By Ray Downs
By Lindsay Toler
By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Allison Babka
By Lindsay Toler
By Jake Rossen
By Lindsay Toler
LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT: Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill and the Tivoli Theatre, is in the process of making a foray into St. Louis city with the announcement that he and Pat Hagin of Pagan Music will build and open a nightclub, the Pageant, on the space once occupied by the Wabash Triangle Cafe. Located east of Skinker on Delmar between the Delmar MetroLink station and the University City Loop, the site is seen as a bridge that will connect the station with the Loop.
Named after a theater that was once located in the area (though a bit farther east), the structure will contain the club, two ground-floor retail spaces and two floors of office space. The nightclub will have a flexible capacity of 750-1,500 people, depending on the type of show. "It's going to be a first-class venue built from the ground up," says Edwards. "It will be as good or better than anything in the Midwest, or anyplace -- at least that's the goal."
The announcement promises to change the St. Louis nightlife atmosphere on a number of fronts. Until a few weeks ago, Hagin's expertise in booking music in the St. Louis area had been divided between Blueberry Hill's Duck Room and, for the past 19 years, Mississippi Nights. Hagin recently quit Mississippi Nights to devote his full attention to the Pageant and the Duck Room. And Mississippi Nights would seem to be the club most affected by this announcement: The Pageant will have a similar capacity, will be located in an area seen as more desirable to the concertgoing public, and is being booked by an ex-employee of the Nights. Mississippi Nights owner Rich Frame says the Pageant is entering a difficult club marketplace and is perhaps making an assumption based on rumors surrounding the future of his club: "I wish them well. I wouldn't count on Mississippi Nights' not being around, though, because who knows? If I thought we weren't going to be around, I wouldn't be making the investment of putting in a new PA. Joe's a good guy. I hope he knows what he's doing; I don't envy him."
Perhaps more important for the big picture, though, is the extension of the Loop eastward into St. Louis proper. Since MetroLink opened, it has always been viewed as simply a matter of time before the Loop extended to connect the station with the hipster shops in the U. City Loop, and the construction of the Pageant will expedite this expansion. "I think it really will attract a lot of retail stores and restaurants," says Edwards. "It's pretty natural. The Loop is almost 100 percent (capacity), and if it happens the way I think it will, it'll be great. I think it will be a nationally recognized area as far as people, when they come to St. Louis, taking the MetroLink out from the Adam's Mark or other hotels. And when they extend it into Belleville, it'll be great for people in Illinois to come over."
Edwards' "eternally optimistic" goal is for the Pageant to be finished and open before the end of the year. (RR)
CHANNEL 77, WHERE ARE YOU? Radio ain't what it used to be, or is it? For anyone awake, semialert and anxious to hear "two hangmen, hanging from a tree" just one more time, tune in 77 on the dial -- that's AM, not FM. Mark Klose is back on the airwaves after leaving KSD (93.7 FM) a few weeks back. This time, Klose, who started on KSHE (94.7) in 1972, is back in total control, mostly. He and Steve Mosier, former mogul at Majic when it was 108, have "bought" the 6-10 a.m. drivetime at the second-oldest radio station in the nation, WEW. (When the station was launched in 1921, the Jesuits, who owned it, said the call letters stood for "We Enlighten the World.") In this incarnation, the show, dubbed Channel 77, will be the product of the "two-man band" of Klose and Mosier. "We'll program it, play it, and go out and sell it," says Klose. "We don't need no stinking format." Klose promises "St. Louis classics" in rock, country-rock, blues, Motown, jazz -- tunes out of the normal FM fare. An example? "I'm going to take Crosby, Stills and Nash, but instead of playing 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,' I'll go deep and play, like, '49 Bye-Byes' or 'Guinevere.'" Guess "deep" is a relative term. Could be worse -- at least it isn't "Almost Cut My Hair." In the good ol' days at KSHE, Klose recalls, if you were on during a rainy morning, you could play two hours of rain music. (Gee, this is something that is best put behind us -- hearing the dreary "Riders on the Storm" by the Doors or, worst of all, "Ridin' the Storm Out" by the insidious REO Speedwagon.) Oh, well. At least Klose will be doing what he wants, and if you don't like it, call him or stop by to complain at the converted two-family flat at Hampton and Southwest avenues from which WEW broadcasts. "They took out the kitchen sink and put in a control board," says Klose. And the best thing about his show? There's still no J.C. Yesss.