of Woodstock and visit with Levon and Garth and the boys from The Band.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Boardwalk Empire Music Soundtrack

Boardwalk Empire Volume 1 – Music From the HBO Original Series Tracklist

01. Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks – Livery Stable Blues
02. Stephen DeRosa – The Dumber They Come The Better I Like Them
03. Regina Spektor – My Man
04. Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks – Dark Town Strutters Ball
05. Catherine Russell – Crazy Blues
06. Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks – Mournin’ Blues
07. Kathy Brier – Some Of These Days
08. Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks – Margie
09. Loudon Wainwright III – Carrickfergus
10. Nellie McKay – Wild Romantic Blues
11. Kathy Brier – After You Get What You Want (You Don’t Want It)
12. Leon Redbone – Sheik of Araby
13. Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks – Japanese Sandman
14. Kathy Brier- Don’t Put a Tax On the Beautiful Girls
15. Martha Wainwright – All By Myself
16. Stephen DeRosa – Life Is A Funny Proposition

The Wall Concert at Potzdam Platz Berlin

The Wall Concert at Potzdam Platz - July 1990

With the fiftieth anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall and the 20th anniversary of its fall, I reflect on my time there in the summer of 1990 shortly after it opened and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd orchestrated this mammoth concert production of his Rock Opera The Wall at the Berlin Wall.

The concert stage left ran up against the real wall and it was constantly being chipped away all day and night the whole time I was there. As you got close to it you could hear people chipping at it with hammers.

I went to Berlin with my friend from Ocean City NJ architect Jack Snyder. We were there for a few days and visited East Berlin with a Russian intourist guide who took us to lunch at the revolving restaurant atop the TV Tower, which is something similar to the Seattle Needle or Dallas' Observation Tower.

She told us an incredible story that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of history, as they try to give Ronald Reagan and Mikahel Gorbachef credit for the fall of the wall.

Actually she explained, the big impetus that led to the opening of the wall began in the East German city of Lipsig, which has a strong cultural and musical heritage. There, a group of gypsy musicians were being harassed by the government and took refuge in a Lipsig church where the local priest named Christian Fuher.

Fuher had been holding weekly prayer protests for years. Together the harassed band of musicians and praying protests eventually grew from a few dozen people to hundreds and then thousands, and then it began to spread to other cities, including East Berlin.

The first thing people did at the wall, besides climbing it, was to play music, and among those who went there to play included Mstislav Rostropovich and Jackson Brown.

Then Roger Waters got in the act with his major production of The Wall, which included a half-million spectators and a live TV audience from around the world - everywhere except the USA, who had to wait to see it rebroadcast or buy a video tape.

Among those who performed in the show were Cindi Lauper, the German band the Scorpions, the Hooters, The Band (sans Robbie Robertson) and dozens of other acts who performed almost all day and all night long.

After the show we hung around back stage at a makeshift Hard Rock Cafe where I met Patty of Chieftons and Schnade O'Conner, both very personable people.

We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel where we crashed a private party for the cast, many of whom we knew from back home - including Rob and Eric of the Hooters and Rick Danko of the Band, who was with Rockabilly Ronnie Hawkins. I have photos of me and Rick and Ronnie but they're color slides and I can't scan or post them.

My friend Jack, a USMC veteran, was at the hotel bar with Sir Leonard Cheshire, the head of the International Fund for Disaster Relief, the ostensible beneficiary of the profits of the show, and a very worthwhile charity that I don't believe exists anymore.

According to John Simpkin's
Leonard Cheshire was born in Chester, England, on 7th September 1917. He was educated at Stowe School and Merton College, Oxford. After the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force. He was posted to 102 Squadron and by August 1942 had been promoted to squadron commander of of 76 Squadron. In March 1943 at the age if twenty-five he became the youngest group captain in the RAF. In November 1943 he was given command of 617 Squadron and over the next few months developed new low-level marking techniques that dramatically increased bombing accuracy.

In 1944 Cheshire was awarded the Victoria Cross after completing a hundred bombing missions on heavily defended targets in Nazi Germany. Cheshire was chosen as the official British observer of the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki. After the war Cheshire dedicated his life to maintaining world peace and was a member of CND. Cheshire also joined with his wife, Sue Ryder, to establish the Sue Rider Foundation for the sick and disabled. Leonard Cheshire, who was created Baron Cheshire in 1991, died on 31st July, 1992.

In any case, while they were chatting, I was phoning home from a pay phone on the wall, and while I'm talking I see some of the musicians from the show heading into a side room, and when I got off the phone I checked it out. It was a private party for the cast and I just waltzed right in and nobody stopped me. There was an open bar, glasses of wine and champagne and a hot food bar. So I went out and got Jack and Sir, who actually had an invitation, and we hobnobbed with the heavyweights.

The drummer from the Hooters, whose name I can't pronounce - recognized me from interviewing him at Reds in Margate (which is no longer there) back in the 80s.

Then I noticed someone I recognized at the front door, Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger's then wife. She was one of the stars of the show, but she seemed lost and by herself, so I picked up a glass of champagne and walked up and gave it to her. She thanked me profusely, and we started to small talk. I had seen her before having lunch with her children in the dining room at the Seaview Hotel in Absecon, where the Stones had stayed when they wrapped up their Steel Wheels Tour in the USA. I asked her what was her most enjoyable moment in Atlantic City and she said it was taking her kids to Storybook Land.

She complained that she had been so busy that she didn't get a chance to get to the wall and get a piece of it, and it just so happened that I had been to the wall that day and purchased ear rings made from pieces of the wall and gave them to her. She was really impressed and said she would wear them in her next photo shoot in Vogue, but I don't know if she did. Then a papparazi photographer took our picture and wanted to know who I was.

