SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD HAVE PASSED THROUGH THESE DOORS.
The following artists who played the Talkhouse are in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame:
1.) The Coasters
2.) Bo Diddley
3.) Jerry Wexler---not a performer, but a patron
4.) The Drifters---2 original members
5.) The Rolling Stones----Ron Wood, Bobby Keys and Marianne Faithful. Mick and Keith have been in the audience.
6.) The Kinks---Dave davies.
7.) The Platters
8.) The Who---John Entwhistle.
9.) Paul Simon
10.) Paul McCartney
11.) The Byrds---Roger McGuinn.
12.) John Lee Hooker.
13.) Bobby "Blue" Bland.
14.) Van Morrison
15.) The Animals---EricBurdon.
16.) The Band---Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, and Rick Danko. Robbie Robertson has been in the audience.
17.) The Allman Brothers Band. Dickey Betts, Alan Woody, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. Greg Allman has been in the audience.
18.) Jefferson Airplane. Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner and Jack Casady.
19.) The Shirelles. One original member.
20.) The Velvet Underground. John Cale.
21.) Crosby, Stills & Nash---David Crosby.
22.) Buffalo Springfield. Jim Messina.
23.) The Mamas and The Papas. John Phillips.
24.) Allen Toussaint.
25.) Billy Joel
26.) Lovin' Spoonful. John Sebastian.
27.) Johnnie Johnson.
28.) The Talking Heads. Jerry Harrison, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth.
29.) The Police. Sting and Andy Summers.
30.) Traffic. Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi.
31.) Jann S. Wenner---not a performer, but in attendance.
32.) Buddy Guy.
33.) Percy Sledge
34.) Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Grandmaster Flash.
35.) Patti Smith.
36.) The Ventures.
37.) Jimmy Cliff
38.) Dr. John
39.) Leon Russell
40.) The Ronettes. Ronnie Spector.
41.) Laura Nyro
43.) Lynyrd Skynard. Artemus Pyle.
44.) The Supremes. Mary Wilson
45.) Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead.)Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay (Grateful Dead)
46.) Chad Smith/ Red Hot Chili Peppers
HOW IT BEGAN.
In the early summer of l987 The Stephen Talkhouse had been closed because the current owners were in litigation with each other. Since it opened as a nightspot in l970 The Talkhouse always exemplified a hip, wild, but unpretentious place. I had always loved the Talkhouse. It was the best place to drink and the best place to meet women, especially if you weren’t looking for someone who was born on third base but thought they hit a triple (not my line).
I had just given up on making it as a novelist, a quest I had pursued for about 7 years and l,700 pages. I hated the job I had. One night when I was feeling especially low the writer Clifford Irving asked me if there was ever anything else I wanted to do. I mentioned owning a bar and he suggested buying The Talkhouse. In that moment I decided to do it. It took about five days to raise the money from the original investors. They were Jerome Schneir, my father-in-law at the time, Adrienne Schwartz, my aunt-in-law at the time, her friend Robert Pinto and my new wife Marcie Schneir and I. We opened in about two weeks on or about August l, l987.
The first and smartest thing I ever did in business was to drive up to the Sea Wolf where Larry Wagner was working the door. He had done the same in my years going to the Talkhouse. He was the most consistently personable bartender I had ever met and there was no one I was more hopeful would come on board. He did, teaming up with Michael Gochenour, aka Frampton, who possessed ample amounts of southern charm and humor as well as good looks. Phillip Vega, the unflappable, ever-friendly and ever-oblivious Puerto Rican was one of my next important free agency acquisitions. I got him from the Sea Wolf, the other great bar of that era that was run by the ever distracted, but always good humored, Wolf Reiter. It was from Wolf that I briefly snagged Kevin Finnigan who had worked at the Talkhouse since the 1970s.
In the ever-changing world of the too-often snobbish Hamptons nightlife we were to become a welcome institution.
The first musicians to grace the Talkhouse were Cliff Schwartz (aka Klyph Black) and Eddie MacNeil (aka Eddie Mac), with Klyph on guitar and Eddie blowing the harp. They played together one night in September of l987. Their band, Rumor Has It, was to follow sometime that fall and that band was to become a fixture, the ultimate house band, for the next ten years. It featured Jeff (aka Pepto) Silverman on drums, Peter Michne (aka Bosco) on guitar, and John Baker on bass.
Shortly after Klyph and Eddie started playing weekly two friends of mine, George-Anne Roberts and Ali Cole put me in touch with the bluesman John Hammond. John had lived out in East Hampton for years. I had met him at Georgie’s earlier that year and he agreed to play that October for $750. We charged $10 and the place was mobbed. John became a fixture at the Talkhouse in the early years. With his show the concept of bringing national talent to the tiny Talkhouse was born.
Other acts that fall included bluesman Mose Allison, folk singer Eliza Gilkyson, folk trio Uncle Bonsai (with the classic “Boys Like Sex In The Morning”), and many others coming to play. Late night bands followed the national acts on weekends. Taj Mahal played on a Wenesday night in January, our first $20 ticket and it seemed like everyone in town was there. The crowd was totally silent and mesmerized. Taj played three more times that year and was one of the most beloved and best attended performances of the early years. In August the proceeds of one of those shows went to The Retreat, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence. That was the first of a long line of charity benefits we've held over the years. We're honored to be in a position to help people who need help in our community.
In early February I wrote a letter to Billy Joel, inviting him and then wife Christy Brinkley to come to a show and saying how we’d love it if he’d come in and play. My friends thought that was silly. Billy & Christy showed up at a Loudon Wainwright III show in early February of l988. Richie Havens played his first show in February, the only time he would ever perform with a band.
This was back before the Stephen Talkhouse expanded. We had a stage that was about six feet deep by eight feet long at the time. The soundboard was a six channel board that Klyph operated from the side of the stage, squeezed in by the patrons around him. But, remarkably in retrospect, it worked. People were able to see great talent, close up, and if the prices were steeper than in New York City you were still seeing them in a venue no bigger than someone's living room. And you didn’t have to drive to NYC and pay parking. Perhaps most importantly, you could go into a show and know a significant number of people in the audience. You were watching a great show with your friends. I believe that’s one reason the audience vibe (and hence the artist’s response) is as good as it is here.
There were some memorable nights that first year. They included:
(1) Jesse Colin Young April show. Three middle-aged intoxicated local women arrived early for the show. They sat at a reserved table and refused to leave. It took awhile but we finally got the two bombed women out the door. The third woman begged to be allowed to stay. She professed she had a crush on Jesse for over 20 years and just had to see him. I warned her she had to keep quiet and sit at the bar. Finally, the show began. I retreated to the back deck only to hear Jesse sing about three words before stopping and saying “Peter, this just isn’t going to work.” Panicked I raced in to see the lady kneeling at his side and clutching his leg. Loud enough for everyone to hear she pleaded “But I blew you at Woodstock” as I pulled her off him. Jesse leaned into the microphone and reminded us all “It wasn’t me miss. I wasn’t at Woodstock.” We got her up and out through the back deck, then escorted her down the driveway that used to run up the east side of the Talkhouse (where the stage and bathrooms are now). She stumbled away into the night. As I walked back up the alley I could hear Jesse start playing. At that point the latch on the window directly behind the stage snapped, the window crashed down, the wind blew into the club on Jesse’s back and, he again stopped playing. I went over lifted the window up, then realized I had to stay there and hold it up as the latch had snapped off. If I let it go the show would stop again and there was nothing to prop the window up. So there I was, holding up the window on a cold night, in full view of the audience inside, as Jesse finally started playing again. Guess who came back down the street and started screaming at me and punching me, claiming I had stolen her earring? Then the audience started laughing, then Jesse stopped playing. All ended well when we finally got rid of the bozette, propped up the window with a stick and the show went on.
2.) Little Charlie & The Nightcats and Albert Collins. Albert Collins first played the Talkhouse on the first Saturday in June of l988 with his band The Icebreakers. The ticket price was $35 (a new high) and both Jann Wenner and Jimmy Buffett were in the crowd. The Collins show was a big hit and Albert, like so many acts that would follow, fell in love with the place, its vibe and the staff. Hearing that the then unknown Little Charlie and the Nightcats were playing the next night for $5 The Master of the Telecaster promised to come on down and jam for FREE, making one of innumerable great gestures the artists playing here have made to their fans over the years. Albert came down and the place was packed. Little Charlie has been playing here (for $45 now) since, but if it wasn’t for Albert he never would’ve established the fan base he has as quickly. By the way, like Buddy Guy the April before, Albert went out and played on the sidewalk. He would be a Talkhouse fixture for several years.
Trivia Question: What blues artist played in the middle of 27, then hitched a ride and got in a car that drove him past Windmill Lane?
3.) Roy Buchanan played the Talkhouse only once, on a Sunday night in late June of l987. It was a $20 ticket and the man who turned down the Rolling Stones (after they approached him to play in the band after the death of Brian Jones) was trying to get his alcohol-related derailed career on track with a new album on Alligator.
In those days of the early shows I made a practice of greeting every artist, asking if everything was ok, and assuring them I was the biggest fan of their music in the world, regardless of whether I knew their music or not. That role has since been absorbed by other sycophants or staff who just plain care. Anyway, I bounded up the stairs after softball at Maidstone, ready to tell Roy just how much I really loved him and froze the moment I met his cold black eyes starring at me. This was not a man who wanted to chat.
I paid him, said nothing and went downstairs. There were probably 50 paying customers and 20 comps that night with more drifting in as one of THE best shows that ever occurred here unfolded. A drummer, a bass player who looked like he was 12 and acted like he was 30 and Roy just wailing away. He did a Hendrix classic I can’t remember (Foxy Lady or Purple Haze) and Clapton’s Crossroads and went upstairs. The place went wild. In those days I didn’t know to check with the band to SEE if they had a cutoff to their encores so I let the crowd go 5 minutes or more. Then I ran around the club and upstairs and faced those same black eyes, this time bisected by a joint held between them. “Ummm, is there any chance you could play one more song?,” I asked like I was trying to get a kiss after my first date (actually even worse).
“I would. But I make it a point never to play after I smoke,” he said with unexpected softness.
“I mean, I’m willing to pay, I, er….”
Before Roy could answer the adolescent bass player piped in. “How much?
“Five hundred dollars,” I said. Now understand, I couldn’t look into those eyes and say less. But that was $500 to a band playing for $2,000.
“Roy, we gotta take it,” the bass player insisted, stepping forward.
Well let me tell you, if I thought I had seen a withering stare earlier that day I knew nothing. Buchanan glared at the kid till he stepped back and slowly and methodically ground out the joint.
“You still don’t know anything about the blues,” he said dryly. “If a man in a joint this small in a room that empty paying you this much already asks you for one more song you do it for free.” He got up and went downstairs, band in tow, and played 45 minutes more. He didn’t take a dime.
I thanked him when he left, he nodded, and two weeks later he was arrested for public intoxication somewhere in Virginia (Norfolk, I believe). He committed suicide in jail by hanging himself by his belt. I never saw eyes like that and that gesture, as much as any other made by the performers here, is with me today.
4.) Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys. I am guessing as I am on all these dates but I believe it was July l4th, l988 and I believe it was a Thursday that the band of bands, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys first played the Talkhouse. As much as I am ignorant of music and music genres I can say there was one in 20 people who came in the bar then who knew what zydeco was. And most of those that did know knew it from seeing their cameo appearance in movie The Big Easy. After Terrance & the boys came to play that night, lots of Amagansett did.
With tiny Earl on washboards and Terrance on accordion both in and out of the Club. I can still remember Ence Baxter and Linda dancing in the streets with Michael Cain. Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels and others were there. In the 50 odd appearances that Terrance & The Mallet Playboys have played here and in Florida since there is no performer I consider as good a person or a better friend.
5.) Lots of vignettes fill the visual mental landscape of that first year…a bombed Buddy Guy stumbling past Mick Jagger waiting to greet him at the front door, then hearing that he was there and playing Satisfaction after he had already left. My deaf partner leading the blind Doc Watson to the stage. Richie Havens playing with a band on a cold February night in 1988---Richie would return for the next 22 years, but always played solo.
Loudon Wainwright III playing to an ever so silent audience his tribute to John Lennon called “Not John” on a frigid February night. Drinking champagne with Donovan at 3 am (his show had ended at l0PM) on an August night while his stepson played “Wild Horses” then learning his stepson’s natural father had been Brian Jones of the Stones. The moment when Roger McGuinn first blasted out "Hey Mr. Tamborine Man" on a Sunday night in July.
Those first few years saw a lot of blues performers including Albert Collins, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Dr. John, John Hammond, Johnny "Clyde" Copeland, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Dr. John, The Nighthawks, Jimmy Dawkins, John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, Charlie Musselwhite, Mose Allison, Lonnie Mack, Lonnie Brooks, and Jimmy Rodgers. Mayall first came with two smoking guitarists, Walter Trout and Coco Montoya, both of whom would have their own runs here with their own bands in later years. Coco and Walter both took turns playing their guitars for a gorgeous young woman who ran icecubes up and down her legs as they played.
There was also a decent dose of some of the great bands of the early sixties, albeit without some key orginal members, but The Drifters, Brewer & Shipley singing "One Toke Over the Line", The Coasters, The Shirelles, The Crickets played, as did Tony Williams & The Platters. The locals bands were Rumor Has It, our ultimate house band with Klyph, Eddie and Peter Michne aka Bosco, an amazing guitar player who has graced the Talkhouse stage more than anyone but the porter, and John Baker. There was Jim Turner, The Frank Brothers, Steppin' Out, Damaged Goods, Sons of Jubal, The Lost Soul Band, The King Charles Band, Little Mike & The Tornadoes, Lucky Seven, Danny Draher and many, many more.
But it wasn't just blues---there was Leon Redbone, Country Joe McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Christine Lavin, The Paladins, Levon Helm, Billy Preston, Aztec Two-Step (still playing here almost every year), Elliott Murphy, Ronnie Gilbert, Tom Russell (never could figure out why he never made it big), Nicolette Larson ("Ya Gotta Have a Lotta Love"), Texas Rocker Joe Ely, Stefan Grossman & John Renbourn, Steve Forbert (a fixture till this day), Rory Block, and Holly Near. I remember Holly as she finished up her July '88 show. Holly is a lesbian and the show was attended almost exclusively by women. As I exited the show I remember two young guys staring through the front door. "Let's go in. It's all chicks---even you can get laid here," one remarked to the other.
It’s easier to focus on those nights over time than the day to day reaction with the patrons who became friends here, but it’s hard to make that meaningful if not interesting to everyone else.
1987-1992 THE EARLY YEARS
There are the performers and there are you, our audience, but the other essential ingredient in the Talkhouse soup is the staff.
We look on the Talkhouse as a kind of church, a sanctuary, where people can go when they feel fragile and ever so alone, or to commiserate, or to rejoice. The continuum of the people who serve you here, for however many episodes it lasts, is part of the magic at the Talkhouse. There have been so many people who worked here over the years. We're proud that no one ever quit. People moved on with their lives after the season's end, but no one ever walked out on their fellow pirates while on a summer mission. I get off seeing people happy and knowing I had something to do with it.
The early priests and priestesses included Marcie Honerkamp who joined long time Talkhouse fixtures Kevin Finnigan, Michael Farrell, Michael Gochenour, and Larry Wagner as the bartenders. Those four had all worked at the Talkhouse for years. The waitresses were Robyn Kuntz, Debbie Kennedy & Debbie Reuterschan. Susan Bochroch followed soonafter. Philip Vega came on board to work in the kitchen with our first chef, "Boom Boom" George Bengston a few months after we opened in July of l987 and would become a bartending fixture shortly thereafter. Paulino Collado, who is as hard a worker as anyone I've ever known, came on as the guy who cleaned up the destruction of the night before. James Pellow came on board around l990 and has looked up to Phillip ever since. Dionne Moore was in there as well and she has looked up to James ever since. Finally, Klyph Schwartz became the soundman, operating that six channel board from the side of the stage.
Who were the early performers who defined the Talkhouse (and in many cases still do)?
Among the many great "regular performers of those early years are many who are now deceased. Dave Van Ronk was one of the early visitors. When Talkhouse staple Tommy LaGrassa asked him how he felt about his first Talkhouse gig, Dave replied, "If I knew 30 years ago when I started playing I'd wind up singing in a bar like this in Amagansett----I'd do it all over again." Dave passed in 2002.
Dave with his signature "blackest voice in a white man's body" loved playing here.
As did Rick Danko of the band who played there solo or in a duo straight through the 90s. He also joined with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson as The Band, reuniting three of the five original members of that great group (watched Levon playing here with a local band a few years back, playing as hard and true as ever, recovering from a severe illness, and thought it was as beautiful a sight as I've ever seen). Rick was the most consistently affable performer imaginable. He always had time to talk to anyone who engaged him. He could listen to people ramble on about anything and never made a fan feel that whatever he was saying wasn't the most worthwhile bit of news in the world. He would get up there on stage, get the crowd singing "Take the load off Fanny" and just smile. One signature night when the power went Rick played on acoustically by candlelight as Glen Tilbrook and Martin Sexton would years later. Rick died in 1999.
Toy Caldwell, whose picture still adorns the wall behind the main bar, was as good a friend of the bar as anyone from l988 till his death is February of l993 at the age of 45. Toy had been a guitarist with the Marshall Tucker Band before taking a three year break and then hitting the road with his own band. The first time he walked upstairs (before we built the addition you got upstairs by walking down the driveway and climbing stairs on the side of the building) I came out of the office to pay him---always pay the bands first so money never hangs over anything. Toy pushed me down on the couch and said, "Pay me later---let's have a drink." He was a big, burly, affable, unaffected guy who played forever. We charged $15 to see him and I remember one night when a guy sat down next to me at the bar and complained about the $15 cover. I did not let on that I worked here. After a few minutes the guy turned to me again and said. "Hell it's worth $15, that guy sounds just like Toy Caldwell." He went on how much of a fan he was till I let him know it WAS Toy Caldwell. Anyway, people always ask what were your favorite nights, but most of them just blur together. But in my pantheon was my birthday, either l990 or l99l, when I got to sing "Can't You See" with Toy on stage. Toy passed in 1993.
Jorma Kaukonen's first performance (lasting four hours) was also the occasion of my being hit for the first and not last time. He was playing solo acoustic and it was March of l989. It was one of my first encounters which has to be one of the most frustrating parts of hosting acoustic shows: telling customers to please stop talking. I'm still regularly astounded at how oblivious people can be to their own behavior. It amazes how two people can stand at the bar and babble on in a loud conversation surrounded by people who are obviously there to see the performer. Anyway, on this particular night I got one particularly loud buffoon out who had crudely propositioned a woman. Michael Cain had recently come on as our new doorman
Sidebar: Michael arrived for his job interview at Estia wearing a long black coat and a tie. He began the interview by assuring me he would never drink on the job. I told him I couldn't hire him. He asked why. "You wouldn't fit in," I replied. "I can drink on the job," he assured me. And he was right.
