The Legacy of Tony Mart Tony Mart Presents - Memory Lane - Tales of the Mart

Memory Lane
1944 thru 1952: The early years: origin and foundation
1952 thru 1959: The tavern becomes a swingin’ nightclub.
1960 thru 1964: The golden years
1965: From Conway Twitty to Bob Dylan
1966 and 1967: British Invasion and Flower Power
1968 & 1969: The first big soul bands, Psychedelia and “Heavy” rock
1970 Thru 1972: The first rock-n-roll revival: Ricky and the Rockets
1973 thru 1976: 18 year olds are legal-Anything Goes!
1977 thru 1980: Disco vs. Rock
1981 & 1982: Shotgun brings the first “New Wave” The Crusers Bring down the cutain
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Visitors Stories

Tales from the Mart
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Cork Young:
My name is Cork Young I played at Tony Marts with a band called Fast Cookies. What a great memory I have. I see Sid once in a while. He had some very serious health issues which left him with a pace maker. But he pulled thru and is still playing. I think he now is playing bass. Bob is still playing and is as incredible as ever. I ask Sid about Dana and he pretty well dropped out of contact with everyone and I am pretty sure he quit playing. I am still playing and planning to start a new band. If anyone reads this who we became friends with please contact me on facebook. Once again I have memories that will last forever.

Vic Stretton:
I worked at Tony Mart's, Bay Shores, and the Anchorage 1972-1980.

Fran Wagner:
In (about) 1986, after TM's was gone, I had drinks w/ Carmen Marotta and a few others.  I had attempted to paint a picture of TMs and I presented it to Carmen at that time.  Remember?  Long live Tony Mart's, glad this tribute exists.

Tony Mart Replied: We remember, and it's hanging in our house.  Thanks!

Bob Petrilla: In 1955, I spent the summer washing dishes and being promoted to "salad boy" at the great old Lincoln Hotel in Ocean City, just up the street from the ChatterBox.  One of our fellow grunges had a great voice.  One night a week, maybe Wednesdays, Tony Mart's put on a singing contest.  Our guy won several weeks in a row.  The house band at the time was Dave Apple and the Applejacks. They packed us in three deep around the bar.  It was a great time.  The male to female ratio in dry OC was supposedly 7 to 1 that summer.  A few of us who had cars loaded them up and went to Somers Point as many times a week as we could afford on peasant wages.  Across the street and down a bit from Tony Mart's was Bayshores, featuring Mike Peddicin and his band.  I know we can't go back, but to really appreciate the scene that summer, you had to be there!

Lee Martin:
Friday nights reunion party at the Boatyard was a smashing success,  The weather was beautiful and of course the music was fantastic. Thanks to the Elks and Carmen and Nancy for a very special night.  The food was excellent and I never tasted better potato or macaroni salads.  I'm looking forward to the next get together.  Everyone should come out and relive great old times and feel a wee bit younger again.

Danny Charles: I read these stories and most talk about the early years and the later years.  I played at Tony Mart's in '62 and '63.  Our band was the Roof-Toppers. I played bass.  Other bands in that era were - The Fall Guys, The Kit Kats, Pete Carrol and the Carrol Brothers, Jack and the Beanstalks, The Four Fables, The Emcees, Bobby Brown and the Curios, And many, many more.  We would work the whole season. Remember Charlie's snack stand in the back?  I'd ask for a meatball sandwich and he'd ask, "You want two?" We lived upstairs all summer. Best years of my life.  We then went to play at the Dune's .  I loved the crowds, the bouncers, the Point Diner,  the whole deal.

Harry Wallace:
I was with the Monkeymen during their 2 summer reign at Bay Shores, I think 67  and 68.  Sam, James, Ricky, Bobby and and myself Harry then in 68 Fred Morris on drums in.  Great times stayed the Anchorage one year and some motel the next.   Played at the Dunes with the The Insects I think and Johnny Caswell to start then moved up to Bay Shores.  Played with Malcohm and the Bonnevilles one of those years.  Sam and Bobby have passed.  Fred, James and I are still here.....have no idea why!  They were the fastest times of our lives and will never forget.  After the Dunes we would drink beer and played pool at O'Burns which was on the way to the Dunes.  The Monkeymen had one record under the name The Luv Bandits.  We had to use that name because The Monkees were hot then and the label was afraid of being sued.  Google The Luv Bandits if you want to hear it.  James and I also did a few albums later Google CDbaby and look for The Monkeymen Then and Now or Google The Monkeymen or Itunes.

