THE RUSH STREET DAYS …

8/29/11 –

Some time after I left the WHISKEY, I went to work at THE WINE AND ROSES in Schiller Park … my friend, Lois, from the Whiskey was working there as head waitress, so it was a no brainer.  It was a terrific club … huge with two giant  rooms and a bandstand in the center of them … great bands, always crowded and we made good money.   It was owned by the Dettlo brothers, George and Ronnie … handsome, nice, womanizers.    Lois used to put ‘Reserved’ signs on all of her tables in the front section by the bandstand, naturally, she would only let her friends and big tippers sit there … none of the waitresses cared, she was the best and we all loved her!   One Saturday night 4 people came in and wanted to sit in her station, she said no, they complained to the manager and he told her to let them sit there, so she did, begrudgingly.  But, Lois was a professional and funny as hell, so she gave them great service and they had a good time.  Oy … when they got up to leave, they left her a tiny tip … she ran after them and caught one guy by the back of his jacket collar at the front door  … “See, you asshole, that’s why I didn’t want you to sit in my station” … he replied “I hope your eyelashes fall off” (we all wore a couple of pairs of lashes) … she shot back … “I hope your dick falls off” … and that’s my good friend Lois … even now still throwing zingers and making everyone laugh … and taking no prisoners.

(here’s Lois with Bree and me 1986)

One night early, a couple of goons came in and we could hear them yelling at Ronnie by the front door, he was smallish but fearless and screamed right back, they beat the crap out of him and at one point the bartender jumped over the bar to help, and he got it pretty good too.  George got into the argument, but was never touched.  There was a 3rd man in an overcoat just standing there watching and muttering.   I remember management telling the band to keep playing … and louder … while all this was happening.  I’m not sure of the time frame … but some time afterwards Ronnie and George both left Chicago … I don’t know if they sold the place.  Lois and I eventually quit.   The rumor was “the mob” wanted the parking lot concession and the brothers wouldn’t give it to them.   I think the place remained open, but not sure for how long or who owned it.

8/8/11 –

Just thought about this …. when I was still married to Omar, we had a mens hair salon on the ground floor of SHEARS & CHEERS on Rush St., it was the hottest salon in the city.  I sat next to Barbra Streisand under the dryer …   Fred Glaser was the owner and created many of her iconic hairdos … he actually has credit on her early albums and films.   It was the beginning of mens hairstyling and Omar was the best.

(Here I am, sitting in Omar’s, waiting for him to finish so we could go home)

He had a diverse clientele and quite a few of them were female impersonators.   Eventually we became good friends with a few of them … they all worked at THE NIGHT LIFE on State Street, the best drag show in Chicago with the most gorgeous ‘queens’ ever.  We took my parents there one weekend, they had a fantastic time …. it was a very big deal for my mom, she was pretty conservative, my dad was always up for anything.  Richard Saunders was the bartender, one of the funniest men I’ve ever known …  and a very good friend for a long time, he actually visited me in LA many years later when I was married to Michael.  Here’s a few photos I love … the gang from Shears & Cheers at the 1962 xmas party, Fred is in the stripe shirt with glasses, my hair guy was Sam, the handsome one on the right with light sweater, leaning on the table … I’m the one with the huge hair in the center of the xmas tree, next to Omar…

Also, my friend Richard Saunders …

and a few of the ‘girls’ … Gayle Sherman became very famous, she’s the one with the dramatic pose at left … Cari Saunders is the blonde closeup, and I just can’t remember the name of the beautiful blonde with the trophy.  They were all supremely talented and fun … great memories.

7/17/11

Some time after  The Whiskey,  I worked for a short time at THE TRIP, a very cool club that Lenny Feldman (from The Whiskey) opened, it had a travel theme and I wore a stewardess outfit.    Mickey Montana was the singer there (his dad Tony was the bartender at The Whiskey) he was very handsome and had a gorgeous voice ala Johnny Mathis …  BUT,  he only knew the lyrics to maybe 10 songs!

Women were crazy about him … we were together at that time … and I remember ‘accidentally’ spilling an entire tray of French 75’s on a girls lap … her dress was crepe and it shrunk.  Lenny wasn’t happy about that … but he had a smile on his face when he discussed it with me.  Mickey never had money in his pocket, and didn’t have his own place so when an older woman offered to take care of him completely if he moved in with her … the wind from his departure almost knocked me over.    I was so angry I told him I was going to put his photo on the wall in my dressing room along with the rest of my ex boyfriends … he came pounding on my door and yelling in the hallway … I loved that.   At that time I was living with a roommate at 3318 Lake Shore Drive in a gorgeous old apartment that faced the lake .. Lois lived next door and another friend, Donna,  lived down the hall … it was great fun.

7/16/11

Another great memory of my time on Rush Street.  I left Paul B, kind of crazy when I think about it, because I loved that job.  One of my customers was leaving her position and asked if I would be interested …  it was too good to pass up.  So I went to work at THE KINETIC PLAYGROUND on Clark and Lawrence, owned by Aaron Russo (eventually Bette Midler’s manager and producer of her Oscar nominated film, THE ROSE).  He was a kind of mysterious guy with long hair and beard, but easy to work for and I don’t remember him being there often.  It was an amazing job and the pay was good  … I worked 12-5 during the week and on Friday and Saturday I worked 3-8 to make sure the musicians had everything they needed (you know, no green M&M’s, etc.) … I would receive a list of what they wanted and set up the tables with food, etc. .. like the back stage scenes in ALMOST FAMOUS.   The sound system and electronics were amazing … the system was in the middle of the ceiling and looked like a round, glass space ship and there were lots of young long-haired kids who kept it running.  I worked for DICK RUDOLPH (below with me) smart, handsome, lovely guy (later married to Minnie Ripperton and Maya Rudolph’s father) … we had a lot of fun, it never felt like work.

When I became engaged all the employees pitched in and had the costume creators of HAIR (Billy Bob and Mona Young) design and make  my wedding dress … they measured me, never asked for my input, and delivered that beautiful, purple suede long vest with white/yellow beads you see in my wedding photo above, it was completely hand made and I still have it, it’s on a form in my office, one of my most treasured possessions.  Not long into my job, November 1969, I went to work one day and there were tons of fire trucks in front of the building … somehow the place caught fire and caused major damage to the interior … I was heart broken.  There were plenty of rumors about who ‘set’ the fire, but nothing was proven and the place was closed and never reopened … the building was torn down in 2003 and a friend just told me that the KINETIC CONDOS are standing in it’s place!   I read there is another theater with the same name today, but it has nothing to do with the original.     Here’s just a few of the artists that played there … The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood Mac, The Rotary Connection, Muddy Waters and Jefferson Airplane!!!  A couple of months later, we moved to LA and many years after that, my daughter Bree met Dick Rudolph on a music project she was involved with … small world for sure!

