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Announcing the “Win a Cruise With the Band” Contest (blog: June 5 ’08)

Announcing the “Win a Cruise With the Band” Contest!

Sponsored by Orleans, The IthacaFest & La Tourelle Resort & Spa

Orleans will play IthacaFest on Sunday, June 22nd. This marks a return to the very roots of the band’s history.

To celebrate, we want to give YOU an all day pass to hang out with US, including a VIP ride on the after-gig Cayuga Lake Cruise!

First, please click here to REGISTER with this blogsite, then read on!
(or just use the Register link to the right, under “Site Info”)


Can you get to the Ithaca gig on Sunday, June 22nd?
If you can (and you submit the winning entry), you could be our VIP Guest on the after-gig Dancin’ in the Moonlight Cruise!

Winner’s Package Includes –

Two All-day Backstage Passes!
After-gig Moonlite Cruise with the band on Cayuga Lake!
One hour open bar!
Photos with band on CruiseShip!
Band-Signed CDs and Poster!
One room at La Tourelle Resort & Spa for Sunday night!

Picture your day in gorgeous Ithaca, NY …

After you get to town, you check in to your deluxe room at La Tourelle Resort & Spa (this alone is worth winning for!) Assuming you can stand to leave these fantastic accommodations …

You make your way over to the site of the 31st Annual IthacaFest, where you connect with Orleans’ manager. He welcomes you and hands you two All-Day Backstage Passes, as he escorts you to meet the guys in the band.

You are welcomed by Larry and Lance, then Charlie, Lane and Fly … you are also welcome to hang out for soundcheck (if you wish) and grab a bite from the dressing room hospitality.

The show starts at 4 PM. You watch it from wherever you want — best seating out front or on stage. That’s 90 minutes plus of experiencing Orleans Live as up close as you can get without actually being in the band!

After that, the guys sign autographs at the merchandise table. You can hang there (or not) …

Then the capper! The VIP Moonlite Cruise … aboard a brand new, 140-passenger Cruiseliner … leaves the docks next to the stage around 8:00 PM. You’re hangin’ with the guys, having pictures (maybe even video) taken! For a full hour, there’s an open bar on board! The sail under the stars on beautiful Lake Cayuga lasts until 10 PM or so.

Arriving back at the dock with signed CDs and poster in hand, you head back to collapse into the luxury of La Tourelle Hotel & Spa. Aaahhhhhh!


(what you do from here on in is entirely your business!)

“So, what do I have to do to WIN this great package?”

We want you to share with us … and with EVERYbody! … your best story or memory concerning you & yours and Orleans. For what better purpose and on what better occasion could we be launching this all-new blog?

To enter:

1) Register with the blogsite
2) Post your best story or memory … not too long, not too short … whatever it takes to say what it is you want to say. (remember that this is a public forum, so please use proper discretion)

This prize package for two will go to the ONE fan who posts the best online story or memory about Orleans on this blogsite. We here at Orleans Central will be the sole judge of that, of course.

Deadline for submissions is Midnight EST on Saturday, June 14th … so please start writing your story NOW! The winning entry will be announced on the blog AND by email newsletter on Sunday, June 15th … one week prior to the actual show. Details about claiming your prize will be forwarded to the winner!

IMPORTANT! — If you know you cannot attend the Ithaca event but still wish to enter, please include in your post the words “Give my prize to someone else.” If your story really IS the winner (but you can’t attend), I’m sure we’ll figure out something great to send to you, wherever you are!

OK … go ahead! … Tell us what ya got!

Lance Hoppen
on behalf of the entire Orleans Ground Crew


28 Responses to “Announcing the “Win a Cruise With the Band” Contest!”

markr Says:
June 5th, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Every time I hear a song by Orleans, I am transported back 35 years and I’m 20 years old again . . . well at least that’s how it feels. Orleans was a huge part of my life during those college years and thereafter. I recall, with a deep sigh, the Friday afternoons hitchhiking to Ithaca, hanging out at the North 40, watching, in awe, as Larry and John sang to each other with their guitars (not to mention the vocals), Larry pounded his bass and Wells did his magic on the cans. I would dance and spin and laugh and sing, sometimes by myself because I just didn’t care and couldn’t help it, sometimes with friends, once with Johanna. Then I would go home and play those albums till they were worn out, trying to learn the guitar riffs. I joined the Entertainment Committee at my community college just so I could vote to bring Orleans in for a show (this was the first time I saw the band wit Bob L.). Then there were weekend drives to Woodstock to see the guys play at the Chance. All these years later, I still watch the tour schedules and go to shows whenever I can. Last time was in April at the Bearsville benefit for the Queens Galley. We sat in the front row and my wife experienced the band for the first time, an instant fan. She laughed at me because she couldn’t believe I knew all the words to all those songs. Thanks guys!

donf Says:
June 5th, 2008 at 6:43 PM

I can’t possibly be in Ithaca, but thought I’d share this and see if any old friends happen to be looking.

Must have been spring 1973. Fred Hollister was sick and tired of the crumby concerts we had been seeing at Wesleyan. He had come across a brand new album by a band named Orleans. He approached the student body committee and got permission to put together a concert on campus.

Fred let a bunch of us hear this new album, and suddenly it was the hottest selling album in Middletown.