Lee Martin:
I just want to thank Carmen again for allowing me to be small part of Tony Mart's history.  Steve Wright (another alumnus 7yrs!) were at the reunion concert Aug 18th.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  We're looking forward to Sept..  We hope to see many of you there.  When I worked at the Mart my first summer in 1981, there was a barmaid named Tracy.  We "affectionately" referred to her as Weaselina.  I hope she has been having a good and happy life.  No hard feelings?  We were all young  and crazy.  Unfortunately some of our Tony Marts family are gone now and they are missed.  They will never be forgotten.  Every night was a loud, rowdy, sweaty, sometimes rude rock 'n roll adventure.  It would be great if we could see more of the people from that era.  Joe Stone where are you?  Rosine and Heidi no love for us anymore?  Come on back to revisit the best days of our lives,  We won't be carding.

For several years (too many, by any sane accounting) I spent nearly all my after-sundown hours on the strip, or after closing, at the Dunes. My life was work (reluctantly); surf; party - I'm not certain when (or if) I  slept. What little "downtime" I had was typically spent at the Fish Market coffee shop around the corner resting my ears on acoustical picking and drying out a bit. I seem to recall that over the inside of the doors to Mart's was a large wooden plaque that read something like this: "Through these doors pass the most beautiful women in the world." Was that plaque salvaged, and are its current whereabouts known?

Chuck Williams, 103.7 FM The Shark:
Was a Tony's regular in 1978-81. On my part of The Shark Website, I have a tribute to Tony's and The Cruisers. Thank you for the memories.

Donna Wright:
The memories of Tony Marts will always bring me joy. I remember when the band Mace played there. When the bar closed and was torn down it was a sad day for Somers Point. Gone but never forgotten.

Roger Evoy: Around 1958 I heard my first live band at Bay Shores. There were many week ends when my friends and I enjoyed the Somers Point scene. When I finally reached legal drinking age I moved most of my attention to Tony Marts where there was lots and lots of fun.    In 1967 I took an apartment in Ocean City and spent every Friday night, every Saturday matinee, every Saturday night, every Sunday matinee and every Sunday evening at Tony Marts. Every time, without exception,  I had the best time of my life. During most of my pre-marriage times, I came to Wednesday Tony Marts too. Those great times continued into my marriage and until the end of TM. The last night Carmen “hired” me to stamp peoples wrists for reentry; he paid me with three Tony Marts T shirts. Over the years, my friendship with the Marottas has continued to grow; they are the nicest. I am so grateful to Carmen for continuing to create great musical events whose times are publicized on this web page. Thank you Carmen.

Judy De Vries:
Lived in Ocean City for the summer while going to Keystone College in Scranton in the late 70's. Mays Landing, Wildwood, Atlantic City, The Anchor Bar was the best deal. 7-7-oz. drafts (a round of beer) for a buck! And 2 snake bites for a buck. You could get hammered for under $5. And the ABC was right on the circle. I love watching "Eddie and the Cruisers" for old times sake.

Rex White: I worked at Tony Mart’s in the late 1960’s with The Fendermen. The original Fenderman were country (Mule Skinner Blues) but the group at that time was an R&B horn band. We worked opposite Gunther’s Bus and they were excellent! I remember sitting in with them on trombone and even though they were not a jazzy, horn band kind of group, they were great to play with! They really inspired me during my solos. Great group. Then there were the apartments upstairs. Those stories I can’t print. The diner across the circle, Dunes till dawn. Those were the days my friend! Great club! Great staff. Great memories!! Thanks!

Debi Riley Carty:
Back in the middle 70's Tony was the place to go. At that time drinking age was 18 so everyone came from New York and Philly to be there. Mace and Marach were the bands at that time. I was still in high school but hung with both bands. I wish I could go back to those years where times were just fun. Tony Sr was a hoot sitting at the empty back by the front door watching every one came in. Tony and Carmen were the bartenders at that time. I love going every weekend and
sometimes during the week all summer. 12th beach in Ocean City is where every one went from there.

Bill Brumage:
During the summer of '64, I made my first of what would be eight summers of working in Ocean City (just across the bay from "The Point" and Tony Marts, Bayshores, and Steel's Bar).  Being only 17 at the time I was much too young to get in to Tony Marts.  I worked those summers at a pizza shop on the Ocean City Boardwalk.  Some guys came in to the pizza shop who looked like true bodybuilders.  We found out they were football players from Grove City College who worked as bouncers at Tony Marts.  Some free pizza and good conversation allowed a few of us to go to the mecca of rock and roll.  The bouncers told us to go in stand in a far away corner and try not to attract attention.  We were in heaven.  Tony Mart's!!!  We stood and just soaked in the atmosphere and joy of living in the innocence of 1964.  We also made it into Bayshores and the Dunes to just listen to bands.  Oh, to be back at the Point in the 60's!!
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