Pop Quiz: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer in Saratoga?

OK, yesterday we got a press release from concert promoter Robert Millis of Millis-Robbins Productions. It read, in part:

“Question: Has a sitting member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ever performed in a Saratoga Springs night club?

Answer: No, but… that will change on Saturday as former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten plays the downtown Putnam Den as part of a newly-formed all star jam band ensemble, New Moon Revue.”

And that got us to thinking… No Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has played a Saratoga nightclub before? Really?

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Well, let’s see now. Of course, Bob Dylan famously played at Caffe Lena, but that was long before he was inducted in 1988. And Rick Danko of the Band played at Caffe Lena, too, but actually, the Caffe isn’t really a nightclub, so we won’t count that one, either. We recall Jorma Kaukonen playing at Aiko’s back in 1989, but he wasn’t inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame until 1996. And we remember Garry Tallent of Springsteen’s E Street Band playing bass with the Delevantes at the Metro, but that was a couple of years before his 1999 induction.

Then it hit us. Ah, yes, indeed, there has been at least one sitting member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame who has played at a Saratoga Springs nightclub.

Any guesses?

NOTE: We’re not talking about someone who dropped by a Spa City nightclub to jam after playing a gig at SPAC. We’re talking about someone who was actually booked and advertised as performing.

11 Responses to “Pop Quiz: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer in Saratoga?”

  1. Kirsten says:


  2. Rich says:

    I’m pretty sure that guitarist Dickey Betts played with E.B. Jebb following an Allman Brothers Band show at SPAC in the early ’90s.

  3. Andrew Gregory says:

    John Sebastian (Lovin’ Spoonful) booked and advertised, but not really at a nightclub (Saratoga Preservation Hall)? Dino Danelli (The Rascals) had a show of his artwork in the city – but that doesn’t count.

  4. mike says:

    John Tichy

  5. Greg says:

    The wily Kirsten named the one that we knew. Dion led his short-lived band the Little Kings into the Metro in 1996. Great band, too, with Scott Kempner (Dictators, Del Lords), Mike Mesaros (Smithereens) and Frank Funaro (Del Lords).

    Are there more correct answers?

  6. Kirsten says:

    Wily? Ok, I’ll accept that. Too bad there’s no prize. The glory will have to be enough.

  7. My brother Michael and I once had a beer with Graham Nash at Aikos following a CSN show at SPAC. But he wasn’t playing, just drinking. Speaking of which, that Dickey Betts episode may have been the same night he got arrested in Saratoga, following a HORDE show in 1993, perhaps. I remember several people claiming to have met Neil Young and his dog walking around Saratoga Lake, and another who swears Yoko and Sean were in town one racing season in the eighties.

  8. Bobby B says:

    Didn’t U2 play in ‘Toga early on?

  9. West Sider says:

    Recall the ground rules here: SITTING member of the Hall of Fame…in a night club, which king of assumes booze being served (hence the Caffe Lena is out)

    Hmmmmm…..I was gonna say McGuiin and the Byrds….but nope.

    I think Millis might be right.


  10. Robert Millis says:

    To quote my philosophical mentor Homer Simpson:


    Great input — and healthy memories !

    An interesting sidelight to this is the “Metro” aspect. I’ve recently had Debbie Davies and Sue Foley in for shows, and they both related that their prior visits to the Spa City were gigs at the Metro. That made me realize what a great joint that room used to be.

  11. mb says:

    Dion on 3/22/1996 with The Little Kings. Amazing show!

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