B'Ginnings

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B’Ginnings
RoryGallagher6a-1975 fullpage.jpg
Rory Gallagher performing at B'Ginnings in November 1974, soon after it opened
Location Schaumburg, Illinois
Owner Danny Seraphine
Capacity 936 (per fire marshal)
Construction
Opened July 1974 (1974-07)
Renovated 1980
Closed c. 1981

B’Ginnings was a nightclub in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, that opened in September 1974.[1] The principal and most well-known owner was Danny Seraphine, the drummer for the rock band Chicago, who had a hit song called "Beginnings."

Description[edit]

The club had a maximum capacity of 936, per fire marshal. It was equipped with a 16' × 32' stage, with stairs/loading ramp ; full concert P.A./monitors; & a professional lighting system, (with spotlight). The control booth was set up directly across from the stage, recessed, in the north wall; at ceiling level, with the only access being a narrow iron ladder by the club's main entrance. All the technical equipment was located here; the sound consoles/equalizers(Tascam model 10/24 channel-FOH/Neotek 24X4-monitors)and lighting console/spotlight, DJ gear/ turntables/TEAC 3340-reel to reel, house backlighting, curtain control(stage was fitted with motorized/velvet-like black curtain, that raised & lowered at the push of button).

The interior (west wall) was decorated with mock building facades/windows/doors/porches; with backlighting, to resemble a residential Chicago street scene, complete with stoplights, street signs,(State & Lake/Rush & Oak).[2] ‘L’ tracks,ran from east to west walls(with mock iron, support structures, suspended from ceiling), that looped,("The Loop") around the stainless steel, sunken dance floor(at sub-level in front of stage,with a large disco/mirror ball overhead).[2] A large, illuminated replica, "Chicago"(Theatre)marquee, on the ceiling, above the main/center bar, an illuminated mural of the skyline of the city of Chicago, covered the entire east wall of the club. In the southwest part of the building, there were numerous Gold & Platinum record awards, from the band Chicago, lining the walls of manager Dino Koletis' 2nd floor office;(2-way mirrored glass enabled the manager a 1 way view of the club from his office desk/chair). Going down the ornamental iron, spiral staircase, from the office, on the sub-ground level, was the spacious, professional dressing room, equipped with wall to wall, lighted mirrors, thick, shag carpet, & a private shower/bathroom. Besides all these excellent features, there was also a full service restaurant/kitchen in the southeast part of the building. *** One Saturday night, in December 1976, Danny Seraphine, and the whole band Chicago, flew into O'Hare International Airport, (fresh, from a show in southern Illinois); with a Chicago police escort, and a long line of limousines, they drove out to B'Ginnings, to see Dannys' favorite band/pet project, "Streetplayer"; performing a showcase that night !! The club was abuzz with anticipation knowing that their, "hometown boys, made good", were coming there, at the peak of their career,(Chicago X, was certified platinum;, "If You Leave Me Now", was the #1 single, on the charts!) The band arrived, just in time for "Streetplayers" set, and immediately mingled with the crowd. Meanwhile, Danny, came up into the soundbooth,and asked me, if he could take a turn, at the sound controls for a while,(I agreed, of course)!! During the course of the evening, I rubbed elbows and chatted, with all of the band members; and before long, it was, "last call"! It was one of the most exciting nights at the club,(with the band socializing, not performing), since their "Grand Opening", performances in 1974.[3][4][5] The venue was “totally remodeled” in 1980. [6]

Acts[edit]

The club was noteworthy for attracting national acts and supporting local Midwest bands and, at a time when most Chicago clubs would not book new artists, punk rock, or new wave bands, or little-known acts. With Windy City Productions, occasionally taking chances on them, at least for a warmup or audition night performance.(Eventually, Windy City dissolved, in late 1976, into Jam Productions & Celebration Flipside Productions, respectively); Jam hung onto B'Ginnings, & the Ivanhoe Theatre exclusively, along with many other venues in Chicago, along with exclusive booking rights with some of these embryonic artists, as well,(which has helped Jam maintain their overall power base, in the regional/national booking scene, still, today)!! Probably the biggest impediment to the club's longevity was its location, in a shopping mall nearly an hour’s drive from the Chicago city limits. While several of the members of the band Chicago, and many area musicians, hailed from the suburbs, most fans of harder and edgier rock lived in the city. The club was impossible to reach by public transportation, and to fill its capacity had to rely either on fans from the more conservative towns nearby, or on large numbers of urbanites making the long drive out.\\\

