Navigation for 50's Rock and Roll
Of all the places I remember the most, it was the ballroom at Mountain Park. This was our starting point and sort of our home. The very first time we played there was after our debut at the Victoria Theater and we were a hit. People liked dancing and coming up to the front of the stage and watching our band perform. We didn't play all night we were a feature performance. The rest of the night was a disco. Yes even in the 50s they had disco, but then it was called a Record Hop. We were comfortable there and the band was always treated like celebrity rock stars. We loved it.
Old photos of the Ballroom at Mountain Park. It would hold 2000 people and was host to the Big Bands of the 40's and 50"s.
The picture on the bands album cover was taken on the stage.
Next we come to another interesting place in the Northern Lights journey. The Ritz Ballroom at the Pleasure Beach Amusement Park in Bridgeport Conn. This was an exciting time because it was the first opportunity we had to meet up with the big stars of the 50's. Names like Fabian, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds were on the bill that night we played. Although I think Fabian was to play Sunday night.
The place was packed. I remember we set up on the dance floor in front of the stage and then waited for our introduction. While waiting we were watching the The Thunder Birds performance. I thought to myself boy are these guys great. Don told me later he also was watching the Thunder Birds, in particular the drummer, and picked up a few ideas for a new technique he could use with the band. He was all excited about it and couldn't wait to try it out.
Then it came time for us. The announcer came on and billed us as an up and coming big time Rock Band from Massachusetts and included references to rave reviews that we had received in the papers. Then with big smiles, a loud round of cheers and pumped up egos we took the floor. Yeah....
We didn't waste any time and jumped right into our first number. Things were going great until about halfway through our first song a big knife fight broke out on the dance floor right in front of us. At first we didn't quite know how to react but then after signals from Kawecki and few people on the side we keep playing. In about a minute or so security rushed in and stopped the fight. Most of the people on the crowded dance floor didn't even know what was going on. Later we received high praise for not stopping and continuing on with the performance thus avoiding a panic situation. That was the only time we had a potentially bad situation happen but luck was with us. The Northern Lights was a cool band in more ways then one.
We finished our show without further incidents and we're well received. Everybody seemed to like us and we were happy everything turned out great. All and all another night to remember.