The following night we had to switch hotels and the new hotel had a downstairs bar with a picture window facing the street. While we sat there drinking our beers I noticed a bevy of young girls standing around and then getting all excited as a limo pulled up and they all started screaming as a couple of guys in leather jackets got out and ran into the hotel. It couldn't be the Beatles.

About a half hour later, after the girls had dispursed, two of the guys in leather walked in the bar and had to reach over us to get their drinks. It was little Klaus and the tall guitarist Rudy Schenker from the Scorpions, the German band who opened the show.

They spoke good English and after a few rounds we were getting pretty friendly. They told us about how they were playing a concert in a cabaret somewhere when they saw on TV people climbing on the wall and celebrating, and since they had grown up a few miles away from Berlin they were so happy they started crying.

They inspired by the event enough to record the hit song - number one in the world "Wind of Change," with a video that depicts the fall of the wall.

Then a few months later, back in the States, I got an invitation in the mail for the album release party for the double album soundtrack and video of The Wall. The party was to be held aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier on the Hudson in New York City.

Jack and I drove up and were pretty amazed at the huge carrier. They had a couple large blocks of the Wall as a rememberance, and the party was petty cool.

They made a big stink of all the celebrities as they entered the front door, and Cyndi Lauper got a big reception, but the best was when the Scorpions came in, still decked out in their leathers. They were applauded and as they looked around the room Rudy and Klaus see me and Jack, smiles and walks up to us like we were old friends from long ago. It was good to see him, and that he recognized us, so we grabbed a drink and went out to the edge of the large airplane elevator to get some air and for him to catch a smoke.

When we went back in a paparazzi taking photos of us came up to me and said, "Who are you anyway?"

Tell him Klaus, I said, slapping his leather. "He's just some guy I was with in Berlin, a great time."

Atlantic City Pop Fest Program August 1969

New Atlantic City Pop Fest Pix Surface

Clockwise: The Crowd
Frank Zappa
Little Richard
Joe Cocker
Paul Butterfield

New Atlantic City Pop Fest Pix -

A tip of the hat to Mike for the heads up on these Atlantic City Pop Fest Pix that recently recently posted at psychedeliclion blogspot which reports that they are now on sale at Wolfgang's Vault.

There's over a dozen interesting shots and I'm trying to find out who the photographer is.

I find it interesting that on the anniversary of the AC Pop Fest in 2009 the Press of Atlantic City couldn't find any photos of the Pop Fest in its archives.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where the Bands are this Week August 12 - 18

Kenny Neal - Renown New Orleans blues guitarist Kenney Neal is at the Somers Point Beach
7 Friday

Billy Walton is at Tuckerton Seaport at 6 Friday AC Bdwk Monday for Armed Forces Parade and at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Thursday

Danny Eyer is all over the place - The Golden Inn beach bar in Avalon and sitting in with Bob Campanell on Sundays and with Hawkins Road on Thurs at the Tuckahoe Inn

WHERE THE BANDS ARE August 12 – 18

FRIDAY August 12

Kenny Neal and His Band: World Renown Award Winning Blues & Roots Recording Artist. 7 pm Somers Point Beach.

Billy Walton Band Tuckerton Seaport Tuckerton NJ 6

Danny Eyer duo 3 Steve LaManna 8 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

The Mighty Parrots Back Bay Café Tuckaoe Inn Beesleys Point

Carl Behrens 4:30 Poker Face 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

Paul Sottie The Ebbitt Room Virginia Hotel Cape May

Dane Anthony 9 Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

Speaker City Carneys Cape May

Shorty Long & The Jersey Horns Cabanas Cape May

Michael James 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Moe Fishbone Harbor View Cape May

Sindi Raymond Lighthouse Point Wildwood

Tommy Zito 3 Juliano Bros 8 The Wharf Wildwood

Matt Kelly Jonathan Harwood Jerry Smith Westys Irish Pub North Wildwood

52 Pickup 5 Darin MacDonald 6 Joe Bachman & the Crew 9 Windrift Avalon

Incognito Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

SATURDAY August 13

Symphonic Soul (13 piece horn party band) Centennial Park Wildwood Crest 7:30
The Dovells 50th anniversary of the Bristol Stomp. North Wildwood 8

Gregg Carpenter 4:30 Banana Trio 9 Rusty Nail Cape May

Paul Sottile The Ebbit Room Virginia Hotel Cape May

Darin MacDonald 8 Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Frank Bey 9 Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

G Next Carneys Cape May

The Double Play Band Ugly Mug Cape May

Michael James 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May
Stage Pass Harbor View Cape May

Love Junk Caseys on Third Wildwood

Sindi Raymond 3 Animal House 8 The Wharf Wildwood

Jerry Blavat Memories Wildwood

Sindi Raymond Westys Irish Pub North Wildwood

Secret Service 4 Dave Gustafson Scene Changer 8 Denis Holmes 10 Windrift Avalon

Not Worth Stealing 12 Mike Thompson Band 3:30 Steve LaManna 8 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

Juliano Bros. 4 The Loop Please Please Me The Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

Revolver w/ Tom Pacitti 6 Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

SUNDAY August 14

Bob Campanell Band 6 Back Bay Café Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Verdict plays Caribbean island music on the Baia (Old Waterfront) deck. Somers Point.

The Robert Murdock Band (British tribute) Fox Park Amphitheater Wildwood.

