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The Romantics at Coney Island

If you’ve been reading my blogs, then you’re no doubt familiar with the music of The Handcuffs, a fantastic, rocking band from the windy city of Chicago. (Get their latest CD here, if you haven’t already.) The founding members of The Handcuffs are Chloe F. Orwell and Brad Elvis, both of whom, I’m happy to say, are very good friends of mine. In fact, I think they’re the only people to appear on every single blog I’ve done. Check them out on: The Marty Wombacher Show, A Guy Walks Into 365 Bars and Marty After Dark. They haven’t appeared on this one yet, but we’ll fix that right now, ladies and gentlemen...

The Handcuffs! From left to right: Ellis Clark, Brad Elvis, Chloe F. Orwell and Emily Togni.

Not content to let his drum stool cool down, Brad also drums with the Detroit band, The Romantics. Brad called a week ago to let me know that they had a gig playing out at Coney Island and said if I wanted to go, he’d put me on the band’s backstage list. And so, it’s off to Coney Island we go!

Here we are on the Q train, Coney Island bound!

And once again through the magic of the internet, you're spared a grueling 52 minute train ride and here we are. It rained all day, but it finally stopped and the sky is just a little overcast.


Welcome to Coney Island.

Wow, everything's closed on the boardwalk, I guess because of the rainy day.

Eureka! Ruby's is open, I should've known they wouldn't pussy out because of a little rain, let's go check it out.

There's plenty of room at the bar, let's grab snag a stool and have a pre-Romantics beer or three.

And here's Stephanie, the pretty and friendly bartender serving up the first beer of the evening.

The signage is making me hungry in here.

So I oredered a dog and this gentleman happily served it up.

An ice-cold beer and a hot dog slathered in mustard, a perfect two-course Coney Island dinner!

Stephanie's back!

I love this classic Ruby's poster on the wall.

Luckily, Brad just called and said they had finished their sound check and I could stop by and hang out before the show. I was starting to forget why I came out in the first place for some reason.

A security guard told me I needed to come back here for my backstage pass, but I'm a little lost...

And who shows up to save the day, but Brad Elvis! He saw me wandering around and led me to Jillian who gave me a pass and a wristband for the show.

Here's Brad with Martin and his girlfriend Vinny, backstage in the Romantics trailer. Martin and Vinny are longtime Romantics fans and they live in Brooklyn. Martin's a standup comic and you can check out his website here: Martin Chaddock.

It's Mike Skill's birthday and they had this cake made for the occasion. Very cool!

And here's the band posing backstage for photos. From the left, Brad Elvis, birthday boy Mike Skills, Rich Cole and Wally Palmar.

One last shot and it's showtime!

Since I had a backstage pass, I was able to take photos from the stage, so you can see the show from the band's point of view.

And they're off! The Romantics take the stage, bathed in magenta light.

And there's Brad pounding the skins of the drums. Brad's one of the best drummers in the world and it's always a blast to watch him in action.

Hi Brad!

The sun has gone down as the Romantics rock on!

Mike's getting a workout running across the stage.

It was a great show and the Coney Island crowd loved the Romantics.

Mucho thanks to Brad and the band for letting me take photos on the stage and hanging out before and afterwards, it was a great time!

But all good times have to come to an end, and here I am in front of Nathan's. I thought I'd get a hot dog for the ride back, but it's too crowded.

So it's back into the subway after a great Coney Island night.

And one last obligatory subway window mirror shot, as the train chugs back to Manhattan.

Further Reading: Herald Review, allmusic.com and Chicagoist.

I hear the secrets that you keep,
When you’re talking in your sleep.

Bonus Photos From the St. Mark’s Bookshop Cash Mob!
Last Saturday was the cash mob at St. Mark’s Bookshop that Jeremiah Moss organized and it was a great success! Lots of people showed up and you can read the details here. Below are some faces in the crowd, no captions, I just thought I’d let the pictures tell the story here. Thanks to everyone for showing up and to Jeremiah Moss for getting the ball rolling on this. Long live St. Mark’s Bookshop!
P.S. To Ragin' RR!
If you're out there, send me an email, I can't find your address.

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Reader Comments (30)

I was just checking out Stephanie's back myself....uh...what was that you were blogging about Marty,,,what...uh...say what?

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

another epic monday with marty post! too cool your friends with one of the romantics! love the photos from the stage! and of course stephanie is the icing on the cake! lol!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Good to see you back in action! Looks like a great show went down! Viva la Wombacher!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor Dungpie

I liked that view from the side stage, fans never get that perspective. Romantics have been around since about 1977 I think, with a few changes in the lineup. Wally still sounds good, right? Did you stay to see Squeeze?

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Jaws the Cabbie: I hear where you're coming from! I got a little mesmerized by her myself!

@Bobby D: I've known Brad longer than either of us would care to admit! Check out the Handcuffs too, if you haven't already!

@Professor Dungpie: It was a really great show and cool to watch it from the stage. Next time The Romantics play Milwaukee, definitely check them out, they're great live!

