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Vanished Venues: My Father's Place

Friday, May 13, 2011

From 1971-1987, the Long Island village of Roslyn was the home to a popular music venue called My Father’s Place. Housed in a former bowling alley, the club at 19 Bryant Ave hosted acts diverse as The Police, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, Mighty Diamonds and Joan Jett. Joining us for a look back at this Long Island musical hotspot is WLIR and WRCN radio personality Denis McNamara and My Father’s Place house photographer Steve Rosenfield. Plus, we chat with the club's founder, Michael "Eppy" Epstein.

Steve Rosenfield will discuss his photography at The Rye Arts Center on May 22, 2011 at the opening of "Off The Record, New York Music After Woodstock." More information here.

Steve Rosenfield
From 1971-1987, the Long Island village of Roslyn was the home to a popular rock club called My Father’s Place. The venue’s owner, Michael “Eppy” Epstein, with The Runaways in 1976.
Gary Gershoff/Steve Rosenfield
David Byrne, of the Talking Heads, on stage at My Father’s Place in 1977.
Steve Rosenfield
Owner Michael “Eppy” Epstein with Commander Cody in 1975, by house photographer Steve Rosenfield.
Steve Rosenfield
Staff at My Father’s Place during a rare quiet moment.
Steve Rosenfield
Elvis Costello, live at My Father’s Place in 1978.

Guests:

Denis McNamara, Michael "Eppy" Epstein and Steve Rosenfield

Comments [54]

John H. from Mineola from Southern Claifornia

Saw Rory Gallagher tear up MFP in '74, he was a beast! I remember his Strat looked like he dragged it behind a truck but it sounded incredible through his Orange Amps. Also got to see so many other amazing acts like, Argent, 10CC, Chick Corea, and Barnaby Bye was always great fun! Miss that place bad. I got to play there with my group, JD Meggins. We also played at Fern's Harness Shop down the street.

Aug. 21 2013 05:37 PM
Mark pelazza from Stamford ct

I've been looking for years for someone who has a copy of the chambers brothers live WLIR FM broadcast from my fathers place from the late 70's.... Willing to buy a copy... Will be generous email me bigmark712@hotmail.com or text me @203 253 6634

Jun. 20 2013 10:49 PM
Margaret from Las Vegas, NV

Having worked at WLIR-FM and (part time as a waitress at MFP) I have very fond memories of the history made every week at My Father's Place. Eppy is responsible for so many acts breaking and being a fond memory for us all. In fact, many of those bands are coming back around now. At WLIR we did our Tuesday Night concert series from My Father's Place and established so many artists as a result. As far as WLI's signal, it was a 3,000 watt powerhouse for Long Island, Connecticut and for the hip lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. I met many eople over the years that picked their home locations by being able to pick up the signal. So, in fact, those folks were also a part of the My Father's Place Family

Oct. 24 2012 12:42 PM
Mike Gustafson Ocon from the netherlands

a conversation in a music place in LA, a meeting the SF airport, one of the Rowan Brothers pointed to MFP and we chewed some Red Man together and heard his mandolin tune-up. Later chatting and scatting with one of the Chamber's Brothers in this 'bullpen room'. Willie's sound box was in bad shape. I offered to lend a recent acquisition, an Ampeg Jet with a green light and he said 'great' and pointed me ,again to MFP and heard an another awesome concert... for two nights in a row! I can imagine he still has has that Ampeg and I did get to hear the brother Rowan who loved to talk about that book called 'Seven Arrows', here in Utrecht and again in Brabant and hope he visits again. Back to the Hollywood Bowl, where the Chamber's family used to have a special place with some of their guitars and some text about how the Bowl happened. It was a great place to bring a school group in the morning and hear the rehearsals for some good groups.

Sep. 24 2012 09:34 AM
STUB from putnam

My roomie was the stage manager at MFP's. He was also our sound man at OBI South 1975-76 for Savannah. Dan Bryant, you rock and roll animal. Remember when you dribbled scotch thru yor beard and I caught it ina shot glass and downed it? Are we not men? We are DEVO!!

Feb. 17 2012 06:10 PM
joanne kenehan from McDonough NY

For Steve Shebar I remeber that group

Nov. 26 2011 08:05 AM
Katen from Sea Cliff NY

I remember a young guitarist telling us about this really cool band called he just saw called The Police. He couldn't stop raving all night.

