Friday afternoon, and two nights and one afternoon of dancing at the New Place, the teen nite club on Route 31 outside of Crystal Lake, were coming up. Man, this 17 year old was excited!
|Ace's '65 Impala SS Convertible|
At about 6:30 on Friday night, Ace would pull into my driveway, and off we'd go, picking up Harold, Zak, Ken R., Bob R., Chuck S., Lee G., and anyone else who wanted to go to the New Place.
A stop at Boozo Road (really Pingree Rd.) for a snort of Kentucky Tavern whiskey was a must, then some heavy duty gum or mints to mask our breaths, and it was off to the New Place.
The driveway at the New Place was a circle that looped around the old barn on Route 31 between Algonquin and Crystal Lake. Kids entered on the south side, and we would always arrive fashionably late so that the girls waiting in line to get in would see us as we looped past the entrance. That '65 Impala SS was a real cool car, especially with the top down! Ace never lacked a girlfriend!
The New Place was so popular in the spring and summer of 1965 that the owners added more space to the old milk barn. First, a patio was built on the north side with a high stage at the northeast corner of the patio. The original floor level stage on the west side inside of the barn had been moved to the northeast corner inside and was elevated high above the dance floor, and a second inside stage was built inside in the northwest corner a bit lower than the northeast stage.
Later, the upstairs hayloft was put to use as half of the second floor was cut off right in the middle of the barn, and a balcony was added. Kids could go upstairs, look down at the bands on the lower level, and dance up there. What was once an intimate teen nite club with a low first floor roof had now become a spacious venue.
I kick myself once a week for not going to that Beau Brummels concert at the New Place. As I recall, the cost was $8.00 a ticket, and we were used to paying a buck and a half to get into the New Place. Eight dollars was too much. What idiots we were!
Janet D. from Woodstock DID go, and when I talked to her a few years back, she said the Beau Brummels' show was great. Janet went with her brother, and she said the night was real foggy. I have no idea where I was the night the Beau Brummels played the New Place, and I still regret not being there.
Janet D. was one of the Woodstock girls I mentioned in my "Early New Place" posting. I also told the story of how the New Place's in and out policy had eventually gone away because too many kids were drinking and having sex in the parking lot.
The Woodstock girls' arrival at the New Place was a result of the demise of the in and out policy. When the Elgin Courier News ran the front page story in late winter of 1965 about the drinking and sex at the New Place (see "Early New Place" post), the New Place owners hired off-duty McHenry County Sheriff's deputies to be on the scene for the entire evening.
|Old McHenry County Courthouse where Sheriff Ed D. lived.|
I don't know how many teenage girls the deputy got in that car, but thinking back, it seems like there were more than five or six. Maybe there were multiple cars. Hopefully someone knows and can let me know.
At any rate, we Crystal Lake boys bonded with the Woodstock girls. They were funny, down-to-earth, and they loved to dance. Janet D. was the first girl I ever kissed, I mean really KISSED, back in February of 1965 when I was still 16.
The big problem was that the Woodstock girls had to ride home with the cop. They couldn't go home with any of us. That resulted in some 60's teen angst. How nice it would have been to go back to Boozo Road with one of the Woodstock girls, park, and . . . , but that was never to be!
My first real girlfriend, Sandy, L., was a Woodstock girl. We met in May of 1965 after I had arrived late to the New Place after playing with the band, the Rooks, at a Lundall Jr. High eighth grade dance. We dated through the summer and early fall of '65. I later went out with Rhonda F. from Woodstock in '68 & 69.
|The Remains: Mark Smith, John Baldwin, Tim McPike, Jim Wyman, and Tip Hale.|
Five or six years ago there was an exhibit at the Arlington Heights Historical Center on the teen nite clubs in the northwest suburbs. Most of the photos were of the Cellar in Arlington Heights, which was THE place to go. But there were some newspaper articles that mentioned the New Place. I never felt so old as I stood looking at the exhibits.
Now, I'm just glad that I have a good memory and can get this stuff about the New Place on the internet. Let me know if you have any photos. I'd love to post them.