We are looking for some of those " What the heck happened here ? " stories from the venues the bands played including up in Jasper , over in Lebanon and around Kentuckiana including the Say When ( you know who you are -- the sax player ) .
One of our readers and a good friend Nick Muller wrote "I remember attending a dance or performance of Monarchs or Cosmo and during SHOTGUN somebody fired a shot. All ducked but band picked back up soon and all had good time " We asked around and got the information from one of the band members .
Let's hear from all of you all .
Please send more stories and your memories
Here is the story :
May have happened to Cosmo too but I know it definitely happened to us.
Babes Patio Lounge was in the Mid City Mall Bardstown Road Shopping Center that now houses the Baxter Avenue Movie theaters. It was in its heyday and was the nightclub of choice at the time. I agreed to book the Monarchs there in the early 70’s after we “regrouped”. Night Clubs were not our cup of tea at that time but the “Hubcap Nights”as Babe aggressively advertised them drew standing room only crowds every time we appeared. It was the glory days of American Graffiti’s revitalizing old 60’s rock so we continued to appear frequently as it really clicked with the community….and us! The performances were always a blast as it opened the door to 1000’s of new fans that did not frequent the traditional dance venue circuit that we played year round. We did two one hour sets and the fabulous house band filled out the evening.
I believe it was the fourth occasion we appeared and it was late fall. Fan folklore has created the story surrounding “Shotgun” as the tune that we were performing…none of us recall which tune, but a shot did ring out during one of our songs.
My wife and Mother who we called our ‘Band Mom” happened to be sitting front table on the edge of stage that evening and our Attorney Bob Benson was sitting with them. The room held about 300 sitting and who knows how many standing. Fire capacity laws existed but it did not seem to be enforced in this club.
Anyway when it occurred because of the low ceiling the shot consumed the room with its volume and there was no question about what it was…everyone hit the floor as if a tidal wave had crashed through the club! Benson took both my ladies to the floor ,under the table and total chaos broke out instantly. Within minutes( or seconds or hours or days) when it was obvious that no one was hurt…the band instinctively started playing to bring back calm to the room. We then took a quick intermission/break . The resulting din from all the deliriously chattering and bewildered questions about: “What was that!’..was deafening. The smell of the gunpowder filled the room.
The pulsating adrenalin in the room took a long time to settle…you heard gasps ,laughter and lots of very shrill high voices all talking at the same time… Cops appeared at all four doors and everyone asking everyone else if they were Ok is a scene with red and blue lights that will never be forgotten.
The guilty party was never identified…no shell casing was found ,no hole in the floors or walls, and to this day to anyone who recalls it is still a mystery how someone firing a shot in a room packed to the wall resulted in no one being hurt. Mr. Benson never has let me forget and has always claimed he saved my wife and Mother’s lives and that I owed him plenty ….!
Mike Gibson 1960 -1980 Monarchs