Oct. 05 2011 06:07 PM
Kathy from Florida from The Villages, FL

I was a waitress at a small wine & cheese place ... I think it was called Fern's Harness Shop. My sister (Mary) worked at MFP as a waitress. I remember the GREAT cheese platters and the wine. I remember going to a party with Richie Havens ...must have been at Eppy's house on a summer afternoon...my sister lived at a house owned by Patti "pancake"...George Carlin came by her house many times and stayed and joked...what GREAT memories I have of Roslyn...I worked at Nassau Ice Cream also during the day and as a waitress at night. I just ran across a poster when I was cleaning my house...Buzzy Linhart played July 9,10,11 for a $3.50 admission price ...tickets were avail at NEVERWHEN in Old Roslyn at 18 Main St. I remember Livingston Taylor coming into my old blue CHEVY ECONOLINE van that I always had parked on the street in front of MFP until a cop would come by and make me move....WOW such memories...

Sep. 19 2011 06:22 PM
Lanny

MFP was like a second home top so many of us. And, aside from seeing some incredble shows (Commander Cody, Linda Ronstadt, Roger McGuinn on his first solo tour after disbanding The Byrds [and just about every other time he played there!], Emmylou Harris, James Brown, David Johansen), I got to play on that amazing stage as a member of White Line Fever, The Berrys, The Snap (a couple of months before the doors closed!) and, for one show, Ray Lambiase's Revolving Door! Thanks for the great times Eppy!

Jun. 15 2011 05:29 PM
Joe Streno from Seattle, WA

Went to CW Post back in the late 70's early 80's. Saw a lot of shows at MFP including The Police, Joe Jackson, Mink Deville and so may others.

I have another question about another music venue in Long Island. I saw the Gang of Four play in a supper club, of all places, around 1978 or 1979 and I can't remember the name of the place. Help! I have photos of the show, but for the life of me I can't remember the place. Any ideas would be helpful.

You can eMail me directly at ejo(at)go2jo(dot)com.

Thanks ... Joe

Jun. 15 2011 02:24 AM

Thank you to Eppy and My Fathers Place
I am an old Rocker - and the Dream (my bucket list) was relive my memory of playing on stage one more time at MFP.

Eppy and MFP have allowed me to do just that – live the dream. Even better my daughter and wife were there with my band & friends of 30 years to share the night and the event.

Please visit
www.AmericanIdol.pro www.MyCurvyGirl.com (for scoliosis)
www.MyTwistedSister.com (for scoliosis)

MFP just moved it did not die nor did the music and drive of heavy hitting rock and roll talent. In fact I would say its gotten much better and more creative.

Join Eppy and join the Fun and Danger he has a new venue…

Eppy continues make the dream come alive for young and old..

Please look also look at:
www.RockUnderGroundMusic.com
They are doing a fantastic job for the youth. The next Joan Jett, Billy Joel are right around the corner. And - they have been on my American Idol stage with Eppy and MFP...

Sincerely
Chuck Idol
2nd Generation American Idol
www.AmericanIdol.pro

P.S. Never Before Heard Music can be obtained from Eppy of our band from the1978’s to 2011. the AmericanIdol.pro site will be updated within the next 2 weeks.

Jun. 02 2011 02:20 PM
Aeric Lee from Bayside

I missed the My Father's Place days...but Eppy's managing me and getting my music out there. Thank you to everyone who made My Father's Place such a great place!!

www.facebook.com/aericleeband

May. 22 2011 11:27 PM
Harry from Bethpage from Former Bethpage

The Dregs(Dixie), Stanley Clarke, Paul Barrere and Friends, Allan Holdsworth, Ponty, Roy Buchanan, Johnny Winter, Mick Ronson via Ian Hunter, The Good Rats, Al Dimeola, Tower of Power, John Mclaughlin, Cobham, New Riders, Jorma, Coryell, Joe Perry. This was the only place for Fusion on the isalnd.....
I have pictures of my boys posing on the back of the Dregs truck under the tressel and a few of the band somewhere.

May. 22 2011 12:23 PM
Steve from Oak Park, IL by way of NYC

To Michael from Brooklyn from Los Angeles: Thanks for your comment to the "So What" band member. FYI, that comment was from Steve Shebar, drummer, not Steve Bargonetti. But thanks again!

May. 22 2011 10:54 AM
debbie L hintzer from mukileo, wa

i made t-shirts for the guitar workshop! the 1st show i saw at mfp was jim dawson..still my all time favorite singer. i practically live there for 10 yrs..can't count how many times was nrbq and davd bromberg. still have some great pictures of livingston taylor and southside johnny.