Anyway, Michael followed me and the bozo outside. He refused to leave. I told him we would have to call the police. "Don't mean dick to me, I've been arrested twenty times." I turned to Michael and said "We got a winner here". By the time I turned back the fist was in my face---I just got my chin up or I might've had a broken jaw. I had the pleasure of making a citizen's arrest in McKendry's when we tracked him down later.
1989 we added a steady dose of zydeco with Buckwheat Zydeco, Queen Ida & Her Bon Temps Band, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band as well as a band out of NYC called Loup Garou that would be a fixture at the Talkhouse for the next decade.
But more than any genre blues defined the early years of the Talkhouse: Saffire The Uppity Blues Women, Koko Taylor (doing The Wang Dang Doodle All Night Long), Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (who died after seeing Katrina devastate New Orleans), Joe Louis Walker and the Boss Talkers, and Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Elvin Bishop was a fixture in the early years and his blues band typified the best in Talkhouse music.
Random oddities: The night Janis Ian's band showed up sans Janis for soundcheck. She missed her flight---and the gig, though she made it up two weeks later and signed her press photo---"With Apologies". Rory Block was the other act to cancel after she cut her finger. In Florida, Etta James' bus pulled up in front of the club, then pulled away (reason unknown).
The Laura Nyro Door: In the olden days the Talkhouse stage was where the dance floor in front of the current stage is. It was a small wooden stage about six feet in depth. There was a driveway where the current stage and bathrooms are. The artist used to come down a stairway onto the driveway and enter the club through the front door. Well, after I booked Laura I was told she had to have direct access to the stage. She would not walk through the audience to get to the stage. David Bromberg told me she showed up at a gig he was co-billing with her and, when she was told there was no direct access to the stage, had to be carried through the crowd in a refrigerator box by four guys. I decided Phil might drop her so we created a doorway so they could enter from the driveway.
Tiny Tim. A regular at the time, John Andrade, persuaded me to unearth Tiny Tim, whose wedding to Miss Vicky on the Johnny Carson show was the most watched nuptial at the time. Tiny was every bit as quirky as his TV persona. Who you saw was who he was. He arrived in his red and white striped jacket. He had voluminous locks, bright wide eyes, and said, "What a pleasure to meet you Mr. Peter." He was, sadly, a bit dishevelled and after his brief show, which included George M. Cohen tunes and Tiptoe Through The Tulips, he sat upstairs counting his pay. A car arrived. The current "Miss Vicky" strode in and took all his money, except for trainfare back to the city. When she drove off he looked at me sadly, then smiled. He was as childlike an adult as I've ever known, exclusive of some of the people who work here.
John Lee Hooker played, I think, in the fall of 1988. Most of the major national acts till then cost $15 to $20 bucks, but to get this blues icon it was $3,500, hence a $35 ticket. It was also a fall show so the NYC crowd would not be there. But it was the iconic John Lee Hooker and too heady an opportunity to pass up. A few years later his minimum price would skyrocket to $20K and above, but there are these windows where we can get someone great between the gaps in their career. And their agents know if they put them here they are in good hands. There will actually be the right equipment, the right number of loaders, and exactly what hospitality they asked for in the dressing room. And they were always paid before they went on. It went, and has gone, a long way towards why we are what we are. They get treated like the staff and the customers---in on the game of a good time. Anyway John Lee Hooker came and signed his picture "To Petr' back in the days when no one photographed shows and we relied on press photos for the walls. It's been stolen since then, but this was a man from the era where blacks didn't attend schools and I treasured that botched spelling for all it reminded me of of a racist time gone by when black kids didn't attend school.
The show was in the fall, the off-season. In those pre-Internet days people had to call in to buy tickets. We had an answering machine and the bartenders tooks orders as well. Our new employee, the indomitable Phil Vega, had recently come on board. I came in one morning and heard him on the machine telling a woman who wanted to buy eight tickets that the show was sold out. He had confused Hooker's show with one by John Hammond. I then explained in great detail how to take orders so this screw-up would not be replicated.
Later that day I called Phil at the bar with a disguised French accent, introducing myself as Pierre Minot, demanding a free table for an upcoming John Hammond show. Phil politely informed me none were available. I insisted on getting the best table, pointing out to Philip that he obviously had no idea how important I was. He was firm, informing me the Talkhouse treated everyone the same and there were no tables. "Listen you stupid spic,' I cut in. "Fuck you Frenchie," he replied and hung up.
A few hours later I came into the bar, ordered a drink and put my head in my hands. When Phil asked what was wrong I told him I was broke and couldn't pay the mortgage. The only chance I had was if this French banker named Pierre bailed me out. I told Phil if he called and asked for anything just to say yes. I then asked Phil if he had had any such call. He told me there had been no calls. "Fuck you Frenchie," I replied.
Dave Mason started gigging her in those early years and remains one of the mainstays to this date (2010 was the first year we couldn't secure a date). He started out playing solo, then played with Jim Krueger (till he died in 1993), who penned the classic "We Just Disagree" that Dave made famous in the late 70s. He also played with Jim Capaldi, the drummer from Traffic, on a few occassions and now performs with The Dave Mason Band. It remains one of the best shows I've ever seen.
Taj Mahal was back, sometimes solo, sometimes with his rocking band The Coppertones and fishing off Montauk with John Andrade, one time barely making the show because the fog rolled in. Benazir Bhutto stopped in to see Taj play when she was in exile after her first stint as the leader of Pakistan (she would later serve again before being assassinated by Islamic terrorists in 2007 when she again returned from exile). She ordered skim milk. By the time I returned from Brent's she was fast asleep during the show.
There was music out here before the Talkhouse. A guy named Preston Powell brought it to a place called Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Many of the acts that would become Talkhouse fixtures---Tito Puente, Buster Poindexter, and Toots & The Maytals to name a few---headlined there. But when Talkhouse started doing live bands lots of places did (some preceeded us), like The Beach Plum, Burke's Roadhouse, Cataline Cafe, Newtown Cafe, J.W. Ryerson's, and Mimosa Beach. Oceans (later Pacific East), The Hanson House in Southampton, and The Ball Park (the old Spring Close) came on the scene around 1989. The East Star called it "A veritable invasion of bands." But it was the Talkhouse that consistently brought in national acts, and ones that played a wide spectrum of music. The Star noted" In keeping with an already established trend, Stephen Talkhouse claims the biggest names in this week's musical lineup."
The key to putting on so many shows was in varying the genre. You could walk in and see a bunch of middle-aged people watching Richie Havens, then the next night it would be a male-dominated crowd watching Buddy Guy and the next night a lesbian crowd cheering on Holly Near.
1989, our second full season, brought The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Doc Watson, Delbert McClinton, Stanley Jordan (playing two guitars at the same time), NRBQ, Taj Mahal & The Coppertones, Tiny Tim, Janis Ian, bluesman Kenny Neal, Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker of Mr. Bojangles fame, Karla Bonoff, Robert Gordon, Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater in his trademark headdress, Kinky Friedman, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, James Cotton,Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, Toy Caldwell, and Maria Muldaur. When Maria's back-up band couldn't make it she called up Dr. John who I picked up at the Amagansett train station in time for the show. Paul Simon came in to see Renbourn and Grossman, the first of a number of shows he saw in the early days. Lucinda Williams first played then---for only $20---to a half-filled room. David Bromberg played forever and warned the audience to keep attending shows because there just were no clubs like the Talkhouse left anymore. I heard of one called Sweetwater in Mill Valley but that club did finally close. There are other small clubs, but none as small as us that offers up these acts. To a one performers tell us we're the smallest room they play.
Bay Street featured The Wailers, Yellowman, Otis Day & The Knights of Animal House fame, and Robyn Hitchcock---all who would later play here. Gene Casey and The Lone Sharks first graced the stage and Loup Garou---along with Rumor Has It, Steppin Out and Lucky Seven were late night fixtures.
We did our first benefit for The Retreat, a local organization that aids victims of domestic violence. It was just getting started back then and we gave proceeds from a Taj Mahal show to them. Billy and Christie stopped in. She urged Billy to join Taj on stage (he had once opened for Taj in his early days). Billy was reluctant to upstage him but Taj invited him up and they played together, the first of many spontaneous performances by major artists.
The summer of 1990 brought Dave Mason. Rick Murphy review in the Star praised his show and he added: "Smaller than most local pubs, it has consistently provided top-name acts to a region ready for quality entertainment. Booking a performer of this caliber represents nothing less than a coup." Laura Nyro made her first appearance. The Mama and the Papas came, featuring only John Phillips as an original member. His daughter McKenzie played as did Spanky McFarlane (famous for "Sunday Will Never be The Same") and Scott McKenzie ("If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair"). Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels sang "Devil in the Blue Dress". Leon Russell came to town. He had a giant bus and he needed one night of housing on Memorial Day weekend when there was a three night minimum. I put him up in my friend Carol Wesnofske's house which I rented for one night. When he saw the size of the venue Leon remarked to one of his loaders---"The guy that booked us must be a drug dealer." In those early days lots of the local bands crashed on my living room floor and performers like Taj and Loudon Wainwright stayed at my house. One local band, thinking a small tree on the counter was pot, sliced it up and smoked it. I didn't book them again.
Laura Nyro, Kingfish, the Holmes Brothers, Shawn Phillips, Richie Havens, Robben Ford, Kenny Rankin, Lucinda Williams, NRBQ, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Tinsley Ellis, The Nighthawks, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Dan Hicks, John Hammond, Karla Bonoff.
The Frank Brothers and Terry Winchell joined the growing list of local talent playing the joint. Sean Rafferty had a band called The Flood and while they were playing one night Mick Jones of Foreigner joined them on stage along with the band's new lead singer.
Richard Thompson, who played in Fairport Convention before embarking on his own, came to town. His shows were mesmering. Rolling tone listed him #19 on its' Best 100 Guitar Players of all time.
Buddy Guy, Kim Wilson & The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wayne Toups, Aztec Two-Step, Canned Heat, David Bromberg, Terrance Simien, Roger McGuinn, Jonathan Edwards, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, The Rebirth Brass Band, Zachary Richard, Phoebe Legere and The Lingerie Killers, Chubby Carter & The Bayou Swamp Band, The Spin Doctors, Larry Carlton, Loudon Wainwright III---as The Star noted: "Stephen Talkhouse is steaming along, hardly stopping for a breath."
Local bands included Kylph Black and The Zen Tricksters, Border Patrol, Moving Target, and Anne Morgan.
Albert King came to the Talkhouse on a Monday night in August. I desperately wanted to be there as Albert had a reputation for being ornery but I was sick and could not. Turned out he was as pleasant as could be. Albert was notoriously hard on soundmen and Klyph Black was not looking forward to dealing with him. Luckily for Klyph, Albert's grandkids showed up and the big man turned as soft as could be when he saw them.
Labor Day Sunday Van Morrison showed up after playing Jones Beach. He was ornery, but he finally got on stage with Georgie Fame and Billy Joel for one song.
It was also the year that Elwood & Etties, Michael Gochenour's smoked ribs place opened in the back. They were the best ribs on Long Island before Michael took his business to Delray Beach where his restaurant helped transform the city.
In 1991 most of the acts were in the $20-$25 range. Our reputation continued to grow and more and more acts wanted to play the room. We strived to give the artist what he or she wanted. Most importantly we had, and continue to have, great sound engineers. Klyph Black, Drew Holhauser, and now Mike Mazzarocco and Kevin Santacroce work extremely hard to make the artist comfortable. Their accommodating personalities immediately set a visiting artist at ease. Countless musicians have told me when they look at their tour and see they are playing here they know they can relax about that show. In addition, we increasingly found people were willing to pay a high price for acts they wanted to see in an intimate setting close to home. The Talkhouse prices weren't that bad if you didn't have to drive to NYC, pay for gas and a hotel in order to see an act. You also got to see it in a tiny space and in many instances people knew others in the audience.
Local bands included The Chiefs, featuring Jimmy Lawler on drums, Glen Mack, Chain of Fools, Sound Avenue, Hurricane, Phoebe Legere and the Lingerie Killers, the John Hanford Blues Band, the Robert Ross Blues Band, and World Beat----along with Rumor Has It.
National acts included soul Singer Otis Clay and The Chicago Fire, Steve Forbert, C.J. Chenier, Dan Hicks, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bop Harvey, John Hartford, a Louisiana blues guitar phenom by the name of John Campbell who would be with us only a few years, the John Monney Blues Band, Eric Anderson, Boiled In Lead, File', Jorma Kaukonen---the national act with the most appearances on our stage, David Bromberg, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Wet Willie, Eric Lowen & Dan Navarro, William Clarke, Elvin Bishop, Johnny "Clyde" Copeland, Loudon Wainwright III, Marshal Crenshaw, Rory Block, Johnny Johnson, Spencer "Gimme Some Lovin'" Davis, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Taj Mahal, Paul Kantner, Boozoo Chavis & The Magic Sounds, Leo Kotke, The Persuasions, Marcia Ball, Marty Balin---along with Jorma, and Paul Kantner, Tom Rush, The Kinsey Report, Chris Cain, G.E. Smith & The Saturday Night Live Band, and Son Seals.
Eric Burdon & Brian Auger of Trinity played with The Animals on Memorial Day, Dave Moruos on bass. Eric would become a ficture over the next decade and give us some of the best shows we've had. Buddy Guy, of whom Eric Clapton once opined "by far, and without a doubt, the best guitar player alive." We started having more international acts including Kanda Bongo Man from Zaire and Les Tetes Brules from Cameroon, a bunch of guy wearing day-glo paint and backpacks (to symbolize a peasant carrying all his belongings on his back) who played a kind of African punk music as they kicked soccer balls around the stage.
In January I came into the bar on the Sunday night before Martin Luther King's birthday. The Giants had just beaten the 49ers and I went up too the artist performing that night who had never met me---Luther Guitar Johnson. I was so happy I just kissed him. The Giants won. He just nodded and said "I'm from Chicago."
In August Hurricane Bob wrecked the East End and put a big hurting on the rest of the season. That Monday morning power was out on the east End. Tracey Nelson. who ironically fronted Mother Earth, arrived to play. She walked in and said "Well I guess we're cancelled." But Tim Myers hooked up two generators and we were the only lights on as her show went on. She fittingly opened with "Stormy Monday."
1992 featured Savoy Brown, Merl Saunders who played with Jerry Garcia, Jazz drimmer Tony Williams, Steve Morse of the Dixie Dregs, Butch Hancock of future Flatlanders fame, Taj Mahal, Leslie West of Mountain, Marcia Ball, Toy Caldwell, The Dave Mason Band, Willie Nile, Rick Danko , Rick Derringer---formerly of the "Hang on Sloopy" McCoys, Terry Garland, Aimee Mann of Til' Tuesday, Otis Clay & Ann Pebbles, Jonathan Edwards, Jorma Kaukonen, Donovan, Dave Van Ronk, Saffire The Uppity Blues Women, Junior Walker & The Allstars blaring out Shotgun, Les Tetes Bruelles, File, Mitch Wood & The Rocket 88s, The Pousette Dart Band, Roomful of Blues, Richard Thompson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Thomas Mapfumo of Zimbabwe, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Irish lass Maura O'Connell, Ian Matthew, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, John Wesley Harding, John Hammond, Elliot Murphy, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, Tinsley Ellis, John Wesley Harding, G.E. Smith and the High Plains Drifters, and Buzzy Linhart among others.
"Local" bands included The Hotheads, Chain of Fools, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, Anne Morgan & Moving Target, John Hanford & The Napeague Choirboys, Tony Alexander & One World, Round Trip with Bosco & Anne Morgan,The Memphis Soul Revue, The Blue Suits featuring Jay Weiss frequently accompanied by Kathleen Turner, and The Glen Mack Band.
We continued doing benefits, hosting the Haitian Band Boukman Eksperyans, an 11 piece group. Proceeds went to help Haitian refugees.
Jimmy Buffett made his first of many appearances when he joined the all female band Evangeline. He sang along on their songs and played Margaritaville. As Hurricane Andrew bored down on our Miami club Paul McCartney & his wife Linda came to see G.E. Smith & The High Plains Drifters perform. Paul got on stage and sang "Blue Suede Shoes."
The Highwayman played at the ranch with Paul Simon. The Highwaymen consisted of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. They played on a August Monday. Kristofferson sang a song critical of our invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. He sang solo as the other group members looked on. Colin Powell was in the audience when Kristofferson sang "Slouching Towards the Millenium." Waylon Jennings and Cash countered with patriotic songs and Jennings blasted Kris after the show. Kristofferson was slated to play the Talkhouse on Tuesday, but the confrontation had somewhat unnerved him. As he took the stage that night Paul Simon and Bobby Neuwirth joined him. It was an incredible night as Paul sang "Homeward Bound."
There were three relative unknowns who, when I first heard them perform, stopped me in my tracks. Nancy Atlas, Nil Lara, and a woman by the name of Joan Osborne who played the Talkhouse in the spring of 1993. it was a tough night cause a couple of drunks from a bachelor party endeavored to force their way into the club after they were initially refused entry. I wound up with the bachelor's hands around my throat at the front door, four of his pals pushing him from behind while four of my friends stood behiind. When I called back to the bar to call the cops the group, all cops, turned and ran.
One World, Napeague Choirboys, Frank Carillo, Loup Garou, Spear Mor, Brian LeClerc, Doug Kinney, Fire Tribe, Felicia & The Hotheads, The Memphis Soul Revue, Larry Woods, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The Reputations, Harsh Reality, Suzanne Felinni, The Roadside Banditos, Forget The Name---a Miami Talkhouse regular, Funk Philharmonic, The Jenni Muldaur (Maria's daughter) Band, From Good Homes, Big Blue Squid, Venus for Breakfast, Jim Turner, Rumor Has It, among others.
Rick Danko, Tizzy Brandizzy, Rhett Tyler & Early Warning, Jorma Kaukonen, Boozoo Chavis, Marty Balin, Loudon Wainwright III, Tumbling Dice---featuring former Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor, Stones' saxophonist Bobby Keys, and Ivan Neville, Zachary Richard, Kenny Rankin, Little Charlie & The Nightcats,David Lindley & Hani Nasser, Steve Forbert, Terrance Simien & The Malet Playboys, The Carey Bell Band, Warren Haynes and Allan Woody---both of the Allman Brothers, Eric Burdon & Brian Auger and The Animals, Pat Denuzio of The Smithereens, Richie Havens, Michelle Stone and Band de Soleil, Marcia Ball, Grovealaya, John Stewart of The Kingston Trio, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Suits, G.E. Smith & The High Plains Drifters, Anton Fig of The David Letterman Band, John Fahey, Laura Nyro, Stanley Jordan, Michelle Shocked and Her Casualties of Wah, Leon Russell, Evangeline, The James Harman Blues Band, Aztec Two-Step, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, John Wesley Harding, Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, Betty, Taj Mahal, Dave Mason, Bo Diddley, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Maria Muldaur, Jesse Colin Young, Joan Osborne (who Josh Lawrence of the Star astutely observed: "a young singer bound to make it big"), Dave Van Ronk, The Steve Morse Band, Greg Brown, The Bare Naked Ladies, Pato Banton, The Iguanas, Roy Bookbinder, Dan Hicks & The Acoustic Warriors, Kris Kristofferson, John Hammond, The Louisiana Home Wreckers which featured members of the late John Campbell's band, Jim Messina, The McGorrigle Sisters, and Saffire The Uppity Blues Women.
