The Speakeasy, Boston

From Zappa Wiki Jawaka
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Speakeasy was a Boston 'blues bar' located in Norfolk Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The venue was divided lengthwise, with the bar and dance floor on one side, with booths & tables and stage on the other. Bands hauled in their own PA systems, but the bar did have a pinball machine, hot dog steamer, popcorn machine and a jukebox stocked with rare blues 45s. Monday nights were known as "Blue Lodge" nights, hosted by Steve 'T-Blade' Berkowitz.

FZ jamming at The Speakeasy, Boston
Photo: Mary Rosenblatt

One Monday, Zappa, accompanied by Captain Beefheart and drummer Aynsley Dunbar, jammed in the bar - on borrowed equipment - along with the club's sax-player Dave Birkin [date uncomfirmed].

Boston's Speakeasy venue was focus for many blues acts and events; Eddie Gorodetsky occasionally did stand-up comedy between sets and promoted blues on his 'Hi-Fi Party' on WERS while Mai Cramer, host of 'Blues After Hours' on WGBH, recorded several shows live. Musicians who appeared on its stage included: Albert Collins, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Shines, the two Luther Johnsons — “Guitar Junior” and “The Snake,” Professor Harp, Barbecue Bob, J.B. Hutto, Kim Wilson, Jimmie Vaughan, Eddie Kirkland, James Cotton, Eddie Shaw, Koko Taylor, Ron Levy, Rosy Rosenblatt, Dave Maxwell, John Nicholas and the Rhythm Rockers, George Leh, Pierre Beauregard, Donna Rae, Nonie’s Blues Band, Tom Principato, Paul Rishell, Mike Avery, Duke Robillard, Roomful of Blues, Mark Kazanoff, The Memphis Rockabilly Band, Sarah Brown, Terry Bingham, Mark Cedrone, Babe Pino, Maynard Silva and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones.

The Speakeasy, Boston, was knocked down in 1980 to create a parking lot.