On the big day, the Deke house headed down to NYC to see That Championship Season on Broadway. We headed back and arrived on campus with just about enough time to get to McConoughy Hall (spelling?) for the show.

The warm up band was named, I think, White Chocolate. They were pretty good. It seems to me that the band leader was this wild guy with no hair. In retrospect, I believe that it was Bob Leinbach.

Orleans, to put it simply, blew us away.

I was told sometime after the concert that this show was their first “concert venue” show – don’t know if that’s true.

Over the next year plus, with Fred in the lead, we traveled anywhere Orleans was playing between and including Boston and New York. I particularly remember Max’s Kansas City in New York, and of course the Bottom Line (rip) where I ultimately saw the band uncountable times over the years.

We also had them back at Wes a couple of times. For their final show, they were introduced as “the best band in the land”, and I think that everyone in the hall agreed.

Ithaca may be the original home of Orleans, but I hope that you guys have some warm memories of Middletown, CT.

boldeagle Says:
June 6th, 2008 at 7:24 AM

One Sunday evening, practicing guitar in my dorm at Ithaca College, I heard this extremely loud New York accent coming from someone who was playing cards in the lounge with my roommate. An introduction followed and I was introduced to 17 year old Larry Hoppen, who then brought his guitar to my room. We jammed for a while before he excused himself and said he’s be back in an hour. My impression was that he was not bad as a guitarist but not quite up to my level of playing. When he came back an hour later, we jammed again and from that moment on he was better than I and would forever be (he had gone to his room for that hour, took what I showed him and improved upon it).

Nonetheless, he and I formed our first band in Ithaca called Abraxas, which lasted for more than a year. This was his band before Buffalongo.

Larry and I sometimes played dueling and harmony guitars in our band, based on the incredible playing of Randy California from Spirit. Being more talented than myself, Larry would figure out the harmony part and show me how to play them, but the end result was pretty decent for the time.

For a while we were close friends and we took road trips to Montreal (my home town) and New York (to see Jeff Beck at the Fillimore East). There’s far too many stories to relate in this blog, but suffice to say we took different directions in our lives while still playing in Abraxas and gigging around Ithaca and upper New York State.

Larry’s talent was obvious and we all knew his future would be in music. This was his formative band and ultimately his stepping stone to go on to bigger things. It was an exciting time for all of us in the late 60’s, and the fact that one of us in the band would leave his musical mark on the world was something we couldn’t foresee at the time, though in retrospect it seems quite natural.

I have pictures of Abraxas if anyone is interested in seeing them.

Gloria Radosta Says:
June 6th, 2008 at 11:26 AM

I am a 59 yr old widow living in Florida. When I learned of your concert in Weston I invited a guy from high school who had tracked me down to meet me there. Invision this, we are both on cell phones trying to find each other and we do and it was wonderful. I felt the years slip away and imagined a new beginning for me and him. Alas fairy tales don’t come true and the memories of that night are bittersweet. I will be home in NY that weekend, and would sure love to win. I saw your concert in Celebration last year, and come hell or high water I will be in Sanford on July 4. You guys are wonderful and thanks for the music.

June 6th, 2008 at 12:42 PM

My first concert was the Orleans at UPAC in KIngston Ny. I was 15 and thought I was all that because I was going to see the Orleans. I’ll never forget the yellow suit that Lance wore.
I always enjoy when they play at opus 40. It’s the perfect setting for your music. Actually the orleans were also my childrens first concert at Opus 40.
I just saw you guys at Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock. NO matter what you guys will always have a special place in my heart….no one ever forgets their first concert.
Thank You so much for letting me enjoy your music

Mark Says:
June 7th, 2008 at 6:18 AM

We went on our first date in the summer of 1975 to an Orleans show at Shaboo in Willamantic CT. At our wedding reception, Dance With Me was our first dance song – although the band didn’t really know the song – we improvised. We saw the band at Mohegan Sun in 2002 and had you guys sign one of our 25th anniversary party napkins – which we still have. So, we’ve been together since way back when – 31 years next month – and we’re still havin’ fun. Mark and Kathy Mahoney
maggator1 Says:
June 7th, 2008 at 12:18 PMI would write a big story here, but I am leaving the country June 20th for 10 days! And I live in Jax, FL and win’t be here to see you at the Landings. Can’t win! Next time!!!

markr Says:
June 8th, 2008 at 6:15 AM

Every time I hear a song by Orleans, I am transported back 35 years and I’m 20 years old again . . . well at least that’s how it feels. Orleans was a huge part of my life during those college years and thereafter. I recall, with a deep sigh, the Friday afternoons hitchhiking to Ithaca, hanging out at the North 40, watching, in awe, as Larry and John sang to each other with their guitars (not to mention the vocals), Lance pounded his bass and Wells did his magic on the cans. I would dance and spin and laugh and sing, sometimes by myself because I just didn’t care and couldn’t help it, sometimes with friends, once with Johanna. Then I would go home and play those albums till they were worn out, trying to learn the guitar riffs. I joined the Entertainment Committee at my community college just so I could vote to bring Orleans in for a show (this was the first time I saw the band wit Bob L.). Then there were weekend drives to Woodstock to see the guys play at the Chance. All these years later, I still watch the tour schedules and go to shows whenever I can. Last time was in April at the Bearsville benefit for the Queens Galley. We sat in the front row and my wife experienced the band for the first time, an instant fan. She laughed at me because she couldn’t believe I knew all the words to all those songs. Thanks guys!

