Encore at the Griddle
After posting about the Hi Diddle Griddle on Auckland’s K Road, I came across this invitation to a night at the influential dine-and-dance cabaret that I would have loved to use in Blue Smoke.
The post also generated this evocative response from Stan Halpin:
“Bob Ofsoski and Lyle Laurent used to play regularly with Jimmy Warren’s band at St Benedict’s dance hall, upper Symonds Street, on Saturdays. How do I know this, and the fact that they were the very best cover band ever playing ‘The Big Noise from Winnettka’? I just happened to be the MC there for the last year before that Saturday’s dance closed.
“I just hated to see the boys, Jim, Dale, Murray, Frank, Bob and Lyle* lose out on a long-lasting gig like that. We had a blast. I last talked to Jim when I visited the home country in 2004, but the movie of all that great music is still in my head somewhere. Just wish I could download it to you. Then there was Pitt Street before St. Ben’s and I remember the pit downstairs at the Crystal Palace in Balmoral as well, with Bobbie and the boys (wasn’t he on trumpet then?) too.
Back then two shillings and sixpence got you a lot of Saturday-night fun.”
* The musicians Stan refers to are: Jim Warren, Dale Alderton, Murray Tanner, Frank Gibson (Sr), Bob Ofsoski, Lyle Laurent and Bobby Griffith.