The Unofficial History of the Lucky Dog Music Hall
April, 1759: Zebadaiah Godin, a cheese-maker from Denmark, makes the pilgrimage to the New World, survives a shipwreck, and lands in Plymouth on April 1. After making a small fortune as a “man of cards,” he is forced to flee Boston due to an indiscreet encounter with the wife of the local apothecary. He settles in Worcester, and opens Ye Olde Lucky Dog Public House on Green Street.
January 16, 1762: Cock Fights are held for the first time at The Dog. Big Red begins a reign of 126 consecutive fights without a loss. He quickly becomes known as the Cock That Wouldn’t Quit.
March 12, 1762: Zebadaiah’s Birthday. Big Red loses his first fight. Chicken is served at the birthday dinner. It is said to be tough.
April, 1775: The Revolutionary War begins. Zebadaiah adds the back bar.
August, 1782: Zebadaiah marries Annie Wilkinson, a woman of some notoriety, famous for some “tricks” she was able to perform in the backrooms and parlors of some of Worcester’s more disreputable establishments.
September, 1800: Sir Morgan Atwater, a former barber who achieved knighthood after removing an ingrown toenail from the left foot of a favorite nephew of King George, arrives in Boston to begin a new life. He arrives in Worcester six days later. Four days after that he acquires the nickname Morgan The Bastard.
September 30, 1801: Morgan The Bastard, under circumstances forever clouded in mystery, wins Ye Olde Lucky Dog in a game of chance from Zebadaiah, and after a heated argument, kills Zebadaiah in a duel fought behind the Rotman Brothers furniture building. Annie Godin disappears into the night, never to return to Worcester. Ye Olde Lucky Dog is renamed Sir Morgan’s Cove and operates under that name for almost 200 years.
January 10, 1802: After a difficult labor, Annie Godin gives birth to Ezekiel Godin and dies shortly thereafter. Ezekiel is left-handed and is said to cry a lot.
July, 1821: Ezekiel Godin, yearning for a life of adventure, finds work on a whaling ship out of New Bedford as a spout-master. It is in this bustling port town, on a night out to celebrate the birth of his second son, Thomas, that Ezekiel first hears the tale of Ye Olde Lucky Dog and Morgan The Bastard. After throwing back one last mug of grog, and vowing revenge, he steps out into the street where he is promptly run over by an out-of-control stage and killed. (On an interesting side note, earlier in the evening he was regaling a young fellow named Herman with tales of some of his whaling adventures. These tales would later form the foundation of a novel of some critical importance.)
1821-: Atwaters come and go, Godins come and go.
November 13, 1930: Failed assassination attempt on Leon Trotsky when he comes out of hiding while in exile to attend Charlie Chaplin Night at Sir Morgan’s Cove. A guy named Gus foils the attempt.
April, 1941: Frank Sinatra plays the first of fourteen sold out shows at Sir Morgan’s. JP Godin, after serving as a Red Cross volunteer in Italy during the early stages of World War II, returns to Worcester after spending the summer on Ibiza with his friend Ernie, a fellow Red Cross volunteer, who would go on to become a more than reputable novelist of some acclaim.
October 29-31, 1955: Buddy Holly & the Crickets play three shows at Sir Morgan’s Cove. It is during the Halloween Show that Buddy becomes enamored of Peggy Sue D’Errico, one of the shooter girls. She later throws up in the back of his Cadillac and he writes a song about her.
May 17, 1956: A young Elvis Presley opens for local favorites the Del-Tatnucs. He forgets the words to Mystery Train but does a fine show otherwise.
June 5, 1957: Fats Domino pukes on Little Richard’s shoes in the men’s room, and James Brown gets locked in the cooler.
August 14, 1959: Jerry Lee Lewis knifes a guy during the 2nd of three blistering sets.
February, 1964: The Beatles do an impromptu set as a warm-up for the Ed Sullivan Show. John notices a Japanese exchange student dancing down front, but she leaves before the set is over and he never sees her again.
December 11, 1966: The Dave Clark Five and Bobby Fuller co-headline. Someone lights off a stink bomb in the men’s room and almost burns the building down.
April 23, 1969: During Flower Power Wednesday Grace Slick wins the erotic banana eating contest, Jimmy Hendricks performs a scorching cover of Row Row Row Your Boat, and Gerry Garcia eats some stuff.
1967-1970: (Exact date unknown.) Eric Godin is born in a carnival trailer behind the Fun-O-Rama at the Barnstable County Fair on Cape Cod. He is said to be a handsome baby, and that he is quiet and eats a lot.
September 7, 1971: The Who plays Tommy at a fundraiser for the Quinsigamond Archery Club. Keith Moon passes out twice during the set, the power goes out from Worcester to Natick, and the National Guard is called in. Almost $90 is raised.
February 24, 1973: Yes plays a three hour set. Not a single beer is sold and two people slip into a coma.
July 13, 1975: As a result of maybe the worst scheduling ever, Black Sabbath opens for the Captain & Tennille. It takes the police to pull them apart. The Captain & Tennille remain the only band to ever have received a lifetime ban from Sir Morgan’s Cove.
1976: Eric Godin quits peewee football and the cub scouts on the same day. He buys his first New York Dolls record and takes up the bass guitar.
July 19, 1977: Alice Cooper and the Everly Brothers, on the first leg of their comeback tour, play together. In a show of mutual respect Alice covers Cathy’s Clown, and the Everlys play No More Mister Nice Guy, and Phil Everly bites the head off a parakeet. He later gets sick.
March 17, 1979: Sham 69 and The Clash headline. Joe Strummer pulls a live turtle from its shell and bites its head off on stage during London Burning.
October 5, 1979: Disco Hell plays its first show at Sir Morgan’s Cove.
February 14, 1981: Bruce Springsteen plays a seven-hour show and fixes some guys car between encores. He runs out of songs half way through and just starts over. A waste removal company is brought in the next day to clean the testosterone off the floor.
More to come…