7/13/11

So … when I got divorced in 1966, I quit my job and went on the road with THE SWINGIN’ LADS

a Las Vegas group that played Chicago, Omar cut their hair, and we became good friends.  Don Kelley was the leader of the group and his wife, Penny, asked me to take the drive with her to Reno, then to Las Vegas, their home town.  The guys drove in a separate vehicle, we drove a station wagon with the equipment, we had a ball.   I can’t remember where they performed in Reno, but Louis Prima and Sam Butera and the Witnesses were on the same bill … FANTASTIC!   Everyone stayed in the same hotel and Louis was on the same floor as us … on Friday, he made a huge pot of pasta fazool and left his door open … everyone went down for a taste, it was delicious.  We chatted, and when he found out I was a secretary in Chicago, he asked if I would type a few letters for him … of course I did, still have some of the stationery with his image on it.  The letters were to lawyers about his impending divorce from Keely Smith.   He was quite ‘frisky’ for an old guy!  Also in Reno … I saw Liza Minelli in one of her first performances, she was very young  … she had 2 side men, one tall and thin, the other short and chubby … they all danced and sang, she was adorable and it was obvious she had inherited her mom’s amazing voice.   Can’t remember much about the Las Vegas stay, but I did meet Mort Sahl, hilarious man.

6/30/11

I just remembered a funny Paul B story …. one of my regular men customers asked me if I would like to go to Palm Springs with him for the Professional Athletes Golf Assn. event, well that sounded pretty interesting. …athletes and Palm Springs!   Before I knew it, we were flying first class and having a great time, until I realized half way there (duh) he probably expected me to share a room with him!  Yikes, how was I gonna get out of that, totally not attracted to him?     We checked into the Canyon Country Club, gorgeous, the room was great and mercifully, it had two double beds … we had a fantastic dinner with very interesting people and he drank a lot and fell asleep …. whew, day one … safe!   The next day we had breakfast and laid out at the pool … everyone had buckets of water with tea bags soaking, that we used for tanning … the hotel sent notices to everyone that day to stop with the tea bags, they couldn’t get the stains out of the towels.   Tons of giant football players were drinking and jumping into the pool, and even tossed the matre’d in at one point … I specifically remember Deacon Jones, hilarious and Roman Gabriel, hubba hubba.   That nite we went to an amazing dinner, cooked in a beautiful Mexican woman’s home in the middle of the desert … one of the men at the table said he was driving to LA the next morning for a day … I told him my favorite aunt lived in Orange County and he offered to drop me off there, I accepted.  Day two, safe …. again he drank too much and fell asleep!   The third day my new friend, Bob, picked me up in his Jaguar convertible, we stopped for a beautiful lunch and he dropped me off at my aunt’s and promised to pick me up the next morning … I was a goner, he was fantastic.   So … he picked me up the next morning, another beautiful drive with the top down … BUT, before we got back to the Canyon Country Club, we stopped at his gorgeous desert house for a while …. oh yeah!   When we finally got back to the Canyon, I found my luggage at the front desk, thankfully I had my return ticket in my purse.  Oh boy, how was I gonna face the guy, we were bound to run into each other.  Bob got me a room … and we had dinner later, lovely!  AND … when I did run into my friend that night, he told me his girlfriend (a stewardess) surprised him, and he apologized for putting my things at the front desk!  HALLELUAH!!!   Bob got married a few months later … and a few years later when I moved to LA after marrying Michael, he got me my first job at the Century Plaza Hotel where he had an exclusive mens store.  The job was in a women’s store in the hotel … with lingerie and fur coats .. sooo not for me.  After a couple of months there, Bob’s wife got me a job at Judy’s in Century City … a very popular store, and I managed the “Gear for Guys” department.   I have a few really interesting stories about working there … they’ll be in the LA DAYS section soon.

6/27/11

But before I move on to LA … a few more  ‘sweet’ memories from the Rush Street Days …

There were some really fun bars on Rush Street in the 60’s, besides the few I  mentioned above … Rush Up (where Michael proposed to me, romantic ha?)…

...Rush Over,  Beavers ...

…and who could forget Your Mothers Beaver??   And a lovely small piano bar, The Back Room (still there) … where I served Rocky Marciano a glass of Chianti, thrilling … and was introduced, and went out with a Smothers Brother one night.   So many great Chicago bands … The Exceptions, The Rovin’ Kind, Baby Huey and the Babysitters …

and the soon to be greatest, CHICAGO.    Bobby Lamm and I were ‘friends’ and stayed in touch for years … I have a few post cards ***** from him on my office wall, …

and a pair of antique salt/pepper shakers he brought back from the road, he also gave me a book of poetry.    In fact, when I married and moved to LA, he lived right down the hill from us in Hollywood and I introduced him to my best friend, Sydney, they dated for a while, but it didn’t take.

I had a good friend, also a  Judy, who was tall, striking and the original hippy … she was the first girl on “the street” to wear a suede fringe jacket, no makeup, long straight hair, etc. … she was a knockout, men were always drawn to her.    One of my favorite stories that she told me … before I knew her, an extremely handsome man (he looked familiar) tried to pick her up while she was crossing Rush Street, he pulled over in his car and sweet talked her into going out with him that night … gentleman that he was, when he found out she was under age …he decided not to have sex with her, but he did let her ………………….. I just can’t think of a nice way to say it!    I like Warren Beatty anyway!   She hung out with Hefner for a while too.  And then there was Bill Cosby … they ‘saw’ each other when he visited Chicago … he was supposed to take her to Mr. Kelly’s one night … and asked her to have her hair done ‘up’ and gave her $$$ to do it … she looked gorgeous, but she wasn’t comfortable with it.   A couple of hours before the date, he cancelled and she asked me to go with her … so we dressed up,  dropped by THE PLAYBOY MANSION  to pick up $$$ for our date …

and Cosby came to the door in a towel and a cigar … he was kind of charming.  We saw Richard Pryor that night at Mr. Kelly’s … HE was amazing.

There’s more …………

*****Not ready to tell this story yet,…

6/8/11

YOWZA  …. I had some great jobs on Rush Street, after my divorce.    Probably my favorite was the  WHISKEY A GO GO …my first cocktail waitress job … it was like going to a party every night.

Sometimes we would work 10 straight days, no one wanted a day off, we were afraid we would miss something.  Once a customer was rude to me, I gave my friend Lois a few dollars, she bought a green creme de menthe and ‘accidentally’ spilled it on him … he got the message.  Another night, one of Lois’s customers walked out on his check … and you just didn’t do that to Lois … she threw on her coat and chased him down the street right into the Scotch Mist … she got the money!  One particular night Lois had a few too many cocktails … she woke up the next morning in her murphy bed, in the wall!  Of course, we are still friends … and she’s still hilariously funny.

We got paid $2 per night, and 10 cents for every drink we sold, and we made pretty good money …it was packed every night.  On Fridays before work, Obe (The Manager) would have meetings and hand out our checks and then pass around the photo of the band coming in the next week … he would instruct us to choose which guy we were interested in so there wouldn’t be any arguments by mid-week, when we got to know the guys and change our minds, or they changed theirs.   Usually, the first week some of us would ‘connect’ with one of the guys, but the next week he might be interested in someone else, or we would … but it never got mean or bitter … we mostly laughed about it.   After the meeting, a few of us girls would go for Chinese food on State St., and discuss those photos, our lives, loves and families.   I made some great ‘connections’ … and would love to know where they are today.   Almost all the bands were from the east coast (mostly Wildwood, NJ), not Rush St. … that made it more interesting.