Reggae Sunday 12:30 Audrey Snow 9 Rusty Nail Cape May
Erik Simonsen Brown Room Congress Hall 8

Open Mic Nite Boiler Room Congress Hall 8

Animal House Carneys Cape May

Blondage 1 & 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Gary & the Kid – Lighthouse Point Wildwood

Matt Kelly Greg Parker Westys North Wildwood

Darin MacDonald 6 Windrift Avalon

Jack light Move 12 Raggamuffins 3:30 Doug Knight 7 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

She’s Trouble 4 The Juliano Bros 5 LeCompt Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

MONDAY August 15

The Soul Rebels Brass Band, The Billy Walton Band. Local Rock & Roll. Kennedy Plaza. Atlantic City boardwalk in front of Boardwalk Hall. 7 Armed Forces Parade.

Mike Pedicin, Jr. Loft SandiPoint (formerly Macs) Somers Point

Jack Regan (Sinatra0) 8 michael James Centennial Park Wildwood Crest. 7:30

Guy Peterson 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

Gregg Carpenter Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Ann Oswald 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May
David Christopher Band Coconut Cove Wildwood

Stellar Mojo Lighthouse Point Wildwood

Dan Brown 4 Windrift Avalon

Joe King 3 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon

LeCompt 4 Springfield Inn deck. Sea Isle City

TUESDAY August 16

Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, The Soul Rebels Brass Band. Kennedy Plaza. AC

Joe Kozak 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

Don Shaw duo – Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Sal Anthony Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Big Daddy The Wharf Wildwood

Justin Steere 4 Darin MacDonald 6 Gypsy Wisdom 8 Windrift

Vince Schneider Duo 3 Seaglass Golden Inn Avalon
Dennis Holmes 4 on deck; Landsharks Juliano Bros Springfield Inn Sea Isle City


Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Lil’ Martha. Kennedy Plaza AC

SMB Simple Minded Budz Reggae at Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point.

Bubba Mac Blues Band at the Deauville Inn Beach House Strathmere 6

Billy Walton Band Stone Poney Asbury Park.

Dogs Playing Cards (classic rock) Centennial Park Wildwood Crest 7:30

Matt Santry 8 Brown Room Congress Hall Cape May

Big House Carneys Cape May

Sal Anthony 6 Harpoon Henrys North Cape May

Cowabunga 4 The Wharf Wildwood

Chris Huff 4 Dave Gustafson 6 Dueling Pianos 8 Windrift Avalon

Stellar Mojo 3 Sealass beachclub Golden Inn Avalon

Carrie & John on deck 4; Please Please Me Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

THURSDAY August 18

Danny Eyer sits in with Hawkins Road at the Back Bay Café 6 Tuckahoe Inn Beesleys Point

Lefty Lucy Atlantic City Country Club patio Northfield 6pm

Billy Walton Band Stone Pony Asbury Park

Helen Sung Dwain Davis Quartet Chicken Bone Beach. Kennedy Plaza. AC

Marnie & Nate 4:30 Rusty Nail Cape May

Paul Sottile Ebbitt Room Virginia Hotel Cape May

Terry’oke at Boiler Room Congress Hall Cape May

Animal House Carneys Cape May

Michael James Harpoon Henrys 6 North Cape May

Mike Goldman 3 Bangarang 7 The Wharf Wildwood
Jimi & Jeff 4 Jim Bannach 6 The Exceptions 8 Windrift Avalon.

Foster Child duo 3 Steve LaManna 8 Seaglass beachclub Golden Inn Avalon

Secret Service Ocean Drive Sea Isle City

Jerry Blavat Lighthouse Point Wildwood

Table Ten 4 on deck; Goodman Fiske Springfield Inn Sea Isle City

The Band at Tony Marts

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tony Mart's Scrapbook w/Carmen Marotta

Carmen Marotta - on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City (Photo Press of AC -

Carmen Marotta – Interview with Bill Kelly
Sunday, November 15, 1992
Marotta residence, Gull and Bay Avenues, Somers Point NJ

Bill Kelly: I’m with Carmen Marotta. Carmen how old are you?

Carmen Marotta: I’m thirty six years old.

BK: Your father Anthony Marotta owned Tony Mart’s Café.

CM: In 1944 my father purchased it and began renovating it. At the time it was known as Schick’s Tavern.

BK: What did he do before he came to Somers Point?

CM: He operated a hot dog stand and sandwich shop at St. James Place and the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, and he called it Tony Mart’s Luncheonette. He was the operator, he worked the grill and the counter and my mother was a waitress, counter girl and made sandwiches.

BK: Your father was born in Italy?

CM: He was born on the north coast of Sicily, in the province of Mesina, in a little town on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. The town is called Naso, which means nose in Italian because if you look at a profile of the mountain, it is nose like in appearance. It’s near Capo De Lano, the Cape of Orlando, a resort on the north shore.

BK: Is your mother from there too?

CM: No. It’s a funny story about my mother and father. My mother was born and raised in what is colloquially referred to as Ducktown in Atlantic City, near Blake Street and Georgia Ave, but my mother’s mother was from Naso. My mother’s father, my maternal grandfather is from Mesina, the capitol city of the province of Mesina, which is approximately 30 kilometers from Naso. So when my father came to this country he had, as one of his potential contacts, people from Naso in Atlantic City.

BK: What year were you born?

CM: 1956.

BK: What are your first memories of the club?

CM: I would say my first memories of the club were running around there as a child. Do you want me to just sprout off what’s coming into my head?

BK: Yes.

