I thought I knew drinking, and I thought I knew about music, but truth be told — I knew next to nothing. My idea of drinking was a 17 year olds technique of dumping out a third of a quart of Tropicana orange juice and replacing it with cheap vodka. Musically, I was up on the latest New Wave and Punk, but I wouldn’t know a George Jones tearjerker or a vintage STAX side if it sat down next to me on a rickety Frank’s Living Room stool, and bought me a snakebite.
After my first couple of visits, I was pretty sure his name was Leo, not Frank. Leo poured with a heavy hand. I remembered that he sighed and smiled when we called him Frank, serving us another round of Vodkas and Grapefruits, while flipping over a mixed tape. The tapes were Leo’s. He played them loud. Ear-shatteringly loud:
Get Off My Cloud
The Grand Tour
Holiday in Cambodia
After The Fire Is Gone
Lust For Life
Johnny Hit and Run Pauline (Leo had a thing for X)
Gardening At Night
Cry Like A Baby
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
I’ll Take You There
Color Me Impressed
Time of The Season
Pale Blue Eyes
One For My Baby
Like I mentioned, at first we thought he was “Frank”. After all, he lorded over the place — Frank’s Living Room — a majestically squalid, 500 square foot, literally underground bar in the greyest city on earth — Albany NY.
Leo was my personal John Peel. Although he was probably barely 30, Leo was my elder statesman. He taught me about life, love and loss all through the power of a perfectly sequenced mixed tape. Leo trafficked in classic Country, Rockabilly, Soul, Garage Rock, and the most cutting edge, and hardest new Punk and New Wave.
Without knowing it, Leo changed our take on music.
All genres mixed together.
All eras counted.
As long as it was pure, it was on the Frank’s Living Room list.
Leo created the model for Hipster Dive Bar Jukebox.
This station is for the Leo in us all.
Classic Country. Vintage Soul. Select Punk, New Wave & Indie:
Hipster Divebar Jukebox: http://bit.ly/qalK1m