Yes , I was a fortunate soul to have lived within a few miles from this genuinely fabulous one of a kind venue. I remember when it was first called the Madhatter and I was still too young to go but when it changed to the Channel, I was of age to attend and got to see the loudest band who ever played there namely Motorhead in 1982. I can remember seeing The Plasmatics one year and then a few years after WOW (Wendy O Williams) as it was written as an advert in the paper as WOW. I remember Lita Ford, Eric Burdon, Fastway, local bands, Alice in Chains. And my very dear friend and neighbor who worked at the ticket booth who is no longer around, Miss Kate Barakat. I even have a photo of myself taken by another Channel goer and local Southie Friend inside the venue taken by Michelle. I remember coming out of the venue at night and the grill guy with his sausage and Pepper stand was right outside the doors ready for all the patrons. There will never be another quite like the Channel.
I saw many legendary shows at The Channel. I saw it at night quite often, but had never seen it by the light of day until I was doing lights for my future husband's band, Major Disturbance, in 1983. It looked a little rough by the light of day with cigarette burns, spilled drinks and probably a few other fluids staining the carpet. I saw many local bands there, the Stompers, the Neighborhoods, Judy's Tiny Head, dozens of them, and probably a few national acts, too. Just recently, automobile magnate Ernie Boch, sent out a Call to Artists to paint on 5' fiberglass guitars as part of a public art project that would ultimately be auctioned and raise money for his Music Drives Us Foundation. The non-profit raises money to support music in the schools. I am an artist and a musician, so this was a no-brainer for me. I have done quite a few public art projects of a similar nature, including Cows on Parade in 2006 and Street Pianos in 2016. I submitted a design, Boston Rocks, that features my artistic interpretation of the logos of legendary Boston music acts and the venues and culture of the Boston music scene throughout the years. My guitar was displayed in Norrwood at the High School from the beginning of September until the date of the gala auction which was held November 15, 2018 at Ferrari of New England on the Automile. My guitar brought in a lot of money for the organization and sold to some truly lovely people who are thrilled to have it. For images of the guitar, which features a faux Channel sticker on the back, visit here: https://www.musicdrivesus.org/meet-dawn-evans-scaltreto.html In an interesting coincidence, two of the other guitars (15 total) were painted by artist/musicians like me, who are in bands that were featured on my guitar before I even knew they were participating in the project. Gary Cherone of the band Extreme, and Del Fuego's drummer and founder of Right Turn, an addiction recovery program, Woody Giessmann each painted stunning guitars. Their guitars may be seen here: https://www.musicdrivesus.org/guitarts.html#GuitARTS I am a musician, in both Major Disturbance and Perfect Crime, both are classic rock cover and high energy originals bands local to Boston. We sure miss the Channel! Here is a link to an article about the project: http://watertown.wickedlocal.com/news/20181121/watertown-artists-work-displayed-and-auctioned-at-music-drives-us-guitarts?fbclid=IwAR1sr_ItFQQhMiUgb9zWa3YoHAcIjcyEbTAzYhbiBBYjICQCYnnh86PalTo
I loved the Channel and was a frequent patron...actually going back to my regrettable days when it was still the Mad Hatter - a disco/dance club. I saw some of my favorite shows there...Richard Thompson with T-Bone Burnett, Echo and the Bunnymen, various incarnations of the English Beat, Meatloaf, and perhaps my favorite, The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the one and only James Brown! It was not at all unusual to be there several times in one week. To say I miss that venue is a tremendous understatement.
Thanks for keeping the great memories alive!! Saw many great artists in the days or I should say nights! Rock on! Becky
Paul Vignoli Jr
I loved working at the Channel...the people I worked with were great and I got to see a lot of bands I never heard of but enjoyed immensely. My most memorable moment working security was when I was doing "Potty Patrol" in the newly remodeled men's room for a Suicidal Tendencies show. During their first song a guy came in and spit several teeth into the sink, so I asked him if he was enjoying the show and he replied that it was "fk'n great. Good Times! Good luck with your podcast Harry...you should really write a book!
Spent many nights at the channel. Gary newman, wendy o williams and more.
I saw dozens of shows at The Channel. Some of my favorites were Alvin Lee(twice), John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan Rita Marley and the list goes on. Local bands galore, Gang Green, Real Kids, Johnny Barnes, John Butcher Axis and Barrence Whitfield and The Savages to name a few. Thanks for stirring up some great memories of my misspent youth!
Never forget the employees who kept the customers, the bands and the gear safe; who jumped in for small pay for “load ins” for national acts; and spent their days off hanging out to support the club. Countless stories to be told of former employees who kept it all together for their beloved “home away from home” - The Channel.
Myself Christine and several Sudbury friends went to shows at the Channel.
The Best Show I think I ever saw there, or anywhere for that matter was with that group of high school friends.
“Tesla” On the “The Five Man Acoustical Band Tour”. Incredible show, packed house and extremely hot, so hot even Tesla’s singer Jeff Kieth was asking for the A\C to be turned on over the P\A during the set.
I had to keep my arms straight out with Christine in front of me. Christine being much shorter was being crushed (to the point of her getting nervous & having a hard time breathing in the heat at her level) by the crowed trying to get as close as possible to the band. I remember a friend taking off his shirt when we got out to the parking lot, his shirt was drenched with sweat. I believe it was Doug Abondanzio or maybe Mike. He was whipping the shirt at us. Because of the packed show and heat the shirt was as if it was dunked in water. Picture the snapping of a wet towel for a visual reference, then replace the towel image with a shirt drenched beyond belief with sweet from god knows how many people. I can still hear the sound of it hitting us, maybe one of the more disgusting things that could happen, and for some reason I never forget that when I think about that show at the Channel.
This show was done with Tesla sitting on folding chairs all acoustic with Troy’s full drum kit. It was a no frills set up with Frank Hannon pulling out a pink Telecaster for the final song “love will find a way” Frank & Tommy played all these Rock songs acoustic and then Frank’s guitar tech had slung the Tele over Franks shoulder without anyone seeing it. It was on him during the entire song, just hidden and slung behind the folding chair. Halfway through he threw the acoustic off to the tech and led in to a ripping guitar solo you have probably heard a thousand times on the radio.
They definitely influenced the acoustic rock era of the 90’s. I’m not sure if any of the channel footage is in the dvd I have? But it certainly is the same show set up. Tesla still tours regularly with Tommy’s replacement.
I happen to be friendly and in contact with Tommy Skeoch of Tesla. Although he is now out of the band but doing well after struggles with substance abuse issue’s.Tommy is making new music now, he has a wife and young kids. Tommy teaches guitar these days and doesn’t really tour, although we will see what happens when his new music comes out. He is a cool guy who recently came out of a 10 plus year time period where he had no contact with anyone.
I have also spoken with the others in Tesla on different occasions, Troy, Frank & Jeff in particular remembered the Channel as soon as I mentioned it after a Hampton Beach Casino show. Jeff thought the Channel was an awesome venue, they would be interesting guys to speak with to see if they had anything to add about the time they spent st the Channel.
The other thing I learned from a Howard Stern interview several years ago with Maria Manounos, is that her parents worked at the Channel as the cleaning crew. She talked a lot about it and how she spent a lot of time there working with her parents.
I had no idea someone in Sudbury had ties to the Channel, I can’t Waite to hear the podcast and get the History of how it came to be and ultimately what happened to it.
Share your memories!