I edited my first because I said Larry instead of Lance . . .

TMK Says:
June 8th, 2008 at 5:29 PM

Although I am already going to attend the Ithaca show I wanted to add my memories of Orleans going back to when I was growing up in Poughkeepsie NY and later attending Ithaca College.

My first memories were of each time Orleans played “The Last Chance Saloon” in Poughkeepsie dating back to the early 70’s. My friends & I were always very excited when we heard of concerts at that great venue and even though the drinking age back then was 18 we were all under age but somehow found a way to sneak in to see the band at “The Chance”.

For those of you that dont know the bar, this was a place with a great stage, curtain that went up as the bands would begin the show, the wooden tables were long, pitchers of beer were cold, and we had real glass beer mugs which everyone in the place used to create noise on the tables to get the band to begin and do encores.

There was always magic in the air on Orleans nights and the place was alive with amazing energy including the band. Even Larry’s hair would stand up !
( might have been a perm, it was the 70’s )

We all grew up on the original staples from the beginning of the band and later were amazed to see them take off to fame. Everyone felt this band was part of them and our area as they were.

As I grew up ( Not sure I ever really did ) I moved on to Ithaca College and again here came Orleans playing in my student union Egbert Hall my freshman year. This was the main dining hall on campus on a weekend night and the place was packed with a long line outside the building. The band blew everyone away and continued to do so as they were able to return from time to time.

I watched Orleans grow and become one of the best bands any of us have ever listened to.

I am proud to say that I have been involved in producing several major concerts since my days at Ithaca College in New York and Florida including Orleans, however none have ever been up to par with our super group friends “Orleans”…. They are “Still Having Fun” every time they hit the stage and are better than ever !!!

lryhoppen Says:
June 8th, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Hey everyone – Thanks for writing in (and ofr all the kind words, too) … nobody told me to do this, but I thought i’d let y’all know that I’m reading all of these (we ARE the judges, gotta do our job, RIGHT? I’m no Simon Cowell, but I’ll do my best …

All cool stuff.A very cool thing about this is that YOU are bringing back memories for US Now, that might seem REALLY obvious, but I truly hadn’t thought about that until now… this is way cool !!!
Keep ’em comin’… and may the best blogger win. We can’t WAIT to be in Ithaca again !!! Cheers and TTY Soon, Larry H

Lance Says:
June 9th, 2008 at 1:22 AM
On Sun, 6/8/08, Artemis Music wrote:

Christelle and I would like to share with you that our best memory with Orleans would have to be when the band entrusted to four, enthusiastic teen dancers the privilege of choreographing their own dance to a live performance of ‘Dancin’ In the Moonlight’ when the band came to Toronto in January of 2007.

Not only did these 17 and 18-year olds love the music as much as the previous generation always had, but the kids rose to the occasion and turned in a really classy performance.   I don’t know if it was more of a thrill for these youth to be on stage with a band that has been internationally famous for three decades, or to be the mother of one of these young people on stage with you that evening.

Watching my daughter dance so beautifully, thanks to not only her hard work but to the generosity and trust of ‘Orleans’, it was not only my best memory with Orleans, but one of the proudest and happiest experiences of my life.

Thank you, again, Orleans.  My daughter and I have been floating on
that high for the past year.


lance Says:
June 9th, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Hi everyone. I posted the previous entry for our good friend, Artemis, who had trouble receiving her password when she registered with this site. If anyone else experiences any difficulties with this new site, please contact us at OrleansSupport@gmail.com and we’ll take care of it. Wouldn’t want anyone to not be able to enter or comment at will. Thanks,


recordal14 Says:
June 10th, 2008 at 9:28 AM

A regular patron at the Salty Dog (bar) Ithaca, NY in the early 70’s. I went there because they often had all the beer you could drink nights for a couple-a-bucks. This dynamite band was there often. I thought it was the house band. I began to notice the “Dog” was full house every time this band played. It was Orleans. Talking with Wells Kelly one moonlit evening outside the bar during a break (for fresh air 1970’s style), I found the band had the same guys in it that played one sunny, psychedelic afternoon at the “Library Slope” at Cornell U. That was one of those early totally magical, colorful gatherings of young hippies. I remember they played “Dancin’ In The Moonlight” for what seemed like hours! Wow – what a memory. That band was Boffolongo. I was so glad to hear this that I began to follow Orleans through there fame, fortune, break-up, reunion and even backed John Hall in his recent win as congressman. I have all there albums. Love you guys!

Al (Burny) Gowan

BarbaraM Says:
June 11th, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Reading everyone’s memories of Orleans makes me a little envious, because my own memories of the band only date from October 2007. WHAT?? Where have I been? Well, of course I heard “Dance With Me” and “Still the One” during college and over the years; you had to be on another planet not to hear those songs. I did like them, but was really into other music.

