Frankly Speaking

    The Grand Opening of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

    Issue 177

    Long Island has always been a fertile musical breeding ground, and after almost 20 years of seeking a home, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHoF) has finally found a location in a beautiful, spacious building in Stony Brook, New York. The Hall was inaugurated with a grand opening event on November 22, 2022.

    Founded in 2004, the LIMEHoF is dedicated to honoring and supporting Long Island’s remarkably varied musical heritage. LIMEHoF has been seeking a permanent facility since their inception, and has had a mobile exhibit for some years, but now Long Island finally has a fitting permanent showcase for a dazzling roster of talent: among LIMEHoF’s 122 inductees are Billy Joel, John Coltrane, Al Kooper, Barbra Streisand, Twisted Sister, Carole King, Clive Davis, Cyndi Lauper, Dream Theater, EPMD, George Gershwin, Harry Chapin, Kurtis Blow, Morton Gould, Perry Como, “Cousin” Brucie Morrow, Simon and Garfunkel, Tony Bennett, Whodini, and Mariah Carey – to name a few. I was personally very happy to see the Hall usher in their newest inductee: music and pop culture journalist Wayne Robins.

    Yes, Wayne Robins, Copper writer, who was Newsday’s pop music journalist for around 20 years. Newsday is Long Island’s major newspaper and everyone on the Long Island music scene read him. Wayne has authored several books, was editor of gonzo-rock magazine Creem, and has contributed to The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Melody Maker and others. He is an adjunct professor of journalism at St. John’s University and writes the “Critical Conditions” column on Substack. He is also a friend.

     

    Part of the memorabilia on display. Courtesy of Ed Shin/LIMEHoF.

    Part of the memorabilia on display. Courtesy of Ed Shin/LIMEHoF.

     

    The opening of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame has special meaning to me, and to many of the LI rockers and honorees who attended the opening ceremony. I’ve lived on Long Island almost all of my life, and have been involved with (and perhaps have made a fractional contribution to) the LI music scene since the late 1960s. I’ll admit – I was really excited to be able to attend the opening. And I’m sure it was particularly special for Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHoF chairman, co-founder Norm Prusslin, and other LIMEHoF people at the event.

    The museum comprises two floors. The upper floor hosts a semi-permanent exhibit space with a variety of memorabilia, musical instruments, stage wear, concert posters, and other items. The lower floor will feature a changing roster of exhibits. Among the items on display are a pair of autographed sneakers from Run DMC, a Billy Joel 1978 tour jacket and one of his motorcycles, a couple of Morton Gould’s notebooks, some of Twisted Sister’s stage outfits (including the one Dee Snider wore on the cover of the Stay Hungry album, complete with the original bone he held for the photo shoot), Elliot Murphy’s guitar, hundreds of album covers, and much more, including – how could it not? – a signed cowbell from Blue Öyster Cult.

    The current first-floor exhibit is “Long Island’s Legendary Club Scene – 1960s – 1980s.” It brought knowing smiles to many of the attendees who lived that scene – including me. In the late 1970s and early 1980s I played in a new wave band called the Lines, and Wayne Robins happened to have been in the audience at an early gig. He wrote a favorable review for Newsday. It helped to break the band. We went on to achieve local notoriety – once opening for Duran Duran on their first-ever US gig at Spit in Levittown (those really were the days) – but never went beyond triple-A into the majors. Wayne and I lost touch for decades, reconnecting thanks to social media and Copper, and it was wonderful to see him again after all that time, and see him get the honor he deserved for being such a big part of chronicling and even helping to shape Long Island’s music scene.

     

    Wayne Robins, LIMEHOF's latest inductee.

    Wayne Robins, LIMEHOF’s latest inductee.

     

    The Club Scene exhibit, created by renowned designer Kevin O’Callaghan (a Long Islander who created the MTV Movie Awards trophy), takes attendees through a club crawl of LI’s music venues at the time, with replicas of some key (it not all that glamorous) clubs like My Father’s Place, Malibu, Tuey’s, Hammerheads, Rumrunners, Speaks, and others, where many a Long Islander misspent their youth listening to bands like the Good Rats, Mazarin, Swift Kick, the Stanton Anderson Band, the Bonnie Parker Band and legions of rockers. As Jay Jay French notes in his book Twisted Business, the club scene was huge in those days and bands could make a lot of money. Raising the drinking age to 21 and the advent of disco killed it all. The exhibit is beautifully designed with a dash of good-natured humor – to name one example, the “what to wear to a club” wall is very funny, especially since it’s right on.

     

    Part of the museum's wall of coolness.

    Part of the museum’s wall of coolness.

     

    There’s a stage for live performances, and it’s also special: a replica of a period-era stage setup, complete with PA with immense bass bins and high-frequency horns, part of Zebra’s 1980s rig and donated by the band. (It’s really loud, adding yet another element of period-correct clubland authenticity.) There are also red Marshall stacks, a Hammond B3 organ that Mark Stein played in Vanilla Fudge, and a backdrop of advertisements from the era, among other accoutrements.