After the club closed (4am during the week, 5am on Saturday) we would ALL go to breakfast at Mammy’s Pancake House...

next door, or Carton’s across the street.  I remember having breakfast in Carton’s one morning and one of the guys at the table couldn’t figure out how to get his fork into his eggs … I was clueless that he was on acid, creeped me out.  In the summer, we would have breakfast, then go home and change into bathing suits, and meet at Oak Street Beach and nap and hang out there all day …

go home for a short nap, then start all over again.  On Saturdays the Whiskey would close at 5am and we would sometimes go to Milano’s on Division, they served drinks in coffee cups after hours, lots of fun there.  *****There was a hair salon, RAUN’S HAIR-EM a few doors down from The Whiskey .. it was open 24 hours a day, so if a waitress had a good nite, she could get her hair done at 4am!  Michael Meadows did my hair, that’s his platinum do on me, on my home page,  he was fantastic .. . (and soooo handsome

I heard he’s now an artist in Sedona, AZ.  The gold coast was amazing back then … and especially Rush St. … too bad it’s so gentrified now.

I lived in a tiny studio apartment on Delaware St. with my friend Frankie Jones, she was a gorgeous Playboy Bunny…

 … making $100 a night, a fortune in 1966.  One day, before I worked at the Whiskey,  she convinced me to have a meeting at Playboy Club with the legendary bunny mother, Toni LeMay.

So … Ms. Toni told me I was too old (24) but looked young … she didn’t like my hair or makeup, but that could be changed …. my nose was the problem, so she gave me the card of a plastic surgeon and told me to return if/when I had my nose fixed.    Feeling not so pretty, on my way out I spotted a tiny Asian woman shoving 2 giant kotex under each of her  miniscule breasts, unbelievable … I was pretty damn curvy then … so it was ok for her to be flat chested … but my nose wasn’t acceptable.  SIDE NOTE:  I did change my nose years later when I was 32 … best thing I ever did for myself.

After the Whiskey, I worked at the PUSSYCAT LOUNGE, a couple of doors down  …very sexy costume with long furry tail, so sorry I don’t have a photo in it.   Small, intimate lounge with great bands (The Exceptions, The Rovin’ Kind) and pretty dancers, completely different than the Whiskey.  Here’s the Exceptions … Pete Cetera in the center and the divine Jimmy Vincent on guitar!

There was a terrific bar boy, gay and funny as hell … who always had a pipe in the back with pineapple rum and ‘grass’ that the girls would hit once in a while.   Upstairs was an intimate theater that featured plays and big bands,  i.e. The Mob, fantastic group that everyone loved, great musicians and a talented song writer but … ouch, a bad relationship with one of them taught me a great lesson.   Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders were the absolute best band, unbelievable musicians, 2 drummers, lots of horns and huge following, they performed  mostly James Brown, Otis Redding, etc. he was known as the white soul brother.   It was always packed when they appeared … one night someone I was waiting on bought a bottle of champagne for the band, and I had to serve it on stage, nerve wracking … then another customer wanted to one up him …. so a better bottle of champagne served on stage … it went on and on, good $$ that night.  And, the last time they played there we were warned that he would tear up the place … instead Wayne and the entire band walked off the stage, out the door and right down Rush Street for a few blocks … with the entire audience following them … thankfully everyone returned or us girls might have had to pay the bar bills, a very memorable night.  Oh, Wayne had a pretty blonde wife … and a pretty blonde girlfriend … they sometimes dressed alike and sometimes both traveled with him … together!  I saw Wayne many years later when I moved back to Chicago in l980 for a year … he was playing a bar in a suburban hotel without the CC Riders,  not the fiery entertainer I remembered … we talked for a while … he had ‘gotten’  religion and was a minister.

I worked at MR. KELLY’S for a short while as a hostess … great entertainment, not nice people to work for.

Oh yes, then there was THE COUSINS CLUB, very popular, upscale bar off Michigan Avenue … where I wore a fantastic short, white/gold Grecian one-shoulder costume that I loved.   We didn’t get paid, they thought we should be grateful to work there … no kidding.   The managers would go to the service bar and pad the checks constantly … I remember giving a man who had 1 martini, a check for 3 … he paid without question, and that’s the way they did it there.  In spite of that, we made great tips.    Well, on New Years Eve (a cocktail waitress nightmare, only amateurs go out on that holiday) the manager seated a nice party of 8 at my table … they left me a huge tip, and the manager pocketed most of it, when I called him on it, he told me if he hadn’t seated them at my table, I wouldn’t have gotten the tip!   Soooooo … I collected the last 3 checks and put them plus the cash  into my costume and and walked out … I never heard from them.

*****PAUL B

was the best and most popular boutique on Rush Street … everyone shopped there.  It was a terrific, fun job … Paul was a dream to work for, the clothes were fantastic, and the girls were nice … Preston was the manager,  a fun, black man with absolutely no rhythm, we teased him about that constantly.  The store was open til midnight on Fridays with a bar serving champagne in the back by the dressing rooms, so dates wouldn’t get bored while women tried on clothes  … it was like a party.  I loved dressing the windows, especially because the clothes were always ahead of the curve.   I had some very interesting customers there … The Staples Singers, Minnie Ripperton, and Andre, a pimp who shopped for  his 3 ‘girls’, they each had a white Cadillac convertible.   At that time I was dating a wealthy advertising man, Henry … he was fun, generous and tired … he would take me for amazing dinners at the best restaurants and usually fall asleep before the meal arrived … I ate those dinners with a lot of head waiters and someliers while Henry slept on the table … I was never offended, he was lots of fun and everyone loved him … and he was a big tipper.  One day he came into Paul B with a friend … he introduced us and we were married 3 months later!

To be continued ………..

Advertisements

122 responses to “THE RUSH STREET DAYS …

  • Frank Garibaldi

    I like the layout of the webPage

  • Lois L. Waterhouse

    The restaurant was either MIlano’s or Papa Milano’s with the drink in the coffee cup.
    We had a lot of fun in that place. The stories are great keep up the good work. Really enjoying it.

  • Bree DeLano

    INCREDIBLE!!! you have such a gift…love how you wrote the last line…CLIFFHANGER!

  • Laura Sharpe

    This is better than the so called REALITY TV shows the networks keep airing. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  • John Salas

    Keep em coming!

  • Paul Reis

    Another fun read, Judy, thanks and we look forward to the next one!

  • Vicki

    Enjoying it all….I remember that picture with the blond hair!

  • taylorandracine

    love the palm springs story!!! Spicy Mo!

  • Dorothy Francisco

    HEY JUD WAS FRANKIE THE ONE THAT WENT RAF THE HAIRDRESSER FROM RUSH ST,IF ITS HER HE WAS CRAZY ABOUT HER. I WORKED WITH HIM ON RUSH ST.. I BELIEVE RAF IS LIVING IN VEGAS NOW. I LOVE THE STORIES, BRINGS BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. DOROTHY

    • taylorandracine

      Hey Dorothy … glad you’re reading … it’s lots of fun for me. Not sure who RAF is … if you’re talking about Frankie Jones, she was with Skip DeVivo who was the Room Director at Playboy ..where did you work with RAF??

