OCEAN CITY – Over the years, the Purple Moose Saloon on the Boardwalk has gained landmark status for its devotion to rock and roll, and that reputation has been taking to another level this summer.
Purple Moose Chief Financial Officer/Entertainment Director Charlene Carr has announced this summer at the Purple Moose Saloon, which is downtown on the corner of Talbot and Caroline streets, as the “Woodstock of 2011”.
“What we’re trying to do is showcase all of the bands that people in my generation grew up with, in the 70’s and 80’s, but also to give the younger people of today an idea of what our music was all about,” Carr said.
Carr explained that the Purple Moose wants younger generations to experience the revolution of music.
“All these kids in their 20’s don’t really know who these bands are and then when they get a taste of it they are like ‘wow’,” she said.
Last Thursday, night a tribute band to The Beatles, Apple Scruffs, played and Carr said the bar was packed. She said the dance floor wasn’t moving as usual but everybody stood still and sang along to every song.
“There were so many young people,” Carr said. “I was amazed at that, it was incredible.”
This is the third summer of the Purple Moose including tribute bands on its entertainment calendar. This year is different because instead of booking bands on any day of the week, tribute bands have been dedicated to Thursdays only, and Carr said it is working out perfectly.
“Not only are we doing tributes but we are bringing in national acts,” she added.
Carr said that people are bewildered by the fact that the Purple Moose is capable of scheduling national recording artists because the bar is much smaller in comparison to the stadiums that the bands normally perform in.
“What we do here, and I think it is the key for us, is we treat all bands like they’re rock stars,” she said. “Whether they’re an everyday week band or a national act, we treat them with kindness, we’re grateful, and we respect that they are musicians.”
Upcoming tribute band performances include a tribute to Journey, Odyssey Road, and a tribute to the Stones, The Glimmer Twins, and a tribute to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Rising.
The big headliners coming to Purple Moose soon include national recording artists Cold, Lita Ford and Fuel.
“Fuel came last year,” Carr said. “They were only supposed to be here one night and they ended up staying here for three days because they had such a good time, and now they’re coming again this year.”
Carr explained that the Purple Moose’s entertainment schedule is classic rock on Sundays and Mondays, modern rock on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, every Thursday is a tribute band and party rock on the weekends. It was planned so that each generation would have two nights of music a week.
According to Carr, business has been excellent for the Purple Moose this summer. She said you can tell the moose is doing something right when big agents from across the country are calling to seek bookings.
“People are hungry for entertainment,” she said.
Carr said one of the best things about it is when moms and dads are coming in with their 21-year-old kids to have a good time and listen to the same music.
“You’re going to have parents, and their kids, and then their friends, and it’s just a blast,” she said. “The crowds are killer.”
The owner of the Purple Moose, Gary Walker, opened the classic rock night club in 1975. The bar had moved from its original location but according to Carr there has always been a bar on that block since 1897.
“People would say Gary and I are like husband and wife because we fight like husband and wife but we’re really just like great friends,” said Carr, who has worked at the Purple Moose for 20 years.
The Purple Moose is unique, according to Carr, because of its dedication to classic rock, it’s “killer” Bloody Mary’s, the dance floor, and that it’s the coldest place in Ocean City during the summer time.
“While it’s a nightclub, it still feels like a neighborhood bar,” she said. “There is still that intimacy.”