Reflections: A Legendary Cincinnati Concert Venue
Fifty years ago, a music venue opened at the corner of Vine and Calhoun Streets in Clifton near the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Reflections became a destination for music fans around the region and now- famous musical acts from around the country.
During this one-hour special, 11pm, Saturday night, October 24th, you'll hear from Doug Yeager, one of the co-founders, plus others who helped with promotion and booking, as well as some folks who attended concerts there. You'll also hear from Sandy Nassan who opened up for the James Gang which was the very first concert at Reflections, and Dale Maloney, the club's general manager, shares some of his memories, too.
I remember attending an Allman Brothers concert there after driving up with friends from Morehead State University. Attending a show at Reflections was well-worth the long drive.
Gary Shell, Jeff McCurdy, and Mark Tipton talk about their memories of Reflections and some of the bands they heard there. Mark said that the band Chicago played Cincinnati and ended up at Reflections afterwards. He also talked about the restaurant that was above the club along with the parking area up there.
Gary Shell used to ride his bicycle from Mt. Adams to Reflections to see shows there. The very first James Gang show was November 10th, 1970. He said that the War show was "incredible" and that the lines for the Yes concert were out the door and around the block. Gary also describes in detail the interior of Reflections which included a pool room, VIP area, seats and a lounging area on each side.
Jeff McCurdy and his wife Patti drove up from Morehead State University really early the day of the Yes concert, so they could be right up front. Jeff says that they sat on the floor in front the stage, and Yes opened their show with "Roundabout." This show on December 2nd, 1971, was part of the Fragile tour.
Peter Eden was in charge of all radio commercials for the club in the early 70's. He said that WEBN was the primary radio station and that during shows, he spent most of his time out front instead of backstage, so he could see the bands.
Sandy Kaderlin Kohn worked at Reflections from 1970-1971 performing various jobs including passing out flyers and tickets at sale points. She also served beer and was a bartender since she was one of the few who was 21. She remembers Boz Scaggs coming up to the bar and ordering a tequila sunrise and since she didn't know how to make one, he told her how to make it and then praised her effort.
Guitarist Sandy Nassan opened for James Gang during the very first Reflections concert and also saw the Leo Kottke show. He says that he stayed in touch with Joe Walsh after the James Gang show.
Dale Maloney worked his way up from washing dishes to general manager at Reflections where he worked from 1970-1975. He mentioned the Free Clinic night on Monday nights when over 1,000 concertgoers would show up. The Free Clinic was across the street at Vine and McMillan up on the second floor, a popular destination for hippies at the time for medical needs.
Stan Hertzman was co-owner of the Ajaye Entertainment Agency and booked acts into the club. Cal Levy was a booking agent also. He mentioned that the Allman Brothers Band in their early career were the house band at a club in Daytona Beach. Stan also said that Monday nights were audition night for bands. There'd be three bands from 9pm to 1am.
Doug Yeager, the only living co-owner, shares the history of Reflections from the blueprints to his departure in 1971. He talks about many of the bands who played there including Genesis, Bonnie Raitt, and Little Feat. Doug also tells great stories about Chuck Berry's arrival at the club for his show, the bass player with Velvet Underground, and the PA system the night of the Allman Brothers concert.
The Reflections club is now an empty lot, but for those of us who attended shows there, it'll always be a special destination for those of us lucky enough to have heard classic bands there.