That is, until October 2007, when Orleans came to the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. Actually, I’d attended their concert there in 2006, really enjoyed the show, felt the magic, and hoped to see them again sometime. And when I got the chance in October, this time the magic hit me like a ton of bricks. Orleans appeared with RPM guests Jimi Jamison and Joe Lynn Turner, and the band’s talent, energy, and charisma turned a relatively conservative audience into a wild bunch dancing in the aisles. I sat there in shock and awe (of the band, not the crowd;). Their music, their performance, their sense of fun, and their professionalism all touched a chord in me. It’s a rare occurrence, kinda wonderful yet scary at the same time.

I was like one of The Walking Wounded who gazed or bathed in the light. Even though Love Takes Time, I was smitten. I discovered that Love’s Not Just For Other People, and my friends noticed the change — I talked nonstop about Orleans, and walked around humming “Let There Be Music” and “Dancin In the Moonlight.” They told me to Get a Life, but I knew I’d found Heaven.

And so, a new fan was born! Determined to make up for lost time, I checked out the Orleans Website, joined the fans list, bought the CDs and DVD, and wore my pink Orleans hat on weekends (what, no jacket in size small or medium??). In April 2008 I attended another amazing Orleans concert, which makes 3 in 3 years — not too bad for a newbie. But I’ve got Spring Fever and am hoping to see another concert soon or I might go Crazy. (Only kidding….no need to call the Mall Cop.)

What Was I Thinkin when I entered this contest? You might say I’m on a Mission of Mercy: although I don’t have memories from Yestertime, In My Dream I can set sail with Orleans. And if I don’t win, that’s OK too, ’cause I’m still havin fun, and Larry, Lance, Lane, Fly, and Charlie are Still the One — Forever.


Java John Says:
June 11th, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Wow. What can I say about Orleans? Like any high school student in 1976 I was a fan of the band, and became even more so when I saw them open for Jackson Browne in Miami on Halloween of that year. What a show, both bands were on fire (and so was the crowd!).

Soon thereafter, through the soundtrack, motion picture and radio broadcasts of the (M.U.S.E.) NO NUKES concerts I became even more familiar with John Hall and the power of Rock N Roller’s standing up for change.

Fast-forward 20 years, my wife and I opened a coffeehouse in Central Florida that featured live acoustic music every night. I sent John Hall a letter requesting an autographed photo to hang in our venue…any oh by the way, if you are ever in town….

John responded with “Sure I’ll send a photo, but I’m also going out on tour, how about a gig?” So shortly there after we had our first major show at Kool Beanz when John Hall showed up with pals Robbie Dupree and Freebo. What a magical night.

On the night prior to the show John called me midnight from West Palm Beach saying that he can’t find a hotel near us due to all being booked for The Daytona 500, did I have any thoughts on where he could stay? I told him he could stay at our house and I would meet him at the venue so he could follow me.

Around 2am I pull up at the shop, and a car pulls in behind me, then another behind that. John gets out of the first car, and a fellow gets out of the backseat of the second. I made my hellos with John then looked behind him an asked “friends of yours”…”no, I thought they were with you!”. Just then the guy runs down the alley to the back of our club, I shouted, “hey what’s up?!…”none of yer f’n business!” he shouts. So I hustled John inside and locked the door.

We called the police to scan the area before we went back outside to our cars. After a few moments a squad car pulled up and a very large (and, ahem, butch) policewoman got out, she looked around then John and I came out. I introduced myself and explained the situation. Then she asked who this (very tall bald) man was with me. I told her his name is John Hall and that he is performing for us the next night…”you might remember his band Orleans?” She shrugged. So I said you know “Dance with Me”, she looked puzzled. Just then I looked at John and as if one queue he started singing “dance with me, I want be your partner, can’t you see…..”, and she just melted rubbing the goosebumps off her (huge) arms! It was perfect, priceless.

John played for us several more times over the next few years, each time seemingly with more political talk in the set, especially after 9/11.

Well, a few years after we closed in 2002 I was talking to John on the phone about a possible gig, and he told me that he was thinking of running for Congress, what was my thought about that. At first I thought he was nuts, but I was floored that he might even consider my opinion. After thinking about if for a few minutes I realized he would be perfect for the job, and told him so. I also said, you know, when you win there will be no turning back! He laughed and mumbled, “I know”.

I later was pleased to hear he made his announcement to run, and I avidly followed his campaign on my radio show, encouraging folks in his district to vote for him. I was even more pleased when he was elected to represent New York’s 19th District two years ago! ….And got the e-mail notice that he is running again this year! Kool.

In the meantime, the radio show has gone away, but my music blog SPILL THE BEANZ is going strong, and earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Hoppen for one of the first entries. A very nice man, it was great to chat with him, I learned a lot of the band’s history. He and other members live nearby, so we have gotten to see Orleans several times in recent years – sounding great as ever!

Well to wrap this up, 3 weeks ago tonight my wife and I were at a private function for BARACK OBAMA in Orlando. After we finally got in and close to the stage (we thought it odd there was band gear set up), I noticed a guy with his back to us tuning a guitar…I said to my wife “is that LARRY?” “Larry WHO?” She asked – “Larry Hoppen, you know of Orleans!”…so I shouted “LARRY!”, and it was him. As he turned around I said “Java John” here, Larry came right over and chatted with us for a few moments, and introduced the gal he was singing with that night Beth Schaffer.