Closure[edit]

In late spring/summer 1980 Poplar Creek Music Theater oprnrf just down the road. Bands that used to headline at B'Ginnings, began playing at Poplar Creek. Late in 1980, early 1981, B'Ginnings was sold, renamed J Lennons and not long afterwards, closed down completely; It was converted into what it is today: Illinois Secretary of State drivers license testing facility.

Bands[edit]

Other entertainers[edit]

  • Chicago (2 Shows, Grand Opening) September 6, 1974
  • Rare Earth (Grand Opening week) 1974
  • Santana 1974
  • Rory Gallagher / Rush 11/7/1974
  • Buddy Miles 1974
  • Canned Heat 1974
  • John Mayall 1974
  • Black Oak Arkansas w/Ruby Starr 1974
  • Flo & Eddie (Turtles) 1975
  • Nazareth 1975
  • Charlie Daniels Band 1975
  • Leo Sayer 1975
  • Outlaws 1975
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1975
  • Caravan / Flock 1975
  • Dion 1975
  • Association 1975
  • Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen 1975
  • Michael Martin Murphey 1975
  • Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show 1975
  • Dave Mason 1975
  • Billy Joel 1976 (performed in residency, several nights in a row)
  • Montrose (feat. Sammy Hagar)
  • Captain Beyond 1976
  • Be-Bop Deluxe 1976
  • Tower of Power 1976
  • Pablo Cruise 1976
  • Brecker Brothers 1976
  • Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band 6/23/1976
  • Tommy James 1976
  • Savoy Brown / Starz 1976
  • Bellamy Brothers 1976
  • Vogues 1976
  • Rush 8/26/76
  • Angel 1976
  • Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders 1976
  • Jay Ferguson 1976
  • Atlanta Rhythm Section (twice) 1976
  • Ambrosia (5 times) 1976–1978
  • Richie Furay 1976
  • Tom Jans 1976
  • Luther Allison 1976
  • James Gang 12/04/76
  • Wild Cherry 12/76
  • Gasolin' 1976
  • Cheap Trick / Streetplayer 1976 (New Year's Eve Bash!)
  • Stormy Weather 1977
  • Shoes 1977
  • Pointblank 1977
  • Runaways 2/5/77
  • Headhunters (Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius) 1977
  • Scorpions(AC/DC opened) 1977
  • Mink DeVille 1977
  • Elvis Costello & the Attractions 1977
  • Talking Heads 1977
  • Warren Zevon 1977
  • Pat Travers 1977
  • Max Webster 1977
  • UFO 1977
  • Rick Nelson 1977
  • Brand X (Phil Collins-twice) 1977-1978
  • Van Halen / WLUP 1st Anniversary Party 3/20/1978
  • Van Morrison 1978
  • Boomtown Rats 1978
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads 1978
  • Sea Level / Dixie Dregs 1978
  • Survivor 1978–1980
  • Budgie 1978
  • Molly Hatchet 1978
  • B-52S 1978
  • Cars 1978
  • Pat Benatar 1978
  • Police 3/13/79
  • Elton John "One Man & his piano" (solo)1979
  • Knack 1979
  • Babys 1979
  • Triumph 1979
  • Prism 1979
  • Joe Jackson 1979
  • New Riders of the Purple Sage 1979
  • NRBQ 1979
  • Romantics 1979(opened for Rockpile)
  • Judas Priest 1979
  • Scorpions 1979
  • Robert Palmer 1979
  • Eddie Money 1979
  • Iggy Pop / Skafish / BB Spin 1979
  • Iron Butterfly / Savoy Brown 1979
  • Joe Cocker 1979
  • Jan Hammer 1979
  • John (Cougar) Mellencamp 1980

References[edit]