@Al: It was great to watch the show from the stage and get those photos. The Romantics still sound great and they put on a rocking show. I just watched a couple of Squeeze songs, hey there was free beer in the Romantics trailer, so you know where I was!

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

The Romantics figured out a way for Budweiser to pay them as opposed to the other way around. Ergo, the Romantics are geniuses.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

What I like about you Marty, is not that you hold me tight, but that you have cool postings, often about Coney Island, and always referencing beer. I biked there yesterday afternoon for my first taste of it this summer. Only stuck around for a beer at Rubys, a dip of the tootsies into the water and a taco at Plaza Mexico Dona Zita (awesome semi-hidden taco place between Surf Ave and the Boardwalk in an alley next to a few of the "win a kewpie doll" games). But I plan on going back soon for an evening appearance. I was away for the St Marks-a-thon, but will stop in this week to pick up my next summer read (I mean, to read this summer, but next on the agenda, not 2013 summer, just to clarify).

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

Hey Marty, great post today. I love the Romantic's, great band, I was in a PowerPop band the Cherry's at the time & I have a great Romantic's story that I can't tell online. It has to do with me having a meeting with the President of Nemperor Records Nat Weiss, Rock On

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

@csp: I'm in 100% agreement!

@Spike: Thanks for the nice words! Was Stephanie working? I need to check out that taco place next time, never been there, thanks for the tip! Sorry you missed the St. Mark's cash mob, we need to get a drink or three soon. While I still have money!

@Danny the Freelancer: The Romantics put on a great show! If you have a photo of your band, send it in if you can, I'd love to post it. I'm anxious to hear this story! We need to grab a beer or three soon!

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Glad you had a chance to catch up with Brad.
Truly one of the best drummers around and he and Chloe both remain some of my favorite people.
They literally watched my daughter 'Little Chloe' grow up as I would take her to many shows when she was young (Big Hello, Video Stars, Handcuffs)
Brad and I go back to the Screams days (his old band, pre Elvis Brothers, etc)
Had a great evening with them recently seeing Elayne Boosler perform in Chicago.
(also with our other mutual pal Aaron)
Loved that cake...very 'Skillfully' made!
Great blog today Daddio and glad you had a chance to see The Romantics.
Brad has been a perfect fit with the band for years now.
We'll try and catch up this week. I have Classes Monday and Wed,
Good seeing the Monday post!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Oh man! I haven't been to Coney Island in like a decade! Now I miss it!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@"Boris:" We were talking about your night out with Elayne Boosler, it sounded like a total blast! It was great to see Brad and The Romantics again, great show and it was cool of him to hook me up with the pass.

@meleah: You should get out there before they totally change it. New stuff is moving in and not for the better.

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I never get tired of that CI shot from the Q train window. It says “It’s magic time.”

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Duncester

I am appreciating your post in a whole different way lately... I'm sort of stuck here, healing and so it was extra sweet being backstage with the Romantics!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Monkey

Back from a 3 Day Vacation in Lisle-sur-tarn France since Friday was my last day of school & the start of Summer for Me , & what a way to start plus coming back & seeing more Coney Island pic's with The Romantics !!!!!
Great Blog for My Summer Beginning !!!
To All Cheers & Enjoy The Summer !

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

@The Duncester: Magic time indeed. Always love seeing the Coney Island shots from the subway!

@Green Monkey: Heal up soon and then we'll hang out, maybe at Coney Island!

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great post as always Marty!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Awesome post. Glad you had fun....How's the job hunt going?

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

@Peter: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

@Mike Hunt: Thank you, sir! The job hunt is going poorly. There's nothing out there but shitty service jobs that pay nothing. I have other friends out of work and they're not having any luck either, so at least it's not just me. Hopefully something will pop up one of these days.

July 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

you shoulda went back for one more beer afterwards, heh heh.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate beef

@legitimate beef: I thought about it, but with the long subway ride home, I decided to call it a night. It was a great time, none the less!

July 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Why do you insist on ruining hot dogs with mustard?! Looks like a really fun night besides that.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

@Britta: Ha ha ha! I can't help myself! Nice to see you chiming in here again! And yes, it was a ton o' fun!

July 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Haven't seen the Romantics since they played the Second Chance.

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikeyC

@MikeyC: See them if you get a chance, they're still great!

July 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Cool post! Glad you had fun with Brad and the rest of the peeps! That cake is awesome.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

And kudos to the cash mobs - keepin small businesses in the game, one day at a time!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: Thanks, it was a lot of fun and thanks to Brad for making it all happen! And the cash mob was successful, mucho luck to St. Mark's in finding a future home!

August 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I have been anxiously awaiting a new release from The HANDCUFFS. I have their other two albums and they are amazing. Love them! I will purchase their new one right now. thank you for providing the link.

Marty what a wonderful opportunity to see The Romantics at Coney Island. It looked like an amazong show. thank you for letting us tag along....

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Tiki Bar Susie: You'll love the new Handcuffs, CD! As great as the past ones were, I think this is the best one yet! The artwork and design is very cool too, I'll be anxious to hear what you think of it!

August 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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