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• Agora! Agora! Agora! •

Stories by: Brenda (Hornberg) Watkins - Paul Nyman - Kevin E.
Photos by: Brenda (Hornberg) Watkins

Agora Neon bannerOctober 5, 1990

Paul: I can't recall how we, (Brenda, Kevin E., Martin and I) decided to drive and see the Release Party in Cleveland, Ohio. At that time Dean, (Deano) Boraas was the jack-of-all trades for Joey and Badfinger. He did all the driving, sound, business matters with promoters, etc... I'm sure one of us had talked to Dean on the phone, (before the Internet and email!) and asked what shows were coming up later that year?

Yes! Yes! Yes! No good well not too bad Good Okay Joe

Brenda: I remember quite well Paul; It was an evening in mid-September 1990 when our friend Jim Della Croce, a publicist and writer based in Nashville, called me with the news that Ryko had just hired him to promote the "Day After Day" live album - and that Badfinger were to play and have a record release party at the Agora on October 5. Quickly I called, (the boys) and we all agreed - we had to go to Cleveland!

Agora ad

Brenda: I don't think my boss really understood why I needed to take the day off (it was a Friday), but in any case, Paul picked me up at 10:30 that morning. We got Kevin, stopped for lunch, and then went on to Kalamazoo to pick up Martin. It was beautiful weather, and we made pretty good time getting to Cleveland, although we arrived at the Agora only half an hour before showtime!

Paul: Right, we all piled in my Civic hatchback and drove straight to Cleveland with a few quick road breaks. The plan was to drive straight back home after the show. As with many of our group drives, Brenda supplied several tapes of Badfinger or related music on those drives. Kevin E. and I remarked a few years back about how much fun we all had back then on various roadtrips!

Paul: Hello Cleveland! We were running late as Brenda mentioned, so I stopped to check directions just outside downtown Cleveland to get to the theater Agora. Pulled the car outside the theatre and we ran in to see if the show started on time or about any specifics. Dean spotted one of us in the group and motioned us to a side doorway where he gave all of us a peel-off showpass. The theater was renamed the New Agora after the original burned down in the late 70's. I recall the corridor outside and you had to pass a larger theater off one side to get to a small club were Badfinger was to perform the show. Upon walking in the club you caught sight of a huge red neon Agora sign mounted behind the stage area. The room was jam packed! We must have arrived within minutes of showtime as the announcer was doing his thing and introduced a Rykodisc records person - who introduced Badfinger!

The Agora, Cleveland, Ohio

Brenda: Joey was surprised when he spotted us, and greeted us with a huge smile. The place was packed, and the crowd very enthusiastic. The band consisted of: Joey Molland - Guitar; A.J. Nicholas - Bass; Mike Lichey - Guitar; and Scott Tate - Drums. The only minor technical difficulties that occurred during the show, was with A.J.'s amp going out during the first song, "I Got You" - otherwise, it was a flawless performance.

Paul: Brenda has the setlist for the show for details. My recollections are that it was a great show and the whole band was prepared and in good spirits all night. The sound itself was really good in that small room, but man, was it loud! - my ears still ring to this day! :-)

Agora concert October 5, 1990 Joey rocks Cleveland!
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Joey and Mike LicheyKevin's Backstage Pass

Brenda: Afterwards, we chatted a bit with Joe's brother Gordon. You can see Gordon in the 5th photo from the above set, (he's in the lower left). Gordon was working as a roadie for this tour, and then we were led through the bowels of the theatre to the backstage party...

AJ, Brenda and Scott

Paul: That was great! After the show all of us were asked to come backstage and see the band. The Cleveland Scene did a write up and was there covering the show, so we lingered for a while backstage. Brenda took a photo of myself, Kevin and Martin in the dressing room with Joey (wearing a Simpsons t-shirt!). Just as the shutter snapped Joey covered up Martins eyes. It was pretty funny even though Martin was not amused!

The Boys!
A.J., Brenda and Scott Tate The boys... Paul, Joey, Kevin & Martin (hiding)

Brenda: Joey was really delighted that we had come to the show. He said, "I wish I'd known you were coming - I would've made sure your names were at the door. Did you have to pay to get in?" (this he asked while reaching for his wallet!) I recall the conversation was very lively - everyone in good spirits. But even offstage, Joey can't resist entertaining. Quickly grabbing two bananas from a nearby dressing room fruit bowl, Joe offers one to drummer Scott, and challenges him to a duel! Scott gets in the first "shot" and Joe falls dramatically to the floor, lying flat on his back with his feet wavering in the air...

Martin (revealed!)   -   Brenda   -   Mike Lichey   -   A.J. Nicholas

Brenda: We visited until it was time for all of us to make the long drive home. We all headed outside together. I remember Joey instructing me to drive carefully - when I told him Paul was driving, he asked which car was Paul's, and gave it a thorough inspection - just short of kicking the tires!

Paul: As we were ready to pile back into the car and head home. We thanked Joey, A.J. Nicholas, Mike Lichey and Scott Tate and also Dean Boraas for the great evening and warmth shown to us.

Brenda: We said our goodbyes. Joey headed towards the bus, then looked back at us and yelled, "Keep in touch!"

To Brenda: Thanks for Everything - Joey

To visit the   Visit the Agora - Cleveland  Click the logo...

Rykodisc "Day After Day" Press Kit ~ Cleveland Scene Article

Ryko Press Kit Ryko Press Kit Photos
Cleveland Scene
Photo 1 Photo 2 VIEW the Cleveland Scene article
Photo 3 Photo 4 READ the Cleveland Scene article
Digital Digits Story of Badfinger

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