I have relatively few memories of My Father’s Place – mainly because it was in Roslyn, Long Island, which might as well have been the end of the earth to me. CBGBs was a subway ride; but MFP meant finding someone with a car and a license.
Somehow, despite having the opportunity to see most of the same groups in NY, I did get out to Roslyn a couple of times. I’d seen Talking Heads from their earliest days, but still, seeing them at My Father’s Place in the late 70s was a chance to combine seeing a favorite band with the excitement of a road trip. I remember going out to Roslyn with some friends to see The Good Rats, the hard-working but perennially overlooked rockers from Long Island. I saw them play in town, too, but watching the Rats play on their home turf, in front of the home crowd, was really the best way to see them.
Because driving in a car was involved, trips to My Father’s Place were rare, and the consumption of illicit substances sharply curtailed, at least in theory. Still, I didn’t drive, and there are a few shows I can only vaguely recall. Did I see Elvis Costello there? I think I did, because he was sold out at the Bottom Line or wherever his NYC gig was. My Father’s Place often booked people before they became well-known. And sometimes, they booked bands who were unknown and would stay that way, so I also have memories of burgers accompanied by mediocre local rock. But as its name implied, My Father’s Place was a welcoming, homey venue, and between MFP and the cool-but-so-hard-to-get radio station WLIR, there was a time in the late 70s/early 80s when Nassau County was an important musical destination.
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