CM: Sitting in a car talking to Mrs. Tattler, who was Tommy Tattler’s wife. He was a talent and booking agent. Running around the front of the bar, playing with the bouncers, being in the bar when it was open and when it was closed, eating cherries and drinking cokes. Being in there. My very first memories go back to, I can recall things from 1961 or 62, when I was about five or six years old. The Fall Guys playing the “Alabama Jubilee” and “Tiger Rag” and doing the Sunday night Showtime when they would do a Dixieland, Southern type show and dance on the bar and play “When the Saints Come Marching In,” in sort of a mummers kind of way.

The Fall Guys were influenced by the Spike Jones kind of comedy groups. They were a lounge group that adapted themselves to the Tony Marts summer scene rock & roll type of thing.

BK: You have a brother and a sister?

CM: I have a sister Tina – Catina by birth, is eight years older than me, and could provide a lot more about the fifties and early sixties, naturally. And my little brother is 14 months younger than me, Tony, Anthony Marotta, Jr.

BK: Lets go through the Book – the Tony Marts Scrapbook.

CM: Here’s a photo of Charlote Kinsten with my mother. This would be circa 1964. she was probably my father’s first Go-Go girl. Now George Naame told me that my father didn’t like Go-Go girls. Now I didn’t realize this. I don’t remember it. Because my dad literally advertised No-Go-Go and George Naame had Go-Go girls at the Elbow Room in Margate, which is now Jerry Blavat’s Memories. George Naame is parenthetically, is one of the few people left still operating a club from my father’s generation. There aren’t many left. I don’t think there’s a handful left. My dad did eventually go with the Go-Go girls, and this Charlotte Kirsten is one of the first that he had. You’ll see her name in some of the ads in the scrapbook here.

CM: Reading the newspaper headline – July 23, 1961 – Thirsty Teen Throngs Besiege Point- Here’s pictures of Mike Calao checking age cards and Lynn Bader the Chief of Police in a white dinner jacket checking IDs. Mike Calao is now a councilman. He was a policeman who became deputy chief.

Lynn Bader. They called the police “Bader’s Raiders” in those days. There’s a wonderful picture of my father. Thinner there than I’ve ever seen him. And who was playing in Somers Point in those days – the legendary and infamous Peter Carroll and Tido Mambo. What’s funny is that Tido Mambo’s bass player is living out in Tuscon now with Dale Stretch, Bruce’s brother. And (my brother) Tony and him kibbutz all the time and talk about the old days.

BK: Whatever happened to Tido Mambo?

CM: I don’t know. Peter Carroll, I don’t know either. These guys just drop off the face of the earth.

BK: It says here capacity 1000. I think it was more than that. You know I have the Tony Marts capacity sign hanging in my garage and it says 1300.

CM: yes, it was 1300. I know dad used to do paid admission of over 2,000 in those days, as far as how many people came through the door on any given night. And that was before the lounge, the 1300 was with the lounge.

BK: Six bars, two stages.

CM: Eventually it became three stages and eight bars. That was in 1966 that he did the last edition.

BK: The caption on this picture says: “Three attractions. This is the corner of Bay and Goll Avenues, some under 21 and conjugate during the summer months. The college crowd likes to come here to Bayshores Café, Tony Mart’s and Steels Ship Bar to listen to their favorite rock & roll stars, dance and drink.”

CM: Evidently this article was inspired or came about because of the complaints from a portion of this community who thought Somers Point was becoming too much of a bedroom suburb to allow this kind of “Barbary Coast” activity. They always resented us, especially after Midnick put the track homes in the area that is now referred to as the Fairways. That’s when Somers Point began to become Bougouis, and these Bougouis people began to look askance at the businesses that were an original part of Somers Point – the Anchorage, Greogry’s, Elmer Blake (Steel’s) and my father, Mac’s, Daniels, the Antolinies and Previties.

BK: They’re calling it a “Mecca for young partying kids.”

CM: Here’s a wonderful picture from 1963 in the Courier Post, this is the real Eddie & The Cruisers.

BK: The Fabulous Fall Guys, The Roof Toppers and the Beanstalks, Jack & the Beanstalks.

CM: The absolute height, I would say the years 63, 64, 65, 66 were the very best years for revenue and attendance. Things were really happening.

BK: Things were different back then though, revenue wise. Like how much was a beer back then?

CM: I recall we used to have a pricing scheme called 60-70-80 meant a beer was sixty cents, a high ball with pouring liquor was 70 cents and top shelf was 80 cents. Then at night we would go to higher prices – 70-80-90. I remember as a kid, my father and Pete Toscano, who was the manger for many years in my early youth, talking to Tony saying, “We’re at 60-70-80, shall we go to 70-80-90?” And like wise, the admission was a dollar to get in or a dollar to get in with a one drink minimum. You’d get a minimum ticket. Then sometimes it was one and one, which was two dollars to get in and you got one drink. Or one and two, three dollars to get in and you got two drinks.

BK: What about the seven for one? Both Andrew at the Anchorage, who made it famous, and Gregory’s, who had it before the Anchorage, say that at least in Somers Point, seven for one started at Tony Marts.

CM: There is some controversy about that. I think that my godfather, Willie Theodore could answer that question. There aren’t may left from that era, other than Willie, Joe Orsini, who we called Little Joe, might be able to shed some light on that era. One person who could talk about that era going back to the 40s, is my uncle Pete Basile, who works for my uncle Tony at the White House Sub Shop (in Atlantic City). If both of us went out and tried to run all of this down we would barely scratch the surface. Unfortunately so many of them are dying.

BK: It’s too late for a lot of people.

CM: It’s too late to talk to Pete Toscano, God rest his soul. He was an integral part of this place, and his brother Harry is gone.

BK: Who was the other manager?

