Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories

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Treetop Tom
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2013/09/13 17:04:21 (permalink)

Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories

One of my great passions, besides Roadfood, is the coin-op amusements that used to be common in every roadfood-worthy joint.   I have several and almost always have one on the workbench.  The ambiance provided by the jukeboxes and pinball machines was, in the days of my youth particularly, as important to me as the food at the diner/truck stop/snack bar.   A couple of memories:  Just up the hill from my Granny’s house was a “Dairy Kone” type drive-in that did very little business, but had a terrific jukebox and a couple of pinballs.  I spent many an idle summer hour nursing a cherry Coke listening to the latest hits and trying to finally light the special before that fifth ball drained away.  I was bitterly disappointed when I arrived one summer to find it had become a real estate office.  Closer to home, we had a duckpin bowling alley in my neighborhood that had a great snack bar.  When we would tire of hurling balls at the duckpins, we would duck into the snack bar and get some dogs and fries and play the pinball machines, which were the old-school add-a-ball machines that would keep track of your additional balls, for which the cashier would surreptitiously pay you off.  Needless to say, the local government soon decided that pinball machines were actually gambling devices and imposed an 18-year age restriction, which left us out.  Ironically, the pool tables on which we gambled most of our money somehow were still on-limits to us juvenile delinquents.  Anyone else have roadfood/coin-op memories?  Does your local diner still have wallbox jukeboxes?
post edited by Treetop Tom - 2013/09/13 21:57:19
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    mar52
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/13 23:21:23 (permalink)
    Ships, a long gone small chain diner in the Los Angeles area had the tiny jukeboxes on the counter and I believe at the tables.  They also had a toaster at each table and you toasted your own toast.
    #2
    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/14 09:07:14 (permalink)
    Toasters at the table is the greatest idea ever - toast nice and piping hot, you control the level of darkness rather than having to take whatever pops out in the kitchen 5 minutes earlier.  Our local Tops Drive-in didn't have waitstaff, per se, unless you sat at the counter.  Each booth/table had a bright orange telephone you picked up and placed your order through.  Don't see either of those making a comeback, particularly the toasters - I'm sure risk management has long ago decided they are too much of a liability.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/14 18:17:55 (permalink)
    Most enjoyable such place of my adulthood was Whitey's in Arlington, VA. 
     
    Broasted chicken + beer-batter rings + cold beer + pins + juke + darts = HEAVEN! 
    #4
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 15:58:51 (permalink)
    Jukeboxes are thankfully still found on tables @ my neighborhood Diner.

    Click click click. Pick a song already! Click click click. Click click click.


    I've won lots of clam$ playing billiards @ Clam Bars in my day. I was a little shark. Of course not these days. . Rack 'em up let's see if I remember how to play. Keep the clam$ handy...

    Nothing beats a Summer afternoon of skee-ball & sweeping coins on a Splash Down machine for tickets on the Roadfood-filled Boardwalks of the Jersey shore.

    Barcade is a fun new-school venue in Jersey City (also in Brooklyn & Philadelphia) that features many old-school video games. Great craft beer selection for beer drinkers...and a fun appetizer/sandwich menu (including a pork roll waffle sandwich) for me to enjoy (not a beer drinker)...

    http://barcadejerseycity.com/

    We'll hopefully pay a visit to Pacific Pinball Museum (Alameda) in November...

    http://pacificpinball.org/
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/09/15 16:22:29
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 17:48:31 (permalink)
    We had a "National Pinball Museum" here in Baltimore that unfortunately only lasted a couple of years before they closed.  I've always dreamed of visiting Marvin's in Farmington Hills, MI, some time.  It looks amazing.  http://marvin3m.com/
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    pnwchef
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 19:30:36 (permalink)
    Toaster at the table, I'm sure the insurance company would love that. Pictures of kids with forks, sticking into the toaster, dancing in my head.
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 20:11:39 (permalink)
    My brother and I have owned many pinball machines.  Our favorite was Captain Fantastic.  I have played many hours on that machine in many bars back in the 60's and early 70's.  We used to wear out machines playing for hours.  A few months BB posted about eating in Manuels in Atlanta.  I was there several months opening our pharma business.   I was there many times during the late 70's and had their burgers and played their many pinball machines.  I called it poor mans golf.
     
    Paul E. Smith 
    Knoxville, TN
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 20:32:58 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

    My brother and I have owned many pinball machines.  Our favorite was Captain Fantastic.  I have played many hours on that machine in many bars back in the 60's and early 70's. 