We had our first ever 60s costume party was held in August in memory of Toy Caldwell who died that year. Toy and his bandwere special friends of the place and his picture has a place of honor behind the main bar.
RANDOM EARLY 90s Stories
If you read the Wikipedia about Levon Helm it tells you he never sang The Night They Drove Old Dixie down after The Band broke up, presumably over a rift with Robbie Robertson. That is not true. In 1995, at the request of Tim Myers, he sang it with Rick Danko and Garth Hudson at the Talkhouse with other Band mates.
J.J. Cale played. He is noted for songs like "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" that Eric Clapton covered. I paid, as always, before the show, and he nodded and said, "Thanks for the work."
Foreigner Guitarist Mick Jones popped in and often played. He had put Foreigner minus lead singer Lou Graham back together. the replacement singer Johnny had an amazing voice and they played the Talkhouse one summer night. The place was packed. I remember a couple standing outside and saying "Boy, those guys sound just like Foreigner.
The Five Blind Boys of Alabama---talented if blind gospel singers---came to town. After they performed their show my friend the talented artist John Alexander asked me if I would bring them over to sing for his guests at a dinner party at his house. They wouldn't all fit in my car. So, since John lived around the corner from the club I decided to walk them over. I led the five of them, each one with a hand holding the shoulder of the one in front of them, over to John's house where they sang for Barbara Streisand, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase and others. As we walked back I happened to look back and saw the fifth blind boy looking up at the moon. When we got back to the club I asked him why he was looking up. "I replaced the fifth blind guy who died. I needed the gig and they gave it me but I got to pretend I'm blind. Don't tell anybody."
WNEW FM Broadcast live from the Talkhouse. It was at 7 am and billed as Breakfast at the Talkhouse. Needless to say that was the only time we had breakfast at the bar. Toy played the night before and most of us just stayed here all night. Mick Jones was there as was Billy Joel and Christy (their picture by the front door is---or was before it was stolen last summer---from that morning). There was this lod big-busted radio rep who shouted orders, demanding every person in the audience be seated before the live broadcast began. About 15 minutes before airtime Kevin Finnegan plugged in two coffee makers on the patio bar and blew out all lights in the club. Tim Myers and I raced downstairs, and plugged in replacement main breakers with a minute to go while everyone waited in the darkness and the woman demanded to know what was going on. I went outside, opened a beer and took a leak by the dumpster. Another radio rep ran up, thinking I was a derelict trying to break into the club, and ordered me off the property. We're definitively not a morning place.
Klyph Black: July 1st 1994 I got to play with Vassar Clements at The Talkhouse. I got a call from Peter telling me that Vassar Clements needed an back up band and would I be interested. I was psyched. Being a fan from Vassar’s Old and In The Way days with Jerry Garcia. I called my fellow band mates The Zen Tricksters Jeff Mattson, Rob Barraco, Rich Kulsar and Bari Koral, who were as excited as me to get to play with Vassar, and we started working on the tape that Millie Vassar’s wife sent to us. The day of the show Vassar was supposed to get to the club at 2 to rehearse for a while before the show at 8pm. He showed up at 7!!! Between late fights and transportation hassles he finally arrived. We went over the songs with him and he asked us which tape Millie sent. I told him the first song was Pan American Dream and he said he hadn’t played that in 10 years!!! Another song Gone Gone Gone he didn’t remember the words and I told him I liked it so he said you sing it! After the first tune of the show” Lonesome Fiddle Blues” Vassar told the audience” This band here I really appreciate. This is the first time I think that I met them is tonight. Thanks for being here to save me!! It was a great show that started a great relationship with Vassar and we backed him up for many years after that.
1994. In April the Town approved our expansion so we could construct new bathrooms and build a large stage. In the old Talkhouse the bathrooms were behind the right side of the main bar. The old stage was about six feet deep and we added additions on the side for the larger bands---or they just played on the floor. There was a driveway to the right side of the club with a stairway to the second floor. When construction was completed we had a 20 foot wide by 14 foot deep stage. The larger stage made it possible to book acts that never would've fit in the old Talkhouse
Bobby Nathan Quartet, One World, Paragon featuring Bosco,Funk Philharmonic, The Reputations, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The Zen Tricksters, The Hotheads, Jay Weiss & The Suits, were among the locals bands.
Roger McGuinn, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Cowboy Junkies, Leon Russell, Michelle Shocked, Marcia Ball, Laura Nyro, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Mighty Sam McClain, Ivan Neville, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Zachary Richard, Blue Rodeo, Taj Mahal, G.E. Smith, Terrance Simien &The Mallet Playboys, Dave van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Vassar Clements, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, The Radiators, Jim Messina of Logins and Messina, Edgar Winter, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Leo Kottke, Pato Banton & The Reggae Revolution, Maria Muldaur, Savoy Brown, Jefferson Starship, the James Harman Band, The Iguanas, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Richard Thompson---who Rolling Stone who later rate as the 19th best guitarist of all time, Marshal Crenshaw, Lucky Petersen, The Pousette Dart Band, Los Lobos, Kris Kristofferson, Gato Barbieri and Taylor Barton & The Generic Blondes.
Jimmy Buffett played again. No other celebrity musician has done more for the Talkhouse than Jimmy who plays here almost annually for charity or fun. He also has played two concerts for The Wounded Warrior Project. In 2005 I had booked a concert at a Riverhead Vineyard with Joan Osborne, The Funk Brothers and Anne Wilson. The proceeds were to go to The Wounded Warrior Project. WEHM, the Martha Clara Vineyard and myself were set to lose over $30,000 of our own money and raise zilch for the charity when Jimmy agreed to headline. Needless to say he saved my butt and put us in the black. Jimmy also hosts the soldiers at the Key West Margaritaville each year and takes them fishing on his boat out of Montauk..
Josh Lawrence of the Star opined: "I thought it couldn't be done but, yes, the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett has finally surpassed itself" in writing of the performance by Little Feat.
Nil Lara & Beluga Blue came up from Miami to wow the crowd. By then Nil had become a Miami phenomenon. Jeff Buckley, then unknown, played to a virtually empty room while we cheered for the Knicks on a dead weekday in early June. He put up with us gracefully then helped Andrea McCafferty clear the tables. He would hit it big, then tragically drown in the Wolf River down in Memphis.
John McEnroe came to the Hamptons with his band, McEnroe versus Borg or The interplanetary Breaks Band. Marty Balin, Jack Casady and Paul Kantner, three orginal members of The Jefferson Airplane, played as The Jefferson Starship. A fourth original Airplane member, Jorma Kaukonen, was slated to play with Jack Cassidy as Acoustic Hot Tuna, the following night. Jorma was outside that night, but declined to play.
Peter Wolf & The Incomparable House Band played over Labor Day. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and Mick Jagger attended that wild show.
Terraplane, Willie Steel, NRBQ, G.E. Smith, Gov't Mule featuring Allman Brothers members Alan Woody and Warren Haynes, Bruce Cockburn, Katell Keineg, the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, Dick Dale's debut show, Popa Chubby, Richie Havens, Ronnie Cox---the banjo player killed in Deliverance, Richard Thompson, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, Percy Sledge in a red suit singing "When A Man Loves A Woman," Ronnie Spector, Jr. Walker & The Allstars, the Haitian band Ram, Tiny Tim, Johnny Rivers singing "Secret Agent Man" and "Baby I Need Your Lovin" for Mark Benck, David Wilcox, The Commitments of the 1991 movie of the same name, who would pack the place time and again, David Wilcox, John Cale of The Velvet Underground, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, LA punk Band X, Yellowman, the Brazilian Band Boca Livre, Clarence Clemons of the E Street band playing sax with Steve Smith & The Nakeds, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, The Dave Hole Band, Eek-A-Mouse, Jesse Colin Young, Eric Burdon & The Animals, The Radiators, Tuck N' Patti, and Hot Tuna.
Earlier I mentioned how I stopped when I heard Nancy Atlas, Nil Lara, and Joan Osborne sing. But when it comes to playing Klyph Black, Peter "Bosco" Michne (who beats out Klyph for most performances on the Talkhouse stage only because Klyph travelled on the road for so long with The Zen Tricksters), and Andy Aledort. In my book all three of them can play guitar with anyone and are as talented as many of the guitar greats I've been talking about. One night a year or so ago at an open jam I watched a bunch of young kids accompanied by their moms watch them play. I told the kids they were watching two of the best guitarists I had ever seen. I then asked Klyph if he thought he was as good as I did (meaning up there with the greats). He shrugged. I asked if Bosco was and he nodded. I asked Bosco the same questions when he came over . He shrugged about himself and nodded about Klyph. Modesty and talent.
I throw this in now because there was another "local" group that could've, and nearly did, make the big time. They came to the Talkhouse that summer after selling out two of my friends' joint in NYC---The Mercury Lounge. They not only sold it out but the bar ran out of the beer. They were, and occassionally are when they reunite, The Bogmen, great guys, great talent, real friends. They would pack us on a regular basis over the next few years.
We did theater that year with "Lone Star", one of several off-season theatrical performances we would host. We continued to sprinkle in comedy which rarely worked though SNL's Father Guido Sarducci went over big.
One oddball event occurred when I added Sophie B. Hawkins of "Damn I Wish I Were Your Lover" fame on the same night I had already booked Suzanne Vega. Double bills are a pain but Hawkins was a trio and Suzanne wasn't a big transtion. Only problem was Sophie somehow arrived thinking she was the opening act and had only rehearsed three songs with her trio. I explained it was refund the money or give them 75 minutes so they put together a few covers and had her sing her signature song twice. She took long breaks between songs chatting with the crowd. How she managed to get away with it amazes me till this day.
John McEnroe returned, this time joined on stage by his wife, Patti Smyth.
There are a lot of lists of the top 100 guitarists of all time, but an argument can be made for Andy Summers, Huburt Sumlin, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Link Wray, Albert Collins, Leslie West, Dick Dale, Dickey Betts, Johnny Winter, Robert Fripp, Jorma Kaukonen and Richard Thompson, all of whom have played here. Keith Richards and Robbie Robertson have attended shows.
Lucky Petersen came to town and, like Albert Colling and Buddy Guy before him, played guitar out of the street. In 1988 Buddy had actually hitched a ride and drove away playing his guitar. Lucky laid down in the street and played. When a cop pleaded with him to leave he responded, "You can't arrest me, I'm already arrested."
Rumor Has It, Full Spectrum, Mojo Rhythm Kings, Tijuana Caravan, John Hanford leading the Tuesday open jam, the ska band The Scofflaws, Loup Garou, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, Greg Piccolo & Heavy Juice, Steve Postel & Little Blue, and The Pipes featuring Blodie Chaplin and Anton Fig.
Al "Year of the Cat" Stewart, Arlo "Alice's Restaurant" Guthrie, Jim Messina, Kris Kristofferson, John Gorka, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Richie Havens, Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen,Roger McGuinn, Leo Kotke, Anders Orborne, Loudon Wainwright III, and Otis Clay.
1996---Aretha Franklin played The Ranch, Elvis Costello played Guild Hall and The Allman Brothers played Southampton college.
Michelle Shocked, Toots & The Maytals, Billy Bragg, The Radiators, High Masekela, Clarence Clemons, Larry Coryell and his son Murali, Richie Havens, Samba Nova, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue, Nathan and The Zydeco Cha Chas, Leon Russell, Yellowman, The Average White Band, Arlo Guthrie, Grey Boy Allstars, the Bogmen at the height of their popularity, Tuck n' Patti, Sonny Burgess and Rosie Flowers, Rake's Progress, The Wailers, Phoebe Snow's first and only performance, Luther Allison's debut, Melanie, John Hammond, Smokin' Joe Bonamassa, Richard Thompson, Rosanne Cash, Ronnie Spector, James Brooks, Nils Lofgren, The Commitments, Matt Guitar Murphy of Blues Brothers fame, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Loudon Wainwright III, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
The 19 piece Count Bassis Orchestra performed though how we fit them on stage I still don't know. It was tougher than Dickey Betts' two drum kits and Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias, a group of Louisiana Indians in headdresses and full regalia who outnumbered the staff and audience the night they played.
Local bands included The Lone Sharks, Rumor Has It, Loup Garou, The Rosenbergs, Cadillac Moon, The Bill Perry Blues Band, The Steve Marshall Blues Band, Tijuana Caravan, The Zen Tricksters and Rumor Has It in a benefit for Eddie Mac, The Scofflaws, Disappear Fear, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The Moondogs, Shockshine, The Pipes, The Suits, Steve Marshall and The Deputies, Harper (son of Paul) Simon continuing a tradition of offspring of artists that would perform here, and John Hanford heading the open jam.
Tito Puente performed for the first time and I brought Billy Hofmann up to see him so Billy could tell him stories of making out with girls in Central Park while Tito played. Billy, a now deceased dear friend, was a great artist who drew many of the artists that played her. His works can be seen throughout the bar and there is a gold plaque on the bar bearing his name near where he often sketched (other gold plaques commemorate friends of the bar who have passed---one only for John & Joann who are still with us).
Garth Hudson, Levon Helm and Rick Danko brought The Band to The Talkhouse (three of the original five), commemorated by a Joe Laura poster. Joe offered up some incredible Rock n' Roll films that year as well. The Band first played in the spring then returned for two shows in the summer.
The performance of the year was Sting doing a VH 1 Storyteller show. They put tracks in the bar so the cameras could run along them. We put speakers outside so people could hear the show. Billy Joel came to see what was a mesmerizing show.
Buddy Miles, John Hiatt who was joined onstage by Mark Bryan of Hootie & The Blowfish, , Commander Cody, Hans Thessink & The Blue Groove, Marcia Ball, Eddie Palmieri, Tower of Power, Elliot Murphy, Alan Toussaint, Jefferson Starship, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, two shows in one night by the David Grisman Quartet, Jesse Colin Young, The Subdudes, G.E. Smith, and Johnny Winter.
Loudon Wainwright III played in September to celebrate his 50th birthday. I think all three of his kids and atleast 3 ex-wives were there.
The Nancy Atlas Project, Cadillac Moon, Danny Shea, Cloud William, The Lone Sharks, The Knock Out Drops, The Realm, Jon Paris, John Broza, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The Christine Santinelli Band, The Groove Kings, Spider Nick, Absinthe, Smoke, Loup Garou, Paragon, The Zen Tricksters, Steve Marshall 7 The Deputies, Second Step, Delaware Hudson, Shawna Young, reggae from Ramage, Once Blue, Amanda Green, Loup Garou, Shockshine,To the Moon Alice, Taylor Barton & G.E. Smith, The Hotheads, The Lisa Bonner Band, Penny Ward, The Holly Palmer Band, The Scofflaws, The Groove Kings, Tom O'Brien, Winston Irie, and The Nields.
We had our 10th year anniversary party and GE Smith & Taylor Barton, Nancy Atlas, Klyph Black, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns and others played and there was a slide show of our first ten years.
The Band (at $95 a ticket) was slated to play, but Rick Danko was arrested in Japan on heroin charges, effectively ending The Band.
The Jorma Kaukonen Trio, Leon Russell, John Wesley Harding, Clarence Clemons with Steve Smith 7 The Nakeds, The Commitments, Loudon Wainwright III, Richie Havens, Patty Larkin, Max Creek, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, Freedy Johnson, Randy Jackson, Irish lass Eleanor McEvoy, another Irish talent Mary Black, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Toots & The Maytals, The Average White Band, Storyville---featuring Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon from Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble, David Grissom from the Allman Brothers and John Mellcamp's band, and Manford Milligan, File, The Nerds, Eric Burdon, Levon Helm & The Crowmatixs, Black 47, Buster Poindexter, Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Fixx, The Bogmen, Steve Forbert, Roger McGuinn, Marcia Ball, Beausoleil with Michael Doucet, Dave Mason, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Bobby Blue Bland, Larry Hoppin of Orleans, Nils Lofgren, Luther Allison, Duke Robillard, Anders Osborne, Rosanne Cash, Commander Cody, Leon Russell, The Radiators, JGB, Gov't Mule, Bruce Cockburn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tuck and and Glen Tilbrook.
We had both an open jam and an acoustic night (adeptly handled by Gene Hamilton) that summer. There was even a CD released of the acoustic night. Nancy Atlas was by now the dominant force on the East End musical scene and she opened for Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Patty Larkin, Eleanor McEvoy and Mary Black.
Nick Kraus had his Disco 70s night, Paragon, Free Beer and Chicken, 5 Chinese Brothers, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, Stealin Dan---a Steely Dan Tribute Band that got the gig in exchange for a dentist member of the band examining Philip Vega's teeth for free, Ossie Delmore and the Soldiers of Justice, DJ Mikey Kid, Cadillac Moon, The Itinerants, The Leaf Jumpers, Spider Nick and The Mad Dogs, The Nancy Atlas Project, Halfman Wonder, Little Isador, Innity, The Realm, Liquid Phase, Shockshine, Gene Hamilton's acoustic showcase, The all male revue The Centerfolds had the women stuffing bills in guys' underwear, Folk Fiction, The James Solberg Band, Ruby Horse, The Clan, Europa, the all-girl band Amanda's Waiting, Gene Hamilton's Fishstock had both Acoustic and electric performers such as The Nancy Atlas Project, Folk Fiction, The Scofflaws, The Zen Tricksters, Matt Dauch, Penny Ward and Paul Melnick, Iko Iko, Lex Grey, Halfmanwonder, Loup Garou, Iridense, Michael McGlone, Liquid Phase, Shockshine, Nil Lara and Alberta Mendez, Supertrooper, The Slackjaw Blues Band, Delaware Hudson, The Hotheads, Zombies on Broadway, Supergloo, Second Step, Freedom Ensemble, The Hacksensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The LoneSharks, and Bloque.
Leo Kottke, Dick Dale, Dave Davies of The Kinks, Toots & The Maytals, Marcia Ball, Richie Havens, Jill "I Kissed A Girl" Sobule, Llyod Cole, Reuben Wilson, Tower of Power, more and more Irish music with The Clancy Brothers, Rick Danko, Terrance Simien, Dave Mason came along with traffic drummer Jim Capaldi, Loudon wainwright III, Robben Ford, Lucinda Williams for $20, Project Two featuring Robert Fripp and Adrien Belew, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band, the Sugarloaf All Stars featuring Peter Rivera of Rare Earth, Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly, Jerry Corbetta, James McMurtry (son of Lonesome Dove author Larry), The Average White Band, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Marcia Ball, Me'shell Ndegocello, Freedy Johnson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, The Bogmen, Yellowman, Cyril Neville & The Uptown Allstars, John Hammond, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Jefferson Starship, Modern English, Third World, Merl Saunders & The Rainforrest Band, Rosie Ledet, Leon Russell, Jonathan Richmond, Chris Duarte, Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, David Wilcox, The Fixx, Galactic, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, The Radiators, Clarence Clemons, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, Dave Mason & Jim Capaldi, The Marshall Tucker Band, Toots & The Maytals, Nils Lofgren, Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Carlton, Storyville (with members of Double Trouble & The Mavericks), Richie Havens, and Greg Piccolo.
