My Father’s Place
No discussion of Long Island’s music scene would be complete without mention of My Father’s Place, a little club located in Roslyn that was an epicenter of musical talent in the 70s. And though it was open for a mere 16 years and has long since dimmed its lights, it will always hold a fond place in the hearts of many a local music fan.
A man named Michael “Eppy” Epstein, formerly of Boston, dreamed of opening a club on the island that would be as popular and youthfully energetic as those in his hometown. He opened My Father’s Place in 1971 on the island’s north shore, despite the fact that the local area didn’t really have the demographic to support such a venue.
Eppy was up for the challenge, convinced that if he brought in the finest musical talent and made the club a great place to hang out, people might just travel miles for that sort of thing.
And they did. Soon, My Father’s Place was the place to be, providing some of the finest entertainers of the day. Much of this was due to a partnership Epstein made with WLIR Radio. They provided the talent and the promotion, and he provided a top notch venue to kick off their careers.
Billy Joel regularly played there during the 70s, as did Bruce Springsteen. Over the years, the club hosted as many as 3,000 acts, with artists as diverse as Bob Marley, Meatloaf, Hall and Oates, Muddy Waters, The Good Rats and The Ramones taking their turn on the hallowed stage.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and despite its popularity and success over the years, the original My Father’s Place closed its doors in 1987. The legendary funk band Tower of Power had the honor of headlining the last show, thus ending the club’s incredible and historic run.
The memories remain, however, for any and all who were lucky enough to see a night of music at the historic venue that the NY Times once described as having “created a scene that would influence music for decades to come.”
This is what the original location looks like today.
Now, history may have been demolished, but they weren’t able to demolish the spirit of Eppy, the original owner. In 2017, he announced that My Father’s Place was re-opening in the Roslyn Theater, 30 years after the closure of the original location. The hope is to offer 150 shows a year from the new place.
It may not have the hallowed walls of the original location, where the words of Joel and Springsteen and ‘Loaf were once sung loud and clear, but one more music venue for an island of music lovers is always a good thing.
If you were one of the people that saw live music back in the day, I’d love to hear all about your memories, as well as who you happened to see at My Father’s Place in our comments section below.
I went there so many times and had so much fun, it was unbelievable. Remember seeing Springsteen when the first album came out. He was so loud the rafters rattled. Let’s see: Hall and Oates, Charlie Daniels, Michael Murphy, Robert Klein, Dan Fogelberg, David Bromberg… I can’t even begin to remember how many people I saw there who were terrific. Eppy was a cool guy, sometimes when you would call if the machine didn’t pick it up he BS with you for 20 minutes
So glad that you shared those memories with us, Rik! Did you ever happen to catch Billy Joel there?
My New Wave band opened shows for Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers at MFP several times in the late 70’s. The place had an unmistakeable “magic” about it and I always felt a rush being on the stage that Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and so many others had rocked before.
Recently, I attended a presentation that Eppy did at the Huntington Library to promote his book about MFP. I picked up a classic My Father’s Place T-shirt at this event, and every time I wear it out of the house, I am virtually attacked by people who want to talk about the club.
Those are great memories! Thanks for sharing that info.
I’m sorry I never got the chance to play there … and a tad envious of those that did ;).
Saw so many people there from Annie Lennox when she was with the Tourists to Jim Carroll to the Uncle Floyd Show! Great venue!
Saw Johnny and Edgar Winter there. James Cotton showed up and they were jamming.
It was the late show. They used to do 2 shows a night. an early one then a later one that started around 11pm or so. Could go one for awhile. Saw at least 30 to 40 shows. Lived in Glen Cove at the time.
saw many a concert there. a great venue. still had the narrow board floors from the old bowling alley. Saw the Good Rats, Commander Cody and others that I am having a hard time remembering. that happened a lot in the 70’s. this site is incredible! thank you
Thanks for the kind words, Dan. Glad you are enjoying the place! Be sure to find us on Facebook as well. Lots of good stuff over there!
All the best,
I remember going to MFP with a bunch of friends to go see Soft White Underbelly play…. They sure did look and sound like Blue Oyster Cult (wink wink)…
I went too (spring of 1979)…had front row seats that were so close I could literally stand up and touch Buck’s guitar. My buddy and I attended both shows on the same evening–it was great!
WE WORLED THERE W. THE BUDDY RICH BAND AND PLAYED ACROSS THE STREET WITH AN EXCELLENT HOWIE MANN BIB BAND. FUN DAYS!!
Tom Petty rocked there – it was a time when that gem was a stopping ground for so many music superstars in the making. Thank you Eppy. Maybe someone can make this happen again. It’s time.
I used to be a regular and I so miss having a venue like this to go to. it was intimate compare to todays venues.
it was also home of uncle floyd as well of the uhf channels 68,60,67, and 50.
We used to see Barnaby Bye. Excellent harmonies and I cannot believe they didn’t go farther. Saw Martin Mull and my jaw hurt afterwards from laughing. We were fortunate to hang out with Eppy and went to Jamaica with his group twice.
A LOT of talent. We drove from West Islip at least once a month. Hey, Pat O’Neill, are you there? I miss you!
Do you happen to have any photos of your trip with Eppy in Jamaica? I’m making a documentary with Eppy about the club. Anything you could share like that is literally gold!
Their album , I think it was called “Room to Grow” is incredible . They really should have been bigger . They had a LOT more talent than a LOT of their peers ! Some of their songs were quite haunting and beautiful.
Things come to and end and then sometimes resurrect. MFP is back! https://www.myfathersplace.com/
We went to My Fathers Place all the time.
My favorite memory was when Billy Crystal was opening fir Jim Dawson. A few of my friends and I went to try to meet Jim Dawson during a break and ended up chatting with Billy Crystal.
Billy Crystal asked if we knew how many people sit through both performances because then he would change some of the material— amazing how many good acts performed there. We even saw Andy Kaufman before he hit it big.
And George Carlin and Robert Klein…..
We are looking forward to going on April 18th to see my friend’s son, Ryan, who is playing with his awesome band, Quarterhorse.
great place.saw Manfred manns earth band, nektar,passport and bill bruford twice
before it was my fathers place was it called someplace else ??
I grew up in the neighborhood and passed by it numerous times a day, always reading the marque. Before it was “My Father’s Place”, it was a bowling alley . My Father’s Place reused the bowling alleys as long tables, from stage to back. You could order burgers, fries, drinks and enjoy the show! it was such a great place to witness great artists and still have eats and drinks as the show went on… Great concept. Then, it changed as all the musician artists they gave their start to, became famous and sold out to bigger venues. My Father’s Place was the venue on the east coast for all 70’s musicians to launch their music career. From Bruce, Loggins & Messina, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Sly & the Family Stone, ..and hundred others.
Saw many Bands there….also Eddie Murphy with two white guys who called them selves the identical triplets. The Police on their first US tour. Al Kooper and so many more….
todd rundgren, larry coryell, etc. etc.
Madonna played there when NOBODY knew who she was. Probably 1981 ? I saw X there in 1982 or 1983. Half empty , but X was FANTASTIC !
I drove there from West Islip the day after the LIE was closed down because of the giant show storm….we drove in the fast lane …no one on the LIE…we saw Richy Havens,fantastic Show….