Monday, January 16, 2006

Sales of Grateful Dead items highlight Island Heights auction

From Asbury Park Press:

Sales of Grateful Dead items highlight Island Heights auction

Posted by the
Asbury Park Press

Fans of the Grateful Dead were out in force Jan. 7 at a public auction in Island Heights that featured memorabilia from Passaic's Capitol Theatre, a famed rock 'n' roll venue in the 1970s and '80s.

Twenty-one unused tickets to the Dead's April Fool's Day show in 1980 sparked the most interest, with a winning bid of $4,600, said Dover Township auctioneer Jerry Manganello.
"Two people went back and forth," Manganello said. He ran the event, which drew more than 300 people to the Island Heights Fire Company, with Lacey auctioneer Mark Csik.

Diane Martino, who worked in the theater's box office in the early 1980s, said the April Fool's show was unusual because when it started, the band members weren't playing their usual instruments. She also said the tickets also carried a misprint, which explains why they weren't used. She wasn't certain, but she thought the day of the week was wrong.

"I forget the situation behind it because it's been many years," she said.

Other big-ticket items included two sets of three Grateful Dead backstage passes, which sold for $575 and $500, and eight Grateful Dead programs, which went for $230.

The items were part of a treasure trove of memorabilia Martino and her late husband, Harry Newkirk, collected while they worked at the theater. Newkirk was head of security for promoter John Scher, who owned the Capitol Theatre. In total, Martino received more than $13,000 from the Jan. 7 auction, she said.

"I was happily surprised," said Martino, a 47-year-old yoga instructor who lives in Passaic Park. She said the unexpected windfall would "help me pay the bills."


Anonymous westchesterdead said...

The Capitol Theater brings back some funny memories for me - I never saw the Dead there but friends of mine did see that April Fools show in 1980. I managed to download the soundboard of that show shortly before the hammer fell over at Archive on November 22, 2005.

My very first concert was at the Capitol Theater - I saw Bobby and The Midnights there in late 1980, I think, or perhaps early 1981. The Capitol Theater was in a sort of dicey section of Passaic - although it seemed that all of Passaic, NJ was dicey as far as I was concerned (I was sixteen and bribed an older friend of mine to drive). You found parking on the street and then hoped that your car windows were still intact after the show.

I also remember catching some JGB shows there. Jerry would do an early and late show – we would usually get tickets to both make it nice night. The other thing about the Capitol Theater was that the place was a tinderbox – you couldn’t light up anything in the joint without a ton of security coming down on you like a keystone cops Rodney King event. Smoking was allowed in the lobby, however and it was simply hilarious how much weed was consumed in between sets. Everyone was in a rush to get a buzz on before the music started up and they knew that they couldn’t smoke in the Theater.

During the Bobby and The Midnights show, after the Jan Hammer opening act (not at all my cup of tea, I might add) and before Bob and Co. got on stage, they showed the animated cartoon ‘Popeye and Sinbad’ which, if I recall correctly, was a Max Fleischer cartoon. It was projected on an enormous screen in all its Technicolor glory and was thoroughly stunning to view, especially with the chemical enhancement.

Those were fond memories. Thanks for the website, SLC – you do great work keeping everyone informed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Click here to join deadshows
Click to join deadshows