Together he and Beth had recorded the title track to her new CD “Build That Bridge”, and they performed it that night, offering this wonderful tune to the Obama Campaign. That and a few Orleans songs really was the icing on the cake that night! (you can see a full recap of that night on my blog:http://spiltbeanz.blogspot.com/2008/05/obama-in-florida.html

Thank You, John. Thank You Larry, and all the members Orleans for becoming a very special part of our lives!
Peace, “Java” John


RobinSong Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 4:00 AM

The setting was the Basketball Arena at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. The year was 1976. I was a college student back then and a close friend invited me to attend a concert by a band named ORLEANS. I had heard very little about them but the $6 ticket price convinced me to attend!!! (those were the days!!!). Boy, was I glad I made the decision to attend. This band was HOT! The thing I remember most was how often and how easily the band members changed instruments………and sounded great doing so!!!! The guitarist played drums, the drummer sang, the bassist played trumpet, etc.
I was so impressed with the musical ability of these guys, I became an instant fan!!!! After that, I bought all their albums and attended shows in Binghamton, NY, Albany, NY (the intimate setting of JB Scots where I actually played pinball with John Hall before the show!), Burlington, VT and the list goes on and on. By this time, the word was out on the HOPPEN brothers and this hot band named ORLEANS and I am proud to say I have been a fan from early in their career. I’m attending the Ithaca show and would like nothing more than to hang out a bit with the fellows who have brought me much musical delight over the years!!!!!!!!!!

joemeo Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 4:09 AM

We go back a long way. In 1972 I entered Cornell as an engineering student and immediately heard Bob Leinbach and White Chocolat and thought they were the funkiest band on the planet. I saw Orleans and was blown away by the level of musicianship and the intelligent song writing, but also by the unbridled joy in their performance. I join a band at Cornell called Weasel (very original) playing sax and guitar but everything I know about the guitar comes from copping licks by Larry and John. I dance my face off to Orleans at the Haunt, the Salty Dog, the North Forty and every other nook and cranny they play for the next 5 years. Fast forward a few years – I am an engineer for AT&T and still playing and run into John and Bob at Manny’s Music in New York City – I tell them I caught the John Hall Band on a very snowy night at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Fast forward a few more years – I am now a full time musician (what was i thinking) living in Connecticut and I play in a wedding band with Bob (the band shall remain nameless to protect the innocent)…we discuss Orleans and Ithaca often … I see Orleans at a dive club in Bridgeport and talk to Lance about our common Long Island roots – it seems as high school clarinet players we sat next to each other at many all- county and all-state music festivals. All these years later I can still feel the energy when I hear the opening lines of “Half Moon” or “Tongue Tied” and I when I play those songs in my own groups people who have never been exposed to them always comment on how good they are — I refer them to the original and tell them to listen closely – that is the music of my youth and it is important.

Cheers, and Still Havin’ Fun — Joe Meo

AriCat Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 7:49 AM

My memories of Orleans date back to my 5th grade music class. We had a really cool teacher who loved the current music as much as we did (then again he wasn’t all that much older than us). I’m talking about when Orleans first hit the airwaves in the 1970’s. I had to wait until I was living in Florida to see them live but they came to town and played at a place called the Musicians Exchange in Ft Lauderdale. My two older sisters were familiar with the band from working in Woodstock at The Bear. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them several times since including one yeear at Opus 40. I have plenty of photographs from that show.

I’d have to say my best memory of Orleans was when they played The Musicians Exchange back in the 1980’s. I remember telling the guy I was dating that a band from where I lived in NY was going to be playing and no way was I going to miss them. They did two shows that night and I stayed for both my boyfriend didn’t even go he stayed home and sulked because I went without him as he didn’t want to go for various reasons.

I had a great time at that show and of course at all the shows that I’ve gone to where Orleans has been playing.

All I know is that here I am in my 40’s and I’m Still Havin Fun with Orleans. I’m proud to say that I know them and have talked to them after the shows.

Love Ya Guys

Michael Walter Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 8:31 AM

The first Orleans show I saw was a double bill in 1973(?) with Bruce Springsteen at Georgetown Univ., along with my cover band friends. The encore was a rousing rendition of either “She Loves You” or I Want To Hold Your Hand”. We learned “Please Be There” and helped bring Orleans to the masses, in our small way!

Next stop, Laredo Texas, Christmas 1976. I’m still in a cover band, traveling full time. We’re working at Shearton Hotel, we start “Still The One”, and a fight breaks out. Not really unusual, except one of the fighters has a cast on his leg and uses his crutch as a weapon. Pretty funny, but we go into “Feliz Navidad” and peace is restored. Somewhere across the country are 4 other people who every time they hear the opening chunka chunka to “Still The One” picture the flying crutch.

Next stop the airport at Rochester New York, Easter 2000. I’m returing to MN. from a job interview, and there’s a little jazz band from Ithaca setting up in the concourse to entertain the weary travelers. The leader of the group runs the jazz program at the college, and of course as we chat, Larry Hoppen’s name comes up, and the stories start. Nice memories for the Professor.

Our son Andrew (BTW Fly, another lefty guitarist), and his lovely wife Alex were married in PA. last September. The ceremony was outside, the weather, food etc was all perfect. Two of the songs that evening at the reception were “Dance With Me” and “Dancing In the Moonlight”. Another perfect memory, thanks in part to Orleans. (They can make the cruise on the 22nd, they live in CT. now).

