Booty Vortex on stage at Johnny D's, Halloween 2011


"Honeychild", one of the lead singers for Booty Vortex.

Booty Vortex has become a Halloween tradition at Johnny D’s.  It’s a rocking time with some of Boston’s best musicians working it on stage.  It’s a night of disco/funk, dancing to the old tunes like “Disco Inferno” and “Lady Marmalade”.  (Click here for some music by Booty Vortex.)

Only one problem.

Once the night started everyone was too busy to take pictures.  That’s OK, . . . that’s the way we like it.  (Uh-huh . . . Uh-huh.)

We did get some good photos before the party began.  In this one, waitress Joanne (Jojo) Grubman strikes a classic pose — “Pitcher of Clown Shoes Brown Angel . . . Long Island Ice Tea . . . or ME?

With the perfect costume, Jojo knows the meaning of coquettish.


At the beginning of the night, customer Josefina grabs Joe the doorman’s bare ass.

Gimme some!














Of course that’s not really Joe’s bare ass.  When he showed up without a costume, someone retrived a pair of fake rubber cheeks that had been laying around for months in the band room.  In the band room?  I must have missed a good story sometime back.

John Bonaccorso (our GM) couldn’t resist writing something on Joe’s fake butt.  In case you can’t read the letters, it says “Oscar was here” . . . Oscar is one of our bartenders.


Bartenders Oscar (Scar) Perez, Jeremy Newcomer, and barback/waiter Oliver Sinosa clown around before the night begins.

Shouldn't these guys be doing the opening set-up, . . . or something?














Waitress Clair Burrell provides an enchanting distraction.

Clair and the boys


Barback Joel Reynolds came as an 80’s nerd.














Oscar, Mike Pardy, Clair, Jojo, and Oliver.

One bad-ass crew


The old coach, still bartending after all these years.  (Sometimes I feel like Burgess Meredith in the movie “Rocky”.)






I can’t leave without sharing a couple of my favorite Halloween photos from Johnny D’s past.  The first features two of the staff who’ve since moved on — on the left is bartender Feliks Gailitis (back in NYC now).  He’s talking with a former waitress, Paula, who’s now married to her long-time boyfriend — local singer/songwriter icon Tim Gearan.  (You can hear some of Tim’s music here.)

I love the expression on Paula’s face.

"Of all the gin joints in the world, . . . Death has to walk into this one, and sit next to me."













At last year’s party, waitress Nikki came dressed in prison garb.  The letters on the back of her shirt originally read “Dept. of Corrections“ — but John Bonoccorso decided to make one small alteration.

He grabbed a sticky note-pad, wrote down the capital letter “E” and then made like he was simply patting Nikki on the back.

Nikki was a good sport when she found out about it and let us snap this picture, but she took the yellow “E” off before the party began.  Too bad, . . . she would have made ridiculous tips if she’d left it on.

Back next week with more stories from Life on a Cocktail Napkin.

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6 Responses to HALLOWEEN MADNESS (Again) . . .

  1. MasonTD says:

    More stories, dude.

  2. Stacey says:

    Looks like everyone had a blast!

  3. Case says:

    Nice cheeks. Hot chick. Funny photo of the doorman.

  4. Starbucks8294 says:

    That’s how I remember it. There’s nothing but freedom and fun when you’re working in a bar. If I didn’t have the new family responsibility I never would have left.

  5. Feliks Gailitis says:

    Thanks for posting that Halloween pic of Paula and I. I didn’t know it existed. Brought back memories of those days. I wouldn’t have left Johnny D’s if it wasn’t for you know who, and I wouldn’t have left Boston if I had met someone else and had some good gigs. However, I traveled more of the world, managed bars in Taiwan and Tokyo, but have yet to get the capital for my own place. That’s how it goes. Thanks again Mike for the pic. Do you have any others?

  6. MikeQ says:

    Feliks: Great to hear from you, man! It’s been a long time. We should catch up … I’ll email you this week. Sorry to say I don’t have any others of you and the boys from that time. But that one in particular is one of my all-time favorites from a bar … it’s too perfect. Talk with you soon, my friend.

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