Anyone remember Franklin & Nick?

In honor of LaFlavour performing at the Red’s 90th Birthday Bash, we decided to dig though our archives to find some footage from old shows.

Once upon a time, LaFlavour,  added two new members to the group, Franklin and Nick.  These two puppets evolved from being just a couple of minutes of comedy to a full-half hour skit.  In the video below, you’ll hear LaFlavours’ Pete and Gino describe what they did when Arnie asked them to tone-down the show and see actual footage of a 1987 stage show.

*Please note:  If you have any children, tell them to leave the room before you play this video.   Not that we are rating this, but if we did, it should be rated “R”.  If you get easily offended, be prepared.  The puppet’s joke are both dirty and politically incorrect. Right or wrong, remember this is from 1987, not from today’s PC, cleaned-up world.

The Night of Angels

Jim Dad Reds223

Every so often, a few members of the Hells Angels would come into Red’s.  They were great guys and heads of the Ohio chapter.  It was always good to see them and a lot of fun every time.

Although, one evening turned out a little different.  It was a busy night when the front doors flew open and all you could see were Angels!  Full leather jackets and vests as far as you could see. I would guess that there had to be about 50 or more bikers. We had a capacity limit at the time and there wasn’t any room for all of them, but that didn’t matter.   We also  had a dress code and biker gear was not on that list.  My dad ran to the door and stopped them, “NO, NOT TONIGHT!” he yelled.  Jimmy Mansfield came to the door to help, when one of the bikers, with a big black eye, pointed at him and yelled, “That’s the Motherf#cker that hit me.” Needless to say, it got a little tense. Yet, cooler heads prevailed and they peacefully turned around and left.  Everyone at the bar went outside expecting to see the array of motorcycles as they sped away. But there were no bikes, only a tour bus they had rented for a bar crawl. Disappointing from a bystanders point of view.

Red’s Been Robbed!

Working at the bar wasn’t as glamorous as some people think.  Okay, well maybe as only a couple of you think.  I remember a scary incident from around 1970.  We used to cash payroll checks on Fridays for the guys down at Goodyear. Goodyear, had a late shift and those guys would come into the bar after they would get out of work which was around six in the morning.

Ida and friends. No, those are not the robbers!

Early one morning, several men came in with machine guns. These guys where not wearing masks.  So we’re guessing that they where not from around Akron. They must have been staking the place or were tipped off from someone because they knew the routine.  If they came in an hour later, we would have cashed all the checks and the safe would have been empty. My mother, Ida, was the one who took care of all the money. At first she resisted them, but they beat her up pretty bad. The men threw her in the cooler and asked for more money but there was none. She spent some time in the hospital and had to have pins put in one of her ankles.

She did very well and had a full recovery. She was a tough lady. But that wasn’t the only time Red’s was robbed, but that’s another story.

Radar the Roadie

Radar was one of the great people who worked for me. He did all the behind-the-scenes technical stuff for the bands that played at the bar. The first time he came to Reds, he was working with a band from Missouri called “Cyclone”. They played here for a couple of weeks and Radar fell in love with Akron. He told me that he would like to stay and work here. And that’s exactly what he did. He returned about a month later and worked for me for quite a while.

As time went on, the bands came in with their own light man, sound man, roadies and even groupies followed. So it was became hard for me to keep him busy all those years. Even LaFlavour had Jimmy Comedy. So he went to work at Tangiers and stayed there for quite sometime. I certainly missed the quality of his work. On my 80th birthday, he brought me a bat, a Louisville Slugger. I heard recently that he’s gone. What a nice gentleman he was. I really miss the guy.

Story by Arnold Red Shapiro

Let’s Have Male Strippers!

Back in the late 70’s, male strippers as entertainment was somewhat of a new concept. In 1979, Red’s decided to try it out and invited Fast Freddy and the Playboys to the bar.  We had never had male strippers before and my dad didn’t know what to expect.

When Jimmy put up the sign to advertise the event, a buzz took over. Ladies where buying tickets and the show quickly sold out.  Men where not allowed in until after the show was over. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, decided his 18-year-old son should not work that night. I was not happy about that. The consensus among the male bartenders was that we expected the women to go crazy and would want to get their hands on any man they could find. Since there were only five of us, the odds were in our favor.   Who wouldn’t want to be one of the few select men in a room full of horny women!

From what I understand, the ladies in attendance did get a little excited, if you know what I mean. For the guys that waited outside and the guys that worked that night, many had stories to tell.  I will never know what I missed.


Story by

Mark Shapiro