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Episode 12:

Season 4 – McVan’s Nightclub

Released: December 2, 2023

About This Episode:

This week’s episode is a walk down McVan’s memory lane. Bob James, Bernie Kugel, Bob Kozak, Pauline and Robby Takac talked about their experiences and memories of seeing shows and performing at McVan’s.

Many performers played at McVan’s over the course of its existence from 1922-1984 under owners Lillian McVan and Joe Terrose. Performers included Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, Gypsy Rose Lee, Jimi Hendrix, The B52’s.

WNY music historians have suggested that the alternative / original scene, that grew around McVAN’S, fostered both the Goo Goo Dolls’ and Ani Difranco’s capacity to grow and launch international and sustained music careers. Like an INCUBATOR, that 1977-1984 scene was pioneered by bands that are LEGENDARY about around WNY – The Jumpers, The Enemies, Pauline & the Perils, Davy & the Crocketts, The Good, The Vores, Lip Service, The Toys, The Tourists, Gamalon and, in a range of forms, Mark Freeland’s bands – Electroman – Pegasus – Pegasonics. That original music culture that thrived between 1977 – 1984 was also alive in clubs like The Schuper House, the Masthead, Gables, various stages at Buffalo State and, by the mid 1980’s, The Continental, but McVAN’S stands alone in most memories.


A fundraiser is currently being held to raise funds for a memorial marker at the Corenr of Hertel and Niagara Streets in Buffalo where McVan’s one stood. You can click here or on the graphic to donate.

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