    Speaking of live performances…the word was that there would be live music to close out the event. I’d heard they couldn’t announce the performers in advance, in case there were any last-minute schedule changes. Well…Elliot Murphy played a short but wonderful acoustic solo set, followed by all three members of Zebra rocking out, having lost nothing to the passing of time. I’m glad I followed my rock and roll instincts and stuck around past the event’s official closing time, because the evening ended with Albert and Joe Bouchard, founding members of Blue Öyster Cult, and current BÖC drummer Jules Radino playing a three-song set that included the spellbinding “Astronomy,” which the band dedicated to Stony Brook’s Sandy Pearlman, one of BÖC’s early managers (and a vital contributor to the band’s oeuvre during their formative days), and professor, producer, and entrepreneur. As it’s no secret that I’m a very big BÖC fan, my visit to LIMEHoF ended on an unexpected high note. You can bring back the good old days.

    I did manage to take some photos.

     

    Billy Joel's motorcycle is parked here.

    Billy Joel’s motorcycle is parked here.

     

    Originally from New Orleans, Zebra (Felix Hanemann, Randy Jackson, Guy Gelso) made Long Island their home.

    Originally from New Orleans, Zebra (Felix Hanemann, Randy Jackson, Guy Gelso) made Long Island their home.

     

    Albert Bouchard, original drummer/songwriter of Blue Öyster Cult, and Suzie Loraine say hello. Suzie will be performing on Albert's next album.

    Albert Bouchard, original drummer/songwriter of Blue Öyster Cult, and Susie Loraine say hello. Susie will be performing on Albert’s next album.

     

    The gift shop offers some tre-cool items, including a drum head autographed by Eddie Money and Colin Blunstone (the Zombies).

    The gift shop offers some tre-cool items, including a drum head autographed by Eddie Money and Colin Blunstone (the Zombies).

     

    Just the thing for your next wedding or Bar Mitzvah: one of Dee Snider's Twisted Sister stage outfits.

    Just the thing for your next wedding or Bar Mitzvah: one of Dee Snider’s Twisted Sister stage outfits.

     

    It's all about having a good time: Long Island rock titans Felix Hanemann, Twisted Sister's Jay Jay French, and George Cintron (Cintron).

    It’s all about having a good time: Long Island rock titans Felix Hanemann, Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French, and George Cintron (Cintron).

     

    And a good time was assured if these guys and gal were on stage: John Gatto (Good Rats), Bonnie Parker (Bonnie Parker Band), Jay Jay French, Felix Hanemann and Mark "The Animal" Mendoza (Twisted Sister).

    And a good time was assured if these guys and gal were on stage: John Gatto (Good Rats), Bonnie Parker (Bonnie Parker Band), Jay Jay French, Felix Hanemann and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (Twisted Sister).

     

    He got the breaks: one of Kurtis Blow's stage outfits.

    He got the breaks: one of Kurtis Blow’s stage outfits.

     

    Opening night was well attended.

    Opening night was well attended.

     

    Celebrating a magical night: inductees Paula Janis and Carole Demas of TV series <em>The Magic Garden.</em> Courtesy of Ed Shin/LIMEHoF.

    Celebrating a magical night: inductees Paula Janis and Carole Demas of TV series The Magic Garden. Courtesy of Ed Shin/LIMEHoF.

     

    One of John "The Cat" Gatto's guitars. Look at it sideways!

    One of John “The Cat” Gatto’s guitars. Look at it sideways!

     

    Parrish Smith of EPMD and Lawrence Worrell, aka L.A.W. from Planet 12, and grandson of LIMEHoF inductee Sam Taylor.

    Parrish Smith of EPMD and Lawrence Worrell, aka L.A.W. from Planet 12, and grandson of LIMEHoF inductee Sam Taylor.

     

    Wayne Robins receives his award, next to LIMEHoF execs Norman Prusslin and Ernie Canadeo.

    Wayne Robins receives his award, next to LIMEHoF execs Norman Prusslin and Ernie Canadeo.

     

    Walk this way: a pair of Run DMC's sneakers.

    Walk this way: a pair of Run DMC’s sneakers.

     

    To think that Manhattanites would look down at the bridge-and-tunnel crowd...

    To think that Manhattanites would look down at the bridge-and-tunnel crowd…

     

    Wayne Robins reconnects with rock and roll troubadour Elliott Murphy.

    Wayne Robins reconnects with rock and roll troubadour Elliott Murphy.

     

    Burning for you: Albert Bouchard, Jules Radino and Joe Bouchard of Blue Öyster Cult close out the evening.

    Burning for you: Albert Bouchard, Jules Radino and Joe Bouchard of Blue Öyster Cult close out the evening.

     

    The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame is located at 97 Main Street, Stony Brook, New York and is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission ranges from $15.00 – $19.50 and children under 12 get in free.

     

    Header image courtesy of Ed Shin/LIMEHoF. All other images courtesy of the author except where noted.

    6 comments on “The Grand Opening of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame”

    1. Fantastic to see this open and we will come home to visit the hall. The club scene was huge and saw hundreds of shows in them, probably as many as in big halls. BOC and Zebra getting their just rewards is icing on the cake. Perhaps Billy is (was) just to big to attend this big night for Long Island? Thanks for the awesome article, we love Cooper magazine!
      Jon from Huntington Station

      1. They have at least one of Lou Reed’s record album covers as part of the permanent wall decor. I didn’t see any of his memorabilia but the museum is a work in progress; some of the items were not labeled.

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