Back to the original post regarding the PIzza Joynt and theater pipe organs in pizza parlors, I was an organist there at the Pizza Joynt in Hayward for years. I learned how to play that organ when I was 13 yrs old and played there off and on until 2003. My instructor was Bill Langford who was by far the best musician to ever play that instrument. I knew Jerry. Nice guy, but could not hold a candle to Bill. I have played at alot of pizza and pipes places in my career. Some organs were much bigger and more powerful, but the Pizza Joynt had the most character. It had a magical sound and I enjoyed playing there more than anywhere else.
Do not expect the place to ever open again. It is gone forever. I know because I spoke to the owner (former owner) and she said it is done. When the original owner died (Carsten Henningston), his daughter took over and that was the end. MaryAnne Henningston did not have the managerial skills to keep the place profitable and it slowly slumped until ‘somehow’ the place burned down. The oven caught fire they say. Perhaps they did not clean it well enough and the stack caught fire. As I said, maintenance slipped pretty bad on the place and there was a small fire a year or two before that was contained. But this one got away. I am very sad that all of these places are gone now. When I was a teenager, there were pizza and pipes places all over the bay area. The Capns Galley had 4 restaurants and I played at all of them. The Melody Inn in Los Gatos, and the Thundermug which is now called Angelino’s, (my photo is still on the wall there,…one of the worst instruments I ever played though). In Fremont there used to be one very small pipe organ in a pizza parlor. Forgot the name, and I played several times at the Bella Roma which ahd a very nice instrument. Heard it is going down too, soon. They never should have moved.
I knew many of the well known organists of the time. Dave Hooper, Tom Hazelton (One of the best), Mr Langford of course, and I knew Jerry Nagano, (nice guy but overrated). I continue to look for places to perform. But they are so hard to find. We are a dying breed.