Jimmy Buffett played that fall with the money going to The Child Development Center, a school that helps kids with special learning needs.
Booga Sugar, Second Step, The Nancy Atlas Project, The Zen Tricksters, MJ12, The Friggs, Amanda's Waiting, Liquid Phase, The Hollow Men, The Prodigals, The Scofflaws, Shockshine, Gene Hamilton's Acoustic Mondays, The Realm, The Leaf Jumpers, Dana Fuchs enters the scene, Loup Garou, Jen Chapin, and The Lone Sharks were the local bands.
Crash Test Dummies, Loudon Wainwright III, Toots & The Maytals, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Richie Havens, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, Dave Mason, Leon Russell, Freedy Johnson, The Average White Band, Marianne Faithful, Suzanne Vega, Peter Rowan, The Bogmen, Marshall Crenshaw, Jimmy Cliff, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Johnny Winter, Hugh Masekela, Eleanor McEvoy, Freedy Johnston, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Clancy Brothers, Al Kooper, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, The John Entwistle Band, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Chris Duarte, Marcia Ball, Keb Mo, Graham Parker, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, The Hothouse Flowers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jefferson Starship, Son Seals, Dave Mason, Walter Wolfman Washington, Aimee Mann, Kenny Rankin, GE Smith with Lorne Michaels and Chevy Chase and Alec Baldwin in attendance, Suzanne Vega, Savoy Brown, Yellowman, Chris Whitley, John Hammond, Sally Taylor (daughter of James and Carly), Eric Burdon, The Bogmen, and Toots & The Maytals.
Gregory Isacs (who played a woefully short set and fled the stage), Marcia Ball, G.E. Smith, Terrance Simien, The Radiators, Freedy Johnston, J.Geils & Magic Dick, John Mayall, Walter Wolfman Washington, Jonathan Richmond, Steel Pulse, SNL vocalist Christine Ohlman, The Average White Band, Savoy Brown, Loudon Wainwright III, Elvin Bishop, Yellowman, Jimmy Cliff, Shelby Lynne's first of several mesmerizing performances, Robin Trower (arguably the loudest show evcer), Third World, Inner "Badboys" Circle, Electric Hot Tuna, NRBQ, Seven Nations, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Larry Carlton, Maria Muldaur, Burning Spear, Charlie Musselwhite, Tom Russell, Leo Kottke, Eric Burdon, Sheimika Copeland, Tab Benoit, Professor Louie and The Crowmatixs, George Porter & The Running Partners, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dave Mason, Leon Russell, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Everton Blender, Colin Hay, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Buster Poindexter, Derek Trucks' first appearance, and Toots and The Maytals.
Ladeez In The House, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, The Nancy Atlas Project, The Lone Sharks, The Zen Tricksters, Todd Wolfe Blues Project, Enemy Squad, Liquid Phase, Booga Sugar, Halfman Wonder, Folk Fiction, Fishstock, The Realm, The Stanton Anderson Band, Dan Bern, The Scofflaws, Shinehead, Loup Garou, Dana Fuchs, Shockshine, Chad, Blue Roots, Second Step, Europa, The Hotheads, Randy Parsons, Funktion, Antigione Rising, Gene Hamilton's Acoustic Mondays, Plastic Holiday, Concrete Cowboys, Scoldees, Penny Ward, Scott Holt Band and Tom O'Brien.
Leon Russell, Los Amigos Invisibles, Seven Nations, Dave Mason, Toots & The Maytals, Sabor de Cuba, Little Feat, Derek Trucks, Richie Havens, Leo Nocentelli, Sonny Landreth, Steve Forbert, Leo Kottke, Tommy Malone, Third World, Dave Wakeling, Mighty Diamonds, Third World, The Holmes Brothers, DJ Logic, Crash Test Dummies, The Tom Tom Club, NRBQ, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, Marshall Crenshaw, Marcia Ball, Martin Sexton, Shemeika Copeland, Colin Hay, Acoustic Hot Tuna, Bernie Worrell and The Woo Woo Warriors, Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, Solas, Led Kaapana and Cyril Pahinui, Otis Day & The Knights, Jonatha Brooke, The Radiators, Inner Circle, Glen Tilbrook, Burning Spear, Ky-Mani Marley, Eric Burdon, Robert Randolph, Buckwheat Zydeco, Lucy Kaplansky, John McEuen and Jim Ibbotson, John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, Paul Simon stopping in at a benefit for Dennis Crane, Garland Jeffreys, Evan Dando, Orland (Cachaito) Lopez.
Jezebelle, Nick Kraus' Decades Dance Party, Acoustic and Electric Artists' Showcase, The Nancy Atlas Project, Mother Freedom, John Trudell, Second Left, The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns, Bluestime, Golden Fists of Fury, Nancy Atlas' 30th birthday party---a Hawaiian theme party in late April, Halfman Wonder, Felicia on Fire, Little Head Thinks, Secondhands, Second Step, Dana Fuchs, The Rhythm Kings, Nil Lara, Jackalope Junction, Fishbone, Booga Sugar, Smoke Daddys, Cadillac Moon, The Scofflaws, Vehicle 3, Shockshine, Plastic Holiday, Loup Garou, Jim Turner, Moose, Funktion, Reuben James, The Realm, The Itinerants, Emaline Delapaix, and Rumor Has It.
September 11th came and changed America. Normally we only do a few national acts off-season as there just aren't enough folks out here. But after 9/11 there were not only more people out out here, the people who were here wanted to get out. That fall Taj Mahal, Jimmy Cliff, Shelby Lynne, and Lyle Lovett were some of the major acts that played, Lyle Lovett turning down bigger offers in NYC to play 2 shows in a small room.
Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Suzanne Vega, Dick Dale, Glen Tilbrook, Little Feat, Dave Edmunds, Martin Sexton, Richie Havens, Tommy Castro, Sonny Landreth, The Radiators, Yellowman, The Dudes, Jorma Kaukonen, John Hammond, Steve Forbert, 7 Nations, Loudon Wainwright III, Issac Delgado with a 16 piece band in a fundraiser for Funacion Amistad, The Samples, Steel Pulse, Lucy Kaplansky, JJ "After Midnight" Cale, The Prodigals, Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue, Marshall Crenshaw, Third World, Levon Helm, The Neville Brothers, Derek Trucks, John Hiatt, Freddy McGregor, Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Israel Vibration & Cannibis in a Cup, Dave Alvin, Ronnie Spector, The Average White Band, Dave Mason, Chris Duarte, Buckwheat Zydeco, Shemeika Copeland, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Michelle Shocked, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Dave Attell from Comedy Central, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Jeff Walker, Sophie B. Hawkins, The Iguanas, De La Soul, Leon Russell, The Samples, Rockapella, Peter Tork of The Monkees, NRBQ, Aztec Two-Step, Eric Burdon, Eleanor McEvoy, Ron Sexsmith, GE Smith & Taylor Barton, Martin Sexton and Rahzel, The Godfather of Noyez, formerly of The Rats and Melissa Ferrick.
Nick Krause' First White Trash Party.
A Benefit for Habitat for Humanity.
The Nancy Atlas Project, The Hotheads, Loup Garou, The Uplifters, Sunday Reggae Nights, Little Head Thinks, Winston Irie, The Lone Sharks, Artist' Showcase In The Round, Dana Fuchs, Tuesday Employee Nights, The Blue Dogs, The Zen Tricksters, Shockshine, Halfman Wonder, Cindy Bullens, Angel Funk, Cousin Fungus, Get Back, Golden Fists of Fury, Second Step.
We have a generator now but for years we did not. Four times the power went out during a show. The first three times an acoustic act was playing---Glen Tilbrook, Martin Sexton and Rick Danko. Each time the artist played their set with only candlelight. It was magical each time and the audience loved it. The last time was in August of 2003 for Big Voodoo Daddy and it took out the whole northeast. With a band playing there was no time to get generators that night so the show was rescheduled for October only with all proceeds going to the family of John Fernandez, a young man who was badly injured serving our country in Iraq.
Mr. North, The Nancy Altlas Proiject, Europa, The South Shore Blues Band, The Rev. Vince Anderson and his Love Choir, Willie Nile in a benefit for Stella Maris, Long Island Songwriters Showcase, Roots and Radicals, Rockbottom, benefit for Women in Black featuring Supercargoman, Skitz, S&L II, and Theartheart, Willie Steel, Diane Berry, Dollarman, Jesse Malin, Litlle Head Thinks, The Talkhouse Star Search, The Zen Tricksters, Erik Norwahl, Antigione Rising, The Realm, Josh Brushell, The Lone Sharks, Fullhouse, T Man, Wole, Fathom, Vic Thrill, Devia, Winston Irie, The Others, Booga Sugar, Circus Mind, The Ohms, The Browsers, Fighting Gravity, Sam Bisbee, Psychotherapy live, The Townies, Matt Coss, Vienna Teng, Second Step, Acquiesce, Telly, The Dana Fuchs Band, Puppetry of the Penis---two lads who each contorted their penis into amusing shapes, Knock Out Drops, The Niagaras, Shockshine, Strange Folk, Terin Greene, Larry Hunter, Mark Mott, Yerba Buena, Lucien, The Others, Anthem, Maraca, Walter Finley, Brown Couch, Loup Garou, and Unchained
Ben Taylor (son of James and Carly), Brian Auger and the Oblivion Express, Toots & The Maytals, Jorma Kaukonen & Blue Country, The Strawbs, John Hiatt & The Goners, former Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick, Martin Sexton, 7 Nations, The Derek Trucks Band, Steve Forbert, Ziggy Modeliste, Fairport Convention, Arrested Development, The Subdudes, D.J. Logic, The Hothouse Flowers, Richie Havens, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Roomful of Blues, Yellowman, Dave Mason, Marshall Crenshaw, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, The Iguanas, Leon Russell, De La Soul, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Harry Smiths featuring David Johansen aka Buster Poindexter in another manifestation, Aztec Two-Step, David Lindley, The Tom Tom Club, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Loudon Wainwright III, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Jonatha Brooke, The Commitments, Shemeika Copeland, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Burning Spear, John Brown's Body, The Radiators, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, Marcia Ball, David Bromberg, Levon Helm & The Last Hombres, Suzanne Vega, Glen Tilbrook, Jill "I Kissed A Girl" Sobule, Kenny Rankin, John Hammond, Los Amigos Invisibles, NRBQ, Allison Moorer, Chris Duarte, Jack Casady, Commander Cody, and Graham Parker.
The Realm, Unchained, The Birch Street Band, The Lone Sharks, Le Scandal, Second Shift, Appetite for Destruction, Hammer of the Gods, Wishbone Ash, 4 Way Street, Glue, Worlds Apart, Blue Roots, Saturday Night Special, Babaloo, Groovelily, Pretty Suicide, Early Times and High Rollers, Hamilton Story, Roots and Radicals, The Nancy Atlas Project, Uppercut, Unforgettable Fire, New York Jazz Ensemble, Ants Marching, The Lava Ginas, Winston Irie, Little Head Thinks, burlesque with Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, Dollarman, Dan Bailey & The Circle of Sound, The Knock Out Drops, Karaoke with Jim and Nanci, The International Superstars, Steve Coss, Rockbottom, Shockshine, Booga Sugar, Starlight, Acquiesce, The Violets, Dog Everything, The Niagras, Second Step, Lizzie West, Troop 47, Cooley High, Mambo Loco, The Matt Sandy Band, Karmasutra, The Zen Tricksters, The Suits, The Lascivious Biddies, Joe Condiracci, Tiger Mountain, Dana Fuchs, Lily Claire, Jen Chapin, The Dave Kolker Band, Lizzie West, The Harlequin, Wendy Starland, Nick's White Trash Party, The Dare Ya Blues Band, Wolfe, Mad Larry, Trevor Hall, Melanie Decker, The Addison Groove Project, Taylor Barton, Chris Turner, Telly and Relapse, Her Majesty, and John Pieplow.
C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, The Commitments, Sonny Landreth, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Leo Kottke, Eric Burdon, John Hiatt, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Jorma Kaukonen and Blue Country, Martin Sexton, The Reverend Horton Heat, Glen Tilbrook, Richie Havens, The Derek Trucks Band, Otis Taylor, Loudon Wainwright III, Terrance Simian, Chris Robinson & The New Earth Mud, Greg Rolie of Santana, The Strawbs, Black 47, David Johansen & The Harry Smiths, Burning Spear, Colin Hay, Shelby Lynne, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, Dar Williams, Shemeika Copeland, Hot Tuna, Aztec Two-Step, Yellowman, Tommy Castro, Leon Russell, Arrested Development, Dave Wakeling, Buckwheat Zydeco, Johnny Winter, Toots & The Maytals, Suzanne Vega, North Mississippi All Stars, Jonatha Brooke, Jimmy Cliff, Rhett Miller, Roomful of Blues, The Subdudes, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, Christopher Cross, NRBQ, Michelle Shocked, Junior Brown, Garland Jeffreys & The Coney Island Playboys, John Brown's Body, Steel Pulse, Sophie B. Hawkins, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Taj Mahal, Robert Earl Keen, Dave Mason, Mac McAnally, and Vanilla Fudge.
Stang Freud, Unchained, The Realm, The Elderly Brothers, Great Caesar's Ghost, Steve Coss, The Nancy Atlas Project, Jet Jaguar, Andy Aledort, The Frames, Delilah Jones, Ruka Sky, our 80s Party, Telly, Comedy Night, Thom Birch, Little Head Thinks, Dollarman, Raul Midon, The International Superstars, Winston Irie, Mother Turtle, Mitch Winston, The Knock Out Drops, Booga Sugar, Jack Grace, Wild Card, Live Wire, Dan Becker's Task Force, The District, Dollarman, Karaoke with Jim and Nanci, Lily Claire, Anthemn, The Stilts, The Blood Sugars, Jill, The Zen Tricksters, Ruka Sky, The Sidecar Bar Band, Antigione Rising, Project Vibe, Yerba Buena, Cooley High, MikeDoughty's Band, The Kin, Eliot Morris and Glen Phillips, Randi Driscoll, The Big Large Fox Forty, October Project, Nick's White Trash Party, Dana Fuchs, Acquiesce, The Bastards of Boom, Johnny A, The Rich Jenkins Trio, Hot Lava, Little Head Thinks, Babaloo, Mama Lee & Friends, Leslie Clemmons, Pamela Betti & The Bluebloods, and JD and The Straight Shot.
Jimmy Cliff, Dave Mason, Dick Dale, Suzanne Vega, Richie Havens, Martin Sexton, Toots & The Maytals, Marshall Crenshaw, Sonny Landreth, Jorma Kaukonen & Blue Country, C.J. Chenier, Mac McAnally, Robert Fripp, Chris Duarte, Judy Collins, Eric Burdon, Steve Forbert, Terrance Simien, Bon Jovi's concert for The Wounded Warrior project that raised over $25,000, Loudon Wainwright III, Los Amigos Invisibles, Kaki King, Hothouse Flowers, Shelby Lynne, Duncan Sheik, Buckwheat Zydeco, John Brown's Body, Jesse Colin Young, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, The Subdudes, The New York Dolls, Dar Williams, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Richard Thompson, Leon Russell, Coco Montoya, Marc Broussard, Judy Collins, Jonatha Brooke, Colin Hay, Marcia Ball, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Aztec Two-Step, Raul Malo, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Rodney Crowell, The Iguanas, Willy Nile, The Neville Brothers, Joan Osborne, Junior Brown, Lez Zeppelin, Dave Mason, Suzanne Vega, and Rhett Miller.
Patti Smith, Hot House Flowers, Marcia Ball, Nils Lofgren, Toots and the Maytals, The Saw Doctors, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Dick Dale, Steve Forbert, World Party, Martin Sexton, Richard Thompson, Yellowman, Suzanne Vega, Lez Zeppelin, Richie Havens, Marshall Crenshaw, Coco Montoya, Duncan Sheik, Mac McAnally, Dave Wakeling & The English Beat, Gin Blossoms, Dave Mason, Junior Brown, Dave Alvin & The Guilty Men, The Subdudes, Chris Baron of The Spin Doctors, Shemeika Copeland, Judy Collins, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Marc Cohn, Leon Russell, Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, Buckwheat Zydeco, Los Amigos Invisibles, Adrian Belew, Sonny Landreth, John Hiatt, Richie Havens, Johnny Winter, Leo Kottke, Hot Tuna, Burning Spear, Christopher Cross, Simon Kirke of Bad Company, Aztec Two-Step, Lez Zeppelin, and Raul Malo.
Telly, Little Head Thinks, Karaoke for the Kendall Madison Scholarship Foundation, Karaoke with Jim and Nanci, The Lone Sharks, Mama Lee & Friends, Kerry Kearney, Great Caesar's Ghost, The Bastards of Boom, The Blaggards, Costa Del Soul, Aqua Girls and Lobster Boys, D'Haene, Jake Lear, The Realm, Andrejack, Andy Aledort, The Groove Kings, Leslie Clemmons, The Nancy Atlas Project, The Annie Morgan Band, the benefit to help Drew Holhauser otherwise known as I saved Drew's Stomach, Sara Moore, Lucy Alibar, Martha Redbone, Second Shift, Same Difference, On a Sun, Rob Canillo and Friends, Unchained, Retroactive, Skip Krevens, Babaloo, Winston Irie, Booga Sugar, The Majestic Band, Brother Peach, Lalandro, Jamie McLean, Jake Lear, Mystic Bowie, Dollarman, Little Sticks of Dynamite, Kashmir, Hot Lava, The Nancy Atlas Project, Dana Fuchs, Warchild, Caroline Doctorow, Miles to Dayton, The Itinerants, Thompson, Matlin & Shaw, Project Vibe, The Jam Bandits, Michael Tolcher, Knock Out Drops, Acquiesce, Warped, Riff Raff, Second Step, Project Charlie, Secret Resistance, Irish Phil, Slickers, Nick's White Trash Party, Tea Leaf Green, Jack Grace, Inner Roots, The Pharcycle, Ari Hest, Wild Blue Angel, Kettle Joe's Psychedelic Swamp Review, Anne Weiss, Dollarman, Laura Thomas, In-Cog Nito, Guest Hose, The X-Frames, Yah Supreme, Mara Hogan and Patrick Lee.
