Music news

Bay Ridge bands relive 80s music scene

The Cove has been closed for many years, but the bands that played there are getting together for a reunion to re-live their rock and roll glory days.

Story by Paula Katinas - Source:

Photo ©Mike Riddle

While Madonna, REM, and Whitney Houston were topping the charts during the 1980s, Bay Ridge had its own vibrant music scene. Bands like City Kids, The Lynch Boys, Working Class, Alive N’ Kickin, and Southern Comfort were performing in neighborhood bars before lots of devoted fans.

Many of the bands played at The Cove, a popular bar-restaurant that was located on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 91st Street.

The Cove has been closed for many years, but the bands that played there are getting together for a reunion to re-live their rock and roll glory days.

A concert being billed as The Cove Reunion IV will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Salty Dog Bar, 7509 Third Ave., starting at 2 p.m.

The event will be a benefit concert to raise money for the Guild for Exceptional Children, the non-profit organization based in Bay Ridge that provides education, job training, and housing for the developmentally disabled.

Mike Riddle, who in the 80s played guitar for the band City Kids, and who is the driving force behind the reunion concert, called the guild “an organization we deeply respect.”

These days, Riddle can be found playing at the Greenhouse Café with his band Prodigal Child.

The lineup of bands that will be performing at the Oct. 13 concert includes: The Lynch Boys, Alice N’ Kickin, Southern Comfort, Head Over Heels, City Kids, Nasty Piranha, and Working Class.

The concert will also feature raffles of such prized rock and roll items as a guitar autographed by marty Balin, lead singer of the 1960s band Jefferson Airplane, as well as a 50-50 drawing.

The event is called The Cove Reunion IV, according to Riddle, because it’s the fourth time there has been a reunion of the bands that considered the club their second home during the 1980s.

“This is our fourth reunion and of course the further away we get from the root of early 80s Bay Ridge and the music scene the harder it is to secure acts that were prominent at that time. I firmly believe this is our best lineup ever,” Riddle said.

“As you’ll see, we are featuring The Lynch Boys, possibly the greatest tri-state party band ever, who

were huge stars on the Jersey Shore circuit. Alive N’ Kickin’ had the hit record ‘Tighter and Tighter’ in the early 70s and feature legendary front man Pepe Cardona,” Riddle said.

“Interestingly, the bands such as Head Over Heels, Southern Comfort, Working Class were some of the youngest bands that were playing The Cove when City Kids, The Lynch Boys, and Alive N’ Kickin’ were in their prime. They all grew to be fine bands in their own right and many of these musicians are still out playing,” Riddle said.

The reunions came about after Riddle and Paddy McDonagh, the former owner of The Cove, were taking and reminiscing about the old days. “We finally decided a few years back it was now or never. So we went ahead and asked some of the bands we recalled playing there if they’d take part. They were eager to do so,” Riddle said.

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