CM: Joe Fiore was the manger in the later years, you’re time – ’72-76. He went from our place to the casino industry. Tony and I really began to run the place in earnest in 1977. Tony and I managed the place from 77 to 82 when we closed it.

Here’s Roger Evoy doing the limbo. On Thursday nights we had a limbo contest on the dance floor behind the stage. That’s what this is (in this photo). Around 12, 12:30, depending on the crowd. Dad gave out T-shirts, gift certificates…because you couldn’t give out cash. There was an ABC regulation about giving out cash in those days.

BK: The dateline on this Philadelphia clip is July 28, 1963, my birthday. I was 12 years old. It says: “Saturday Night at the Point – Youth Capitol of South Jersey – Magic Number is 21 when Boy Meets Girl.”

CM: Notice the picture is of the Ocean City beach. It shows the beach, which tells the story. Together, Ocean City and Somers Point comprised one of the major seashore resorts on the east coast – comparable to Fort Lauderdale.

BK: Well Ocean City has the beach but doesn’t have the booze, so they compliment each other.

CM: Exactly. That’s what this is all about. Otherwise, in other places, like Rehobeth, Ocean City, Maryland, Fort Lauderdale – the bars are right on the beach. But here you have the unique situation of the blue laws in Ocean City. I think that may have factored into the reasoning for my father buying Tony Marts in the first place.

BK: Here’s a headline: FBI Checking Fake ID Cards. Somers Point nets $5,000 from 48 persons found guilty by Judge Edward Helfan t. Ordinance #11.

CM: In this picture is Joe DiOrio. This just goes to show how deeply involved in community government civic associations the taproom owners are. The Licensed Beverage Association the important political force in this town (for many years). It is nothing compared to what it was. There still is one, but its lost its political clout. You don’t have these old characters – maybe you have Elmer Gregory and Joe DiOrio. Mr. Antolini has lost his business (Daniels), Tony Sr. is gone from Mac’s, Buddy Styer (Harry’s) is gone, Elmer Blake (Steels) and McCann (Bay Shores) are gone. My dad has been gone since 1986. You have corporations and Yuppie types running places like Markers. These people were great characters like Judge Helfant presiding over this, and solicitor Naame (George’s uncle Lou).

These stories in the scrapbook are about controversies. You have to understand, I mean there were so many people coming here, there was so much activity, so much booze being sold, there was a controversy simply because of the sheer volume. Between those three clubs in the summer you would average 5,000 people on Bay Avenue. They would be in Bay Shores, Steels, Tony Marts, the Anchorage, Gregory’s Jolly Roger, DiOrios; Your Father’s Mustache was a Dixieland club on the circle.

BK: Here’s a photo of the Fall Guys.

CM: The Fall Guys were one of the greatest groups to ever play at Tony Marts. This is the original Fall Guys – Jack the bass player, Joey Delvecio the drummer, Don the guitarist. Now the saxophone player and the trumpeter left the group about ’62 or ’63. Two other gentlemen, Kenny Koucha (ph) and Bill Laws replaced them and those five in that form have remained the Fall Guys up until the last time I saw them, which was at a casino in Atlantic City about fiver or six years ago (1987). They became a casino lounge act, an excellent group that played a broad spectrum of music.

There was always a broad spectrum of music played at Tony Marts, not just rock & roll, which is the type of music that is so frequently associated with this, but there was Rhythm & Blues, which is tantamount to Rock & Roll in a lot of ways. Ray Charles, Dixieland, Big Band – Tommy Dorsey’s band played here in 1963. Bill Haley played this year here. Jerry Gabriel and the Angles were here with the Fall Guys. Interestingly, Jerry Gabriel’s saxophone player became the arranger for Ike and Tina Tuner, that’s one story I know about this page (in the scrapbook).

The Fall Guys did comedy music. They used to do “Unchain My Heart,” “Peanut Butter,” “My Blue Heaven,” which was a Dixieland classic, and songs that are classic rock & roll, “Runaround Sue,” which was in Eddie & the Cruisers. And the Fall Guys came back and did us a favor by coming back and doing the testimonial on our last night.

The Kit Kats were here, and they were a famous band in Philadelphia. The Fables were a great band from Canada, extremely popular.

Pete Carroll was an excellent showman, singer and guitar player who fronted this band. He was also a Wildman who was notorious for his drunken binges and his outlandish behavior after consuming too much alcohol. A very colorful character. He’s the one that nobody could find when he was supposed to go on stage, and he was out in the middle of the bay in a rowboat, drunk. He probably got fired from Bay Shores and went to Steels. That’s the way it was in those days.

BK: Here you have different dances for different nights of the week – Mashed Potato Monday, Twist Tuesday, Talent night Wednesday, and Limbo Thursday.

CM: Talent night was always on Wednesday and the Limbo on Thursday. This handbill with all of the Ivy League schools reflects the collegiate nature of the crowd. Even though some of the nare-do-well, do-gooders in Somers Point tried to make it out like it was a drunken, rowdy crowd, just the opposite was true. The patrons and employees of Tony Marts were for the most part college students and graduate students, many of whom have become successful lawyers, doctors, engineers – I could sprout off some of their names if you’re interested.

BK: Yea, let’s name a few.

CM: Atlantic City attorney Harry Goldenberg worked at the Triangle Bar (by the front door) for my dad, while Sonny McCullough, the mayor of Egg Harbor Township worked the same bar. Dick Brunswick became an open heart surgeon at Tulane University in New Orleans. Dubie Duberson, another bartender, worked for Dunn & Bradstreet while he moonlighted at Tony Marts.

Ronnie Frey, a school teacher and wrestling coach was the head bouncer in these years, the golden years.