    About 6 months ago a Captain Fantastic showed up on craigslist at a very reasonable price, but no picture.  I kept my fingers crossed and asked for some photos - sure enough, it was the 1-player Sears SS home version rather than the 4-player EM commercial unit.  I would love to have that one - many hours and quarters spent enjoying it.
    post edited by Treetop Tom - 2013/09/15 21:02:50
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 22:20:57 (permalink)
    Silverball Museum Pinball Hall of Fame of Asbury Park NJ was created by the founder of Cluck-U Chicken...

    http://silverballmuseum.com/

    Plenty of pinball games there. Hopefully my favorite ...Haunted House pinball game will find its way to the collection. Three floors of action...eight paddles to ride!
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/09/15 22:24:58
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    mar52
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/15 23:49:37 (permalink)
    I subscribed for many years back in the late 70s to a magazine called Loose Change.
     
    It's a magazine devoted to coin-op machines.
     
    Treetop Tom, You might like it.
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    Davebassman
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 11:13:12 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    Most enjoyable such place of my adulthood was Whitey's in Arlington, VA. 

    Broasted chicken + beer-batter rings + cold beer + pins + juke + darts = HEAVEN! 


    Jim, Glad you mentioned Whitey's. I work about 1/2 mile from where it used to be. Our company softball team used to go there after games for beers and munchies. My favorite was the "Beer-Steak Sandwich"
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 11:34:54 (permalink)
    Davebassman

    MetroplexJim

    Most enjoyable such place of my adulthood was Whitey's in Arlington, VA. 

    Broasted chicken + beer-batter rings + cold beer + pins + juke + darts = HEAVEN! 


    Jim, Glad you mentioned Whitey's. I work about 1/2 mile from where it used to be. Our company softball team used to go there after games for beers and munchies. My favorite was the "Beer-Steak Sandwich"


    Calvin's big mistake was expanding into the store next door in the mid-1990's, more than doubling his rent for his already "parking challenged" restaurant/bar.  Tragic!  I really miss that place and since have not found anything quite like it.
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    WarToad
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 11:35:16 (permalink)
    Oh, man.  I Played a heck of a lot of pinball in my college days.  My freinds and I would get a couple pitches of beer and some rolls of quarters and the evening was set.
     
    MULTIBALL!!!
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 11:43:19 (permalink)
    mar52

    I subscribed for many years back in the late 70s to a magazine called Loose Change.

    It's a magazine devoted to coin-op machines.

    Treetop Tom, You might like it.

    I've seen old issues at coin-op conventions and have seen them online.  They seemed to be very slot-machine and trade-stimulator oriented, although I know they had articles on other coin-op machines as well.  It's fun to look at old issues of Billboard Magazine when a substantial amount of their reporting was on coin-op and carnie/circus news as well as the record charts.
     
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 11:54:32 (permalink)
    Davebassman

    MetroplexJim

    Most enjoyable such place of my adulthood was Whitey's in Arlington, VA. 

    Broasted chicken + beer-batter rings + cold beer + pins + juke + darts = HEAVEN! 


    Jim, Glad you mentioned Whitey's. I work about 1/2 mile from where it used to be. Our company softball team used to go there after games for beers and munchies. My favorite was the "Beer-Steak Sandwich"


    Calvin's big mistake was expanding into the store next door in the mid-1990's, more than doubling his rent for his already "parking challenged" restaurant/bar.  Tragic!  I really miss that place and since have not found anything quite like it.
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    mar52
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 14:57:31 (permalink)
    Treetop Tom

    I've seen old issues at coin-op conventions and have seen them online.  They seemed to be very slot-machine and trade-stimulator oriented, although I know they had articles on other coin-op machines as well.  It's fun to look at old issues of Billboard Magazine when a substantial amount of their reporting was on coin-op and carnie/circus news as well as the record charts.
     

     
    I was in the gaming business way back then, primarily interested in old slot machines.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 15:23:58 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

    My brother and I have owned many pinball machines.  Our favorite was Captain Fantastic.
    I remember that machine well.  Over the years I probably played it and Kiss more than any others.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/16 16:15:16 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    Sundancer7

    My brother and I have owned many pinball machines.  Our favorite was Captain Fantastic.
    I remember that machine well.  Over the years I probably played it and Kiss more than any others.


    I got so addicted to Meteor that I bought one for home use.
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/17 18:39:03 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    I got so addicted to Meteor that I bought one for home use.

    One of Stern's better efforts - Good artwork, lots of drop targets and the escalating volume/pitch of the background sounds made it exciting to play.  Although I love the old EM machines, Meteor is a good SS unit, one I wouldn't mind having.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 09:20:28 (permalink)
    Treetop Tom

    MetroplexJim

    I got so addicted to Meteor that I bought one for home use.

    One of Stern's better efforts - Good artwork, lots of drop targets and the escalating volume/pitch of the background sounds made it exciting to play.  Although I love the old EM machines, Meteor is a good SS unit, one I wouldn't mind having.


