The Grooveyard was the place to be if you were a local music-loving teenager in the late 1960s, especially on the night the Ike and Tina Turner Revue turned up.
"That was fluke," says rockabilly musician-turned-promoter Les Vogt, who ran The Grooveyard. "We put 700 (people) in for Ike and Tina."
It wasn't unusual for The Grooveyard to be full to capacity, but on that particular weekend the club was especially packed. The Ike and Tina Turner shows happened by chance. The band was slated to play across the border.
"They called up, at the last minute, after the got cancelled in Seattle," Vogt remembers. "And they came in for the weekend."
Vogt took over a popular local teen club called the Hollywood Bowl and started booking bands for his now re-christened Grooveyard - a name that longtime C-Fun DJ Fred Latremouille is said that have come up with. The teenage dance club was housed at what today is the Metro Hall and Events Centre on Carnarvon Street.
"I packed it in," Vogt says, recalling his Grooveyard days during a phone interview with The Record from his home in Steveston. (Vogt opened a second Grooveyard in 1968 on Davie Street in Vancouver.)
In the early 1960s, Vogt partnered with DJ Red Robinson and started bringing rock 'n' roll shows to various venues in Vancouver and beyond through their company, Jaguar Enterprises Ltd. They brought in some of the biggest acts of the day including Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, James Brown, The Righteous Brothers and Ray Charles. Vogt also worked with such legends as Buddy Holly and the Crickets and Roy Orbison.
The music business changed when drug use took over the scene. "I wasn't interested in being part of that whole environment. I didn't do drugs," Vogt says.
By 1969, he was out of The Grooveyard. He later opened a country music bar in Vancouver, and eventually, went to work for Orbison as his manager. Later, he produced The Legends of Rock 'n' Roll, a touring show featuring artist impersonators, which he still does today.
As for The Grooveyard, there have been a few reunions over the years, when old friends and musicians gathered together to remember the club that made and brought legends to town.
For photographs with this story, visit www.royalcityrecord.com.