Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Other Sassafras - not the one from Lawton Road

The other Sassafras...I totally freaked when I saw this album.  I thought, could it be?  Really?  A record by a band made up of the way-older guys who lived across the street from me where I grew up?  It could't be - could it?   In the very early '70's, Weedy and Greg Wright (across the street) and one or two of the Gubbins boys from down the block had a band called Sassafras.  I heard and watched them practice in Mrs. Gubbins' garage.  And get this - they even had a old, beat up used panel van that they painted their band name (logo!) on that they used to haul their gear to gigs.  I am sure that Sassafras played gigs in town (Riverside IL) at the what was called The Youth Center.  That was a community building above the municipal truck garages that was used in the day time for dog obedience classes, first aid training, Golden Agers dances, and what not.  But on Friday nights - it was THE place to be.  But I can only imagine, for I was too young to go.  You had to be at least a junior or senior in high school.  I bet beers and pot were smuggled in and local bands played there, maybe also even Styx, the Ides of March, the Second Story or the Cryin' Shames also played.  It was close to the forbidden Swinging Bridge - a pedestrian bridge that led down to Riverside Lawn, where who knew what could happen!  What was also unique back then was in our  small village, when parking on all the streets after dusk, you had to leave your parking lights on and all down Lawton Road, where I grew up - on the nights there was a concert at the Youth Center - there would be hundreds of cars with their amber parking lights all down Lawton Rd., as far as you could see.  But, alas - this record is by some other band called Sassafras - not our Sassafras.  A while back via Facebook I asked Weedy's sister Kathy if anyone in her family had kept any old cassette tapes of the band and sadly, she said no.  For more info. on the Sassafras that came out with the album shown above - click on this post's title.

1 comment:

  1. Great stories, Curt, we did live in a cool town! Although I am older than you, I never attended anything at "The Youth Center". It just seemed it was for kids cooler than I was. In retrospect, that was a great idea for the community to do, one more communities today should consider....


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