  • john

    Diggin’ it, aunty. Keep them coming!

  • John Salas

    Some great stories!!! keep em coming!!!

  • Susan Ruane

    I can’t believe you have all those pictures. Was looking for one of the Roving Kind. Remember them. What about the Little Corporal? You must have some stories about that place.

    Susan

    • taylorandracine

      Sussssaaannnnn ………..I love that you’re reading my blog …. I’ve always taken and kept tons of pics …….I have the Rovin’ Kind in there, didn’t you see it? Hmmm… remind me of the Little Corporal …wasn’t it near Wabash or Michigan??? Do you have any stories of it???

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    does blogger or others rember robby and the troubadours in the sixties rumpus room troubadsour lounge. rons harrem near mammys, charlie browns maryland hotel

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    was obe that you refer to as the main guy at the cloister in the basement of the maryland hotel on rush home of the curve resturant in the hotel we drank booze in coffee cups in the sixties

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    wasnt raf from rons harrem on rush
    kal

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    do you remember robby and the troubadours at the rumpus room later the room was called tony paris. did you know frank desantis from the kit kat club the dancer, friend of flo the owner. did you know vic lownes from the play boy club the vp and the real play boy not heffner. maybe this was an erra before you, let me know

    kal

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    hello

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    am i missing some thing? if i had a blog that goes back some 50 years, id be thrilled to find some one that was there to share some experiences of that time. afterall just how many of us are left? but for some reason you just blow me off. simply excapes me.

    kal

  • Laura Sharpe

    The Lois story is great!!!! I loved it so much I read it twice!

  • Lois L. Waterhouse

    We did have the best time. I remember those jokers walking out on me and leaving me a measly tip. I absolute love these stories and the pictures are great. I can’t believe you have those I have a few I am going to look for them. We did make great money,

    • taylorandracine

      Next time I’ll tell the story about you sleeping on your Murphy bed … in the wall!!!

    • Kate Schlau

      I just came across this a few months back so I do not know if it is active. My husband who I met at Wine and Roses in 1967 used to work service bar. His name was Bob Schlau He always teased you Lois called you ash can ass Lois. I used to have the bar stool at the end of the bar. My name was Kate. I remember Johnny and Georgie and Detlos ” girlfriend ” Mary and Uncle George and Whales. Bob and I got married and had 48 yrs together until he passed Oct 2016. Lots of good times and great memories.

      • taylorandracine

        Thanks Kate … I’ve been very bad about updating this blog … I will some day!
        Unfortunately, I don’t remember Bob … those were fun days.
        Wish I knew what happened to George and Ronnie … and my girlfriend who was with George at that time, they just disappeared.
        Nice that your relationship lasted so long, you must have great memories.
        Take care and thanks again for reading/writing … Judy

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    does any one remember what night club a dancer called miss twist worked for in the rush street area 1962. think her real name was emma mae pitts.

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    hi all is there any thing new

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    does any one remember the rumpus room on walton and the velvet swing and playboy club on walton

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    was that larry leveritt in your group party picture

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    ive asked some recent questions, but no reply, is this blog current as to answer some posts

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    can you tell me about a club that a dancer called Miss twist worked for around 1962-63 on rush st or near by also was larry leveritt a press agent on rush in your group picture of a party gathering

  • kal fagan mgr robby and the troubadours rumpus room walton and rush 1960

    thanks so much for the quick reply, I was manager of Robby and the Troubadours at the Rumpus Room played at 44 east Walton now occupied by Eienstins coffee shop do you recall the band? You mention the Playboy club, didn’t know Heff, though the band went to his mansion. We knew Vic Lownes his VP a real playboy. did you know a dancer named joe Cavaliri quite popular on rush st then. Did you know Ron from Rons Harrum and Tommy Odonell married to some one from Shears and Cheers, If from your group you can find what club miss twist played in think it was Delaware might be Pegalee not sure, let me know. oh well keep in touch.

  • Dawn Lee Wakefield

    Judy, need your help–would like to interview you for a story I’m writing soon re two Chicago bands you referenced. . If you didn’t see the message on FB, my e-mail is Dawn at (@) DawnLeeWakefield.com. Thanks for considering,

  • Steve Hansen

    Judy – I enjoyed reading your stories. I found your site when I was searching the web for info on the Wine & Roses Lounge. I lived at the Town & Country Apts on Lawrence Ave in Schiller Park from 1967-Nov 1, 1968. I can’t recall the exact location of the Wine & Roses? Do you remember what year and month the goons visited the Dettlo’s? (I think I know why the Dettlo brothers left Schiller Park). Rumor was that there was a conflict between the Wine & Roses and The Town & Country Apts Key Club. I have a couple photos of their conflict. If you remember the dates, please send me an email. I also have more info on this. Thanks…Steve

  • Gary Whaley

    Thanks for some great memories. I grew up in Chicago, played almost every club there at one time or another, lived next door to Mammy’s Pancake apt. in the the apartments, knew all the bands you mentioned, keep in touch with a few, and played with Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders from the end of 1969 thru the beginning of 1971. A great life altogether, and it was nice to sit back a minute and relive a few. Moved to Las Vegas in 1967. Thanks again!

    Gary Whaley

    • taylorandracine

      Gary … thanks for the note, how did you find my blog? How great that you know the same people .. I actually left Chicago in 1969 for LA … and now live in Las Vegas also. It was a fantastic life, and now wonderful memories. I still go back to Chicago yearly, it’s my favorite place on earth … but Rush St. is not the same, too gentrified. Thanks so much for your comments, I love getting feedback and not enough people actually respond. I have lots more to write, and haven’t had time lately. Did you subscribe so you’ll be notified when there’s new material? Who are you still in touch with. J

  • Gail Sparling

    I was reading this and realized that we worked together at Universal in 1984 and we had talked about both being from Chicago. I sat next to you when I temped and I think it was before you worked for Jane. Enjoyed reading about your adventures.

    • taylorandracine

      Gail … how great of you to write me a note … how did you find my blog? I have a terrible memory, so maybe you can remind me about us working near each other, when I worked for Jerry Barton … what do you look like, how long did you temp … and for who? Would really like to remember you, etc. … Judy

  • RONNIE LAAS

    do you still keep in touch with Michael Delano. I was friends with him back in the day.i played with baby Huey ,sparkle the riot to name a few

    • taylorandracine

      Ronnie … Michael and I have been divorced for a very long time, but still friends and I see him often … we share a grand daughter. You can find him on Facebook, and maybe send him a note, I’m sure he would love to hear from you. How did you find my blog?

  • Gail Sparling

    Judy… Someone on Facebook posted your blog on ‘Chicago rock bands of the ’60’s’. Didn’t realize until I read the whole thing and saw the picture of you and Michael that I remembered you. I did work for MCA Records for 12 years, left after back surgery and went to the studio side and temped until I found something permanent. I may have been temping for Michael Chinich but it was so long ago, my memory is going. I know I sold Avon for my Mom and you bought some and I would see you around the studio. I went to work for Jim Mcdonald in TV and he knew Jane. I had dark blond hair then and you can see me on facebook. It seems we know some of the same people and hung out at the same places and did Oak Street after breakfast….only I didn’t get down there until 1969. Met most of the bands when I worked in Old Town at a teen club fom 1965-1968. In any case, it’s nice to see you again and I will follow your blog. By the way, every other year, Universal has a reunion of the old timer employees and I saw Gerry Barton and Connie at the last two and will probably see them in November at the next reunion. Will give him a hello for you.

