Excerpt from “Only the Strong Survive”

Rock and Roll Meltdown: The Circus Nightclub Story 1979-1983 by Rick Bandazian

Excerpt from “Only the Strong Survive”:

So, there we were. It was another Friday night, about 11 p.m.,
and the dance floor was packed. The music was hot and loud,
and of course, the liquor was flowing. The band’s rocking the
place. The cash registers seem to ring in time to the music. It’s a
beautiful fall night in October 1979. What could go wrong?

Glancing up from my post at the bar, I suddenly saw—to my
horror—Bergenfield police officers rushing the front and back
doors, shotguns drawn.

Rewind to October 19, 1978. Jerry Randolph, age 28, a local
ne’er-do-well and motorcycle club dude from nearby Englewood,
got into it with another customer and was tossed out by bouncer
Christos Eftychiou, age 24. This was in the club’s earlier incarnation—
a place called Peanuts Tavern—about a year before we
bought the bar, but the memories were still fresh. Trouble doesn’t
care whose name is on the deed.

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