We also missed you down in St.Thomas last year by two days, but saw the poster for the concert when we stopped in a coffee shop to check email. It’s a small world, and I feel like we’re like old friends whose paths thankfully continue to cross.

bglerner Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 1:25 PM

I fell in love with Ithaca in the Boffalongo days.. with many afternoons spent at Flat Rock and Fall Creek or skinny dipping at the falls in Ludlowville and nights at the Royal Palms, the Stables and later the Rongo. So when I moved there in ‘73 to go to school, it felt more like going home than moving away. It was all so wonderfully familiar. The people… places.. Art. Music. The way it smells after the rain and the way the sunlight reflecting off the clouds makes everything look more 3-D. The freedom and acceptance. It was a magical place to live.

By then, you had left Boffalongo behind and became Orleans. Still a big part of my memories but now with a new sound that had the unmistakable harmony, guitar and percussion that I could feel in my blood and lyrics that seemed to speak to my soul. I can’t tell you how many nights I spent listening to you, dancing the night away at the Salty Dog, the North 40 or the Haunt . Or how many nights I cut out early from a crew call for a show I was supposed to be working to catch your last set. And finishing the evening off at the Ichabod or the Rosebud Diner for a very early breakfast. The memories are still very sweet and come back every time I hear you play.

But there was one night in particular that I will always remember. It was one of those perfect Indian Summer days and we were cruising back to the inlet after a day on the lake when we heard you warming up. Instead of going back to the marina, we pulled up to the back of the Dog and tied up. It was warm but there was a breeze off the lake. We laughed and listened and danced the rest of the night on the dock, on the water, with a million stars above.

About 30 years later while visiting Ithaca, I bumped into my old friend. We took a ride out to the falls in Ludlowville, climbed through the fence down the path and waded into the icy cold water. And laughed and talked about so many of the things we used to do, including that evening, on the dock, on the lake, under the stars. And for just a minute, I was 19 again.

Reading the other blogs makes all the memories even more sweet and that place and time seem somewhat surreal. Remembering where we were then and all the things in between that happened to make us who we are now. And especially, to the people who I haven’t seen in years. I hope I see you all there.


bglerner Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 3:09 PM

I hope this is the same Al Gowan I remember from the Royal Palms daze! I used to live with JD. and was friends with Vern W., Noel K. Jeremy B. and the rest of the boys. And if this is really you I also have a big hello from John Checcia and hope to see you on the 22nd!

Barbara Lerner

grkaiser51 Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 4:34 PM

I just remember the goose bumps at the fairgrounds in 74′ when you played Still the One and Dance w/ Me… I thought the Beatles were bad in 63′, but you guys really raised the bar! Forgive me for saying that… Anyway, I bought all your ploastic and started playing your tunes… I had already been playing percussion but simply fell in love w/ your harmony and rhythm and started playing guitar… I grew up in Elmira, NY, and played percussion in a late 60s early 70s band called the ‘Land of Oz’ and ‘Dante’s Inferno’ for 3 years, and at some of the same gigs (fairgrounds) as you’all did… graduated from HS and went on to the USMC, as Dad was a full bird Colonel; back to college in sports medicine at Boise State U in Idaho; moved to Va Beach , VA, in 1980, 2 kids (1 doc FP, other sells diamonds)…LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, and ‘still’, play drums and guitar now to all your old/or new recordings… still play every day w/ the same PASSION ONLY YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND; just love it… recently purchased a Roland Pro-V set of drums (set aside the acoustic set for less noise-the wife ya know) and better sampeling… played Doobies, Led Z, CNS, Cat S, Allman Bros (Jessica, my Daughter) perfect lead to the note… but, but, but, I LOVE YOUR RHYTHM, YOU HARMONY, and ALL!!! You guys are the bomb!! I would do anything to meet you all on June 22nd during your reunion (my Mother’s (deceased) birthday). Currently living in Chapel Hill, NC, but up to visit Dad (stroke) in Elmira June 15th-22nd. I would love to take him to Ithica to see you guys on the 22nd; he actually liked you too!!! (he went to Ithica College in 45′). Mom even heard you and liked you! Yes! Good luck you guys; I envy you’all and immensly enjoy all of your special tunes, and will forever!!!!!! Would love to, and be honored, to meet you… Regards, Gary

michael Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 6:47 PM

All right….thnx for your email again dear friends!

It make me feel good to still have contact with ORLEANS by email….I’m very proud. In Groningen I was there with my brother John, his wife Dana and my younger sister Martha. Oooohhhh…..it was a beautiful and super performance, I’d enjoyed of the songs and music from all of you. Do I have to tell a story about myself or what….because I have one on your Blog. (Your Profile and Personal Options) If you click on michael (above) than you can see my story, I think. (if you like of course) I am Marie Matitaputty, born in Semarang (Indonesia) but my roots is the Moluccan. Age, 57 years young (joking) and I have one sun named Michael, he’s 25 years old. I’ll tell you what……Tamara is my nice and when she was 6 or 7 years old, she sung STILL THE ONE with the mike in her hand and my father had the recordplayer on with this song, ooohhh my god, that was really FUN! My sister and me, my brothers on guitar, we’d almost sung in the kitchen (after diner) with songs of the Eagles, Alessi Brothers, Flying Burrito’s and of course……..ORLEANS with Dance with me… that was/is still the best band of our generation. In every Moluccan family they have records of ORLEANS….yezzzzzz…..