May. 22 2011 02:07 AM
Steve Rosenfield

Responding to the post about where are "THE TAPES"... they belong to the respective copyright holders. The 9 live tracks on the CD with that comes with the My Father's Place book are the first legal distribution of the material. When that CD is blasting in your car, it really brings you back...

May. 16 2011 04:58 PM
Michael from Brooklyn from Los Angeles, CA

Nice to see the great Steve Bargonetti comment above (he was the guitar player in So What and later played with Lena Horne, among many--I knew Steve a bit at Columbia University).
MFP was a great room--saw many a great show there, although it did have one major flaw--it was impossible to get there without a car.
And the post above raised the interesting question which was unaddressed in this show--where are all those tapes from WLIR? Denis--any idea?

May. 16 2011 04:05 PM
George Meyer

Hi John, I loved the MFP story but disappointed also. I was one of the first audio mixers on the WLIR broadcast in 72 and 73. The facts are that Ken Kohl who was program director of WLIR started live Tuesday night concerts from Ultrasonic Recording Studios in Hempstead. They were very successful. He then approached Eppy to broadcast the late Saturday night shows. I spent many a Saturday night in the basement of MFP where we had the broadcast control room. I have full recordings of Kenny Rankin, Roy Buchanan, and McKedree Spring. I know your story was about the club, but the club would not have been as successful without WLIR. With respect to Denis McNamara I wish more credit was given to all who really got the the whole thing started. Best, George (PS, One could hear on a packed night Eppy yelling out "Hippies, Spend Money")

May. 16 2011 11:28 AM
laura from larchmont, NY

I saw the Waitresses twice there and Michael Franks...and of the thousands of concerts I went to in my youth, I remember the ones at My Father's Place the most. The intimacy of the place was extraordinary.

May. 16 2011 11:00 AM
laura from larchmont, NY

I saw the Waitresses twice there and Michael Franks...and of the thousands of concerts I went to in my youth, I remember the ones at My Father's Place the most. The intimacy of the place was extraordinary.

May. 16 2011 10:53 AM
JC from NYC

WLIR was my favorite radio station.

I still have an audio cassette recording (now transferred to digital) of Tom Waits from Oct. 10, 1977.

Great concert.

May. 15 2011 06:28 PM

Correction: Randy Hansen (as in randyhansen.com -- he's STILL doing it!).

Eppy--what have you been up to?! BTW, I grew up in Roslyn and LONG for the days. I preach the gospel of MFP several times a year. What a special place.

May. 15 2011 01:24 PM
Mike Corso

I had a short trumpet lesson with Freddie Hubbard in the dressing room at MFP. Dream like event for a 16-year old. Also remember GREAT nights at MFP seeing Tower of Power, James Brown, Billy Cobham, Randy Hanson, and many others. I still miss that place. Thank you, Eppy.

May. 15 2011 12:29 PM
eppy from glen coveny

thanks for making mfp part of your planet ill come on air again any time

May. 15 2011 08:30 AM
Steven Rosenfield

Great to hear MFP mattered to so much to so many people. Some answers to a few questions. Many audio recordings exist but it's very difficult to secure the rights from artists, writers and record companies. The CD in Fun & Dangerous has tracks from 9 different shows. How did they get national acts to come to Roslyn? It was close to NYC yet beyond the scrutiny of most NY rock critics. Eppy was hospitable (still is!) the stage, equipment and dressing rooms were better than most NYC clubs and when they figured out how to tie-in live concerts on WLIR - record sales rocketed. Back then, the record companies were making loads of cash and had money to invest in breaking and nurturing talent.
The last show was Tower of Power. After 16 years and more than 5,000 shows - you'd think they'd put up a plaque at 19 Bryant Ave. Thanks John for recognizing the MFP's contributions to the NY music scene!

May. 14 2011 12:25 PM
John from Lindenhurst

Q: What was the last band to ever play MFP?A: East Link (which was my band, there was a reggae band scheduled for the next week, but MFP closed before they could play). A little trivia for you kids!

May. 14 2011 12:35 AM
Lin

I grew up in Great Neck and was in high school in the late 70s-- not allowed to go at night, but MFP also had very cool Sunday afternoon blues and folk concerts that went to-- particularly remember Sweet Honey in the Rock. Great to hear these stories.

May. 13 2011 10:37 PM
PJ from East Meadow

I was the guy under the viaduct with the flashlight showing you where not to park and tell you when to put the joint out or hide the beer when the police came through the parking lot. When the show started I worked security inside ,stage right best seat in the house.