    Yes!  It was that escalating sound it made once you hit its "spot" that I found to be so intoxicating! 
     
    As RF is a "family" site I'll resist making the all-too-obvious analogies. 
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 16:52:33 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim 

    Yes!  It was that escalating sound it made once you hit its "spot" that I found to be so intoxicating! 

    As RF is a "family" site I'll resist making the all-too-obvious analogies. 

    I think Bally made the analogy pretty obvious soon thereafter with the release of Xenon with its sound board full of ohs!, ahs! and double entendres.  Something tells me Mrs. Treetop wouldn't be welcoming that machine into the man cave anytime soon.
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    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 17:20:30 (permalink)
    The first rule on a properly constructed man cave is......soundproofing!  Others do NOT want to hear when the Ravens get trashed......especially if it is against the Pats..........nor your weeping afterwards.  The second rule is access to liquid refreshment and munchies.  A small refrig will suffice so that you don't get a heart-attack running up and down stairs for another beer between plays.  Access area for munchies and stuff like that is also mandatory; a microwave for cheese covered nachos is optional.  Inventive types have also come up with creative ways to do 'waste removal'...the ultimate being a complete downstairs bathroom with shower..and direct trash access to the garage.
     
    So....the addition.. of an object that will help increase hand-eye dexterity, visual acumen, and split-second logic exercises,... will be accommodated in such a place without repressive audio mis-stimulation
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 17:43:21 (permalink)
    Treetop Tom

    One of Stern's better efforts - Good artwork, lots of drop targets and the escalating volume/pitch of the background sounds made it exciting to play.  Although I love the old EM machines, Meteor is a good SS unit, one I wouldn't mind having.

     
    I'm guessing:
    EM = electro-mechanical?
    SS = solid state? 

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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 18:44:56 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    I'm guessing:
    EM = electro-mechanical?
    SS = solid state? 

    Correct.
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/18 19:29:03 (permalink)
    I use to call pinball poor mans golf.  My brother and I use to frequent this bar where they had a Captain Fantastic and a Wizard side by side.  We would get five dollars of quarters, a bunch of cold beer and burgers.  If we won enough games we could play for hours.  That was the day but I don't do that any more.  Brother now lives in Minneapolis and I do not have friends that enjoy that.
     
    A colleague of mine back in 1980 use to have lunch every day in downtown Knoxville.  On the way back from lunch, we would play three games on the Captain Fantastic for the Tennessee championship.  One day I had the high score of the month and won a six pack of some beer.  I was carrying it back to the office when the NYC Revlon was visiting and they saw me walking back to the office with the six pack.  Sorta hard to explain" />  
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/19 12:20:44 (permalink)
    Sundancer7 

    My brother and I use to frequent this bar where they had a Captain Fantastic and a Wizard side by side. 

    As I understand it, there was quite a history to those two machines.  When the movie Tommy came out in 1975, Bally was dying to get a licensed "Tommy" or "Pinball Wizard" machine out, but were rebuffed by RSO (the recording studio) and Columbia Pictures (the distributor), each of whom claimed the rights.  As a result, Bally released “Wizard!” two months after the release of the movie with the likenesses of Roger Daltry and Ann-Margret (Tommy and his mother, Nora) on the backglass.  They were very careful to say that Wizard! was "INSPIRED by Tommy" in their promotional material.  A year later, with the studios still refusing to agree to a tie-in, Bally released “Captain Fantastic” with Elton John as his character “The Champ” on the backglass.  Elton had released his Captain Fantastic album in 1975, just after the movie came out.  Of course, the album had nothing to do with the movie other than the fact that Elton had appeared in it, it was just another attempt by Bally to cash in.  Finally, in 1994, Data East released “The Who’s Tommy - Pinball Wizard” pinball machine during one of the musical’s off-Broadway revivals.  It had a bizarre "flipper blinder" that would fan across the flippers at certain points so that you would be "playing blind."  I understand the reference, but was just as glad that gimmick didn't last.
    post edited by Treetop Tom - 2013/09/19 15:20:02
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/19 16:25:55 (permalink)
    Treetop:  Regardless, I enjoyed both games.  I had a sailboat which was a 25' Hunter that I used to race each Saturday and Sunday.  I named it "Wizard" after the game.  It sailed like my game, horrible.  It was a bathtub but I sure did enjoy it.  The best I ever did was come in last.  Bad boat or maybe a worse sailor
     
    I sure did enjoy my pinball days.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    bartl
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    Re:Roadfood and Jukebox/Pinball Memories 2013/09/20 14:21:24 (permalink)
    A local bar had "Wizard". There was a lot of gambling going on there. I was one of the better players, but I choked if there was money on the game. People used to bet on me, but not let me know they did...
     
    Bart
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