They were different times, indeed.
It was during the 1970s that the Hullabaloo in Rensselaer had a resident leopard named Tanya who roamed the venue freely. The declawed, yet still very large, feline was owned by the Hullabaloo’s manager.
As part of our documentary THE SCENE, we spoke with many musicians about their experiences in the rock and roll music scene of the 60s and 70s – and Tanya kept coming up in those interviews.
Rick Bedrosian, a musician with the band Silver Chicken, remembered being excited about his band really “making it” in the local scene and then finding a pile of Tanya’s stool on the stage while setting up for their gig. He ended up having to shovel the poo before their performance. He explains a bit more in the video below.
Composer/Producer Kevin Bartlett remembered an early morning encounter at the Hullabaloo’s owner’s house when the leopard surprised Bartlett by jumping out from under the kitchen table and coming nose-to-nose with the startled, and not-quite-awake musician. “Different times, my friend,” he said, grinning.
Tony Jones, a musician with Road Apple, Kashmir and The Penny Knight Band, had similar recollections of his first encounter with Tanya.
“I was up in the dressing room and no one had told me of the leopard’s existence. I was changing from my street clothes to my stage clothes. And I heard a noise. I looked over in the corner and, ya know, I didn’t know anything about this animal. I didn’t know if it was tame or not tame. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten dressed as quickly in my life,” Jones said.
See a clip about Tanya below.
Revisit the booming sites and sounds of the 60s and 70s rock music scene in the Capital Region with The Scene. Join us for a free screening October 16 at Noon at SUNY Schenectady. The on-air premiere of The Scene is Sunday, October 20 at 7pm on WMHT-TV.