|1973 Elyria Phone Book ad|
Back here, I told you how in the mid-1970s, I was a trumpeter/trombonist with the Four Links, a dance/polka band made up of high school students from Avon Lake and Lorain (including my friend Bob Berstling). My recruitment for the band came about because their trumpeter had gone off to college.
To help me learn the tunes and get me up to speed, we practiced a couple times a week. During these sessions, the other Links would regale me – as the new guy – with stories about various gigs.
I'll never forget that the one gig they got misty-eyed about was the time they played Chicken Manor.
"They loved us at Chicken Manor," Bob reminisced, sounding like an old vaudeville performer reminiscing about his showbiz career.
|Feb 14, 1975 ad from the Chronicle-Telegram|
Unfortunately, when I played out with the Four Links, I never witnessed that kind of adoration from the crowds we played for. (Maybe I was the weak Link.) Many times, the indifferent members of the audience would barely look up from their rum and Cokes.
Unlike the group's success at the Chicken Manor gig, we laid many an egg at clubs and halls all over Lorain County.
Thus, in my mind, Chicken Manor achieved mythical status as the place where the Four Links – for one brief, shining moment – were on top of the world musically. Sadly, the Four Links never performed there again during the short time that I was a member.
I'm not sure how long Chicken Manor remained in business. I know that it lasted into the 1980s.
|Sept. 16, 1980 ad from the Chronicle-Telegram|
Today, the scene of the Links' greatest musical triumph is gone. A retail strip center sits at Chicken Manor's former location on Center Ridge Road in North Ridgeville.