Me, my sister San and brother John have a band too for about 30 years. I’m a singer (backingvocal) John is a singer too and my sister San is leadsinger/backingvocal. We have performance too in Holland, and it’s nice to make people happy with our songs that they like etc. Take a look on our website http://www.focomusic.nl

Hey friends, it’s late here in Holland (two o’clock in the morning) hope you like my short story and we’ll keep ‘n touch!

ORLEANS, me and my family love you all and I do hope to see you soon in Holland again….GO 4 IT ORLEANS, YOU’RE THE BEST AND STILL THE ONE!!!!


Thank you so much.

Love, Marie

jodimike2006 Says:
June 12th, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Wow…this will be fun. I don’t even know where to start. First, I guess, about myself. I am 40 years old. Since the summer of 1981, I have been to over 800(Paid) concerts. I have a music collection of over 600 45’s. 1,200 LP’s. 400 DVD/VHS tapes. 4,500 CD’s. 400 concert t-shirts. 50 concert programs. A 1973 Wurlitzer Jukebox in my basement bar, stocked with another 100 45’s. 30 signed LP’s on my bar walls. All containing Orleans new/old somewhere in each of those formats. I have been a fan since I was 9 years old. I have even purchased their very rare first four albums on CD from Japan which went for $45 a piece. They are truly a wonderful band. Out of the 800+ concerts I have seen, Orleans is in my top 3!!! Mind you, this includes 3 Paul McCartney concerts. I love them. Now onto my wife. She is also a music lover. Until we met 5 years ago, she had not gone to any concerts. She was brought up in a very strict italian household on Staten Island. Since we have met, I have enjoyed at least 20, 25 shows with her. My brother and I traveled the whole East Coast for many years seeing our favorite bands, including Orleans about 5 times. I married Jodi in July of 2006. It was my first marriage. And since then, I also adopted 3 daughters who I love with all my heart. We don’t get a chance to go out like (I) or (we) used too, but still go out from time to time for wings and beer. I see maybe 8 to 10 shows a year now. Definately cut it back quite a bit. LOL. A few weeks back, I surprised Jodi with a trip to Woodstock where she had never been. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch, and kind of romantic afternoon alone without our children. What she didn’t know, was that I had front row center to see Orleans at the Bearsville Theater for a perfect show, and a benefit for a food pantry. I can not tell you how happy she was before and after the show. She does not know I am up here writing this story. Our money has been tight since the adoptions so this would be a great getaway for her and I as we both have 2 jobs each and still try to run a happy family. Please do not pick us out of sorrow. We are doing just fine. Please pick us for the love of music, and our love of Orleans. They are one of the greatest bands to ever live!

nirvanadog Says:
June 13th, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Howdy all! Lotta fun reading other peoples memories about the band that me and all my friends considered “Ithaca’s band”. Like Al (yes, Barbara, that is the same Gowan from Royal Palm daze and send a hey back to John for me) I was a regular at The Dog and I learned to dance when my girlfriend dragged me on to the dance floor when Orleans was playing “Tongue-Tied”. I’ve had happy feet ever since…

My own personal favorite memory of Orleans is from a New Years Eve gig they did in ’73 (I think) at a club called The Warehouse, out in Varna where Rt. 13 meets Rt. 366. I was there with my best friend Chris Shearer (and everyone else in Ithaca) and I remember standing right up front as John announced they were going to perform a new song. That song was “Dance With Me” and I remember joking with Chris that the only thing that could have made the moment better would have been if we had actually been with some girls we could have danced with. Oh well. Part of the deal at the bar that night was free champagne at midnight so I found myself standing at the edge of the stage as the band yelled Happy New Year with a bottle of cheap champagne in my hand. John was still at the mic by himself smiling out at the crowd when I thought to offer him a hit from my bottle. He smiled, took a sip and thanked me as he handed back the bottle. I was only 17 and I felt like I was “with the band”. Orleans shows were always loose, funky and friendly, just like the guys. Thanks for ALL the memories.

PS: Wish we could hear Wells playing lead on “I’m a Bum” one more time…

dr.tweeker Says:
June 13th, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Like many, I’ve been a fan of Orleans since a teenager when their tunes 1st hit the airwaves in the mid 70’s. And, even today, Orleans remains “Still the One” recognized on the same airwaves by their memorable melodies, harmonics, and thought-provoking, meaningful lyrics, as well as for its members’ instrumental versatility. I was fortunate to have seen them perform twice in the late 70’s as a student at Hamilton College; but, my most meaningful experience with Orleans to date was one bittersweet night in the Spring of ’02.

What I had planned to be a memorable family event with my wife & 4 kids watching Orleans perform with stage-level seats at the Turning-Stone Casino began, unfortunately, as just another weekend spent in University Hospital in Syracuse ….. as a few months earlier, our youngest son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Thankfully, Eric was tolerating his chemotherapy well, & after spending that Saturday visiting him, I left my wife with Eric to drive an older teenage son & daughter back to our Adirondack home. BUT, with tickets still in hand, I surprised them along the way home & stopped to see Orleans that night at Turning-Stone!!!

