Dome Shadows
We are remembering one of Houston's most famous night clubs...
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Customers Remember
February 13, 2008 9:31 PM
My name is Robert Guercio.

I grew up less than a half mile from the club. I was too young to work at the club when it first opened.

However, I do have a couple of stories about it.

My friends and I collected empty cigarette packs. (It's a long story.) We would dig thru the trash there to find exotic cigarette brands.

It was also the first night club I ever went to. We were under-age, but slipped the person at the door a couple of bucks and we got in. This was 1972-73.

We then started going to the 2nd Office Club - Buffalo Speedway and the Southwest Freeway, because they played better music.

Once the law changed and allowed 18 year olds to drink, we stopped going. It was more fun to sneak in.

Also, everything in that area in the mid 60's had a Dome or Astro in its name.

I guess if you could get in touch with the grocery store that was there - it was called Wards, or the drug store - I think it was called Buffalo drug store, they might give you some more info.

I am 53 and graduated from Bellaire High School in 1973. I lived on Bluegate Street, about 1/2 mile east of the club.

This is from Charlie Bailey, April 1, 2008:

Me and one of my employees were talking about the old days and when I told him I used to frequent the Dome Shadows he said he also was there a lot. I actually met my third wife there. My youngest brother and I were there every Friday and Saturday around  1972 and 1973. There was a waitress there named Mary and when we came in she would run the patrons that were at the table to the far entrance to the dance floor off because we tipped so well. I was there many a night when Paul Berlin would host the "leg contest". I remember most of the winners came from the Crystal Pistol because they were just a little less shy than the regulars. It was great memories, the lighted dance floor, the leg contests, and all the pretty gals to dance with. Unfortunately, I have no pictures. I would really like to see some pics of the place back then.
Charlie Bailey


Gary-
I remember the DOMESHADOWS club from the 60's. I went to the U of Houston in the mid sixties and was married at the time. She worked for Braniff Airlines at Hobby Airport and I worked for Eastern Airlines (downtown) at night (I went to school during the day), along with other airline employees (American, Continental, National, Pan Am, as well as Braniff and Eastern). We would close the joint down, but we had a helluva time.
I especially remember Paul Berlin emceeing (actually, I have always thought that he owned the club).
Also, we almost always went there after a ball game, either the Astros or the Oilers.
GOOD TIMES!!!!
Jimbo



God, I grew up there, my sister Vickie was a bartender and I was to young to get in, but I did!!! I was there when T.C. and the Good Stuff played and then when Bill Hershey took over..i'm sure there were others but those r the 2 I remember the most. Before we ever set foot in the Dome Shadows we use to walk to the 7/11 and walk behind in the ally to hear the music. I was probably only 13 yrs old!!! I remember the leg contest and the beer bust night. my sister won one night, as did a friend of mine Cynthia. Vickie's pix is outstanding, I'm not sure if she still has but if she does I'll have my husband scan it and send it to you. This is so cool that you've done this, brings back allot of memories, good and bad, but mostly GOOD!!! It was one of the best times of my young life!!!!

Thank-You,

Debbie


Hello!

We loved Dome Shadows...My friends and I had some wonderful times in this great club...back in the late 70's-early 80's. I must go see if I can find any pictures!

Good luck with the website!

Rose Ann


Dear Mr. Marshall:

Dome shadows was one of the best clubs we went to in the late 70's and early 80's. The club was packed every Friday and Saturday with Houston bands such as The Steve Long Group, The Texas boogie Band, the Rovers, Sky King, Firewater, and Blitz (to name a few).

One band stood above the rest. The band that was the number one grossing band (at that time for a local band) was LIC. LIC had such a following that when the Houston Fire Department knew they were playing at the Dome Shadows, they would be there to stop patrons from coming in due to the limit of people the club could hold. The reason for this was the band used flash pots (4 across the front of the stage), for their last set, by that time it was concern of the HFD that no one was hurt. My sister and I were usually up front and would get our cue from Louis aka Johnnie Fixx to move someone back, or turn off the switch so no would get hurt. the band was extremely considerate of their friends, fans and themselves. Plus my sister and I were fortunate to meet Louis' family and they took us in like we were their two daughters.

Thank you for creating a place that was safe, fun and gave two sisters not only memories that will last a lifetime, friendships and love and support of Houston musicians not as groupies but as "two very naive young ladies that were taken care of by gentlemen that just happened to be musicians. They just took care of us.

I wanted to let you know that my sister and I have very fond memories of Dome Shadows. We actually were just talking about the club this past Saturday.

Sincerely,
Mary Kay and Rose Ann

[The sisters submitted photos which are being loaded on the photo page]


Hello!

My name is Robert Garcia. My only connections to the Dome Shadows are the memories of my aunt and her husband going there (I think in the very late 60's or early 70's) and the fact that I now live just off of Buffalo Speedway on Castlewood St., less than a quarter mile away from where Dome Shadows once stood.

When my wife and I were house hunting we were leery of the dilapidated strip mall that eventually got torn down and has become a gated townhouse community.