May. 13 2011 10:31 PM
mike k from Flushing

I saw many great shows there.Jonathan Edwards, John Prine, Steve Goodman, Levon Helm and Rick Danko, Manfred Mann, David Grisman with Stephane Grapelli and the Woodstock Mtn. Revue. And there were other local venues-the Little Club, which was across the street and Fern's Harness Shop, that was down the street.

May. 13 2011 10:07 PM
anne Twomey

The Good Rats!
wow that brings back burried memories.

May. 13 2011 09:49 PM
Ginny from West Milford, NJ

My first visit to MFP was in 1971 to see George Carlin in his 'hippy dippy weatherman' days - hilarious. The place was still small - the expansion came a few years later. You could buy pizza, which took a long time to arrive but was worth it, as were the pitchers of Sangria. Saw Carlin there 3 times over the years. Also Melanie, Jonathan Edwards, Eddie Money, John Mayall, Muddy Waters, B.B. King... a great time in a relaxed atmosphere.

May. 13 2011 09:03 PM
Bruce from Airmont, NY

Some friends and I from northern NJ went to a show at MFP that didn't happen. There was a small crowd at MFP for Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. The start time arrived, we waited and waited. Someone came out to announce a cancelled show. We were having drinks wondering what happened and what to do when one of our party noticed Dan Hicks come out and sit at a table by himself. One of the guys went to talk to him and returned a minute or two later. "What happened to the show?" he had asked. Without missing a beat Dan told him, "My unborn baby ate my passport." Even as blottoed as he was, Dan still retained his amazing wit.

May. 13 2011 06:55 PM
Mike

On any given weeknight, we would go to MFP, not knowing who was performing, just go. We saw some amazing shows and discovered bands and performers I probably wouldn't have gone out of my way to see. Andy Kaufman was one, never heard of him(pre Taxi days) There were so many more! Roslyn is now just a boutique town since Eppy left. I still miss that place.

May. 13 2011 05:40 PM
Evan from New York City

When the club opened in 1971 I was a 15 year old from Manhasset, the next town to the West. I worked as a stock boy in a ski shop and my brother mounted bindings with a very cool guy who with his wife were bartenders at MFP. I was ushered in the back door for a lot of shows - my favorite always being David Bromberg. I think MFP was the first place he played fiddle in public??

Reverend Blind Gary Davis was great.

Music aside, some of my best memories were George Carlin shows- almost had a seizure a few times I laughed so hard.

May. 13 2011 03:47 PM
steve from Oak Park, IL (by way of NYC)

I played there numerous times in the late 70s with a "jazz- fusion" quartet called "So What" (on bills with Larry Coryell, Spyro Gyra, Tony Williams). I'll never forget the night we opened for Larry Coryell and he played on Chick Corea's "Spain" with us at the end of the night - he started his solo with a quote from "As Time Goes By" and took it through amazing harmonic twists and turns. The club's energy gave rise to that kind of spontaneous performance.

May. 13 2011 02:40 PM
a g from n j

john to eppy,"yeah yeah man it's my show"
ouch..............

maybe making an enemy of john, will bring back the friendship with paul,eppy.

May. 13 2011 02:38 PM
larry mayer from Staten Island-yuk!

I grew up in Roslyn, I only wish I could afford to live there as an adult! Anyway, I went to MFP only once but knew of it as a legend even as early as 1975 when I graduated Roslyn High School. I saw David Sanborn and was blown away by the intimacy of the place. Also was an early introduction to Jazz, so I owe my love of Jazz to both David and MFP. DOn't forget to mention the head shop that was literally a stoners throw from that clock tower that was mentioned earlier.

May. 13 2011 02:33 PM
jimmy from BROOKLYN, NY

THIIS BEGS THE QUESTION...WHERE ARE ALL THOSE WLIR AND ESPECIALLY "MY FATHERS PLACE" TAPES?????????????

May. 13 2011 02:32 PM
Gary from NYC

What a great spot to listen to music with a girl and get a bottle of Mateus, like a real sophisticate....

May. 13 2011 02:32 PM
Ray from New York

The other important point to touch on is that Eppy in particular, but WLIR as well at the time, were very supportive of the local struggling singer-songwriters. MFP provided amazing opportunities to open for acts that would never have been possible in the NYC venues - and Eppy left many of us with too many priceless memories to mention (other than maybe opening up for The Mama The Papas, and John Phillips asking me after the soundcheck, "feel like taking a walk to up to the bar." Uh... yeah! Thanks, Eppy!

May. 13 2011 02:30 PM
Willie Wolf from Greenpoint Rocks

I'm so glad you mentioned the Good Rats. Lumped into the "new wave" category, they were just a great band that I got hipped to by my friends obsession with mail order records that allowed us in suburban Detroit to gain access to bands from Long Island and London, and Scotland.....

