THE CHICKEN COOP.
Here is the way I remember this adventure.
We didn’t think they had rednecks in New Jersey.
We were wrong.
We had just finished a concert at the classy Garden State Art Center,
and were looking on the map for our next booking…
a place called The Chicken Coop, in Vineland, New Jersey.
We pulled into the gravel parking lot
and up to a wooden barn-like building.
The lot was almost full of trucks.
The crowd was there… waiting for us.
We went in and I heard somebody say,
“Get a load of this bunch” about us.
We had longish hair and this was 1970.
The stage had a chicken wire screen
so the patrons could not throw anything solid at us.
I sneaked a glance at the crowd
and told our guitar player, Wayne Bridge,
to get out his steel instead of the lead guitar.
People were all either scowling, laughing, or sneering at us,
or so it seemed in my imagination.
We got plugged in
and opened with a fast country shuffle beat.
The folks were surprised but sort of quiet.
We didn’t now what to expect.
At the end, the applause was deafening!
One gigantic man in bib overalls yelled “SOOEY”
so loudly that I thought the P.A system had shut off.
Nothing hit the screen in front of us.
This bunch was great!
We shook a lot of hands
and they bought up our albums.
The club owner couldn’t have been nicer.
He gave us a couple of cases of beer for the road
as a going away present.
We were hoping to go back some time,
but we never got up that way again.
They learned that you can’t tell a book by its cover,
and we learned the same about them.
© Copyright 4/21/2015, Jack Blanchard.