Geneva-on-the-Lake 1960’s … A Rock n’ Roll Paradise!

Our band was going through some changes … we were playing a lot of gigs outside of Pittsburgh and had the chance to play at Geneva-on-the Lake, Ohio … a Rock n’ Roll Paradise! Our good friends, the Jaggerz, were killing it at the Lake Erie hotspot and we heard stories about the music scene. We, the Cordells, were thinking of changing our name to Herman’s Marching Band in honor of our manager and founder of the group Herman Lipp, and breaking out of our uniform digs and moving in the direction of a heavier sound … horn heavy, Funky and more progressive. I was still the singing drummer of the band and shared the vocal duties with Eric Jackson. Our first stop at Geneva-on-the-Lake was a famous Night Club called the Castaways at the south end of the Strip known for its hip Tiki Bar and Go-Go Dancers. A historic R&R club that some of my favorite early groups like Johnny Maestro of the Crests played. If we did well there and drew good crowds, we would have a chance to play a club on the Strip like the Cove, the Sunkin’ Bar or the Psychedelic to mention a few. We stayed in an old trailer behind one of the clubs on the Strip and spent our days on the beach or walking the Strip … the smell of Hot Dogs and Pizza in the air during the day and the smell of beer at night. It was a Rock n’ Roll Paradise with food, girls, go carts, amusement rides, Ice cream, cool cars, bikes and Rock n’ Roll filled the air. Small stores that sold tie-dye shirts, incense, Florescent black light posters and Rock n’ Roll filled the air again. Well, we did well, and we did get the opportunity to play at the Psychedelic and be part of the action on the Strip. The nights were filled with groups playing in all the clubs, 4 and 5 sets a night … hey, we were young! There were afternoon jams in some of the clubs and at one time most of the groups playing the clubs were Pittsburgh groups like the Wellingtons, the Katz and Jammer Kidz, the Molly Maguires, the Fenways and us, the Cordells … as I remember it, the Jaggerz ruled the Strip! I wish we could turn back the hands of time and revisit those days at Geneva-on-the Lake … it truly was a Rock n’ Roll Paradise!

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