  • Carol Trimble

    I was a Go Go Dancer on Rush St. from ’65 – ’67 and lived above The Grecian Queen. Do you remember Debbie Green from Bourbon Street? I went by the stage name of Carol Miller. Vickie Warren was one of the girls I worked with; Joy Towers, Ruthy, etc. .. and have so many fond memories of my days as a Go Go Dancer. I met my husband, Jim Trimble at My Place where I at one time worked as a hat check girl. Jim was working at The Scotch Mist at the time. I was working at The Rat Fink. Jim was a trombone player with the Buddy Rich Band. I’d love to get in touch with some of my old friends from those days. Mike Napalie was mgr. of Bourbon Street at the time and “Joe The Jap” …. lots of memories.

    • taylorandracine

      I don’t remember the Grecian Queen or Debbie Green, where was it? Unfortunately, none of these names or places are familiar to me … where was My Place? Definitely know the Scotch Mist … where was Bourbon St., it’s familiar to me. I worked at the Kinetic Playground in 1969, wasn’t there when Buddy Rich appeared, loved his band. Don’t remember Green Men band either … I was on Rush St. from 1966 to 1969, when I married and moved to LA. Wow, we followed the same path … I moved from Chicago, lived in No. Hollywood and am now in Las Vegas. Where do you live in LV … I’ve been here 6 years, don’t love it … miss LA very much … I go to Chicago every year to see my friends, it’s still home to me, just can’t do the weather.

  • Carol Trimble

    Across the street from the Whiskey A Go Go and kitty corner from Mammy’s Pancake house was a club called My Place, aka Jilly’s they played nothing but Frank Sinatra songs on the jukebox. The Ratfink was downstairs and in the back was the Scotch Mist. Barbara Streisand appeared at Mr. Kelly’s and I believe I frequented that same beauty parlor you mentioned. It was on the same side as Mammy’s Pancake House. Tony Cellar’s was on that side. Bourbon Street aka Isabella’s? Remember Pigalles? I dated an Iranian bartender from there, Ali Reza Lakani. We used to go to the Little Corporal for breakfast. Reading your stories brings back so many memories. Use Vpike.com and enter any address in the world and you’ll be able to view everything! : ) My old address in Vegas was 3895 San Andreas. Between Tropicana and Flamingo off Sandhill. This is when those streets near Sandhill were only two lanes and didn’t even have a stop sign. I ended up working for Clark County Fire Dept. and was working there when the MGM went! I will never forget all that I learned while working for the county. I was a bartender in Vegas as well, on Industrial Road. Pears Place – the owner, Bob Lawrence was called Pear because of his shape and was part owner of Cattleman’s Steakhouse. When he died I worked at The Backstreet on Industrial Road. My father-in-law played trombone on the Lawrence Welk Show, Kenny Trimble, Jim followed in his dad’s footsteps and our son plays the trumpet. You’ll find them on Wikipedia or just google them. The Christmas specials featured Jim shortly before I met him. He sort of looked like Bobby Darren when I met him in Chicago. So happy your responded so quickly. : ) I love what you have done on the internet. Makes me thank my mother for insisting I attend Jones Commercial High School in Chicago. If we were to call one another we’d have a hard time hanging up. You look familiar!!! I remember seeing that balloon and the makeup of white lipstick at the time was something Vickie and Ruthie loved to wear. I’ll see if I can find some of the old pictures from the “topless bottomless never a cover” nightclubs. I too almost went to work for Heff but declined due to $$$ I was clearing $350 a week and would double for girls that took off. I would start at 9 pm, do 12 minutes 2 and a half songs go across the street to the Walton Club and do another set at 9:30 pm. – $700 clear! Now that was great money for a young woman. Oh and my cousin, Bobby McKelvey, was a cop so I figure I had police protection…. that’s another interesting story. Ever recognize one of the cops that walked that beat and see him on tv.. darn, I forget his name. I’ll have to check a few things out and get back to you. Staying up too late….. : ) So happy to be communicating with you. Oh, and I remember going to Papa Milano’s for breakfast when the Smother’s Brothers were there! Maybe that’s when we bumped into each other?

    • taylorandracine

      Hi Carol … good to hear from you again …….I remember My Place … how long were you on Rush St.? I remember the Scotch Mist being on State St … yes? Didn’t know Streisand was at Mr. Kelly’s … I was only there a few weeks … not nice people. Remember Tony’s Cellar, not Isabella’s. Do remember Pigalles. Loved the Little Corporal, only on weekends tho. I’ll check out Vpike.com … never heard of it, thanks. Where do you live now. what are you doing? My daughter lives off Sandhill and Russell. She’s a DJ/Music Director at a great video lounge downtown. Wow, I went to a commercial high school too … St. Pius on 18th and Ashland. You certainly did make good money for that time … Loved Papa Milano’s ……….those were great times. My life seems so boring now. Glad we’re communicating too …. love talking about the old times. In my office I have tons of old pics on shelves on the walls … makes me smile. My grand daughter is here, I watch her often … she will be 4 in December … she’s my one and only and the center of our lives. Are you on Facebook … I’ll check now … take care ………J

  • Carol Trimble

    Oh – Do you remember Rory O’Shea? The Fighting Irish? They’re on Wikipedia. Ryan, Rory, Tommy, twins Michael and Theresa and little brother Patrick O’Shea. They lived on Halstead near Diversey and used to hang out at a pool hall on Clark St. Remember “Bug House Square” ?? LOL

  • Carol Trimble

    The Buddy Rich albumn West Side Story features Jim playing solo Somewhere. When I was a senior in high school I sang the solo tonight at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. When I heard Jim play that solo at the Scotch Mist I fell in love. : ) We married 6/7/67 in Vegas when Buddy was backup band for Julie London. I had met Jim Easter of ’67 and invited him to an Easter dinner and to meet my family. Jim swooped me off my feet! By March of ’68 we were touring London and Scotland and meeting all sorts of celebrities. Jack Jones had George Carlin (before he became famous) Flip Wilson too before his “Geraldine” – everyone wore Neru jackets. The Beatles had quite an influence on mens clothing styles. I need to drum up some of those pictures to refresh your memory. : )

  • Carol Trimble

    http://youtu.be/ssR9TO-LFds I’m trying to figure out how to get yhou to view a few videos and a picture I found of Bourbon Street in Chicago.

  • Carol Trimble

    That link leads you to Youtube video of Jim and his dad on Lawrence Welk, but the year is wrong. That was Christmas of ’66 because we married June of 67. I met Jim East of ’67 and no way was it 1960 when that video was made. : )

  • Carol Trimble

    opps – Easter of ’67 : ) Now how to post pictures? Say, facebook is a great place for you to view a lot of photos I have. : ) Let me know what you think. I’m so excited and happy to be communicating with you.