Pat McGee, Celestial, The Lone Sharks, The Blaggards, Jake Lear, Slaid Cleaves, Haale, Little Head Thinks, Heavy Surf Band, The Realm, Mystic Bowie, The Black Rebels, Hot Lava, Too Busy Being Bored, Winston Irie, The Jam Bandits, Leslie Mendelson, Easy Chief, Levellers, The Creamsicles, Milton, The Anne Morgan Band, Running Still, The Stand, Barstand, The Giving Tree, Mamavig, Telly, Booga Sugar, Big Sandy, The Straitjackets, Majestic, The Outside Talkers, Project Vibe, Debbie Deane, Mitch Winston, Eclective Collective, Matt Cutillo, Lonesome Heroes, Dan Asselin, Paul Basile, Wakey, Wakey, Karaoke with Harry, Don Devillo, Dave Barnes, Winston Irie, Bobby Morgan & The Northern Outlaws, The Creamsicles, The Blue Jackets with Ed Burns, The Kin, Second Shift, Second Step, The Nancy Atlas Project,Weird Jellyfish, Yah Supreme, Still Vaughn, Johnny Volume, Dragonfly, Great Caesar's Ghost, Ron Pope, Secret Resistance, Jon Divello, Tom Freund, Ollabelle, Inner Roots, Vic Thrill, Amy Birdsong, Left of the Slash and Bagatelle.
Our 20th Birthday featured Little Head Thinks, Klyph Black, The Nancy Atlas Project and Terrance Simien.
The Hothouse Flowers, The Ventures, David Lindley, Dick Dale, Martin Sexton, Lez Zeppelin, Dave Wakeling & The English Beat, The Iguanas, KRSI, Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, Toots & The Maytals, Marc Cohn, The Wood Brothers, The Skatalites, Marcia Ball, Dar Williams, The Neville Brothers, Steve Forbert and the Soundbenders, Badfish, Yellowman, The Gin Blossoms, Michelle Shocked, Citizen Cope, The Radiators, The New York Dolls, Marty Stuart, Drive By Truckers, The Subdudes, Arrested Development, Slick Rick, Leon Russell, Marc Broussard, Yonder Mountain String Band, Richie Havens, Jonatha Brooke, They Might Be Giants, Los Amigos Invisibles, Tommy Castro, North Mississippi Allstars, Marty Balin, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sonny Landreth (joined by Jimmy Buffett), Elvis Costello sideman Steve Nieve, Chris Barron, James McMurtry, Chris Duarte, Steel Pulse, Toots & The Maytals, and Greg Brown.
Chris Difford of Squeeze, Martin Sexton, Lez Zeppelin, Dave Wakeling, James McMurtry, The Radiators, Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes, Dave Mason, Loudon Wainwright III, Slick Rick, Terrance Simien, Rickie Lee Jones, Steve Forbert, Badfish, Beth Orton, Shelby Lynne, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sonny Landreth, Robyn Hitchcock, Rhett Miller, Eek-A-Mouse, Marshall Crenshaw, Richie Havens, Aztec Two-Step, Taj Mahal, Tommy Castro, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jesse Harris, Coco Montoya, Savoy Brown, Rosanne Cash, Leon Russell, Asleep at the Wheel, Joseph Arthur, Yellowman, David Lindley, Marc Broussard, Mac McAnally, Suzanne Vega, the return of the Bogmen, and Collie Buddz.
Long Island Hornets, The Blaggards, Second Shift, Second Step, The Realm, Mama Lee, Rose & Friends, D'Haene, Anne Regina, The Nancy Atlas Project, Booga Sugar, Too Busy Being Bored, All Country Fair, Evolution, Feed The Need, The Bastards of Boom, The X Frames, The Giving Tree, The Blue Jackets, The Gilfords, Winston Irie, The Creamsicles, Dan Bailey, Inda Eaton, Jon Divello, Telly, Irish Phil, Jake Lear, Weird Jellyfish, Rubix Kube, Mambo Loco, Dana Fuchs, Mary McBride, Inner Roots, Signify, Tragedy, Ryan Brothers, Slow Native, Mary Gauthier, The Bastards of Boom, Matty Liot, The Lone Sharks, Majestic, Little Sticks of Dynamite, X Frames, Amy Birdsong, Spit Hot Fire, Chris Scianni & Friends, Zach Lockwood & The Roseliners, Ari Hest, Hot Lava, The Giving Tree, Matt Lowell, Jackie Bristow, Rubix Kube, Cooper Boone, The Defenders, Tequila Mockingbord, Navegante, The Laurence Elder Band, Matt White, Suddyn, Signify, Inda Eaton, Blood Street, Erik Liddell, Dave Ippolito, Males McGuinness, Erin Sax, and Bankie Banx at Nic's Surprise Birthday Party.
David Bromberg, Elliott Murphy, Dave Wakeling, The Easy Allstars, Lez Zeppelin, Elew, Alex Ray Joel, The Radiators, The Strawbs, Badfish, Richie Havens, Jorma Kaukonen, Buckwheat Zydeco, Freedy Johnston, Graham Parker, Joan Osborne, Judy Collins, Toots & The Maytals, Marshall Crenshaw, Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women, Yellowman, Paolo Nutini, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, The Bogmen, Ilo Ferreira (joined onstage by Jimmy Buffett), Raul Malo, Glen Tilbrook & The Fluffers, Martin Sexton, Leon Russell, Burning Spear, G.E.Smith & Taylor Barton, Dar Williams, Rhett Miller, Ryan Shaw, 2 A.M. Club, Suzanne Vega, The Wailers, Loudon Wainwright III, Dick Dale accompanied by his son Jimmie, The Hothouse Flowers, Dave Mason, and The David Bromberg Quartet.
Brother Josecephus & The Love Revival Orchestra, The Blue Jackets, Alexis P. Sueter Band, Teddy Kumpel, Jarred Haynes, Kiss Kiss, Matt Hires, Santanaria, The Stoners, Paul Oscher, Navegante, Cock Lorge, Fastball, Danny Kalb Trio, Sophia Bastian, Kaylan Rexler, Michael Sackler Berner, Sloe Guns, A Stillwater Satellite, Hot Lava, Spring Standards, Anders Holst, Consent of Kings, Project Blue Book, GRASS---the Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society, Devil Rides Shotrgun, the Battle of the Bands, our birthday party with Nancy Atlas, Klyph Black, Terrance Simien and Little Heads Thinks, the Glazzies, Last Exit, the Lone Sharks, The Nancy Atlas Project, Kulprits, Pumping Ethyl, Telly, Jann Klose, The Bastards of Boom, Booga Sugar, Second Shift, Second Step, David Bennett Cohen & Friends, Mama Lee, Rose and Friends, X Frames, Majestic, Unchained, Hank Porter & The Carlos Allende Trio, Little Head Thinks, Winston Irie, Lucinda Roberts, Serena Ryder, Hoot, The Lost Keys, Red Karma, Inner Roots, BLK Vampires, Sour Boy, the Creamsicles, Roast Beef Curtains, Shari Pine, Heartless Devils, Dan Asselin, The Craven Band, Tamarama, Disco Sux, Dan Bailey, Apache Stone, A More Perfect Union, Rubix Kube, Big Suga, The Giving Tree, Los Gringoes Amigoes, Madison South, Zach Lockwood & The Roseliners, Matty Liot and the Big Up, D-Fenders, New Kingston Band, Mike Posner, Forever Ray, Nick Weber's Girl Problems, Inda Eaton, Fourteen Feet, Gigi Fouquet, Lynda Arnold is Divasonic, Shinoby Nidja, The Hambonians, and Rumor Has It.
James Maddock, Little Head Thinks, Booga Sugar, Hot Lava, The Giving Tree, The Lone Sharks, Second Step, Disco Sux, Second Shift, The Nancy Atlas Project, Big River Ransom, Signify, B Sharp, Open Til Midnight, Roast Beef Curtains, Rubix Kube, Digger Jones, Navegante, James O'Malley & Caroline Doctorow, Rock Junkie, Mini Kiss, Brother Joscephus, D-Fenders, Chris Campion & The Knockout Drops, The Doug Gordon Band, Suddyn, Karaoke with Harry, Blue Mountain Bustdown, Tok Howie, GRASS, Spitten Kitten, Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, Michael Sackler Berner, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Jesse Reuben, The Thieves, The Bastards of Boom, Third Estate, Mama Lee, Rose & Friends, Winston Irie, Brother Joscephus, Riley Etheridge Jr., Feed The Need, Gail Storm, New Life Crisis, Inda Eaton, Girl Problems, Winston Irie, Mishka, Urban Sun, Lauren Kinham, Dan Bailey, Martini Gardens, Terrance, Nancy, Klyph & The Gang for our Birthday Party, Becca Schack, The Glazzies, Under the Rasta Influence, The Tangiers Blues Band, Joe Murena, Andy Aledort, Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project, Red Light and Blue, Madison South, Joe Coss, Rubix Kube, Old Whalers, Space Ghost Cowboys, High Bluff, In Circles, Smarter Than Yourself, The Sunshine Brothers, Mr. No Shame, The Dons, Emily Warren, and The Young Presidents.
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Toots & The Maytals, Leon Russell, Lez Zeppelin, Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball, Loudon Wainwright III, The Itals, Jakob Dylan, David Johansen, Citizen Cope, James Hunter, Yellowman, Kathleen Edwards, Ingrid Michaelson, ELEW, Ryan Shaw, The Subdudes, Dave Wakeling & The English Beat, Steve Forbert, SOJA, Donovan Frankenreiter, Ilo Ferreira, Lez Zeppelin, Arrested Development, Raul Malo, The Bogmen, The Radiators, Shelby Lynne, Dr. John, GE Smith & Taylor Barton, Matthew & Gunnar Nelson (sons of Ricky), Trombone Shorty, Judy Collins, Rhett Miller, Leon Russell, Buckwheat Zydeco, Big Sam's Funky Nation, and David Bromberg.
Bastards of Boom, New York Funk Exchange, Third Estate, Little Head Thinks, Human Error, The Lone Sharks, John Fries & The Heat, Woodfish, Hello Brooklyn, The Blues Box Mission Band, The Nancy Atlas Project, Lesus Mor, The Thieves, The Distant Relatives, Disco Sux, New Dawn, Klyph Black & Friends, Memphis Crawl, Urban Sun, Funkin A, The Complete Unknowns, Booga Sugar, Winston Irie, Sugarshack Burlesque, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Reprimand, Hot Lava, Rocker T, Porches, Rubix Kube, Remember September, NYC Reggae Boys, The Black Petals, Inda Eaton, Karaoke with Harry, Second Shift, Dan Bailey and Living Rhythm, Clinton Curtis, Baby Johnson, Sid Finch, Second Step, Under The Rasta Influence, Steve Bauer and Underground Junction, Jonathan Tiersten, Jann Klose, Elektrix Company, Grayson Hugh, The Blue Jackets, Riley Etheridge Jr., Estee & The Revolvers, Mariann Megna and Randolph Hudson III, Ari Hest, The Cleaners, The Sycamores, The Twangtown Paramours, Jem Warren, The Glazzies, Celtic Cross, William Kimball, Madison South, Rapscallions, The Majestic Band, Scars on 45, The Talkhouse Birthday Party, Jesse Harris, Marcus Bennett & The Crazy 88's, Michael Sackler Berner, Girl Problems, Boot Box, The Nightmare River Band, White Trash Party with topless bartenders, Project Blue Book, Tim Ryan, GE Smith & Taylor Barton, The Young Presidents and The Colin Smith Band.
Toots & The Maytals, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, The Easy All Stars, The Tom Tom Club, Badfish, Buckwheat Zydeco, Keller Williams, Leon Russell, The Joe Ely Band, The 7 Walkers, Steven Page, Citizen Cope, Steel Pulse, Raul Malo, Loudon Wainwright III, The Rebirth Brass Band, Conspirator, Marcia Ball, Donovan Frankenreiter, Lubriphonic, Lez Zeppelin, Ilo Ferreira, Aztec Two Step, Guy Clark Jr., Dave Wakeling & The English Beat, Tommy Malone, The Dave Mason Band, Chris Robinson's Brotherhood Band, Judy Collins, Ryan Montbleau, Pure Prairie League, Third World, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Mykal Rose, Jake Clemons, Trombone Shorty, Lucky and Tamara Petersen, Jorma Kaukonen, and Yellowman.
RANDOM STORIES FROM THE LAST 5 YEARS:
I'm sitting in my office when a tall Jamaican walks in covered in blood. He asks for a bandaid. You didn't need a rocket scientist to know he needed more than a bandaid. He was a member of Jimmy Cliff's band and he says he tripped and fell and cut himself on the sharp edge of the cabinet. So I called Jimmy Lawler and asked him to drive him the hospital.
A few hours later Jimmy Cliff and his band hit the stage without the bloody guy. Ten minutes into the set several East Hampton detectives arrived. It turns out the guy had been stabbed by his best friend, another band member after anargument over what channel to play on TV escalated into a fight. He didn't want to press charges but one of the three stab wounds was near the heart. If he died they were going to have to arrest the guy on stage for murder.
Well, sure enough Lawler rolls up with the stabbed guy a few minutes later. The guy walked on stage and started playing next to his friend who stabbed him. Jimmy finished the set. The band flew back to Jamaica the next day. It was the last time Jimmy played here. He didn't play again in the States for a long time.
Bill Kreutzman of the Grateful Dead looked around before his gig with the 7 Walkers and said: "This is a museum of all the faces I recognize."
Carter Kemp worked the door when Ilo Ferreira played in 2012. We knew Jimmy Buffett was coming in to play before the show as Jimmy is the reason Ilo has a career in the States. Jimmy's road manager Mike Ramos calls an hour before the show and tells me Hillary and Bill Clinton are showing up to see Jimmy and we have to meet the Secret Service. When I told Carter he asked "Is this a joke?". Well it wasn't. It was the Monday after Hurricane Irene and we were powered by our generator. The place is blanketed with Secret Service. The real power came on as Jimmy finished his first song. That caused a blackout as the generator shut down. Total darkness for 5 seconds. Then the real power goes off so it takes 5 seconds for the generator to come on. That causes the firm alarm to go off. Lovely. Anyway no more glitches after that. Jimmy played an hour. The Clintons were gracious, even going back inside after thanking Jimmy upstairs to watch Ilo play.
Joan Osborne played and told the audience how I had fronted her $20,000 to get her CD made before she became big (part of that 20 k came from Tim Myers and Michael Ghent, my partners in the South Beach Talkhouse). It was a loan and I got it back, but it was nice of her to thank me
Well, we're famous for that. In 1995, on a Sunday in July the Commitments came to town. They were family and that night I somehow wound up in my underwear on the back deck with Mark Benck. Well, these things become infectious and next thing I knew there were several guys in their underwear and a few girls were topless. We all wound us skinny-dipping at Atlantic Beach.
Then came July of 1998, another July night when Eric Burdon and the Animals were playing. I wound up bartending naked at the back bar. That night lots of men wound up completely nude as did a few women who were totally nude or topless. Even Eric Burdon got naked. Things were getting out of hand when Cyril stopped in the back and stripped to his underwear.
Then we did a staged nude shot in the bar,about 25 of us, in 2009. It was a blast, staging the shot which hangs from the back wall.
Later that same year, I had sand spread in the back, put out beach chairs and blankets and had David Gamble shooting from the roof. Everyone who wanted to participate ran outside, stripped, and ran to their spots. That photo hangs there as well.
Playing pranks on the staff has been an going feature of the Talkhouse. It all started with a Madonna look-alike I hired in the mid-90s (I take that back---Ken Rafferty, who operated a video store across the street, pulled the first prank by coming in dressed as a bum). I had her dropped off in a limo with a bodyguard. Louie (John Landy) was outside when she pulled up. After she hugged him he exclaimed to the doorman "Madonna's tits touched my chest." She proceeded to ask our chef for mashed potatoes which caused John Ciullo to go to Brent's to get some. After she chatted with Jeff "Pepto" Silverman he told me that she was going to delay going on tour so she could see his garden. But the best was Louie. When the bodyguard (her real life boyfriend) went to the bathroom she told him she wanted a new bodyguard. "Why?", I asked. "Because he doesn't fuck me good enough." Louie stepped up and announced "I would like to apply for that position." I told Madonna then that Louie was really not very important. When I went outside he shoved me and shrieked "You're fucking up the most important night of my life."
We've had other celebrity look-alikes including Joe Pesce (poor EJ's heart was broken when he learn he was a fake), Britney Spears who somehow fooled Nick though she was a terrible look-alike, Jack Nicholson (at the 1996 Sting concert), and Paris Hilton. I've come in drag on more than one occassion, even dancing with Denis Long. I've also come as a gay man (in 1997) which fooled everyone. I had my hair slicked back into a ponytail with a gray goatee. I started at Mt. Fuji where I threatened to turn everyone into immigration if they didn't give me a job washing dishes. They all knew me well but didn't recognize me so I was thrown out. Next stop Ron Rafferty's wedding at The Farmhouse (now Spring Close) where I pretended to be a waiter and served drinks to the Talkhouse staff, none of whom recognized me. Back at the Talkhouse I bought drinks from Dennis Lawrence for Billy Hofmann and played the drums till Paul Cleary made me stop. Then down to McKendry's where I ordered a Bud from Ed McKnight. When he served me I asked him to pour it in a glass because I liked head. When I told Ed I wanted to buy all of the boys but none of the girls drinks he told me to leave. I also came as a very old man, enduring 4 hours of make-up to age me. Don Sharkey drove me up in an Amagansett Fire Department vehicle and wheeled me inside in a wheelchair. I was made to look like I weighed 400 pounds. It was an Amagansett Fire Department benefit and Don gave me an award for serving at the department for 50 years. My name was Pappy "Cap" Warner and I proceeded to address the crowd, speaking of kissing my wife's breasts on the beach when Amagansett was a moral town instead of today "when we send young hetrosexual men into the homes of homosexual fornicators to save their artwork." The crowd looked on in horror.
In 1996 I arrived with the Commitments, pretending to be the sister of the director of their movie who had insisted his sibling open for them. Dressed in drag I asked the chef to tell me what was on the menu. We only sold chicken sandwiches and burgers. After he said as much I ordered the duck. When George said "No Duck" I knocked glasses over and screamed at him, then opened the show singing "Take A Walk on the Wild Side," submitting the names of the staff for the drag queens in the song.
Around 1999 my softball team The Maidstoners played Bostwick's to raise money for The Child Development Center. After the game we came back to the Talkhouse for a party. Kevin Bols hired a comedian and I gave the staff the night off, saying I was letting the girls who worked at the local sushi restaurant (Mt. Fuji) work the bar. Those 3 girls showed up and promptly started working in only tight t-shirts and their panties. They also flirted with all the guys. Some of the women who came were a little upset because they thought the girls were going too far. Some danced with some of the guys and one threw her legs around a guy's neck as she swung from the sprinkler pipe. People were paying more attention to these three Asian chicks than the comedian who, frustrated, asked them if they wanted the stage. One grabbed a stool, sat with her back to the audience, slowly took off her shirt, slid her panties down to show her butt, then unclipped her bra and threw it away. It was only when she turned around that people realized it was a guy. I had hired three Asian transvestites. The other two were as well though one had breasts. Suddenly the woman loved me and several guys wanted to kill me.
In the summer of 2009 the sound engineer Mike Mazzarocco decided to unnerve me by running into my office naked and doing jumping jacks. This was before my morning coffee and it did unnerve me. As revenge I had a fake rider submitted for an opening act for Dave Wakeling & The English Beat. The transvestite performer Vavoom was to open for him as she/he was the offspring of the president of the William Morris Booking Agency. Of course it was simply a female impersonator I had hired. She arrived. I had Dave Wakeling complain about her opening to make the gag more plausible. The equipment on her rider was all impossible to rent on short notice so she first complained to Mike & Kevin Santacroce (the other engineer) about that. Then everytime she started gurgling into the microphone (yes, gurgling) I had someone walk across the stage or into the bar. By now she was shouting at Mike and Kevin (or weeping). They posted people at both entrances to make sure there were no interuptions so I sent Larry and his dogs into the bar from the exit by the bathrooms. Vavoom collapsed on the stage and announced she could not go on. When Mike and Kevin came out to tell me about the plight the guys at the back bar erupted "What Vavoom wants, Vavoom gets."
At the Talkhouse on Collins Avenue in South Beach, which was opened in August of 1992 and closed in APRIL OF 1995, there were pranks as well. The soundboard was located on top of our walk in refrigerator behind the main bar. You had to climb up a ladder to get there. We had a young (around 21) sound guy named Jens that assisted Drew. I arrived from New York and climbed up to introduce myself. The comedienne Judy Tenuta was performing. The audience was overwhelmingly male and gay. I shook Jens hand and stood next to him. I pressed closer and closer, staring straight ahead as I held his hand. I squeezed it and rubbed my fingers against his palm. Jens looked terrified and suddenly jumped straight up in the air and fell down. Only then did I inform him it was a joke.
Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue came to South Beach. It was Buster's birthday and the band had me hire a stripper to bring out a cake topless in the middle of their set. After the show started the stripper called to say she was making too much money at a bachelor party and would be late. I had 20 minutes to find a replacement so I called an escort agency. The hooker showed up with 5 minutes to spare. I took her to my office. "The good news," I explained, "is that you don't have to have sex with anyone. The bad news is to have to deliver a cake to Buster in front of 500 people in your underwear." "I know how to fuck, not strip," she replied. So there I was, demonstrating to a hooker how to undress. Thank God I went to an Ivy League college. She delivered the cake in her bra and panties.
WHAT THE MUSICIANS ARE SAYING:
... From witnessing the likes of John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, Jonatha Brooke, Jerry Jeff Walker, Suzanne Vega, & Hot Tuna and then getting to play my songs for the hometown folks, there is no better honky tonk than the Talkhouse.- TAYLOR BARTON
I was playing at the Talkhouse one time and Paul McCartney came up in the dressing room between sets and asked if he could sit in. It's that kind of place. Always fun whether doing a set or listening to someone else. The Talkhouse is one of the great joints. Here's to twenty-five more years-GE SMITH
Ha! Ok well we can't tell any stories about late night shenanigans at the club without getting someone in trouble - not to mention everyone must have a bunch of those stories so they probably would not be unique.
One great night for name dropping was Booga Sugar playing "Have Love Will Travel" with Dan Aykroyd sitting in on vocals and harmonica and another would be backing up Chris Baron from the Spin Doctors on "Two Princes". BUT it's always been fun sharing the stage with Talkhouse staples like Nancy Atlas, Winston Irie and Hot Lava. It's the hard working late night bands that sweat like they're working the barbecue on a 107 degree day that keep the club HOT!
PS - I don't know if this counts but nothing trumps hanging out with Nick Kraus in Mexico with him in one of my wifes dresses so he could get free drinks at ladies night!!!
- TIM "BOOGA SUGAR"
Attending the Talkhouse for any reason (performance, show, benefit, party) reminds me of a never ending church social with liquor and kick ass music.- INDA EATON
I played a gig there on Dec.15th 2011, billed as "Massive Talkhouse Concert" there were six bands. In the rush to get off the stage, I left my Roland Guitar Synth behind. Weeks go by, Christmas and New Years came and went. I went to Europe and had no gigs when I got back. Fast forward to today, Jan. 11th when I finally schedule a rehearsal and I realize I've got no synth. Panicked, I rack my brain and try to remember when the last time I played with it. I call and leave a message with Mike Maz, stop by the Talkhouse while Phil is opening up, look around but don't see it, go home and break the news to my wife that I've lost my synth. We are sad. I get a text back from Mike saying he's seen a black Roland bag sitting near the drum wedge for the last few weeks. I race back, look near the drums where he said he'd seen it. No Synth. The drummer, Sean Rafferty who's there for the Wed night jam asks what I'm looking for, I tell him and low and behold, he'd taken the bag and stored it next to the sound board. Any other place and that shit would have been gone! I love the Talkhouse!!!!- DALTON PORTELLA.
I have a sizable ding on my Guild D-50, visible on the front lower corner of the bout. I was upstairs in the dressing room at the Steven Talkhouse, in the hallway playing guitar and getting the voice warmed up before performing, and a doorknob suddenly jumped out and bashed the guitar. I've grown to like this ding, because it happened at the Talkhouse.
I got sizable dings on ME when I was brutally attacked after a gig I played at another wonderful club on Long Island early the morning of July 31, 2011. I was very lucky to still BE me when it was done. When my friends organized various medical fundraising benefits, they turned to the Talkhouse first, because it's come to be The Place Where You Have These Things. Peter and the entire crew did everything a club could possibly do to host the event, and then some. I'll never forget it, and every year I now look forward to giving something back via things like Wounded Warrior efforts and events. This place really IS a church to me, in more than musical ways. Like a lot of things, I see the Talkhouse in a whole new light now. It's a blessed place.
Finally, the Stephen Talkhouse is the only place this could happen: I recently went to see Joe Ely perform with his band, and after the show was done, I had a beer at the bar with Joe. I mentioned to him that I had seen the Clash in NYC during their Sandanista period, when they did a chaotic two weeks straight of shows at the Bond International Casino in Times Square. Joe had sat in with the Clash at a good number of those performances. I mentioned to him that I had been worried for my safety at the show I attended. That's how crazy it all was. He said, "I believe it. I was backstage and I was worried for MY safety!". Then I told him the Infamous Willie Nelson Joke, which went over well. (Peter, I'll tell you later.)
One last funny bit. I was on a gig with (The) Los Blaggards at the Talkhouse. I was nursing a cold and had been "maintaining" with Robitussin all day, then went to the gig. In the dressing room, I thought it would be a good idea to slam two cups of coffee before going on. Bad move. It felt like I was floating a foot off the stage while under the impression that every song's tempo was too slow. Good thing the effect wore off by the end of the first set. It was nasty.
Thank You, everyone at/with the Stephen Talkhouse... for simply BEING.-MICK HARGREAVES
Yes, there was the time that the band showed up a bit late for the 10:30 hit and the one chord jam that was intended as sound check caused a mobbed dance floor and actually became the set, and the time that the night ended up with twenty perfect 10s from south of the highway showing up and joining the band on stage to sing the final song….the time i nearly had my head taken off by a bar stool that was intended not for my head but for poor Phil who had cut off a guy at the bar from drinking any more…. oh yeah and the time that Steve at the door did a perfect bums rush with a guy who was so drunk he couldn't find the street -Steve had him with the classic scruff of the neck, seat of the pants heave ho…
But it's really the human spirit of the Talkhouse that come to my mind first. The kindness and support that Peter and the staff have always shown me and my band…. it's the way Nancy Atlas (I believe unknowingly) gave me so much encouragement by having me sing my songs solo for a full house at one of the early "in the round" shows, ….Inda inviting me to host one of the In The round shows while Nancy was on leave was a great thrill, and playing with Charles Neville and Terrence Simien, both great influences for years in my music was unforgettable….
But my favorite … was a conversation with Will one night. He mentioned that he was a baritone horn player and had a trombone at home and that he hadn't played either instrument for some time. Through the conversation I realized that Will had paid dues on these very difficult instruments, and told him I thought it would be a good idea since he had invested so much time in learning the baritone that he should pick up the bone. I showed up at the club about three weeks later and my first question to Will was if he had taken the axe out of it's case. "yep, embouchure is coming together, and I'll be ready to join Thieves on stage for a solo before you know it"….. that's the Talkhouse to me.- JOE DELIA "THIEVES"
I don't know how many shows I've played at the Talkhouse in the past twenty some odd years but its safe to say that I hold the record for most shows by a female performer hands down. That means I have sweat more, broken more strings and basically seen more crazy shit than the rest of my boobied kind.
The Talkhouse Millinuem New Years Eve
(AKA: The Stripper, the Dwarf and the Band Oh MY!)
I should have known that playing the Talkhouse for the closing minutes of 1999 would not have been normal. There is no way Peter Honerkamp would have just settled for a good band, dressed up bartenders and some silver balloons. No. Like some derelict version of a John Waters play there must be strippers and a dwarf. Make that a confused stripper and a nasty dwarf. Somewhere in the back of Peters head he came up with the idea of having Coco the Stripper and Hector the dwarf should do a reenactment of "Lady Godiva" after the first set of music that night. What Peter had NOT foreseen was
the look on all of the dressed up ladies who were at the Talkhouse to celebrate a monumental passing of time. Everyone was trying to do something spectacular to ring in 2000 so it was with a stunned confusion that these patrons in their finest spangled dresses and tuxedos watched a well endowed stripper, complete with a long, painfully fake blond wig, get chased back and fourth on a 16 foot stage by a midget dressed up as a jester. The men in the crowd enjoyed it but couldn't really show their approval for fear of being smacked on the head by their girlfriends and wives. So Hector and Coco ran around in an awkward silence as he screamed "I'm gonna get you Lady Godiva, I'm gonna get YOU!" as Coco, and her famously bouncy, lactating tits squealed "Don't catch me! Don't catch me!". The band stood side stage frozen in disbelief. We had to follow this? It was worse than Larry doing a split with a pickle in his pocket.
The story, unfortunately, does not end there. Coco and Hector returned upstairs where I was sitting on the couch working out my second set. I, along with every other band leader in the world, had to make sure that Prince's Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1999 was being played as we headed into the final seconds of 1999 and into to the bright and spanky year of 2000. (I would bet good money that the sonic residue of 2 millions live bands playing 1999 on that very night is still orbiting the heavenly spheres of our solar system in a dysfunctional cacophonous ring).
So. Anyway. I digress. Where was I…. oh yes. On the couch. With my set list. That was when Hector came up to me and in a voice that can only be described as Angry Munchkin Lollipop Kid … said, "Hey, Just so you know, I'll be doing the countdown."
I looked up and arched a brow.
"Oh Really?" i said in a voice that can only be described as annoyed bitch.
Coco chimed in. Marilyn Monroe and cookie dough and little disney bluebirds shot from her mouth. "Nooooooo. I'mmm supposed to do it." she purred, batted her eyes and made a sad face. Topless. In a fake long blond wig and smeared mascara.
"Listen," Hector shouted as he pulled away his cell phone from his ear, "I'm away from my girlfriend tonight. I'm doing it. End of story." Obviously his girlfriend was on the other end of the cell phone listening and Hector was pitching for a midget blow job upon his return home later that night.
Have I offended you yet? Good. I don't care. Because reality is offensive and this, as I was heading into the 21st century, was my reality. People had traveled the globe to be in Paris, the top of Kilimanjaro, maybe an African Safari or deep in a Costa Rican jungle for this sacred night. The turn of the century.
"What are you going to do?" Everyone always asked.
"Where are you going to be for the turn of the century?"
I'm going to be upstairs in the Talkhouse, on a semen covered couch arguing with a stripper and a dwarf. Why? What did you do?
Ok. Back to the story.
So. I told the stripper no. I told the Dwarf no and neither one was pleased.
"Listen." I said, " Neither of you is counting down. I am. I will be onstage playing and if you'd like to join me that is fine but otherwise it's not happening."
Hector read my face and sized me up.
"Would you like to throw me?" he said.
No. This is not really happening.
Yes. It is.
We hit the stage. Everyone, it seemed, was dressed to the nines and drunk. A solid crowd for sure. Party hats were on and there was a nonstop toot coming from all directions for the scattered party horns that were laid on the tables and the bar. Honks were going off in all directions and glitter silver glitter kept getting thrown admidst the crowd. The clock was ticking but as anyone who has ever played the Talkhouse knows… the clock on the wall is fast by about 10 minutes.
This set up a dilemma as everyone was looking at that clock but it was wrong. Phil Vega, looking dapper in his tuxedo along with his new "fuck the whale and save my teeth" teeth, was screaming "FIVE MINUTES" when in actuality it was fifteen minutes. I couldn't fight it. The pressure was on. The crowd thought it was the last five minutes and started going crazy. I cued 1999 and had no idea where the countdown was at this point. The clock was saying midnight, people were screaming but then Vega figured out that clock was fast and was NOW screaming "NO! NO! You have 10 more minutes!"
What resulted was the longest version of 1999. EVER. Complete with an impromptu white girl rap to extend the song. I just remember repeating "I got a tiger in my pocket and baby it's ready to ROAR." about 16 times till Hector was thrown into the audience and Coco bounced up and down without rhythm next to the drum kit.
This, for the record, is how the millinium was ushered in at my favorite bar, The Stephen Talkhouse.- NANCY ATLAS "THE NANCY ATLAS PROJECT"
My love affair with that Talkhouse goes WAY back. Like opening season way back. My best friend Tracey has a stepfather named Huck and he used to own a bar named Snuggler's Cove. That one simple fact gave us carte blanche entry to the Talkhouse at a very early age. 18 for her and 17 for me to be exact. When ever we went there Tracey would wear her bright red lipstick and all the bartenders knew her name. I was in awe. I had met her while working as a waitress at the Clam Bar on the Napeague stretch. Our days were filled with shucking corn, cleaning endless pounds of mussels and prepping cole slaw in the back room on worn blanks by the freezers. After mopping out the restaurant with the whole crew we'd pull a veritable Fred Flintstone, and be one step short of sliding down a brontosaurus tail. We'd rush home, shower, eat and head out to the Talkhouse. Somewhere after midnight we would dance till we couldn't breath and then go outside where Tracey would smoke and we would get hit on by what seemed like really old men. I think they were in their early thirties. Ouch.
After a quick break we would head back in. My dancing spot was a bench on the stage right. It had a window behind it with grey wood lattice covering it, presumably so you wouldn't fall through the window and kill yourself while shaking your ass. Nothing kills a rock show like somebody with a window pane through their forehead, unless you're a Mini Kiss Cover Band but that's another story entirely. Anyway, that one window with the lattice was the air conditioning back then. (actually it is probably better than the air conditioning they have today. I mean that. Really. I do.) So it's 1989 and my favorite band is Rumor Has It which is fronted by none other than Talkhouse legend, Klyph Black. With my white go go boots firmly planted on the bench and I would dance my sweet little nectarine hips till I had sweaty bangs and smeared mascara. I can still remember it being 4 am in the morning and Klyph playing Not Fade Away while the water glistened and dripped from the ceilings, from the pipes, and from the wires hanging from walls. It was magical. When Klyph took a solo he walked to the front of the stage and that was my cue to hop off of my perch and run lean in on the monitor speakers from the dance floor. I could jam my face up into his guitar which was perfectly placed swinging between his two legs like a giant electronic dick with strings. A feeling of lusty rock and roll would wash over me. I remember feeling so completely overwhelmed by the joy and the complete sexual rush the music gave me. Beyond limits. I craved it and since it was coming out of Klyph, this sound, this voice, these solos… I also craved him. But he was a married man and if you ever saw his wife Kelly you realized why he never strayed.
How could I deal with this rush? How to deal with these emotions I was feeling that took over my whole body so completely? I knew what I had to do and that was quite simply: learn to play guitar. It was three years still in the making but the seed had been planted by my inability to sleep with Klyph so thank you Klyph for being married in that time otherwise I would have just been just another groupie and hanging out with Roxanne. That's a big statement considering at the time I was still a virgin.
So off I went after summer back to college overseas. I graduated college early because it was either graduate early or drop out so I just crammed courses for three years and then with a diploma in my hand headed back to the East End. I came back that winter with only three months of playing under my belt. Those were real winters, the kind when nobody lived here and 10 point bucks walked down main street on snowy nights. Your two options were either Salivars or The Talkhouse Open Mic. I chose the latter. Within about a week I met a producer. A very drunk, bald producer. He wanted to work with me and filled my head with grandeur. Suddenly I was a musician. I looked myself in the mirror and started singing into my hair brush and dreamed of music videos and rivaling Alanis Morrisette. I kept telling myself that I was a singer songwriter. It felt good. It felt right. I loved playing and singing so much that I there was a total fearlessness. I didn't care if anyone liked my music or my voice. I was young and confident, considering I could barely play.
I went about it in an academic fashion. I figured if I was truly going to be a singer songwriter that I should probably start checking out who my competition was. What makes this story relevant is that it happened on THE VERY NIGHT that I had decided I was going to give it shot and be a professional musician. For real. The bald producer had convinced me that I had the goods to make it so I was officially leaving behind a potential advertising career and time in running restaurants. I was going for the brass ring. So on that very day I got dressed up and headed down to the Talkhouse.
I walked up to the door and randomly ask, "Who's playing tonight?"
Crazy Eddy was the door guy that night. He had one eye on me and the other cocked down on some crack in the outside planks leading up to the door. People wondered if he had been born with his eyes crossed like that or if they were a by product from too much blow. Either way his blank jagged stare could scared the shit out of you on any given occasion. Nice guy but he wasn't called Crazy Eddie because he sold TV's for a living. He was Crazy Eddie because at any moment he could be ripping your head off like a wild orangoutang. He had the perfect look for a doorman cause you just don't want to mess with him.
So I asked him who was playing and he replied, "Some chick named Joan Osborne. It's $5. She's really good and has great tits".
I smirked a flat chested smile and thought.
'Yeah, whatever. I'm on this. Lets see what she's got.'
I hand over my fiver, go inside to a packed bar and get my ass blown away. By the third song I was uncontrollably crying and not because I felt particularly touched. I felt completely and utterly fucked. I was in disbelief. THIS was my competition? If this girl hadn't made it how the hell was I ever going to even have a chance at this? I was smoking Joe Fraizer cold on the floor. She was Ali laughing on the mic with her enormous swinging jugs.
Of course I got up off the floor at some point, dusted my pants and kept going. By 1993-94 we had our little open mic scene. Gene Hamilton, Tommy Lagrassa, Penny. Songs about Virgil, Squid and wanting you to Believe in Me . Late nights improv-ing about Puerto Rican Phil with James telling me I needn't try to sing so hard. I think James is still telling me that and it sucks that he was right. New to songwriting the Tuesday night Open Mic was my chance to try out songs. Nick Krauss had long wavy hair that went down past his shoulders. He took me aside one night by the back bathrooms to tell me he thought I was really good. "I'm not trying to hit on you." He said, "Honestly. I just want you to know I think you're really talented. I see a lot of really bad singers here and you're actually good." We were so young and naive. I actually believed he wasn't hitting on me and he actually thought I was good.
I started playing solo shows. Just me and my guitar. Peter gave me slots to push me along, opening for Richie Havens here and John Hiatt there.
"Listen Nancy, I want to book you for the better nights but you need to have a band."
Me: "Um…. Ok."
Peter: "Great. Then I can put you down for a Friday Night next month?"
Fast forward a month later to that friday night:
My new band plays 8 original songs and I say, "Thank you and Goodnight!"
James, the bartender comes up to me and says,
"What the fuck are you doing??!! It's friday night! You can't just play one set! You need to play till 1 am! It's only10:30. Get back on!! NOW."
I was completely confused and a tad pissed off. I had worked hard to get all eight of those songs sounding tight and solid. I was new to this whole band thing. Nobody had told me about sets and playing the whole night. It was my show. I was the one up there pouring out my heart.
"Hey James," I replied as I was stuffing my guitar into it's case, "If anybody has a problem with spending five dollars to see eight original songs you send them to the end of the bar to talk to ME! I'll give them their five bucks back".
His mouth was open. He was stunned. Not quite the answer he expected. He kept his mouth open and shook his head in disbelief.
The bar was packed and people were calling him from behind. He marched back to Larry doing a split in gold shorts and pouring shots into his mouth and spitting them into the air.
That was the first time my band ever played a late night gig at the Talkhouse.
If life was all just a heavenly dream then the The Talkhouse would be a dark corner in the sky where the angels go to let their hair down after a long day of saving souls. Peter has always said, "I have the best job on earth. I get to make people happy." and I believe him. I feel the same way. It has been a complete joy and dream realized to throw my fisted microphone over the Talkhouse crowd on countless hot, sweaty Saturday nights. The crowds never seem to fade. The lines only get longer with each coming year. I would like to think that is because they know when something is right and pure. That they feel it in their blood and want to be a part of something real. Not a fruited up cocktail and neon lights. No. The Talkhouse has heavy beams and shots of tequila. Walls that literally talk through the endless photos of those that have played there. It has been a moment in time that we have all been apart of. Sweated through. Laughed, cried and lived admits it's walls. Here is to another 25 years lusty Rock and Roll. Long live the Stephen Talkhouse and everyone who has believed in it's magic.
-NANCY ATLAS "THE NANCY ATLAS PROJECT"
From the outside, it’s almost quaint. Inocent, even. A roadside honky-tonk from an old movie. There’s a timeless quality to it. And it looks small from the outside. You don’t expect that. Not from a place with the reputation for being Long Island’s best live music club.
Yet step inside The Stephen Talkhouse on a summer night and this ramshackle cottage transforms into a cathedral. Intricate caverns of sturdy Long Island timber tempered with the sweat and booze of nearly half a century. Its steamy innards pulse from heaving crowds of hormonally-charged, alcohol-fueled men and women jockeying for position. Inside, on a summer night, the place feels huge. Traversing its realm will take you on a Tolkienesque journey through ever-changing environs—front bar, main bar, dance floor, middle bar, outside bar, garden, and back again—offering fresh bounty at every turn and countless safe harbors from that certain someone you’d prefer to avoid. It feels epic.
Calling the Talkhouse an institution feels like an understatement, yet the description fits nonetheless. Institutions are “mechanisms of social order” that “arise, develop, and function in a pattern of social self-organization, which goes beyond the conscious intentions of the individual humans involved.” Or some such shit I found on Wikipedia. Though for anyone who has seen the summer Talkhouse crowd operate, that sounds about right. There is a social order, even amidst the chaos, and it’s definitely beyond conscious, sober minds. But above all, institutions endure. And the Talkhouse has endured.
I fell in love with the Talkhouse the second I set foot inside it for the first time in the summer of 2001. It slid on perfectly, like a worn leather jacket. Nestled in the Hamptons, a region many associate with pretension, velvet ropes, and entitled assholes, the Talkhouse is the perfect antidote. It serves up hedonism with an egalitarian sensibility. At the Talkhouse, unhealthy and unhelpful divisions of class, race, and age melt away in the sauna-like heat. At the Talkhouse, everyone’s on a level playing field. Whether you’re in the 99% or the 1%, that Jäger-bomb is gonna smart.
Certainly, the Talkhouse is a great place to drink. And sure, it can be an efficient meat market for anyone looking to indulge in the delicacies of the flesh. But the music…isn’t it really about the music? Countless legends have graced its stage since Peter reopened the bar in 1987. Over the years, I’ve had the fortune to see many amazing national acts perform within the Talkhouse’s intimate confines. But for me, it’s always been about the late-night bands. Nancy Atlas, Booga Sugar, Dana Fuchs, Winston Irie, Little Head Thinks, and so on. Relentless workmen that sweat out marathon sets of greatness that send throngs of young men and woman writhing in peyote-like convulsions and Caligulan embrace. Gladiators, all of them. It never occurred to me that one day, with Hot Lava, I might have the honor to join this pantheon.
Hot Lava’s history is inextricably linked to the Talkhouse, having been forged within and around its walls. The band’s founding members met in Amagansett in the summer of 2004, most of us new to its laid back summer scene yet already dedicated Talkhouse enthusiasts. Man, we loved that place. Practically lived there in the summer. Our act was honed over many epic Talkhouse after-parties at Meeting House (no, not that one) where Hot Lava would hold court in a kitchen and lead late-night sing-alongs well into the morning. It was in that kitchen in 2005 where Nick Kraus, most certainly hammered, gave us our first break: a Sunday night on the Talkhouse stage.
From that first historic performance—an atrocious acoustic set played in front of a ridiculous Spinal Tap-inspired 7-inch clay volcano—we evolved and matured (read: improved), enjoying constant support along the way from Nick and Peter who must have seen some potential there, and eventually we found ourselves in the Talkhouse’s stable of late-night house bands. There’s no better place to be. Over the years, we’ve had to honor to follow some great acts. We can, in good conscience, say that Richie Havens once “opened” for us. Yes, the same dude who opened Woodstock. On another night, our start time was postponed to make room for Jimmy Buffet, who had decided spur-of-the-moment to head in from Montauk and crank through nearly every song in his endless catalog. Upstairs in the green room—a hallowed den that redefines dilapidation and is surely the last place on Earth you’d wanna bust out a black light—we couldn’t help but chuckle at any impatience we felt at being bumped...for a legend! How far we had come, indeed.
To this day, the Talkhouse remains—without question—our favorite venue to play. To perform there on a summer night is to taste rock stardom in no uncertain terms. The energy that encircles the room defies description. With no high stage or other real separation between audience and band, it is impossible not to connect. With such proximity, the feedback loop is immediate. And powerful. And there’s nothing like a Talkhouse crowded riled up. Man, the crazy shit we’ve seen go down from our vantage point on stage. The stuff of dreams. By the end, Hot Lava has left it all onstage and the audience, for its part, has done the same—leaving everything on the dance floor: sweat, clothing, vomit, and, for one or two I’d guess, perhaps a shred of dignity. Just another Saturday night at the Talkhouse.
It must also be said that, for Hot Lava, our love of the Talkhouse has much to do with the good people who make it all happen, working its doors, bars, and hallways. Throughout our six-year residency, our biggest supporters have been the ladies and gentlemen of the Talkhouse staff who have treated us like one of the family, taken care of our friends and family, and shared drinks with us during many late nights. We are lucky to call them friends. They offer a reason to shed a tear at the end of each summer and a reason to smile at the end of every spring. It is to these unsung heroes, and the institution of which they are guardians, that we dedicate our performances. Well…and maybe to that hot chick in the crop shirt in the front row.
I sometimes wonder what the actual Stephen “Talkhouse” Pharaoh, whose iconic visage is emblazoned on the wall behind the stage, would have thought about this place that bears his name. Perhaps he might complain about the long line, and maybe the steep cover, but upon entering this modern-day sweat lodge, my guess is he would feel at home. I can picture him bellying up to the bar and ordering a whiskey, surveying the spectacle around him. I would like to think that he might, at some point, venture up towards the front of the stage to catch a bit of Hot Lava…a locally-grown cover band who, at this magical honky-tonk at the far end of Long Island, in front of a looming portrait of a mostly forgotten Native American, erupts from its humble beginnings and, for a night, transforms into the greatest band on Earth.
- Andy from Hot Lava…on behalf of a grateful band.
I first want to thank you so much for the opportunity to play the great Talkhouse...all of you there are such incredible peeps with your energy, passion and commitment to live music and to what the eastend was all about for sooo many years...thanx for keepin it alive...I know I sound clzy here but from me heart tis true....
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING:
My husband and I have had MANY wonderful nites at The Talkhouse. We make the trip from Nassau county whenever we can. LOVE the setting and of course the wide variety of artists. LOVE when NOLA artists come up..
One night kind of stood out from the others. Went to see Dr John which was amazing in itself. Jimmy Buffett, Jane Buffett. Richard Gere and Carrie Gere showed up. When Dr John yelled at everyone to get up like in NOLA , these stars in their own right JUMPED up and started to dance with everyone. Ahhh the pecking order of life....
Thanks again for keeping the place as is (With a few updates I'm told by Joe Lombardi) , and for providing amazing times in the past and I'm sure the future. -MARIANNE STRAAIK
I have been to so many great shows at the Talkhouse over the years, but the one that really stands out was September 1996 or 1997 when Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze had just started to do solo shows. This was one of his first solo “pub” style shows, and everyone was uncertain about what to expect. But when Glenn took the stage, the magic began. Just the man, the guitar and his fans. It was wonderfully intimate, which has always been my favorite part of any performance at the Talkhouse.
But this show had special magic. When Glenn needed backing vocals on a few tunes, the audience spontaneously and collectively filled in. The look on Glenn’s face when he heard us all was priceless, and I bet it is a moment he has not forgotten either. Also, Glenn invited audience members to sing duets with him-for true fans this was a dream come true! We were cheering everyone on when a sudden thunderstorm kicked up and knocked the power out. I never imagined it could be so dark in there! But, that wasn’t the end of the show. The crew pulled out extra candles and Glenn unplugged his acoustic guitar from the amp and stepped into the audience and started taking requests. He did this until the power was restored and he plugged in his unplugged show. For this Squeeze fan, this special performance was sublime, and it could not have happened anywhere but the Stephen Talkhouse.
I’ve been many other Glenn Tilbrook shows at the Talkhouse-once was for my birthday, and Glenn led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to me. On another night, he led us out into the street-Montauk Highway in Amagansett-how did we not get run over?! When he added a band to the act, I loved how they would bring a set of bongos into the crowd and stand at the bar for a song or two. These were such rousing, rowdy times! As wonderful as those shows were, nothing will top the Lights Out performance Glenn gave in his first solo appearance there.
Thank you for all the great times! I look forward to many more! -JUDY MCCLEERY
God, I have so many, but most notably:--The night the power went out during the Nor'easter during Glenn Tilbrook's acoustic show – people put candles around the stage and sang with him for about 5 songs when you were running around frantically trying to get the power back on. Was pretty anti-climactic when the power did come back on, seems like the audience wanted it to stay off as I had never seen such an intimate venue become "intimate-er".
--A different Tilbrook show when he took a show of hands and marched the entire audience out into Main Street, sang three songs, then marched the audience back into the club while still playing like "The Pied Piper"
--Barenaked Ladies delivering a marriage proposal from my future brother-in-law Greg to my sister Krista during a show.
--Watching Hot Tuna acoustic one night just tearing it up, and seeing Paul Simon sitting in the front table looking pretty mesmerized by what he was seeing happen on stage.- DOUG
Where, other than The Talkhouse, can you sit so close to the stage that the artist -- in this case John Hiatt -- spits on you while performing? It's our favorite music venue, by far (spit included).-TROY
My wife and I landed at an 8-top table, where our premium tickets allowed us join four other Jimmy Dale Gilmore fans, our two sons (ages 10 and 12) in tow. "We're the Sullivan's from St. Louis!" Our table mates welcomed us, not showing any trepidation by being joined by two much younger fans. Our boys had by then seen Jimmy at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and know how to act as attentive audience members. The show was great and became even more personal when Jimmy Dale's son joined him onstage to perform a couple of numbers, including Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, words by Woody Guthrie, set to music by Billy Bragg and members of St. Louis' own Wilco.
I explained to my sons, after their numerous trips to the men's room, the photo on the wall of a group of naked women walking down a New York City Street was art, as the otherwise unclothed gals were wearing very nice footwear, showing independence and empowerment. "Dad, we weren't looking at the shoes!"-KEVIN & LINDY SULLIVAN
Loved the MTV Unplugged sessions filmed at The Talkhouse where all viewers could see the cosy, intimate Talkhouse stage where well-known performers engage with devoted listeners. You never know who might turn up to listen to a favorite performer and then join in for an impromptu jam -- McCartney, Joel, Ocasek, Hot Tuna, etc. -----JAN SILVER
Walking past the Talkhouse in early 80's and hearing a Jefferson Airplane tune so head inside and am pleased to see Jack Casady and the airplane rocking the joint-many great jorma shows and a memorable dickey betts nite when his equipment was late so he played an acoustic only first show which we enjoyed from the outside bar and went inside for an extended electric 2nd show after his stuff arrived. -JAY
Thank you so much for the note. I attended the last three English Beat Concerts. During one of them my wife and I took our teenage son and daughter who were 17 and 15 at the time. They had never been to a concert with us prior to that. When we arrived at the Talkhouse and they saw how close the stage was they got really excited. When the show started and EVERYONE started dancing (including their “old” parents) five seconds into the first song they were blown away. When the drunk lady laid down on all our coats and instead of getting mad at her I high fived her and made a pillow for her the kids were hysterical. We really had fun. Thanks for giving us a great family memory! Frank A. Yanover
I've enjoyed many shows over the years, but my top 3 are: Bonnie Bramlett, Antigone Rising, and The Thunderbirds. I'm waiting for Ronnie Spector to come out,after cancelling because of the hurricane.Thanks.
Saw Kathleen Edwards at your place. It was a brilliant show, and the venue was well suited to her. The drive was quite a drag (I live in Islip), but well worth it! -Rich
It has taken some time, but on this cold snow filled evening I will share a few of the best memories of my favorite intimate music venue, Your Stephen Talkhouse. In the Late 80's when the Talkhouse came on my radar, many of the folk and blues performers showcased at the very beginning also performed at NYC clubs like Tramps and The Bottom Line. A Village club all the way out in Amagansett, good luck with that was my initial reaction. My focus has always been music and putting up with the intoxicated non fans has always been a challenge in a club environment. So in 1994 I found myself with my good friend Mickey on line for Acoustic Hot Tuna late show watching the early show through the open front window. Three hours from the open window and three hours from the bar and I was hooked. Non fans were non existant, this place had a serious Sweetwater Vibe and this is before performance fee increases.
On to May 1995. Warren Haynes and Alan Woody of The ABB were putting together a power trio with drummer Matt Abst and were booked Monday June 4. Four of us decided a table was in order so when the day arrived, much to our suprise the kitchen had buy one get one lobster specials. Taking our table two hours before show time,we started cracking em open, and didn't stop until our mountain of shells were eyed by Alan who declined our offer for one of his own. He and Warren were greatly amused by our pre-show gluttony. As the afternoon turned into evening, our heads were rocked by one of the very first performances of "Gov't Mule". As we headed west on 27 well after midnight each of us realised that we had been treated to one of the best times of our lives on that late spring day of 1995. In the days following that blistering show we wanted to come back as a group, so in the following months was Dick Dale's first talkhouse gig on Oct 4 and two more Gov't Mule shows as well.
Getting to know Peter, I understood his commitment to music and keeping his dream alive. Many times he would answer the phone for ticket orders which sometimes arrived in my mailbox the very next day!
Other great shows included two more marathon Hot Tuna early and late shows, Richard Thompson, David Lindley & Hani Nassar, Leo Kotke and local bands like Nancy Atlas and Zen Tricksters. All told I have seen dozens of top notch shows put together by a group of people who care about music and patrons having a really good time, the staff of the Stephen Talkhouse. One last memory and perhaps the best of all, Peter let the Instumental space band I was engineering at the time "Canis Minor" play a gig after "Esteban" on my wedding day October 13 2001. After a lovely Montauk wedding at the Community Church and reception at the Manor,our group of thirty headed over to our favorite bar to watch my band play for us. For that act of supreme kindness I will always be grateful and as a gift I will send you slides of that great Gov't Mule show of June 1995. Please use them for whatever you wish, for it is my only photgraphed document of any of the shows I have attended. I sincerely hope this memory serves you well and continued luck and good fortune for the future of Stephen Talkhouse.
WHAT EMPLOYEES MEMORIES ARE:
Before I ever met him, my first introduction to Peter becoming the new owner of the Talkhouse came from an article that appeared in the Newsday. It said in part, Peter Honerkamp, a personal friend of the author Clifford Irving, who said to Peter, "Imagine dying a million dollars in debt?"... to which Peter replied: "Imagine LIVING a million dollars in debt!" And that was the thinking behind his buying the Talkhouse. I thought it was a hillarious notion and remember quoting it to my then girlfriend who eventually became my wife, saying,"This guy sounds really cool." Which reminds me of the early days...like when I'd come into the bar with the beautiful Jeanne on my arms, Wags, Finnigan, Mike Farrell, and the bartenders couldnt be nicer to me; only to be completely ignored on the nights I was stupid enough to show up there alone. But I digress.
The first night I met Peter, after he converted the place from a juke-box bar into a live music venue was at Jerry Jeff Walker show. The line was half way down the block and Peter somehow recognized me from previous encounters here and there. He pulled me and Jeannie off the line and led us through the back kitchen entrance planting us in great view of the show saying to me, "Tommy I dont know you that well, but I can tell you are one of the good guys." And then like the Lone Ranger he disappeared. That was Peter then and that is Peter now. In charge of the task of providing his friends as well as the entire community with great entertainment....to say nothing of his inexhaustible energy providing for local, and now international (WWP) charities.
P.S. He paid me with free drinks for a month to say all this! Seriously, the Stephen Talkhouse is not only a local institution, it is an Un-Hampton throw back to less pretentious times, where importance of community still prevails, and people can still let it all hang out. Even Reggie. I love not only Peter, but the entire gang of staff that do a remarkable job, especially when considering who the hell they are (KIDDING). I love all of you, and thanks for being there. With love and affection- TOMMY LAGRASSA
Taj mahal played solo back then..half the show on the piano the other on guitar…he’d take offence if the quiet was broken during his performance…after the show he’d grab a drink and put quarters in the juke box (that’s how long ago) and we’d dance with Maureen (shea)…….
Women crying in the front seats as kris kristofferson took top layers off while on stage………
Tito puente and his orchestra…had to expand the club to accommodate his band…..side alley and stage door gone forever…….
Losing melanie every so often to out of town (preferably south) bands…..
Frampton at the bar……..then michael and david and the deep fried vidalia onions……
Peter going up onstage to unplug jorma kaukonen…
Woman stripping out of her dress to gain free access to the talkhouse late night……
Drew asleep at the console…..
Peter in every kind of drag……….
Larry jumping over the bar to inflict justice…….
Phil shushing louder than the actual disturbance…..
Thusday night was band night…anybody who wanted to give it a go…a famous thursday night would be joan osborne…..place reached new heights that evening………
Another was felicia and the hotheads……..three piece behind her…woman breaks into song and had us for lunch!!…on the floor crying ‘I‘d rather go blind then see you walk away‘…………lap dancing unsuspecting front seat guys while screaming ‘you can have my husband but don‘t you touch my man‘…….great inspiring energy in that room every so often……
Delbert mcclinton in his silk suit……..turned the room into a lounge he did…….
Ali farka toure..(a spate of african band one season)…by the fourth chord the place erupted in pure joy and kept at it all night…….
Tuesday nights off season hosted by g.e.smith…………turned the talkhouse into a living room….cozy, top musianship and good friends around…all good
Dave mason, almost the talkhouse house band there for a while…..
Eric and his animals……..took the talkhouse to all sorts of extremes…..
Pointdexter and his lounge lizard act…..the whole room as expected ordering martinis……his degree of decadence resonated well with the talkhouse crowd……good parties.
And the crew……doesn’t really translate well…..
Chapter by chapter the talkhouse has and is changing shape………….a constant is its promotion of local bands, of new talents…. another is it offers the best live music about and with peter the talkhouse has become a serious venue for charity works……..a great place, great people ….some now gone…..and the best music around…… DEE MOORE- 1992 to Present
Talkhouse has been great to me. I’ve been places and started talking about it, and people have heard about it. Or I’d say, “I’m the owner of the Stephen Talkhouse.” I was in Santa Fe, just anyplace I would go, I’d mention the name, and put a line of bullshit out there and they’d all gobble it up. I did know the place really well.
It’s just part of the fabric now. There’s a lot of people that have been influenced by the Talkhouse, one way or another. You meet a wide variety going in and out of there. And it’s the Hamptons, the summer, for god’s sake. It was just the coolest.
Peter has used it as a platform for many things, and I think that’s tremendous. When he was starting this, I guess he’d been trying to write the Great American Novel. He’s one of the funniest people I know. We don’t see each other that much anymore, but when we do, I’m glad to see him. Once you’ve worked at the Talkhouse, you always feel a part of that family.
It was awesome. It was a great time. It is the best bar I’d ever been in. I made so many friends and so many connections, and I didn’t know hardly anybody out here. It just changed my life.
MICHAEL CAIN, ex-doorman, present patron
EMPLOYEES AND OWNERS OF THE TALKHOUSE FROM THE BEGINNING TILL NOW:
ADRIENNE "MIM" SCHWARTZ, ALBERT "BUDDY" PONTICK, ALBERT MENEDEZ, ALDI BINOZI, ANDREA MCCAFFERTY, ANGELA MCCAFFERTY, ANNA LI, ARI, ART GRANOFF, ASHLEY GARDNER, BETH, BILLY HOFFMAN, BOB MOSS, BRANCH GENTILE, BRANDON GABBARD, BRUCE BLUEDORN, BRETT KAYE, BRIAN QUIGLY, BRIAN "JAWS" WAGNER, CARL GUST, CARLOS MENEDEZ, CARTER KEMP, CHAD BAKER, CHRIS CARNEY, CHRIS JARRETT, CHRIS TOTO, CLINT BROWN, COLIN LILLIE, CRAIG KULP, CRAIG WRIGHT, DANIELLE KUPERSCHMID, DANNY TOOKER, DAVID MCCAFFERTY, DARBY MCHUGH, DANNY SCHNEIR, DAVID GOCHENOUR, DEBBIE KENNEDY, DEBBIE MUNARI, DEBBIE REUTERSCHAN, DEBRA REISER, DENNIS LAWRENCE, DENNIS "JUICE" LONG, DENNIS MACCHIO, DIA KARAKANTAS, DICK BAXTER, DILLON MANN,DIONNE MOORE, DISHWASHER DAVE, DOMINIQUE WIRTH, DON SHARKEY, DREW CHARLES, DREW HOLHAUSER, ED MCKNIGHT, ED MCKLUSKY, EDDIE, EIJI SHIGA, EINSTEIN, ELDA GENTILE, ELLIOT MCLAREN, ELISA TEBBINS, ENCE BAXTER, ERIN KENNEDY, ERIC "WHITEY" PETTERSEN, ETHAN BOGART, FRANK BAITA, GARTH WAKEFORD, GENE HAMILTON, GEORGE FELDNER, GEORGE AND BETH MEREDITH, GEORGEANNE ROBERTS, GLEN KUSHNER, HAROLD, JASON & DANI LEVINE, HECTOR ALIFIERI, JACKIE LOWEY, JACKLYN EWING, JAMES BOSLEY, JAMES KOEPPEL, JAMES MCELVANEY, JAMES PELLOW, JAMES WILLOW & KAREN JONHSON, JANE, JAYBIRD MORASCINI, JAY SHORT, JEFF "PEPTO" SILVERMAN, JEFF MOSHER, JEN BULEY, JENS BREWER, JEROME & NANCY SCHNEIR, JERRY KUCKER, JESSE LISS, JILLIAN KENNEDY, JIM "THE GHOST" LAWLER, JIM MEYERS, JIM PETERSON, JIM FRAIN, JOANNE PILGRIM, JOE, ROSIE & MIKE GIANCINTO, JOHN CIULLO, JOHN COX, JOHN HANFORD, JOHN "LOUIE" LANDY, JOHN PARLAND, JOHNNY BLOOD, JOHNNY MAYRO, JOHN MCCAIN, JONELLEN THOMPSON, JORGE LUIS BERNAL, JOSH MAGURA, JOYCE WARREN, JULIE MEAD, JULIETTA, JUSTIN REID, KARI STUVE, KATHY RAFFERTY, KATIE HONERKAMP, K.C. CULLUM, KEN RAFFERTY, KENDALL BAHNS, KENT SWIG, KEVIN BOLES, KEVIN FINNIGAN, KEVIN SANATACROCE, KITCHEN GEORGE, KITCHEN NICK, KRYSTIE WOOD, KLYPH BLACK SCWARTZ, KRISTEN, KYLE PASEKA, LARRY WAGNER, LENORE BAILEY, LESLIE REINGOLD, LITTLE MARK, LIZ ETTIE, LOREN GALLO, LYNN HARRISON, LUCIEN CLEWELL, MARK PROCTOR, MATT DAUCH, MATT NEWHOUSE, MARCIE HONERKAMP, MARCUS BARNETT, MARK AND JENNIFER BENCK, MARK KNIGHT, MARY PAT FINNIGAN, MAUREEN, MATT SATZ, MAX HONERKAMP, MELANIE TIBBETS, MIA JOHNSON, MICHAEL CAIN, MICHAEL FARRELL, MICHAEL LANDANO, MICHAEL "FRAMPTON/ ELWOOD & ETTIES" GOCHENOUR, MICHAEL GENTH, MICHAEL SCHULMAN, MIKE BUQUICCIO, MIKE MAZZARACO, MIKE, SUKEY, NACHO, GABBY, ANNA & CHRISTIAN NOVOGRATZ, MICKEY OSBOURNE, MOLLY CHANTIN, NANETTE, NICK KRAUS, NOKO SHIGA, PAUL CLEARY, PAUL CONEY, PAULINO COLLADO & FAMILY, PETER GOTTLIEB, PETER HONERKAMP, PETER CORNELIA, PHILLIP VEGA, RAY LEDDA, RIAN WHITE, RICH KULP, RICHIE QUINN, ROB HOLLAND, ROB LAMBERT, ROBERT KAIMOWITZ, ROBERT PINTO, ROBYN KUNTZ, RON RAFFERTY, RON SIMONOVIC, RONIN O'DWYER, RONNIE KING, ROONEY CLAREST, RUBY HONERKAMP, SAM, SAMANTHA CARNEY, SAMMY SCHNEIR, SANDY KIEGEL, SARAH FOCARINO, SARAH KIEGEL, SCOTT & ROSE FAMILANTZ, SCOTT SLEVINSKI, SEAN QUIGLY, SEAN SADOWSKI, SEAN WYCHE, SIMI, SPENCER BAMBRICK, STEPHEN HONERKAMP, STEVE GORICKI, STEVE DAY, STANLEY MCGEE, SUSAN BOCHROCH, SUSAN SELCK RIVERS, TAMMI GAY, TEK VAKALALOMA, TERRY BUTLER, TIM MYERS, TIM TAYLOR, TOM CLEARY, TOMMY LAGRASSA, TOM HEINISCH, TONY AMICI, TONY HUGHES, TONY PETERS, TOM RHODES, TRACEY TOOMEY, TRACEY LUDLOW, TRAVIS BAGBY, WILL FIELD, WILLIAM "FUDGE" WHITING, WOLF REITER, WOODY GRABBER, ZAIDA RESTO
Lots of celebrities have played here over the years but none have played more and done more for the Talkhouse than Jimmy Buffett. He's played on his own, with Jerry Jeff Walker, Sonny Landreth, Ilo Ferreira, and other local bands.
Siblings: Shelby Lynne & Allison Moore
Rolling Stones guy
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Son
Maria Muldaur Jenny Muldaur
Loudon Wainwright III Rufus Wainwright
James Taylor & Carly Simon Ben & Sally Taylor
Paul Simon Harper Simon
Johnny Cash Rosanne Cash
David Crosby James Raymond
Brian Auger (Oblivion Express/Animals) Karma and Savanah Auger
Dave Pegg Matt Pegg???
John Bonham Jason Bonham
Jim Dickinson, Stones piano player Luther & Cody Dickinson (NMAS)
Johnny Copelannd Sheimika Copeland
Arlo Guthrie Abe & Gwen Guthrie
Jim Dickinson (Stones’ pianist) Luther & Cody Dickenson
Brian Jones' son
Jeff Buckley (son of Tim)
Jimmie Dale Gilmore His sons
Bob Dylan Jakob Dylan
John Lennon Julien??? Attended
Jim Hastings Joan Hastings
CJ Chenier, son of Clifton
Rick Nielson (of Cheap Trick) Daxx Nielson (Dick Dale drummer)
Richard Thompson Teddy Thompson (with his dad’s band)
Felix Cavaliere (Rascals) Joe Cavaliere
Butch Truck Derek Trucks (Butch’s nephew).
John Lennon Sean or Julien???
Taj Mahal Daughter
Suzanne Vega Ruby
Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) Matt Pegg
l.) NAME THE PENTHOUSE model who played accordion and piano at the Talkhouse?
2.) WHAT US SENATOR came to the Talkhouse?
3.) WHAT FAMOUS ROCK STAR KICKED THE TOUR BUS DOOR OF LEON RUSSELL WHEN HE REFUSED TO LET HIM ON?
4.) WHAT EXILED HEAD OF STATE CAME TO THE TALKHOUSE AND WHAT DID THAT PERSON ORDER?
5.) WHO HAS PLAYED THE MOST TIMES ON THE TALKHOUSE STAGE?
6.) WHAT NATIONAL ACT HAS PLAYED THE MOST ON THE TALKHOUSE STAGE?
7.) WHO WAS THE FIRST TALKHOUSE CHEF?
8.) HOW MANY LESBIANS WHO WERE NATIONAL ACTS HAVE PLAYED THE TALKHOUSE
9.) WHAT BODY PARTS HAS THE TALKHOUSE HAD BENEFITS FOR?
10.) NAME THE CHARITIES THE TALKHOUSE HAS STAGED BENEFITS FOR?
11.) NAME THE SIBLINGS OF FAMOUS MUSICIANS WHO HAVE PLAYED HERE?
12.) WHAT MUSICIAN PERFORMED ON STAGE HERE ONLY HOURS AFTER ANOTHER MEMBER OF HIS BAND STABBED HIM?
13.) WHAT MUSICIAN HUNG HIMSELF TWO WEEKS AFTER PLAYING HERE?
14.) NAME THE MUSICIANS WHO HAVE PLAYED HERE WHO HAVE DIED?
15.) ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE LISTED THE BEST L00 GUITARISTS OF ALL TIME---NAME THE ONES ON THAT LIST WHO HAVE PLAYED HERE?
NAME ONES WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE CLUB WITHOUT PLAYING HERE.
16.) WHO HAS PLAYED HERE AS THE HEADLINER WITH THREE DIFFERENT NATIONAL ACTS?
17.) WHAT FAMOUS CELEBRITY LOOK ALIKES HAVE TRICKED TALKHOUSE STAFF MEMBERS?
18.) NAME THE SPORTS STARS WHO HAVE BEEN AT THE TALKHOUSE FOR BASKETBALL, HOCKEY, TENNIS, BASEBALL, FOOTBALL 7 SOCCER?
19.) NAME 8 LOCAL AND 8 NATIONAL ACTS THAT HAVE PLAYED HERE 15 TIMES OR MORE.
20.) WHAT YEAR DID THE TALKHOUSE EXPAND?
21.) WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE BARBECUE RESTAURANT AT THE TALKHOUSE?
22.) HOW MANY SIBLINGS HAVE WORKED AT THE TALKHOUSE?
HOW MANY FATHERS AND SONS HAVE WORKED HERE? MOMS AND DAUGHTERS? MOMS AND SONS? DADS AND DAUGHTERS? HUSBANDS & WIVES? HOW MANY SIBLINGS HAVE PLAYED HERE?
23.) WHAT WERE THE TWO WORST FIGHTS THAT OCCURRED HERE?
24.) NAME THE THREE MEMBERS OF THE ROLLING STONES THAT PLAYED HERE OR IN THE TALKHOUSE IN FLORIDA?
25.) NAME THE TWO SHOWS THAT MICK JAGGER ATTENDED?
26.) THERE HAVE BEEN THREE PERFORMERS WHO PLAYED HERE WITH ELECTRIC GUITARS ONLY TO HAVE THE POWER GO OUT IN TOWN. ALL THREE SWITCHED TO ACOUSTIC GUITARS AND PLAYED MEMEMORABLE SHOWS BY CANDLELIGHT? CAN YOU NAME THEM?
27.) WHAT ROCK N’ ROLLER SHARED THE STAGE WITH KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & PAUL SIMON IN l992?
28.) WHO SHARED THE STAGE IN l994 WITH BILLY JOEL & VAN MORRISON?
29.) WHO WERE THE FIRST THREE DOORMEN AT THE TALKHOUSE?
30.) HOW MANY RUGBY PLAYERS CAN YOU NAME THAT WORKED HERE---5 MINIMUM?
Tek, Garth, Chris, Simi, Jay Short, Mark Proctor, Ronin O’Dwyer, Paul Cleary, Justin, Elliot.
31.) HOW MANY TALKHOUSE PERFORMERS ARE IN THE ROCK ‘N ROLL HALL OF FAME EITHER AS INDIVIDUALS OR MEMBERS OF GROUPS? WHAT ROCK N’ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ATTENDED SHOWS HERE WITHOUT PERFORMING?
32.) WHAT BAND DID PAUL MCCARTNEY PLAY WITH WHEN HE SANG HERE IN AUGUST OF 92? WHAT SONG DID HE SING?
33.) WHAT CHARITY BENEFITTED WHEN BILLY JOEL PLAYED HERE IN l990? WHAT PERFORMER DID BILLY JOEL FIRST SHARE THE STAGE WITH IN l989?
34.) WHY DID STING PERFORM HERE?
35.) WHY DID BON JOVI PERFORM HERE? WHAT BAND DID HE PLAY WITH ON TWO OF THOSE OCCASSIONS?
36.) NAME THE NICKNAMES OF TALKHOUSE EMPLOYEES?
37.) WHAT WAS SO UNUSUAL ABOUT THE ASIAN STRIPPERS WHO DID A SLOW STRIP ONSTAGE AT A STAFF PARTY WE DID HERE WITH BOSTWICKS AROUND 2001?
38.) WHAT BARTENDER ROUTINELY DRANK WHATEVER DRINK HE POURED A CUSTOMER?
39.) WHAT FIVE PEOPLE WORKED PRE-l987 AND POST l987 at The TALKHOUSE?
40.) NO ONE HAS DONE MORE FOR THE TALKHOUSE THAN JIMMY BUFFETT---WHAT TWO TIMES DID JIMMY BUFFETT PERFORM FOR CHARITIES ON TALKHOUSE SPONSORED EVENTS?
41.) WHAT DID THE IRISH IMMIGRANT WHO WALKED ONTO THE TALKHOUSE BACK DECK IN 1995 ON HIS FIRST DAY IN AMERICA SAY WHEN HE SAW TOPLESS WOMEN AND MEN IN THEIR UNDERWEAR?
WHAT PERFORMER STOOK OFF HIS CLOTHES AND JOINED TALKHOUSE STAFF NAKED IN l998?
42.) NAME THE BAND THAT APPEARED ON STAGE IN DAY-GLO PAINT AND KICKED SOCCER BALLS AMONG THEMSELVES?
43.) WHO WERE THE MEMBERS OF THE MAMAS AND PAPAS WHEN THEY PERFORMED HERE? WHAT NON-MAMAS & PAPAS SONGS WERE TWO OF THEM FAMOUS FOR?
44.) NAME THE MEMBERS OF THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE THAT HAVE PERFORMED HERE?
45.) TWO MUSICIANS REPEATED LYRICS OF THEIR SIGNATURE SONGS WHEN THEY PLAYED HERE---CAN YOU NAME THEM? ONE PERFORMER SANG THE SAME SONG TWICE---WHO WAS IT?
46.) NAME A BAND OR BANDS THAT APPEARED WITH TWO DRUMMERS?
47.) NAME THE BAND THAT HAD THE MOST PERFORMERS?
NAME THE BAND THAT HAD THE MOST PERFORMERS ON STAGE?
48.) WHAT DID JESSE COLIN YOUNG SAY TO THE FAN WHO SCREAMED “BUT I BLEW YOU AT WOODSTOCK” AS WE DRAGGED HER OFFSTAGE?
49.) WHAT PERFORMER PLAYED TWO GUITARS AT THE SAME TIME
50.) NAME SOME MOVIE STARS THAT HAVE PLAYED HERE?
51.) WHAT MOVIE STAR CAME TO PETER’S RESCUE IN A POTENTIAL BRAWL OUTSIDE THE CLUB?
52.) WHEN PETER AND PHIL FOUGHT IN THE RING IN l994 WHAT CHAIRTY WERE THEY ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO HELP/WHAT TWO CHARITIES ULTIMATELY BENEFITTED?
53.) WHAT SONG OF A ROLLING STONE SANG WILD HORSES HERE IN l988 WHILE DONOVAN DRANK CHAMPAGNE AT THE BAR?