I smile every time I pass that site knowing that a lot of fun was had there.

I love all of the Astrodome related trivia. There are still fragments of signage that intrigue me as well as the period era palm trees.

If you have the time to share information as to what some of the places were I would be most grateful.

Best wishes,

Robert Garcia





I went to Dome Shadows twice.
    In 1977, on Thanksgiving Eve, my good friend, his co-worker at that time and I, all students at University of Houston, went to Dome Shadows after the Houston Rocket game at the Summit. We must have arrived around 10 or 11 PM to partake in Beer Bust Night. When we arrived there was only two other patrons, two beautiful young women.
    I only drank half-a-cup of beer, because I am not a beer drinker. When my friend's co-worker was not looking, I passed my beer to my friend, so that he was drinking twice as much as his co-worker. The co-worker was convinced I was drunk.
   After a while, the co-worker went up to the two women and asked for a dance. They both turned him down. A while later, I approached the two women and asked for a dance, but was also turned down.
    The co-worker badgered my friend all night for not approaching the two women. We soon left and the co-worker drove us home. On the way to my friend's home, I could hear my friend throwing up in the back of the car. And so on.
    The second time I went to the Dome Shadows was in late 1980 or maybe the first half of 1981. I took my former wife when we were dating to see a band. I believe the band was New Orleans, Red Rockers, a Clash-like punk band. I saw one of my brothers at the club.
-    -Michael Jozwiak


I started working for Southwestern Bell in May, 1965 and my older sister finally talked me into going to the Dome Shadows.  After that you couldn't keep me away.  I loved it.  It was the best club and I had so much fun dancing there.  I remember there was a couple that used to dance the whip and everydbody just stood back and watched them. I also remember the Go Go Girls.  I have such fond memories of the Dome Shadows and can't believe no one has come back to try to establish a club for us baby boomers.

Elena (Zuniga) Vilardo

Hi Jack,
I posted my comments tonight to your site, re: my buddy Louis Baldovin.
Great site!
I was thinking about some kind of brief document about the 70-80s rock bar scene in Houston, Dome of course, Cactus Club, Jerry's TX City and heck the Bamboo Hut on the Island
.

The managers were always such a pain with us, and after packing up after 2AM I always remember the office scene.  
Again, great site, and thanks for a place to drop a note.

Sincerely,

Randy Dawson 


I have several fond memories of Dome Shadows, and my best friend Louis Baldovin, AKA Johnnie Fix.  I rode through several incantations of his bands as general electronics guru/photographer and provider of chemical entertainment...

Hey I meant the flash powder and pyro stage effects!

His mom and dad often came to the Dome for shows, as we were beginning to get involved in videotape before its time.  The main idea was to patch in the sound board to the camcorder for better sound than the cheap cam microphone, and we were constantly messing with the levels and creating attenuators to get it right.  (Input in those days was mic in, not compatible with line level out from the board.)

Some of the best shows he did at the Dome were as the Rovers, and the interesting intermission sets, coming on as 'The Used Electrics' with Victor Erwin, sound engineer on lead, Dave Hill record collector on rhythm, and Louis on the drums.  The two guitar players were pretty new to picking it up, but they were great!  I was always amazed at how Louis managed to pick up the drums and do so well.  I never, ever saw him practice.  I never saw him practice the guitar either, and we spent a fair amount of time together, and shared a house for a year or so.  As John Bloomstrom has said here, Louis was just damn good, and destined for greatness.
 
After his funeral, Nite Bob (sound, Aerosmith, among his other talents) and I drank scotch all night with Big Lou.  We two drove to the airport the next morning, and I asked "did he have it?"  "Ohh absolutely, it was
going to happen.  He was destined for fame."

We all just did not expect it in that way.

I'll tell you what it was, after living with the guy for a few years, and spending decades together from high school on.  It was drama and theater, something he always did, shock and amaze.  This one was his final act.

Randy Dawson

I would like to see if you could help me locate Dean Stipp. I worked with him at Astroworld and made Dome Shadows one of my favorite clubs in Houston. Do you have any contact information on him?

Thanks!
Bill Page


Good God where do I start. It is wonderful to remember the good old days when things seemed so simple. I went to school at Jackson High on polk st. and Austin high on dumble st. before I was of legal age, I still went to clubs like Vans stampede ballroom, 4 aces, nesadele, bullpen, cedar lounge, dancetown usa, dance city usa and the dome shadows. The list goes on. As long as you stayed out of trouble, you could stay and drink underage in these places. A friend of mine got his truck stolen in the dome shadows parking lot one night but there were plenty of ladys with cars (you know what i mean).
Down the road on south main was the Bull Pen where my uncle from louisiana would play sometime. He may have even played the shadows.His name was Johnny Spain and his 2nd cousins Rusty and Doug
Kershaw would play all over houston and surrounding area together. That was when Doug was first starting out in the late 50's early 60's. I was young then and they would stop by our house and freshin up before the gig. I lived in Houston till 1978 and moved to Lafayette La to work offshore for Shell oil co. I still have 3 brothers in Houston that i visit now and then. And love thinking about the shadows. Keep up this site, it's great. Tom Naquin