  • kal fagan

    carol trimble, we may know the same people i managed a hot band on rush street early 60’s called robby and the troubadours at walton street down the road from playboy club had a local guy from chi town in my band named barry goldberg went on to write score for forrest gump and three for the road with charlie sheen worked with bloomfield kooper and dylan electric flagg with peter strazza in my band as well and carmine riale my bass player was with mitch ryder and the detroit wheels.eddie hoe my drummer went on with the mommas and poppas. do u rember a gal name miss twist may have worke at pagalle keep me posted my email is teapot_01@msn.com my name is kal fagan. well thats all i got for now.Oh new that beauty shop next to mammys was rons harem run by guy named raff i think some how connected to sheers and cheers
    kal fagan

  • Carlo Morelli

    Are you still writing.. I was a Street Guy in ’55-61, Name Carlo.. Owned Ciro’s on Rush.. Had The House of Carlo fashions on Michigan Ave, off Oak.. Carlo Morelli

    • taylorandracine

      Hi Carlo .. I was on Rush Street from 65 – 69 … altho Ciro’s is very familiar in my mind … what was the cross street? I am still writing, just been a little lazy for a while … gonna get back to it soon. How did you find my blog … did you read all of it, or only The Rush Street Days?

      • Aunt Carol

        I am now living in Chicago. Moved back to my home town Dec. of 2013. Great to be back but Rush Street is gone! At least the Rush I remember.

      • taylorandracine

        Thanks for your comments Carol … I don’t know Isabella’s, but remember Bourbon Street.
        If you read all of my blog, you know I tried moving back to Chicago also … it didn’t work for me, but I wish you lots of luck.
        I was on Rush St. in September ’14 … it’s much too gentrified now and the energy and fun doesn’t exist there any more … sad.
        What part of the city are you living in?

  • Carlo Morelli

    I googled Rush Street, for a Docu-novel project that I am writing, and your blog popped up.. I love it..

    I lived at the Maryland Hotel during the years that I was on Rush, and ended up literally growing up there.. It’s a long story, but I bought the club Ciro’s in ’58, after it was closed for 15 years, and reopened it in ’59.. It was a real trip.. I opened with Judy Garland, in her down days, the pity was she showed up out of it, but we were full, and the guys and girls, didn’t much care.. I started my fashion house with the strippers on Rush, and had a shop on Michigan Ave, and ended up in Hollywood in ’61.. Carlo

    • taylorandracine

      Hey … what kind of doc/novel are you writing … I guess us Rush St. people just have lots of fun memories we need to share. How much of my blog did you read … only the Rush St. Days? Wow, Judy Garland, I definitely don’t remember that … I got married in 1960 and my then husband had a ‘mens hair studio’ on State Street, under Shears and Cheers. Very sad that you didn’t have the right audience for her … what a sad life she had. I left Chicago in 1969, and left California 6 years ago, still miss it. Where do you live now?

  • Carlo Morelli

    I am primarily an author of Cookbooks, but have written several scripts, and a novel.. The new book is a docudrama about my life that includes my stint on Rush Street.. I have read your blog on Rush, but nothing additional yet.. I lived on the street in the late ’50’s.. I knew many of the strippers and others in the underbelly.. I designed costumes for many of the RUSH headliners of the period, including Candee Barr, Cynthia “The Body” Sinclair, Sally Rand, and many others..

    The Club was in the late ’50’s, and I left shortly thereafter.. My interaction with the Outfit, as in avoiding it, was interesting to say the least.. LOL
    Carlo

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks …think you might find my stories of working at Western Costume Company in THE LA DAYS pretty interesting .. and some great photos too. Also, some great photos of the drag queens on State Street in the early 60’s. You didn’t mention where you’re living these days. Some stuff re the ‘outfit’ in my story about the Wine and Roses … and a couple of others too, in my blog in the Rush St. days.

  • Carlo Morelli

    I live in the Houston Texas area, and have forever.. I will read your stuff ASAP.. I just finished writing about THE MONK, and my time in the Club scene.. I was too young to do the clubs on the street, so unless the other workers on the street worked for me, in my short period as an owner, I didn’t interact with them much at all.. I left when I turned 21 years old.. I have been in the Restaurant and Hotel business for 45 years, mainly in the South, since then.. Carlo

  • David Floodstrand

    I had read most of this at another time, but I don’t think the pics were there (fantastic photographs) Great job on the stories! Thank you for joining my Rush Street 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s Facebook Group. Big thumbs up on your blog. 😉 David

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks, David … so glad you enjoyed my blog … I haven’t written for a while and need to get back to it .. have a couple of stories in mind, just need to gather the pics. What years were you around Rush St. … and what neighborhood did you grow up in? Thanks again for your kind words, wish more people would comment after they read, gives me inspiration.

  • Will Sheldon

    Facebook can be a hassle sometimes but I’ve connected with so many old friends and now you. What a score.

  • Willard Sheldon

    I love your blog. Which of the Smothers Bros was who you mentioned. Dick is still my best friend. When you worked for me at Will Sheldon’s {later The Backroom} is when I gave you a nickname and you will always be Super Judy to me. The next time I visit my sister in Las Vegas I’ll have to look you up. Much love kid. Willie.

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks so much, Will … from you that means a lot. It was Dick …I’m sure he wouldn’t remember me, how great that you are still friends. I love ‘Super Judy’ … wish more people called me that! You better let me know when you visit LV … and a BIG thanks for calling me ‘kid’. Take care … xo J

  • Pat Siracusa

    The Henry you speak of wouldn’t happen to be Henry Norton would it ? In case your wondering, I owned Burgerville next to Paul B.

    • taylorandracine

      Yes, Pat … it was Henry Norton … thought I put his last name in there … of course I remember Burgerville, unfortunately my memory isn’t that great so I don’t remember you personally … but loved that place. How did you find my blog?

  • Pat

    A friend of mine thought Id be interested and sent it to me.I enjoyed it very much.Henry would come to Burgerville at 2 or 3 am higher then a kite with a girl on each arm get 3 Jumbo Hot Dogs to go.Then at 9am he’d be going by my window with breifcase in hand.A completely diff.person.The mention of all the people and places brought back some fond memories.The frenchman Paul and the other the gay one ( If I remember right he went both ways ).Will Sheldon and the Back-Room.Mammy’s,Papa Milano’s “Carmie”was my buddy.The booze in the coffee cups was at Milano’s on Division St.Tony was his brother.The Nite-Life was owned by Whitey who was straight..If it wasn’t Mammy’s it was the Little Corparol for breakfast.WOW!. Nice talking to you.

    • taylorandracine

      Pat ..loved your Henry story … he is def one of my fav memories and actually introduced me to my ex husband, when he visited me in Paul B … but I never held it against him. I didn’t go to the Corporal much … it was always Mammy’s or Carton’s. I was very close to Richard Saunders, the bartender at Nite Life, lost touch with him, altho he did visit me in LA… spent a lot of time there, best show in town at that time. Good talking to you too … where do you live now?