Here’s a picture of Dick Brunswick beating on a trash can from behind the bar, probably to a song like “Alabama Jubilee.”

Here’s the Fall Guy’s song list – “Alabama Jubilee,” “If You Want to Be Happy,” “The Bounce,” “Peanut Butter,” “New Orleans,” “Shout,” “Can’t Sit Down,” “ Do You Love Me?” “Muskrat Ramble,” “Do Run Run,” “Twist & Shout,” Duane Eddie’s “Honkey Tonk,” and he later came here himself. My father said that Duane Eddie was probably the greatest draw of anybody who ever played here. He played one week and he made a lot of money that week.

Other songs on the list include Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say?” “Secret Love,” “Tiger Rag,” a New Orleans-Dixieland favorite, “Movin’ and Grovin’” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” and “Maria,” from West Side Story. “Melaguana and “I Wish You Love.”

CM: That gives you an idea of what I was saying before, of the vast spectrum of music that was played. Here’s a picture of Bill Haley & the Comets, playing on the same bill as Conway Twitty. One of these guys with Haley now runs a restaurant in Barcelona, Spain, and he likes to remember those days.

Here you have Bill Haley, Conway Twtitty, Del Shannon and the Fall Guys, all in one week. To put this in modern rock terms it would be like having Huey Lewis & the News and Hank Williams, Jr. and……Conway was not so much country in those days. He was rock & roll. After he left here, in ’64 or ’65, he crossed back over to country and became even more successful. I could tell you some interesting stories about him too.

Conway was a hell of a guy, a nice person, great softball player. Conway and his drummer Pork Chop were two of the best player on the Tony Marts (All Stars) soft-ball team. They used to play at the Somers Point ball field. They used to play against Bader’s Raiders, the Somers Point Police team. They would play on Monday afternoons because Sundays were big business, and Mondays and Tuesdays were the days that most of the valuable musicians and bartenders would be off because they were the slowest days of the week.

BK: You had a lot of bands from Canada.

CM: That was the Harold Kutlets agency, out of Hamilton, near Toronto. My father met him through MCA out of New York. They were a promotions, talent, productions, booking company. Kutlets is the man who is eventually credited with picking up and representing the Hawks, Levon & the Hawks who became The Band.

They were with Ronnie Hawkins and were the Fabulous Hawks – that’s where the name Hawks comes from – the rockabilly, rhythm & blues singer. Then when they lost Ronnie Hawkins, they had a fight with them or something, they became Levon & the Hawks. Even though they were a Canadian group they couldn’t get any work in Canada at the time, and they were touring down south, we’re talking about the winter of 1965. They were kicking around the south, some of them were from Arkansas, and Kutlets called dad up and said he had this great band that needed a break. They would work cheap. Dad put them in in April. They played six nights a week, four or five sets a night, for $700 total, plus rooms, they lived over top of the bar. They worked their way up to $1300 a week. Now this is for five guys and a manager, a character named Bill Avis, and of course Harold Kutlets got a cut of that.

Then, as the story goes, and its been corroborated, that they became such a legendary talent, that Dylan himself came here. The way it was told to me was that people from Boston to Georgetown, D.C. were coming here just to hear Levon and the Hawks, and hear Richard Manuel sing Ray Charles and Ottis Redding and James Brown, and see Garth Hudson play the sax and do Junior Walker and the All-Star’s “Shotgun.”

Dylan took them from dad the week before Labor Day. But dad still loved them and even gave them a cake and party for them on their last night, but he was mad that they couldn’t stay that last week of the summer. But of course Dylan didn’t care about that, and he took the band. But dad was able to get Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels to finish the last week of the summer. It was big times in those days.

The Four Fables were here too. A great show band. Another Harold Kutlets Canadian band, Joey D and the Starlighters, who became famous for doing the Pepperment Twist. But they played here in 1961, before the Twist. And my father maintained that Joey D learned to rock & roll at Tony Marts. Warren Covington led the Tommy Dorsey band. Wes Covington was a big name in swing and they came and played a Sunday jam session. Swing, Dixieland, traditional jazz, rhythm & blues, there was all kinds of music on Bay Avenue, it was not simply rock & roll.

The Roof Toppers were a strong second band they supported The Fables and the Fall Guys. They kept he room moving. The Four Fables were an excellent draw, a dynamic group of performers. Notice the bands at this time all wore suits and ties. Even the Furies have their freshmen sweaters and patent leather shoes. All of that was a part of Tony Marts until 1966.

The Blastoffs, The Magnetic Magnatones, Johnny Caswell shows up here as a little second band to the Magnatones, and the third band was Paul and the Profits. May 20, 1964 – this is when Johnny Caswell was just a kid. At this time it was Johnny Caswell and the Secrets. It’s spelled in the newspaper ad – Coswell – that’s my father saying “Coswell” over the phone.

Sean Kelly and the Irish Beatles. He was the front man for the Magnatones. Everybody was doing the Beatles then.

The Skyliners played a number of engagements for dad. “Pennies from Heaven” is still on the jukebox at the Anchorage. In the ad it says, “Stars of the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como TV shows.”

The Rockatones were another band that recorded, “I Don’t Know Why?” for ABC Paramount Records.

The Fireflys, Little Anthony and the Secrets – five white guys, Johnny and the Holidays, The Corvairs, The Temptations – a white Temptations, Jerry Gabriel and the Angels, very talented, almost everybody in Jerry Gabriel’s band went on to noteworthy careers in popular music. One went with Ike Turner.