Any way to get in touch with Jesse Langford?
He and another friend and I used to do some street racing in 1962 when Jesse wasn't singing at the Nesadel in old Pasadena.  David Fotorny



Hello out there -my name is Victor Colonnetta I when to this club from 1971-1975. I am a friend of Vicki and Paul Berlin--my cousin was Carl Jebbia. Iam interested talking to people about the club -thanks
Victor Colonneta


I also grew up @the Dome Shadows... My brother, Jimmy Rogers, was a bassist....so, we would hang out there.
I wonder if anyone know where Phil Mathis is.??? I'm the girl he almost married, but I was only 16.
 
Pls. let me know.
thanx
Sharon




Golly, who couldn't have fun in the 60's at the Dome?? Went there almost every nite after work in '64-'65. They had dance contests and I LOVED to dance. It was a whole different world back then. My friend and I would "cruise" Main from downtown to South Main and end up at the Dome as our first stop.. There wasn't a medical center then like today and back then you could "cruise" Main from downtown all the way to the
Dome and pass acquaintances "cruising" like you were. The Dome holds many good memories of the 60's for me. A great era, a fun place and fondly missed!!!

Sally Hall Hart




Hi, Gary,
 
Just a short one to say thanks for the wonderful site.  I just found it yesterday, after searching for info on our wonderfully sweet friend, Bobby Bradshaw (Buzzy Smith just informed me yesterday of his passing last year).  Though a little younger than most, I was friends with many of these musicians back in 1972 (onward), while I was working at Charlie Hall's Village Inn Pizza Parlor (later turned Dean Scott's VIP; Westheimer location) from '72 - '76, and I still keep in touch with many to date.
 
Sorry I don't have any photos to forward to you, though I danced many a dances on Dome Shadows' psychedelic floor (always got my heels stuck on it, but, like I've said, that never stopped me - smile!).  In one (donated) photo, there is a comment as to the location the photo was taken.  Well, my old boyfriend, Kent Matthias' (now deceased) half-brother, Jerry Matthias, owned the "Crystal Pistol," a little juke-box bar just south of 610 Loop (at the Stella Link exit, I believe) during the late 60's-early 70's, and the photo in question surely looks like Jerry's little dive.
 
One commenter on your site, mentions another entertainer, Allan Wayne.  Allen is a super nice guy who always drew great crowds in the Southern Texas Triangle area, and (I hear) still does, in my hometown of Lafayette, LA.
 
On a ticket stub, it states that Bobby Bradshaw and the Jokers played with G.G. Shinn (spelling ?) and the Roller Coasters.  G.G. was another Southern big-horn-band favorite, who played for several years at a big night club in a little town east of Lafayette, called Signorelli's, AKA "Sigs".
 
On another note, my friend, Tom Tannahil, has a "Liberty Hall" site which I'm sure you remember.  http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~tannahil/liberty%20hall.html
 
Another friend, Mike Lowell, has another wonderful site regarding Texas musicians/bands, etc., but mainly from the San Antonio area, which you may enjoy: http://www.saboomie.com/
 
Anyhoot, if I ever come across anything to add to your site, I'll be more than happy to.  Thanks again.
 
Sincerely,
Monica Domingue, Houston


 I found your site because a co-worker & I here in Austin were talking about our experiences back in the 60's/early 70's in Houston. His name is Hilton Brooks & his sister was manager of Dome Shadows in the 60's. I don't know her name. He & I are both social workers now, but were part of the Houston hippie scene back then.

I'm wondering if the Jerry Johnson who leased it was who I've been remembering as Jerry Jones. He owned some of the Allen's Landing head shops/clubs back in the 60's. I worked for him at Houston Blacklight & Poster. He literally helped me open my first bank account at Harrisburg Bank. He also owned either or both West Coast Exit & the Mesmeric. Maybe the same guy. I could have his name wrong.

Back in 1972 alot of the "ropers" who went to Stampede Ballroom (which I remember as Van's Stampede on Richmond) had bumper stickers that said "I'd Rather Be a Roper Than a Doper." A friend of ours had a printing company (that printed Space City News in fact) & he printed some bumper stickers for us---100 of them---that said "I'd Rather Be a Ropey Doper Than a Dopey Roper." One night we sneaked into the parking lot & put them over all of the other bumper stickers we saw, & had some left over we just put on random trucks in the parking lot. I guess it was kind of mild vandelism in retrospect, but, it was still funny.

I saw alot of good music at Dome Shadows.

Marti Sivers




I tried to send a email to jackharris@att.net......but it must be a bad link.....i have a photo of me and friends there in the late 70's...even have the orig cover that has 2 stars with musical notes between them....can you help me??...was it ever off Hempstead or was it only out by the Astrodome???

Don Myers

Here is the photo from Don Myers:



The address was 9218 Buffalo Speedway.
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