May. 13 2011 02:26 PM

Grew up in Yonkers, NY but My Fathers Place was place to get fix of Good Rats for North Shore, Rum Runners on South Shore. Always got lost on way home and never went home the same way. Once went wrong way and wound up asking for directions in Riverhead to get back home.

May. 13 2011 02:26 PM
Jon from Growing up in Suffolk

Ah, the good old days on Long Island. The only place in Nassau to get a taste of the Village music scene. My last concert there: The GoGos before they hit it big.

May. 13 2011 02:21 PM
Rich K from UC, NJ

A better pairing would have been Bruce and Bob Marley, a show that went until early in the morning. Each artist was clearly in love with the other. Hall & Oates, Dave Edmunds, Pure Prairie League, local bands like the Freelance Vandals, so many that it becomes hard to remember the individual shows. For a while I was at either MFP or the Bottom Line nearly every week. And Denis - what about UltraSonic?

May. 13 2011 02:21 PM
Mike from Manhasset

I seem to recollect seeing Springsteen in the summer of 1973 when he was a last minute fill-in for Larry Coryell. The audience was disappointed that the name artist failed to show. Does this ring a bell with anyone else?

May. 13 2011 02:18 PM
Jeff Douglas

As an avid music fan from Brooklyn, I loved going to My Father's Place. It was totally unpretentious, and, seemingly, had no music industry connections; which was really refreshing when having to put up with record company people in Manhattan (and their reserved tables).
I have fond memories of seeing NRBQ, JJ Cale and many, many more.

May. 13 2011 02:17 PM
Joe from New York

I played once at My Father's Place, in 1977 with a jazz fusion band called Flight. I was eighteen years old and thrilled - I felt like I'd hit the big time!

I saw many memorable shows there too: George Duke, Jan Hammer, Stan Getz, Edgar Winter, Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, and - many times - the Good Rats.

May. 13 2011 02:16 PM
Ed Sczesnak from Bronx, NY

I saw Blondie opening for John Cale at My Dad's Pad around the time of their first album. Fifty people, no more, with Debbie in full-cry leopard-skin outfit and moves to match. A memorable evening. (John wasn't bad either.)

May. 13 2011 02:16 PM
Rose from Williston Park, NY

I have many great memories of MFP in the early '70's: Patty Smith wearing leg-warmers over her skinny jeans and everyone chanting, "Horses, horses," the Ramones with people throwing a few chairs around, the New York Dolls with the beautiful Buster Poindexter, Elliot Murphy singing "Marilyn," Papa John Creech with a couple of Chambers Brothers showing up, Jan Hammer, Maria Muldaur. The cheese platters were pretty good and every once in a while a bit of a mosh pit got going. And all 5 minutes from Williston Park! It was fun waiting on line outside in a crowd of young, innocent, optimistic hippies and rockers. It was great because it was so intimate. We knew it was a special place then and it really became part of our lives.

May. 13 2011 02:16 PM
stuart from nyc

I remember seeing the Ramones at MFP right around the time of their first album. The large amplifiers and the small room was quite a combination (the audience was small too). I saw many new wave era bands (the Buzzcocks and XTC, for example) who put on incredible shows. The one downside - if you parked under the viaduct, the birds had a field day with your car.

May. 13 2011 02:04 PM
Pat Bianculli from Brooklyn, NY

During the late 60's and early 70's My Father's Place teamed up with the Guitar Workshop, founded originally in Roslyn by Kent Sidon. Together they put on some of the finest traditional American and Celtic music in New York. Their Sunday afternoons series counts as one of my biggest musical influences.

May. 13 2011 02:00 PM
Big E from Long Island from Long Island

I am a big fan of radio, and in the 1970's on Long Island, WLIR was the soundtrack to our fun. Even better, WLIR regularly broadcast live concerts from the stage of MFP! Little known bands like Blotto (from Albany) or well know groups like the David Bromberg Band, and all the other touring bands of the day came across our airwaves. Some of the shows I can remember seeing at MFP : Johnny Winter, The Blasters, the New Riders, Kingfish, the Ramones, George Thorogood, Muddy Waters. Those were wonderful times!

May. 13 2011 01:56 PM
maitland

Eppy put Bruce on as the opener for Paul Winter in 1973. The crowd was, shall we say, confused.

May. 13 2011 11:52 AM
a g from n j

does anyone have info on the paul winter,bruce springsteen fiasco at MFP ?

May. 13 2011 10:12 AM

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