110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
DeBary tradition moving to Sanford
The times they are a-changin’
posted Mar 6, 2009 - 9:22:30am
The run was long and good.
But now, “The Montereys are movin’ on. We’re gonna take this party and move it somewhere else,” drummer Jim Lloyd bellowed through the speaker.
The Montereys have been playing at Memory Lane, a bar and dance club in DeBary, every Friday and Saturday night, for close to nine years. That run ends Saturday, March 7.
“We’re older than the Rolling Stones,” quips Montereys guitarist Don “Fuzzy” Pricer.
The five individual musicians in the group may not be as gray as Mick, Keith and the boys, but the Montereys did score their first hit with the Onyx release of “Dearest One” in 1957, five years before the formation of the Rolling Stones.
No original Montereys are members of the current edition. Band leader and singer Jim Leonard befriended the original drummer, Bobby Lewis, who moved to West Volusia in the 1960s.
Lewis was his stage name. DeLand-area residents with longer memories may have known him as Bob Rabideau, of Blair-Rabideau TV.
Leonard hasn’t been playing with the band at every gig lately; he’s been dealing with health issues.
The newest band member is keyboardist Bernie Clement; Lyle Emmons plays bass.
The Montereys found a new gig: 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays at the main room in the Lake Monroe Inn, at 2485 Northwest U.S. Highway 17-92 in Sanford, through the first weekend of April.
Mary Mitchell, manager of the Memory Lane room at the family-run Rumors Bar and Grill, said the place will change its look, format, and name — and music.
“It’s going to be ’80s and ’90s rock. The room is going to be called Club 17-92,” she said.
Mitchell is sad to see the Montereys leave.
“The Montereys have had a wonderful run with us. We love them. They’re the greatest band in the world. They’ve been here almost nine years — they’re like part of our family,” she said.
The change, she said, is a matter of finances. The place, like many other establishments, is going through tough economic times, Mitchell explained. Beer distributors told her business is down everywhere.
“The economy has touched everyone. So many of our customers are out of work. It’s a shame,” Mitchell said.
It’s hoped the new format will appeal to a younger crowd, in their 30s and 40s, who will be able to spend more money to go out.
The crowd coming to see the Montereys has been mostly in their 50s and 60s.
Mitchell said she, too, will be leaving the club. She will retire, and is thinking about going to South Carolina.
“We hope this will be a good move for everybody,” she said.
Mitchell will have a lot of Memory Lane memories.
She’s seen customers meet and get married. She’s seen others get divorced, then come in and sit on opposite sides of the bar. Some left the area; some died.
“We’ve had wonderful customers, a wonderful band, wonderful employees,” Mitchell said.
She hopes customers will come out Friday and Saturday evening, March 6 and 7, to see the Montereys’ final engagement, then come back to see the changes.
Trans-Am will be the first new group to come in, the following weekend.
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