In between Air Supply tours in the early 80’s I walked into my neighborhood English Pub in Woodland Hills called Pickwick’s Pub. I was a huge fan of the Beatles and all of the British Invasion groups like the Rolling Stones, Gery & The Pacemakers, The Dave Clarke Five, The Zombies, Peter & Gordon and all the rest. The first person I met there was Margret, a sweet Scottish middle aged bartender with an strong Scottish accent. I asked her if I could play for tips and she directed me to the owner of the pub, John Macintosh. That was the beginning of a 25 year incredible run.
In the early days I would see bellying up at the bar Ronnie Dio, Rod Stewart and lots of famous English, Scottish & American roadies that have been around the world with the biggest Rock & Roll bands in the world. Smoother, Spy Mathews, Ricky Farr, Davey Kirkwood and many others. The regulars would “wind me up” as they say and it took me a while to get their approval of having live music at the pub.
John, the owner was crazy but lots of fun. I would be playing and he would come on stage in his underwear and a brown paper bag on his head and sing “House of the Rising Sun” and other Animals hits. He ended up dating one of our waitresses, a cute red head. They fell in love and got married and things didn’t go so good in there manage and then he shot and killed her with a policeman next to her and then turned the gun on himself and blew his brains out.
After that Craig Holman took over, he might of owned the property, and the place was ROCKIN’. We had a big Cal State Northridge & Pierce College crowd, fraternities, sororities and people would line up down the street to get in. Thursday Night was always my night, left me open for weekend parties or other gigs. I moved from the floor in one corner of the bar to a small stage on the other side of the room. We had a decent sound system & small lights and the place went crazy every week.
I had a place behind the bar in the alley I would call my “office” and on my breaks the college kids and I would smoke pot. It was packed every week and these kids new every word to every song I sang. My big songs we Brown Eyed Girl, American Pie, Margaritaville (I sang Marijuanaville) and Wipe Out. I got fired 2 or 3 times for playing Wipe out….I would do the guitar part and when the drum solo came I had the kids bang on the tables, which turned into banging pitchers on the table which turned into breaking glass which got me fired. But they always re hired me because I brought business and fun to Pickwick’s Pub. (To Be Continued….)