I’ve had the The Western Front since 1968, and I take in all
kinds of music. Through the years, I’ve booked and had
wonderful performances from everyone from Maurice Starr’s
New Edition, the Kelvinators and Cassandra Wilson to
Webster Lewis and the I-Tones.

I’ve always followed my instinct and intuition when it comes to
presenting new talent. Being a former musician myself, I’ve
tried to help the young performers and give them an
opportunity and an outlet. The legacy of the club has been to
always give back to the next generation of musicians.

That said, there was one group back in the 1970s that we
really had a special relationship with…Duke And The Drivers.
They were (and still are) one of the great party bands of
all time…rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and great showmanship.

They got their start at the “Front” back in 1973. I remember
that first show, when I booked them after no other club would
hire them or give them a chance.

They were a raggedy group of guys; they were most unusual
— an odd bunch — but believe me, those boys could play,
and they went on to do great things.

For that first show, they didn’t want any money. They just
said, “Give us all the [beers] we can drink, and clear away all
the tables and chairs in the room,” and they packed the club.
They made believers out of disbelievers. The women
especially loved them.

Each subsequent time they played the “Front,” they were like
the Pied Piper of Hamlin! They had that much charisma.

For years I followed them and their career and the trail of their
tracks, and wherever they went, they always remembered
that the Western Front gave them their start. Decades
later, at a Duke And The Drivers reunion concert, they
acknowledged what I had done for them from the stage
of the House of Blues. I’ll always appreciate that