It was Trey & Nikki’s first live concert ….. and those next two hours were surreal, as the music of Orleans seemed to have medicinal effects on our emotions from earlier that day. For those 120 minutes, we forgot about Eric’s ongoing battle, and time seemed to stand still!! And at the end of their last song, I can still vividly recall John Hall’s pick flipping through the air, bouncing on our table, and landing at my daughter’s feet. I got it for her and two days later, when Eric returned home from the hospital, Nikki gave it to him!

Since that time, both Eric & his eldest brother have both become self-taught, accomplished guitarists, with Tyler performing at numerous open-mic nights on his University of Rochester campus & Eric at high school events. Just a couple of years ago at their school’s karaoke fundraiser for its Relay For Life team, Ty & Nikki “volunteered” me to sing a song with them, and the song THEY picked was ….. “Dance With Me”!!!

Orleans has set an example of how brothers from a Long Island town can join friends from New York state, and succeed by havin’ fun doin’ what they love to do, and in the process, reach international acclaim. Success, however, should not be measured by one’s OWN accomplishments in life, but is better measured by the significant effects one’s accomplishments have on OTHERS’ lives. Based on the accounts written in this blog to date, as well as those affected in my own family, Orleans should be extremely proud!!! (And John – Congrats on taking it to a higher level in Congress!)

We are all subject to the effects of time – but the music of Orleans has stood the test of time!!! Thank God for Orleans, and ….. “Let There Be (more) Music” ….. “Forever”!!!!!

recordal14 Says:
June 14th, 2008 at 3:24 PM

HEY – Is that Barb Checcia?!! licorice-pizza@hotmail.com

Sky Schrode Says:
June 14th, 2008 at 6:10 PM

ok…herewego !!!

Larry and Lance will tell you all that I have WAY too much stuff in the files, so I’ll try to throw in just a few obscure fond memories of the whole deal……

First off, and one that even might surprise Larry is that I remember a short lived band in Ithaca called “Hummingbird” ( I think )…man this little outfit was kickin’ A Salty Dog’s ass on a regular basis,and then came that fateful night when I stood in front of the stage as they announced that it was their final gig as a band. When I leaned over to Larry and expressed my dismay he replied with something like “Hey Man, wait till you see what’s coming”. Of course I was not willing to accept that possibly an even BETTER band was on the horizon. I think now 37 years later I can “Give In To It” ( Thanks for that one too Larry !!!)

… and I too have ALL those aforementioned memories of the Dog, The Haunt ,The 40, and Jabberwacky (sp?) in Syracuse and all the other fine moments from “back in the day” in all those bars…….BUT…here’s a few for ya…and some of you will recall these as I mention them…

How about the time I stood in front of the stage somewhere in upstate N.Y and watched the audience chanting for Orleans as the headliner…Z Z Top… had followed them onto the stage and was doomed already ……

and how about when I stood backstage underneath Wells as he played the set and the guy next to me was gesticulating and nudging me and getting all excited with comments like “look at him man..he’s just phenomenal…nobody plays like that”. Shortly after that I stood in the same spot and watched HIM playing drums up there and realizing it was Russell Kunkel , playing drums with Jackson Browne……

and speaking of Wells…everyone has a book full of “Wells Tales”. I have MANY, but one that I recall often is when he was in mid drum solo at A Salty Dog and a mug of beer fell from Lance’s bass amp, landing as if targeted and planned ,on top of Wells’ floor tom. The result was nothing short of genius as he incorporated the pool of beer into the drum solo as a part of it, now only striking that drum as accent and punctuation and with different intensity, so the beer bobbed up and down, looking like one of those adjustable fountains you see in the classy shopping malls….and all of us drummers again stood with jaws open……

and Hey Larry…do you remember when you handed your trumpet to Wells…again, during his drum solo?…same result…

Several years later ,having relocated to Florida ,I was spoiled by the band (by now including Bob L ,and R. A. Martin) as their guest when they played on the deck at The Magic Kingdom at Disney World…and magic it was… Most people aren’t aware that there is an entire “city” underground there, and all the staff etc.is down there dining and wardrobing and all. And then you come up the elevator onto the deck of the Magic Kingdom and the band takes the stage under the stars in that fantasy land environment…another PHENOMENAL Orleans moment……

and on and on and on…but I will leave you with this one…..

Around 1974 or so, after the band “officially” left Ithaca to go on tour, having signed whatever agreement with the powers that be ,and then was apparently confined to playing only the gigs designated by those powers ,there would occasionally be a listing in the entertainment calendar in the Ithaca Journal such as : “The Rongovian Embassy proudly presents “Burt De Cocteaux and his Dreams of Hell Orchestra”. Well, any of us who “knew” smelled that rat a mile away, knowing that “The boys” were sending out the coded signal that they were passing through town and couldn’t announce it too loud…but upon arrival at The Rongo…yes indeed, there was Burt himself ( Wells, of course… who else would come up with that kind of moniker?) and the rest of the gang, playing an evening of everything BUT Orleans stuff….nothing was more inspiring and memorable !!!…

and on one of those “Rongo Nights” Wells called me to the stage out of the crowd ,so he could play that old piano that rested against the front wall behind the stage…and I sat in on the kit for awhile, wallowing in my glee…

Thanks, Orleans, that glee will NEVER diminish, as long as the work “stays in progress”….

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