Monday, June 3, 2013

'Rock Around The Clock' ----- Lake County in the '60's

Many of my relatives 'of a certain age' revel in memories of the days of old.  This is especially true at family gatherings or when photos of our past appear on storyboards as we pay respect to those who recently passed in our lives.  My aunt and uncle, married in 1942 fondly recall the Dance Halls at Mentor-on-the-Lake and Painesville Township Park from their early years.  As for me, my cousins childhood memories recall the Rocking Lake County of the '60's.  It was the hey-day of hip-hugger bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts.  Nehru jackets, black leather jackets and long hair were not limited to Austin Powers either.  " A little dab will do ya" helped too.

Lake County had its dance clubs back then.  With a cover charge of merely a buck, it was the gathering place of hundreds of teenagers and not just on a Friday or Saturday night.  Greasers or 'racks' favored R&B and Motown.  Mods followed the British Invasion.  Here are some of the clubs that catered to the rock invasion some fifty years ago.  Do you remember?

Hires Lounge in Wickliffe was a 'greaser club," while Eastlake's Recreation Center - the Nike Site catered to the mod crowd.  Mentor had the Torchlight Club.  From 1962-68 Joey and the Continentals and the Twilighters played to waiting lines at Shibley's on Sundays.  Shibley's was the Sahara Lounge in Willoughby Hills and remained relevant into the '80's.

Hires, The Stables (Painesville) and the Hullabaloos (Mentor and Chesterland) were popular stops back then.  Culp's Surfside Inn (Eastlake) became Mr. Pete's.  Luccioni's ( Willoughby Hills), and the Orbit aka Utopia in Willoughby lasted into the '70's.  The Eastgate Coliseum held matinee Sunday dances and featured upcoming television / music personalities John Rinaldi and Leslie Gore.

As one remembers the local clubs where we danced the nights away, you have to include three others that my cousins frequented.  They were the Shangra-la, The Lantern, and Cappelli's.  I moved to Mentor in late 1971.  Clearly, the clubs and bands that played in them have not been forgotten.  As Bob Seger wrote 'Rock 'N Roll Never Forgets.'

Some information taken from author Deanna Adams Rock' n 'Roll book.

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