Monday, August 17, 2009
Deep End Club in Park Ridge
Before Park Ridge, Illinois, was famous as Hillary Clinton's home town, it was famous for the Deep End Club, one of the few venues that catered to teens in Chicago and the northwest suburbs. I've been thinking recently about some old friends from Chicago's Taft High School and the great times we had at the Deep End.
The photo is one I found on Google Images of someone from the Jefferson Ice Company band, which appeared at the Deep End. Between neighborhood bands, some Chicago headliners such as New Colony Six, Ides of March and the American Breed were booked. I believe even bubblegum band The Ohio Express graced the Deep End teen club stage. Yummy, yummy. It was a club where you could participate in a "love in" circle or do the Funky Broadway -- your option.
One landmark night, Deep End owners got on stage and asked the audience which direction they wanted the venue's music to go -- psychedelic or soul? The resounding answer -- soul music! So many of the cover bands hired brought music from Motown that we could dance to. And dance we did!
We managed to get our share of psychedelic music, as well, at the Kinetic Playground (aka Electric Theater) and the Cheetah II (aka Aragon Ballroom). I'd work after school and on Saturday mornings waitressing at Rose Grill at Higgins & Harlem just to spend all my money at the music venues, including Deep End.
Some little known trivia. One of the bouncers at the Deep End was none other than moonlighting Chicago cop Dennis Farina, who later turned Hollywood actor. He talked about wanting to head west even then, and made his dream come true.
If you have memories of the Deep End, let's hear from ya! Here's a music schedule from an era gone past. Note that the music group Chicago (aka C.T.A.) appeared at the Deep End Teen Club for $1.50 admission. Does anyone know which year that was?◦