  • Pat

    im now living in LaGrange Park.everyone of us has a book of storys

  • Alan Coats

    I don’t know if this blog still going but have question did Jacques Brel is alive etc play at Whiskey. I know Smokey Robinson and the Miracles did. i always remember hippies running down Rush with Viet Cong Flag chased by the cops in 1968. I worked at Playboy Theatre and China Doll on Division Street a great time 66 to 68.

    • taylorandracine

      Alan … yes this blog is still alive and well … unfortunately, I’ve been bad about updating it, I still have lots of stories to tell. I think Jacques Berrel was at the Happy Medium. I worked at the Whiskey but don’t remember Smokey, etc. being there at that time. Yes, those were great times and some of my best and happiest memories. I left Chicago in 1969 but still consider it my home … and try to visit every year. Thanks so much for reading … how did you find my blog?

      • Alan Coats

        Hi, you are right it was the Happy Medium. Mind is going after all these years must be the after effects of the countless beers at he Sitzmark. I Googled Rush Street Chicago photos 1968 and your site came up. I’m like you Chicago is still hometown although I left in 1968(got drafted). I have lived in Sydney Aus. since 1971 the winters are a bit milder here. Thank you for your response and your blogs.

  • taylorandracine

    Hey Alan … didn’t know the Sitzmark. Do you ever get back to Chicago? How in the world did you end up in Australia .. that’s quite a leap. Altho, I’ve always heard wonderful things about your country … hope you are happy there. Thanks again for reading my saga, and especially for commenting, wish more people would. Take care … J

  • Alan coats

    I get back home every so often, I was there about 2 years ago for a day, usually stay longer but was in transit from London to Japan decided to go west instead of east. Always make time to go to Rush Street have a meal at Butch Mcquires and think about how lucky I’ve been. I finished my military service in June 1971 and after 2 weeks of verbal abuse(it was not a good time to be a Viet Nam Vet) and paranoia decided I needed to see the world so I flew to San Francisco unto Tahiti and then to Sydney. I had intended to stay in Sydney for 6 months but a lady who worked with me asked me if I would like to go out with a nice girl, I said I’ll try anything once. She gave me a friends number and been married to the ”nice girl” for 42 years. No regrets about staying or anything else. Thanks again for your blog. Regards Alan

  • Rosemarie

    I went to Loyola near Rush Street from 1964-1968. Rush Street was endlessly fascinating, unlike now. The mob influence, the new hippie culture, the people watching, wow! More photos, p!ease.

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks, Rosemarie, for your comment. Yes, Rush St. is not what it was back in 60’s and 70’s … so much fun to work there. In fact, I just came back from Chicago … that great neighborhood is now much too gentrified and doesn’t resemble my memories at all.

  • Ruby Rudman

    I lived at 37 East Division 1966 because we wanted to live in the hip neighborhood. Walking 1/2 block to Oak Street beach and swimming at 5:00 a.m. with the sun coming up after a night out on the town was the best. The name of the restaurant on the corner was Mitchell’s? A greasy spoon open 24-hours. I was learning to be a hippie and to stop teasing my hair into bouffant. I played guitar and sang at Earl of Old Town and Kingston Mines before it was a blues club. And Rush Street was so damn exciting back then. Mr. Kelly’s, the Back Door, Whiskey a go-go. Although I do remember the parking sucked. Love these stories about my old hood.

    • taylorandracine

      Ruby … thanks so much for you comments … yes, those days are very special to me … great memories. Maybe you meant the Back Room not Back Door?? Not sure if you have seen Rush Street lately … sadly it is very gentrified now and not much is left from those days … I was there in September … it’s all beautiful, but not the character or soul that it used to have.

  • Nora

    What a great blog. I am in love with your life story. Can you tell me if you can recall if Whiskey had a uniform for the workers? We have recently received a 50’s circle skirt with whiskey bottles on the hem and “whiskey a go go” circling around the top. We were told the owner use to be a cigarette girl in Chicago in the 50’s then moved to the LA location. Any info from somebody that can truly speak on the matter would be deeply appreciated. I would be happy to email you a picture.

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks for the kind words, Nora … yep, it was a fun, crazy life … great memories.
      NO, the Whiskey did not have uniforms …we wore 3 inch heels, black leotard tights (like the bottom of a bathing suit) and black hose and whatever we wanted on top … who is ‘we’ that you referred to … the owner was a terrific tall, white haired Jewish man … the LA location had nothing to do with Chicago … someone gave you the wrong info. Would love to see a pic …

  • ROBERT A SAIGER

    wow ! ! this great…so much so that I included it on my website, go take a peek. Its found on my home page..Look in the right column for. “Chicago Insider Experience”/out & about . .also, a friend of mine is writing a book about RUSH STREET. He would love to interview you about the past. to follow him go to facebook and look up a group titled, CHICAGO RUSH STREET, 50s 60s and 70s. your post said to be continued. please send us your future posts…Send to: submit@thechicagoinsider.net/ now just for fun, do you remember my hair salon at 913 n. Rush. I was down the stairs under the “PARAPERNALIA” shop

    HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU REAL SOON

    ROBERT A SAIGER

    • taylorandracine

      Robert … just replied to your note, and then it disappeared. I know David and follow his site, we have exchanged notes about my blog.
      How did you find my blog?
      Robert – I used to have my hair done at your salon, MICHAEL MEADOWS was a genius … I heard he was an artist in Sedona AZ and sent him an email, he did not respond. That was a fun salon, forgot the name, what was it … thought I mentioned it in my blog.
      Thanks for writing … unfortunately I haven’t added to my blog in quite a while, life is busy … but I intend to, if you are interested you need to subscribe, it’s on the first page under my photo.
      Thanks again for your note … Judy

  • ROBERT A SAIGER

    FIRSTLY, I DID SUBSCRIBE. YES, THE SALON WAS CALLED THE HAIR-EM. WHEN I PURCHASED, I CHANGED THE NAME TO, THE MING TREE. OPEN 24 hrs AND A BAR n JUKEBOX. YES IT WAS QUITE WILD. IT WAS THE ERA OF THE GO-GO GIRLES. BUSINESS NEVER GOT STARTED ‘TIL 6 AT NITE.

  • Bill Shannon

    Hi Taylor,
    I was all of about 10-11 while you were working at a variety of “ageless” bars on Rush Street mid-to late 60’s. Not that I didn’t go to bars. my Father took me with him to a number of neighborhood bars in the Humboldt Park area…back then your kid could drink a coke while you drank a beer.
    My Father had a brother named Bill….Bill Shannon who was a bartender at Mr. Kelley’s–(the bar you mention in your blog with “not so nice people.” I never met my Uncle Bill, or was too young to remember. (My brother Mike and I were orphaned in 1966 and sent to Father Flanagan’s Boys Town–things have turned out fine for me)
    I write quite a bit, and recently have been working on a fictional account of my Uncle Bill as a bartender on Rush Street. I know he loved his craft; wanting nothing more than to be a bartender. He worked for a guy named Pat Harren (?)..if I have the last name right.
    Your eye for historical detail is fantastic, you’re writing sparse and to the point. I enjoy reading your slice-of-life pieces, especially from that era in Chicago.
    If you do or don’t remember Bill Shannon, please let me know. If you do, please respond candidly about your “brief” experience with him at Mr. Kelley’s or any other tavern where you may have worked with him.
    Please keep your blog going strong…..yours is a rich contribution to Chicago history.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Bill Shannon (My Uncle’s Namesake)

    • taylorandracine

      Hi Bill …. my name is not Taylor, that is the name of my blog … Taylor and Racine is where I grew up in the ‘old neighborhood’.
      Unfortunately, I don’t remember your uncle, I was at the front desk and not much in contact with the bar … the name Pat Harren does sound familiar. If you’re on Facebook, there is a group called Rush Street Chicago … I bet you could find info there. Bartenders in the 60’s were rock stars, and mostly loved the work … not like today.
      Thanks so much for reading … how did you find my blog? I really appreciate your comments about my ‘eye’ and ‘sparse’ writing style I really work on that … I hate long, flowery writing and long explanations and descriptions … thanks for seeing that and telling me.
      Good luck to you … and thanks again for readying … Judy

  • Bill Shannon

    Thank you so much, Judy, for your quick response.

