Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Main Street Snapshots circa 1960s

east side main st looking south from ontario (click image for larger photo)

east side main st look south from niagara ave (click image for larger photo)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rockin on Main Street - 1967

Back in 1967 when Main Street was still a vibrant business district, the Main St. Businessmen's Association sponsored a yearly "Battle of the Bands," as part of the North End Festival Days. The event attracted 13 of the local "garage bands" existing in the area. The first year the "stage" was the back of a flat bed trailer parked in front of Ruben's Discount Music Shop. The second year two stages were set up in what was then a vacant lot on the NE corner of Cleveland and Main, next to Rubens. Gerry Jaffe, of Jaffe Jewelers was the chairman of the event, assisted by Bob Goodman and Ed Riley. This writer (reader J.B) was asked to assist as the Contestant Coordinator because of my experience in the local music scene. Judges were John Pilato, music director of Lew-Port Central School, John McEwan, manager of Denton, Cottier & Daniels music store, and John Love of Rubens. The bands consisted primarily of young men between 14 and 20 years old. A large crowd of about 500 turned out for the Saturday June event and The Apaches from Niagara Falls came in first, with The Invaders, second, and The Loved Ones, third, both from Lewiston.

Here are photos from the event of 10 of the participating bands. It is interesting to note that 40 years later, a number of the musicians are back playing in retro-groups, and several have never left the music business. You may recognize many of the names in some of the groups as they are prominent citizens of our area.

Click any image for larger photo:

The London Fog - members unknown

The Missing Links - with Rick Elia on bass - rest unknown

The Knots - with Gerry Ketch on guitar and John Pasquantino (of the Youngstown Diner) on guitar - rest unknown

The Hocks - members unknown

The Cinders - members unknown

The Avengers - members unknown

December's Children - Frank & Tony Grizanti were key members

Benedict and the Traitors - members unknown

The Loved Ones, with Dick Lucinski on bass, Larry Elia on guitar, Wayne Dunn on guitar, Mike Franzek on drums and Yogi on vocals.

The Apaches, with Thom Rotella on guitar, Rich DelZoppo on guitar, Willie Favaro on bass and Pat Peri on drums

Perhaps some of the readers may be able to fill in some of the blanks! Recognize a name? Pass on the site's address to anyone you may recognize!