Len Carey and the Crackerjacks. Len Carey was a legendary performer. Now we’ve made a retrograde move here. These guys were from the fifties. He was gone by ’61. Len Carey, my dad said, started with him in 1954. Carey was a show name. He was really an Italian guy. They did a lot of Spike Jones type comedy, music, swing, Dixieland and were wonderful at dancing on the bars and throwing crackerjacks out into the crowd the way they throw novelties at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. “The Saints Come Marching In” – it was very Dixieland, and it was really important in the history of Tony Marts because it was this band that my father told me, that really made Tony Marts take off. I dwell on the Fall Guys because they were more my era, my recollection, but Len Carey was here before I was even born.

BK: They’re billed as the “Stars of the Spike Jones Show.”

CM: Spike Jones was a famous band leader from the Swing era into the fifties, and known for his comedy music. In fact Levon Helm refers to him in the song “Up on Cripple Creek,” when he says, “I can’t stand the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk.” Spike Jones was a comedian and band leader and Len Carey played with him and was inspired by him and came off like him. It says here, “Jazzmania Simile.” He started with dad in 1954 and played through 1960. I asked dad one day, “Dad, what really took you from being a small piano bar to becoming a showplace nightclub?” And he said
“Len Carey. It was Len Carey.”

He was a dynamic showman who used to perform to the people and project in such a way that he actually developed a big following at the bar, and that’s how Tony Marts became a big club. This guy was very instrumental in the development of Tony Marts. He and dad remained friends and he came back and visited six or seven years ago when dad was still alive.

And Len Carey was till performing as an old gentleman, performing for senior citizens on Staten Island, which is where he was from.

Duane Eddy was one of the best. A great sax player. Dad payed him several thousand dollars to work a week but Duane Eddie was a big name in those days, and dad said he never made as much money in any other week. I think it was in 1964.

Johnny Miestro and the Crests, who became Johnny Miestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, he played for dad a couple of times. A balladeer, crooner and kind of egotistical and dad didn’t get along with him.

Dad had this saying, “The musicians are playing for themselves,” meaning they were playing music with an artistic slant rather than catering to the crowd and keeping the room moving so the people would dance and drink. Needless to say, my father would fire bands that would play for themselves.

The Furies were still here in 1962. Now this (scrap) book is not chronologically accurate. Now it says here that the Carroll Brothers were on tour with Chubby Checker in South America, so Pete Carroll was a very noteworthy cat.

People think that it wasn’t until the late 60s and 70s that rock & roll tragedy was invented, with Janis Choplin and Jimmie Hendrix and Jim Morrision, but this stuff was going on down here on Bay Avenue in the fifties. These people were talented, and crazy geniuses. They carried on, they did drugs, it just wasn’t celebrated. There was cocaine on Bay Avenue, but they were not “social problems” in those days. It was just part of the thing. The kids going into the clubs weren’t doing cocaine, but some of the musicians were.

Conway Twitty worked many years here. He was a gentleman who worked very well with my father. A hell of a showman, dad told of the time the IRS came knocking on the door and said they had a court order compelling him to turn over all of Conway’s salary for the week. And dad argued with them because he wanted to be able to pay Conway. “Look, he’s got to pay his men, he’s got to eat.” But the IRS didn’t want to hear it. So dad advanced Conway half of the next week’s salary, so he could take care of his men and eat. But today it’s ironic because Conway is one of the biggest names in music today.

The Royal Dukes Quintet, just off their Canadian tour. Don Ellis was a big name in the annals somewhere. The Needler was a publication that came out with semi-nude women in it. Bobby Blue, Bobby Comsock, Johnny Preston….

The Fall Guys were the house band. They played for the season for a set rate. Then dad would bring in big names to play overtop of them as the draw. But the Fall Guys were the house band.

The Female Beatles Dad did well with them. The female bands of that era, the thing that I remember, is that they were lesbians. He liked to bring in a female band once in awhile to change the pace. The Kit Kats became famous in Wildwood, Margate and Philadelphia.

Here’s Jeff, who I recently saw in Sea Isle City, Rickie & the Rockets, he first played here with the Lively Ones.

BK: It says Coming Tuesday – Levon & the Hawks – May 6, 1965 With Conway Twitty as the main attraction.

CM: Phil Humphrey and the Fendermen and Damien & the Classics. This is a damn good lineup. This is when Conway Twitty was beginning to get into country. His six man Oklahoma Review with Jackie Apple and the Applejacks

Ted Shall’s Nightly Whirl – he did the display advertising (for the Press of Atlantic City) and did what Dave Spatz does today. This is when Levon and the Hawks first got here, but later on in July when the summer came it really got hot.

Shall wrote: “Don’t forget that tonight is going to be a big one in Somers Point, and at Tony Mart’s in particular. The renown Conway Twitty arrives at the offshore nightspot to join a Canadian group that has rated plaudits for a number of weeks – Levon and the Hawks.”

CM: 1965 and 1966 were the biggest years, the absolute biggest years.

Here’s an article about softball. The Tony Mart’s All-Stars, with South Philly Al, the pitcher, in the Hangover League, when they beat Bay Shores. Sonny McCullough, Freddie Smartly was a big guy who worked for years for dad. Nickie Russo…..

I was only nine years old at the time, fourth, fifth grade, but I remember The Band. I remember The Band being great. I remember hearing them play. They had two keyboards, there was a railing that ran along the stage and they had Richard Manual on the left hand side, looking at it. It was the center stage, which the L-bar was built around. On the right was Garth Hudson’s organ, a B-3, and all his saxophones and accordions – he was always playing different instruments. In the middle was the drum riser with Levon Helm, and Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson were out front.

I remember how great they were. I remember the soulful blues they played. I think that Richard Manuel was the greatest blues singer to ever sing at Tony Marts. I think he was one of the greatest under-rated white blues singers, and he was known for that, as was their music, their jamming, their diversity. They would do, “Little Lizza Jane – I got a girl and you got none….” That was unusual to hear a hillbilly song being played with a rock beat in Tony Marts. They also played, “They Call Me Mr. Pittiful,” “Please, Please, Please,” “Shotgun,” “Blue, Swede Shoes,” “Memphis,” and a lot of the songs on their album, “Moondog Matinee” they played at Tony Marts. Richard Manuel and Levon Helm used to do some of the old southern stuff.

Mitch Ryder came in after The Band was taken by Dylan. Mitch Ryder had Little Huey in the band then.

CM: Here we are (in the Scrapbook) in the New York Times in 1965. This was at the height of our activity, as attested to the fact that even the New York Times is running stories. Tuesday August 24, 1965. “A New Look Slowly Comes To The Jersey Shore – Changes Some Subtle, Some Abrupt and Flamboyant.”

The contrast between the geriatric nature of Ocean City and the action at Tony Marts in Somers Point. “Changes are evident nearly everywhere along the shore.”

BK: Who was the house band at the very end?

CM: The last year we had Fanfare and some other bands – Shotgun from the Villanova area, the summer of 1981. Alien was doing their Doors show that summer. We remained on the cutting edge as far as music went. We had financial constraints and couldn’t fix it up the way we wanted to, but musically we were right there.

The band were doing the music that was happening on the college campuses and radio stations.

One For All was noteworthy – disco year 1978 – they came up from Fort Lauderdale. Joey Powers ’67 – Joey Powers and the New Dimensions. A strange thing happened in 1967 – the drug craze.

The suits and ties came off in 1966.

The Magic Mushrooms were the first psychedelic band to play in South Jersey. The beginning of the British Invasion – the Kinks, the Stones….

Gunther’s Bus played “Indagodadavida” at Tony Marts.

I remember Tido Mambo – a crazy man but dynamic performer. He had long, greasy hair that he used to comb. His band was called Tido Mambo and the Upsetters and he used to draw. He used to give dad fits. People would go to Bay Shores to see Tido Mambo because he was the first long hair. So Bay Shores had that long hair thing with a crazy band. This was a time – 1966, when the Beatles were going psychedelic. So my dad brought in the Magic Mushrooms.

BK: IT must have been hard for him to get away from the suits and tie thing.

CM: It was. But he was convinced, at first they came and it was like a costume thing, with flowerprint and paisley shirts, Nehru jackets and psychedelic garb, so he was just thinking this was a costume, and from the very beginning they did tremendous volume in attracting crows. So the money helped persuade him in that regard.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yemen Blues

Blues Musician To U.N.: 'Yemen Done Me Wrong'

From The Onion Archives - NOVEMBER 12, 1996 | ISSUE 30•14,1083/

UNITED NATIONS—Legendary Delta bluesman Willie "Skipbone" Johnson is calling for U.N. sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen following what he described as "a low-down dirty deed" against him.

According to Delta bluesman Willie "Skipbone" Johnson, the nation of Yemen "done treat me so unkind." Yemen prime minister Faraj Said bin Ghanem denies the charges.

Among the alleged actions Johnson is protesting are Yemen's alleged tearing out and stomping of Johnson's heart; disappearing when Johnson most needed the Arab republic; and making Johnson feel like a worn-out old dog—actions which, according to the U.N.'s Charter Of Fundamental Human Rights, "just ain't right."

Said Johnson: "Prime Minister Faraj Said bin Ghanem gonna be the death of me."

This represents an unfortunate breakdown in once-positive relations between the predominantly Muslim nation and the 74-year-old master of the slide guitar. As recently as last year, Yemen's Council of Ministers rocked and rolled the musician in so vigorous a manner as to make a landlord forget about the rent.

"This is a devastating blow to Mr. Johnson," said Harvard University political-science professor Eldred Hyde. "For a man who has been beaten up and down until his mama don't recognize him no more and cheated out of his only pair of shoes, a diplomatic crisis with a longtime ally like Yemen may be an irreparable setback."

Noted Hyde: "If it weren't for bad luck, it appears Mr. Johnson would not have any luck at all."
The composer of such blues classics as "Dead Cow Blues" and "Butter My Bread," Johnson maintains that he gave Yemen all he had, only to be forsaken, much like a worn-out suit. He also said that there is another country whose name Yemen cries out at night.

"Yemen done recently form a trade pact with the United Arab Emirates," Johnson said, "and I been laid low ever since."

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has expressed a willingness to restore diplomatic relations with the Clarksdale, MS-born blues legend and vehemently denied that his nation has been seen with the U.A.E., that oil-rich country down Oman way.

Saleh added that it is, in fact, Johnson who is sneaking around, implying that Johnson's mojo was recently worked by Qatar.

"When Qatar shakes its thing, Johnson is unable to keep his stuff still," Saleh said. "May Allah have mercy on his two-timin' soul."

Johnson denied any involvement with Qatar and rejected Saleh's offer for negotiations, saying that he is "too busy wishin' I was anyone but me."

If Johnson's U.N. demands are met, Yemen will be hit with severe international economic sanctions. In addition, none of Yemen's 14 million citizens would be welcome in Johnson's house no more.

"I been cryin' ever since the day I met that devil-hearted country," Johnson said. "I ain't goin' down that Middle Eastern nation's road no more."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hundson and Bob Dylan

Garth Hudson and Levon Helm