    I found your blog on Google listing when I typed in “Rush Street History”

    You know, Judy, maybe it’s the way I go about searching, but who are the writers from Chicago who wrote about that 60’s era in Chicago, specifically with the mix of humanity who frequented bars on Rush Street? I’ve read Bellow, and one of my favorites, Nelson Algren (your writing style has a grit edge like his). but neither seemed to have spent my time on Rush. though during the decades prior to the 60’s. Algren certainly spent time on the south side in many a Chicago bar and took long and observant ‘walks on the wild side’ of the city.

    I’ll let you know if I find anything on Facebook concerning my Uncle Bill.

    And, when I finish writing the short story involving him, I’d be honored to send it to you for your thoughts…if you’d like.

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Bill

  • taylorandracine

    Hi Bill … thanks again for your lovely words … unfortunately, I haven’t researched writers that you have …so have no comments on that. I would love to read your story when it’s finished … and this is the note I got from my old bartender friend on Facebook –

    Pat Haran owned the bar in front of Will Sheldon’s at 1007 N Rush. He also owned Pigalle.

    Hope it helps … good luck, Judy

  • columbia904

    Does anybody remember The Pad at State and Rush? I loved that place. I started going there in high school. They let me sit at the bar and drink cokes with lime. Cheers, Sandra

  • Carlo Morelli

    Hi Sandra, I’m Carlo, I’ve racked my brain trying to recall that place, and just doesn’t ring a bell.. The only problem could be, I may be a bit older than most of you guys, and that may be the answer.. What years are you talking about.. My life on Rush were 1953-1960, for the most part..

  • doug varnes

    Started playing on Rush Street in 1960. Was a drummer/vocalist back then and our group (Dante and the Saints) played Opposite Milt Trenier and the Treniers at the Scotch Mist. What a great way to be introduced to the street. We moved on to the Rumpus Room and worked opposite Robby and the Troubadours; a group from the Detroit area. It was another great spot. Worked a few other places – “sometimers” has set in – but do recall all the fun experienced during 1960-1962. Still see Milt once in a while and the always leads the fun at the Scotch Mist with Sid and Jerry.

  • Carol Trimble

    Rube – who used to tend bar at Bourbon St? He ended up in Vegas and owned a bar across the street from UNLV.

  • Tom

    I know this was written a few years back but I just came across your blog and I’m really enjoying it. I’m sure that I must have seen you back when you were in Chicago. I used to go to Rush Street, to Whiskey A Go Go, and Rush Up mostly. I practically lived at the Electric Theater Company which became The Kinetic Playground, and Wine & Roses was one of my favorite lounges back then. I used to date cocktail waitresses and dancers back them and they always liked to go to Whiskey A Go Go. I moved to California in June 1969 but I didn’t spend a lot of time up in LA. I was down in the Beach towns of Orange County mostly Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Both places I lived within about a block of each the piers.
    I haven’t found the section where you talk about your old neighborhood but I am assuming from the name that it was around Taylor and Racine. I knew a few guys from that neighborhood but not well. I only remember one name Raul. I also went out with a blonde dancer named Pam from that neighborhood. Looking forward to reading more… Hope you are still writing.

    • taylorandracine

      Hi Tom … thanks for the comments … seems we were in a lot of the same places.
      I also moved to LA in 1969 … left there about 10 years ago, and miss it very much. I lived in the valley mostly … No. Hollywood, Burbank, and lastly Toluca Lake, my fav place on earth, it was difficult to leave it …but had to stay close to family.
      Actually, the very beginning of my blog is all about THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD … check again.

  • MIKE ODONNELL

    Anybody remember Gus’ Pub ar Bellevue and rush?

  • Ron

    Start writing again! I was back in Chicago again for the 2016 Jazz Festival and it was great! Amazed again how Rush street has changed-The Esquire Theatre is now a clothing store but they left up the sign. Old Town is completely changed from the 1960’s and now a high end restaurant row only the redesigned Second City complex in what was Piper’s Alley remains.

    • taylorandracine

      Thanks for reading, Ron … I know I need to write more … lots more stories to tell. I go back to Chicago every couple of years and the Rush Street changes make me sad …all the great energy and fun has gone … it’s just a high end shopping street now, sad … same with Old Town. How did you find my blog?

  • Ron

    I was doing some reminiscing on Chicago and came across your blog. By the way when you go back to Chicago you should try and make it during the time of the annual Jazz Festival. I got a great vibe from some of the veteran jazz players performing-like when I discovered the scenes in Old Town and Rush street when Jazz was king! And the crowds were mellow and enjoying the music-Chicago at its best. They had a Pro volleyball tournament at the Oak Street Beach on the same weekend.

  • Ron

    Since you worked in the industry-you realize there is a good idea for a script in your blog musings. Are you having a “writer’s block”?

  • Petro

    Hi Judy – I was doing a bit of research on my family and came across your blog. In the 70’s my father bought the Cousin’s Club and my uncle was the manger (at least they were the front, because I think some connected folks really owned it). I hope my uncle is not the one who ripped you off on your tips on NYE!!! Do you remember Petros/Pete (Dad) or Bill (Uncle)??

    • taylorandracine

      Hi … just saw this … don’t remember the names … besides I left Chi in 1969 … I wasn’t at the CC for very long, and I’m sure you understand!
      Thanks for reading … some day I’ll get back to the blog … I loved writing it … and then life happened … take care, Judy

  • Paul O'Neill

    I was a roadie for a band called M.S. Funk. We were kind of the house band at the Rush Up in the early 70’s whencwe were in town. That place was a roadie’s nightmare. The band was extremely talented. One of the lead guitar players was Tommy Shaw, who went on to play (and still plays) with Styx. Damn disco came and ruined many up and coming rock bands…..the foosball games there were legendary.

    • taylorandracine

      Paul … thanks so much for reading … I’ve been very bad about writing … life has been very busy.
      I didn’t spend much time at Rush Up … I left Chicago in 1969 … lived in California for many years,
      lived in Las Vegas for 10 years, and couldn’t wait to get back to Cali … arrived a week ago and so very happy to be back … it’s definitely my home.
      Take care … J

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: