Memorable Nights At The Shaboo -- Cou...

Memorable Nights At The Shaboo --

There are 170 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Aug 10, 2007, titled Memorable Nights At The Shaboo -- In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

David "Lefty" Foster wasn't yet 20 when he and his business partners opened the Shaboo Inn in Willimantic in 1971, which raised certain legal issues.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.



#21 Aug 15, 2007
I was at that Tom Waits show (the second one) and I saw the Ramones there in the spring of '78 (I was a UConn student). Have lots of pictures of the Ramones gig, including one of the TV above the bar with an Indian bust on top of it. Tommy was still the drummer with the Ramones, soon to leave. God, were they loud! Joey tipped over the mic stand and the noise was horrible when the mic hit the floor.

Also saw JB Hutto with David Bromberg in 1979.


#22 Aug 15, 2007
Oh, yeah. I forgot this quote from Tom Waits to the crowd: "I like that little shopping mall you got down below there. Yeah, me and the boys got in early, just so we could hang around."
Leon Redbone

Fall River, MA

#23 Aug 16, 2007
Me, 25 others and Leon for the night. His classic bottle of beer on one side and rocks glass on the other. Sip of each after every number. Great memories for a wannabe guitar picker.

New Haven, CT

#24 Aug 17, 2007
One of the best shows I ever saw -- Wllie Dixon at Shaboo.


#25 Aug 17, 2007
Tom in ct wrote:
I remember about 12 males all vocals no instruments. They were awsome!!!!!!!!!! Don't remember who they were?Do you remember? This was 1974 or 1975.
I believe that would have been The Chambers Brothers....Anybody have a copy of the Shaboo book that was published years ago? I have live shows to trade.


#26 Aug 17, 2007
18 at the right time wrote:
Saw Junior Walker and the All Stars one night. After the first set they went "upstairs". When they were ready to go back on Junior Walker had to be nearly carried to the stage but led an absolutely awesome next set - though I doubt he remembered it the next day.
Also one night the James Cotton Band (with Matt Murphy before his Blues Brothers fame)all got up on stage wearing North Eagleville t-shirts and mingling with the crowd like it was a party in someones back yard.
And time was irrelevant - closing time was supposed to be 3:00AM but I swear I came out close to sunrise more than once.
Elvin Bishop put it best"...a little juke joint, way out in the sticks, half mile up a dirt road, right off of Route 6...but you oughta see that JUKE JOINT JUMP!!!.."
If you ever stood on that floor you know he meant "jump" literally.
Those were "Eagleville Speedway" t-shirts & handkerchiefs/bandanas. Cotton and the guys did a set that afternoon at one of our annual bashes down the road. The State Police were directing traffic on Route 32 that day! The party had to skip a year due to all the commotion it was starting to cause, then we had one more big time a year later. It made the evening news.

Glastonbury, CT

#27 Aug 18, 2007
If you went to any of the shows at the Shaboo, you want to read this. Brings back some great memories!! As a stringer for a local rag, I did at least one review at the Shaboo.

Some performers/entertainers not mentioned include: Room Full of Blues and Tower of Power. There are others.....who can remember some?

Tucson, AZ

#28 Aug 19, 2007
I heard the concert in Willimantic was great. Crowd est.@ 5,000 and had a nice stage and light setup with fireworks at the end.

Anyone attend?

United States

#29 Aug 20, 2007
Other great shows were Dave Mason and Pure Prairie League. I was always there for Mr. Cotton and saw the farewell gig of Connecticut's own Little Village.
I was at the 25th. Really enjoyed seeing James Cotton and Jonathan Edwards. I couldn't stay for All-Stars. Great day.
Mark E

Newington, CT

#30 Aug 20, 2007
Saw the 25th Last Saturday. James Montgomery "schoolin' Them Dice" brought back a lot of old memories of the SHABOO. James Cotton Up in age but better than ever! Loved it! The SHABOO used to be the stop on the way to Misquanicut on a Friday or Saturday then crash in the car either at the beach, or on the way if everyone was too "lit". Yup I'm stll alive
Tom Kaszuba

Norwich, CT

#31 Aug 21, 2007
I went to the Shaboo nearly every weekend. The most incredible show I witnessed at the Shaboo was AC/DC when they still had lead singer Bon Scott (before his untimely death). They had enough equipment to play a football stadium stuffed into that little club. They blew my ear drums out for three days. Lead guitarist Angus Young jumped on our table and went into a horizontal spin spraying a bucket load of sweat all over my brother and a friend and I. He mooned the crowd which brought the house down. Bon Scott looked right at me as he sang Sin City. Stuff like that happens only in your dreams.....but this was real....and at the Shaboo it happened all the time. I'll have to say however that he finest live band I have even seen in my life played the Shaboo and I was seated no more than 10 feet away from them. That band was Dire Straits. The sound, the musical genius of this band was beyond anything I had seen up to that point or anything I have seen since. Words don't do it justice. Other notable shows there were any time The Ramones played. Robert Gordon featuring Chris Spedding was an all-time favorite. Memories of the place will never cease. I think of it often. Ask anyone who has been there about the mens room. They had a long floor level urinal with guys lined up wall to wall using it all at the same time. I have never seen a set-up like that in my life. The tables were what a huge spool of wire would be wrapped around in a factory. The place was famous for people openly smoking pot at the tables at will. Beer was cheap and plentiful. I could go on forever but to sum it made my life during those years unforgettably wonderful. No place on earth will ever match what The Shaboo had. Pure Magic.
Willimantic Guy

North Branford, CT

#32 Aug 29, 2007
The biggest regret of my life was not going to ac/dc at the shaboo. The best thing about shaboo was you could always sneak in for free. The best shows I saw there were Crack The sky,James Cotton Mountain,Fab Rhinestones,Avalanche,Rick Derringer,Tower of Power,Room Full of Blues,Johnny Winter. I wish could remember more anybody out there remember anythihg else?
Nort Bailey CO

Brighton, CO

#33 Sep 7, 2007
These posts are great. So many found memories at Shaboo. Shows that come to mind - NRBQ always, Dire Straits,Flo & Eddie, Hugh Masekela. Getting "carded" and not getting in to see Muddy Waters. What a bummer. I remember seeing the Rhinestones and a big snowball fight broke out in the parking lot after the show.

Spring, TX

#35 Sep 26, 2007
whatever happened to 'the george t. gregory band'?...they so rocked. used to see them at the rocking horse in hartford.

Waterloo, IL

#37 Dec 5, 2007
Spent many nights at Shaboo from '73-'77.
Who can forget Bonnie and Bromberg?
Fran Bennett

Branford, CT

#38 Jan 16, 2008
I remember the WHCN homegrown party "78"? I still have the album, never opened. Dose anyone remember this show if so please share your experiences. I very much miss this club along with the Brave Bull & Shaker Park and of coerce The Good Rats, Rhinestones & Only in a Jeep.

Cheshire, CT

#39 Feb 17, 2008
I remember sittin' with several folks (who I didn't even know) at one of the many tables havin' a drink and passin' the hash pipe around when all of a sudden I heard a voice I distinctly recognized coming from the stage. No, it wasn't Freddie King. It was my good buddy TC (one of several folks I'd come to the show with) who'd decided to get up on stage and rev up the crowd a bit with an "ARE YOU READY FOR FREDDIE!!!" yelp into the microphone (he was hurriedly escorted off the stage and back out into the audience....without spillin' a drop).
Too funny!
I said to my fellow hash-pipers, "Hey, I know that guy!"

Monroe, CT

#40 Mar 14, 2008
Wow, great memories...Saw so many shows and many that I don't even remember :))) Those were the days. Elvin Bishop was awesome....loved being on stage with him and dancing my booty off to "Going Fishin hook sinker and line....." Anyone remember where the exact location was of the building???? Would love to just stand in the zone again. I think we need a historical marker to mark the spot!!!!!!

Olivehurst, CA

#41 Apr 9, 2008
Back in '75 I NEVER would have admitted to anyone that I ever cried. But when I listened to Papa John Creech play Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I had tears rolling down my cheeks, and I didn't try to hide it from anyone. What a night. What an artist. That was 33 years ago and remains one of my most vivid, and precious memories.

Olivehurst, CA

#42 Apr 9, 2008
Check out . Evidently it's owned by one of the original proprietors of the Shaboo Inn.
As stated on the site: Comments and reflections about your nights "under the water tower" are welcome... I myself would also like to hear about any other clubs around the country where the Shaboo tradition continues. One of my favorites is The Palms in Winters, Ca. In the last year I've seen David Bromberg and Ray Manzarek from the Doors there. There's still alot of good music around for those that care.

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