Tag Archives: Youngstown

Scam bands revisited

animals 1-18-70

In 2014, I spotted the ad above and wrote an entry about the absurdity of it all. It turns out to be a very cool story involving a shady Michigan company, members of ZZ Top and the preying on of innocent rock fans who had no access to the level of information we do today.

Buzzfeed published the whole saga of this bizarre episode in rock history yesterday.  Here’s an excerpt detailing what happened to the fake Animals just about two months after the Youngstown gig:

Backlash from the bands whose identities it had effectively stolen ballooned to the point where Delta could no longer keep up its charade. The beginning of the end came when a fake version of the Animals created by Delta were confronted at a performance by the founder of the actual Animals, Eric Burdon. According to an article in the May 28, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone by Ben Fong-Torres, Burdon had shown up to the show with a baseball bat. Tom Hocott remembers getting a phone call from one of the fake Animals recounting this same story. “Eric Burdon and a bunch of bikers chased them around and threatened them,” he says. Burdon was contacted for this story; his wife Marianna responded with an email saying, “I asked Eric if he has any recollections of the incident you mentioned, but he doesn’t really.”

For more on this amazing tale, read Daniel Ralston’s excellent article:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/danielralston/the-true-story-of-the-fake-zombies-the-strangest-con-in-rock?utm_term=.yx7M29vKx#.hsM8eVjwY

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Gil Mantera’s Party Dream

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Gil Mantera’s Party Dream are one of the last Youngstown acts to nearly make the big time. If you were around the Youngstown scene from the late 90s to mid 2000s, you understood why. There is no sense in trying to explain it here.

Let Ultimate Donny ( Richard Elmsworth) do it in a recent interview from the podcast Height Zone World.

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41 years, 9 months, 30 days

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On Friday it was announced that Kiss would be coming to the Covelli Centre for a show on Aug. 26. If the show goes off as planned, it will mark the first show for the band in Youngstown since Oct. 27, 1974. That will be 41 years, nine months and 30 days since the last show in the city. I don’t know who keeps such records in rock ‘n’ roll, but that has to be in the discussion some sort of record for time between two performances in one city.

Another New York band with just two original members completed a 35-year, one-month and 23-day gap on July 29, 2011 when the New York Dolls did an opening gig for Poison and Motley Crue at the Covelli Centre. The Dolls had previously played Youngstown on June 6, 1976.

The Kiss show will be held one day after Gene Simmons celebrates his 67th birthday. Since Kiss is coming off a show in Toledo on Aug. 24, it’s a high possibility that Gene will be celebrating his birthday in Youngstown or somewhere nearby.

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Rockabilly at Stambaugh

3-15-57 stambaughThere was a time in the late ’50s when country-fried rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll were pretty much in mutual agreement and a fine example of this is the show with headliners Sanford Clark, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and Sonny James on March 15, 1957 at the Stambaugh Auditorium.

The bill also included a young Eddie Cochran and Roy Orbison. At $2.50 for top tier tickets, it seems like the price was quite the bargain.

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Freak out or fake out?

animals 1-18-70

On January, 18, 1970, the club The New World of the Freak Out (currently the site of the Utopia night club) claimed to have booked a show featuring one of the bigger bands of the 1960s in The Animals.

Only problem is the band broke up in 1969. Eric Burdon was well into his tenure with War at that point and the rest of the band was onto other things. So who knows if this was imposters or maybe some fringe members carrying on the name.

It would be absolutely absurd to think that the band that played arenas in the mid-60s played a Youngstown night club for $1.50 a ticket in 1970.

Edit: A commenter pointed out that the show was a scam and that the actual Animals did not play there.

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State Theatre Hall of Music presents…

joe walsh 7-22-1973

So it turns out there was life in the State Theater before the Tomorrow Club took over. Dubbed the State Theatre Hall of Music, the venue booked guitar legend Joe Walsh and Barnstorm on July 22, 1973. It seems to be the first rock music booking there, but I have no idea who else was booked or how the venue fared under that name.

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Nyabinghi 1998-2006

Opened in 1998 by Greg Barratt, who had owned another bar by the same name in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Nyabinghi at 1229 Salt Springs Road served as a haven for heavier stoner rock and metal as well as many other sorts of music in its brief existence. Plenty of acts who were big names or on their way to becoming big names played there such as the White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Clutch and the Melvins. Hell, even former child actor Corey Feldman played their once with his terrible band. It was an eclectic place with a killer jukebox and beer selection that made a name for itself on the national music scene with the Emissions From The Monolith music festival.

In 2006, Barratt put it up for sale on eBay, but a a potential buyer with the means to meet the $150,000 bid for the building and equipment never emerged. Nyabinghi’s last night was on New Year’s Eve 2006. The building fell into foreclosure and later housed a bar called Pope’s Pub for a short time. A deliberately set fire in Jan. 2009 caused $5,000 damage to the stage area. Sometime in the last two years, the building was razed.

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Dead Boys, speaker salesmen

A 1977 performance by the Dead Boys at CBGBs is being used as the cornerstone of a new commercial spot for Sonos wireless speakers. It’s a short clip of “Sonic Reducer” taken from footage filmed for CBS’s 60 Minutes in the hey-day of punk. The show was later released on DVD as Live at CBGB’s 1977.

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Lou Reed (1942-2013)

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Lou Reed, the famous New York artist/musician/poet, died on Oct. 27 at the age of 71. To my knowledge, his only performance in Youngstown came on April 27, 1978 at the Tomorrow Club.  The show came in between the release of the studio album Street Hassle in February and the live recording Live: Take No Prisoners in May.

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New Wave of British Heavy Metal with chicks

girlsschool 4-18-82By the time 1982 rolled around the Agora was pretty much on its last legs as a major act venue in the city. Early MTV hit-makers and other up and coming rockers of the day didn’t really get many booking slots as promoters relied on regional talent to fill bills that used to be reserved for national acts in the preceding years.

Area heavy metal fans did get a treat though when Britain’s Girlschool showed up for a gig on April 18, 1982 at the Agora. While the Youngstown area did not attract such well-known New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts Iron Maiden or Motorhead, Girlschool was the genuine article and was well-respected in metal circles around the world. In 1982, the band was testing the waters in the states for the first time with the album Demolition which included tracks from the band’s first two UK albums.

WHAT THE SHOW SOUNDED LIKE: Here’s the band performing “Hit and Run” in 1982.

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