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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bars We Used To Work In "Back In The Day"

Old Place, Big Musical History?
Hamilton's Carlton Tavern

Do you remember the Club Continental at Gage and Gertrude?

How about these:

Eldorado—Barton & Hughson
International—Barton & James
Copper Johns—James & Murray
Genesee—James & Strachan
Marina—James & Wood
Tap—James & Vine
Her Majesty's Army Navy—Vine & MacNab
Coach—James & Wilson
Moosehead—Barton & Wentworth
Galley Pump—Wentworth
Balmoral—King & Wentworth

Carlton—King & Wentworth
Green Pepper/Waverley—Barton & ?
Prince Eddy—Barton & Balmoral
Britannia—Sherman & Barton
Ol Vienna—Beach Rd
The Dynes, the way it was
Gage House—Gage & Gertrude
Club Continental—Gage & Gertrude
Beach House—Beach Rd near Ottawa
Gladstone—Main & Kenilworth
Kenilworth Tavern—Kenilworth

Homeside/Homicide Ha!—Kenilworth
Alpine, Day-Night, Pines—Hwy 8 & Lake
Dynes—Beach Blvd
Innsville—Lewis & Hwy 8
Dallas—Barton & Parkdale,
Derby Tavern—Queenston & Walter
Plantation—Gage & Rymal
Redwood—Hwy 20
Building gone, memories remain!
Country Roadhouse—Hwy 6 Carlisle
Pinto's—Hwy 6 & Millgrove

The list was sent in by reader Bud Wilkinson who can boast that he’s had the experience of playing in every one. He’s one of the Hamilton’s veteran musicians, many of whom are still active, and of necessity are adapting to the changing music business.

Local Veteran Players


Three more local veterans are John Staley, David Dalgleish and Ralph Lefevre. Today I’m practicing with these guys. We’re reviving some of the R&B classics and checking off someone’s bucket list at the same time. The plan is to get some horns together, pull it all together and do it right.

Staley is heading up this project, and after one rehearsal I’m pumped. These are great players. Practicing with these guys is easy because they know how to get the job done; they’re not afraid to talk straight about the music to one another. If something’s not right it’ll get fixed. Quick. No delicate egos to tip-toe around. Those same egos were long ago stomped into submission for the sake of doing a great gig, and the need to establish a reputation of being a decent guy to work with so you’ll get another call.

"Back In The Day"


Afterward we sit down over a couple of drinks, and soon the conversation begins and the “back in the day” stories flow. When you’re in the company of guys who’ve been playing the area for more than thirty years, there is a rich repository of “back in the day” tales.

A modern urban renewalist would frown upon hearing that some of Hamilton’s busiest live music venues from days gone by have now been replaced by parking lots. Times changed in the nineties. Crowds thinned. Businesses went under. Downtown dried up, and with it much of the musical entertainment.

But back in the day, nobody cared if the buildings were old and run-down. The memories are rich; the music was great; the rooms were full. So we sit and reminisce about the hundreds of great (and not-so-great) gigs. Wilkinson says, “We had loads of work for a good twenty years in our area. We used to entertain in our area on a regular rotation in the 70s and 80s.”

It’s always good to take a look back into the roots of our local music scene.

Other spots on Wilkinson’s list:

Burlington: Coronation—Brant; Queens—Brant; Treetop—Lakeshore; Army Navy—Industrial; Victoria Hotel
Queens Hotel; Dunnville: Tony's Place; Wainfleet: Queens, Star, J & J's Tavern; Brantford: Grand River Hotel and Rodeo; Kitchener: Uncle Tommy's Roadhouse; Mississauga: Plasta Royal; Guelph: Grand River.

Help us complete the list!

Have you got pictures? Send them in here!