Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff

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Wa'sup Wednesday: Teen Clubs ... Valley Cave, Weedville

Posted on August 6, 2020 at 12:55 AM

Good afternoon Ginchers,

Wa'sup Wednesday and I ask the question ... do remember the teen clubs?  Let me set the stage ... you are 13 or maybe 14 and you play an instrument, in my case the drums.  You meet some other guys at a party or dance or picnic and they mention that they play a guitar or piano or some instrument and you begin to strike up a conversation which leads to hey, let's form a band.  You begin to rehearse in the garage or basement and realize that you have a pretty good sound and that's when the addiction begins.  You start to play at parties, picnics, church halls and school eevents and then the big break ... someone hears you and tells you that you should be playing in the teen clubs ... and in Pittsburgh there were a ton.  Let's recall a few in the 'Burgh: The Red Rooster, The White Elephant, Teen Scene, West View Danceland, Wildwood lodge, the Midnight Hour, the Prism,  the Varsity House and many, many more.  So once you are in playing at one of these great teen venues the door opens to play the others.  But, the biggest thrill when you are a teen in a band and you get the chance to break out of the 'Burgh and play teen clubs away from your area ... our first venture out of the 'Burgh was the Valley Cave in Weedville, Pennsylvania.  I remember going into the dressing room, which was the old projection room of an old theatre and there were pictures of groups all over the wall, some were groups from the 'Burgh that we looked up to ... our first thought was ... "Wow, we made it!"  Well, we changed and got ready for our big introduction and I heard, "direct from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania playing their new record "You Do A Thing To My Mind" that is making it's way up the charts in western PA ... the Cordells!"  We took the stage and didn't know a soul in the audience but the intro made them all think we were big stars!  Although our record never became a big hit, it is now in the Northern Soul Catelog and sells for a starting price of $50 !  The Valley Cave opened many doors in that area and we began playing teen spots in Dubois which took us up to Erie and eventually to the adult clubs.  As I look back on these wonderful experiences I feel bad for young musicians today ... to my knowledge there are no teenclubs for live bands and the industry has changed drastically.   I will always remember those days as some of the best days of my life and I will never forget ... The Valley Cave!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, syat healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


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