By CHRIS CONROY
- Everything old is new again. And more.
summer concert season in South Fallsburg may seem like an odd thing
to some people. But for Elliott Schneider, it couldn't make more
sense. He believes he's found the perfect venue to bring his own
special type of happiness back to Sullivan County.
best known as the owner of the Pursuit of Happiness, a popular local
music venue that thrived on Main Street in Liberty between 1985
and 1991. Bringing in a few acts a week, Schneider had the pleasure
of being among the first to present then unknown artists who went
on to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Among the
list of now known names are the likes of John Popper from Blues
Traveler and Shawn Colvin.
the only ones to grace the stage of the Pursuit. Richie Havens,
Tom Chapin and Eric Anderson were among some of the better known
performers who appeared there, sharing their music with the gathered
Over the years,
though, the workload of maintaining the club became too much. Schneider's
son was growing up, and he wanted to be there for him. "It was just
too many hours in the day," he admits.
the next decade in school, first earning his teaching degree and
then putting it to use, he also worked in real estate. Music was
never far from his mind and heart, though.
has found a new place to rekindle his pursuit: the Rivoli Theater
in South Fallsburg.
me of the Fillmore East," he says of the theater, noting its art
deco styling and good acoustics.
His goal is
simple. "I want to create a venue where up-and-coming people from
the area can come and perform," he says. "I remember the open mike
nights we used to have. I was always impressed by how many good
songwriters there were in the area. I want to provide a place for
them to show what they can do."
showcase for local talent is exactly what Schneider will be doing
on May 27, this time in a "Battle of the Bands" format to kick off
the new Pursuit of Happiness. Starting at 6:00 p.m., about ten bands
will perform onstage, vying for the approval of the crowd. The winner
gets to come back as a headliner or an opener for a bigger act,
with pay, of course.
This is only
the first step in bringing the Pursuit back to the public. "I could
look into national acts, blues nights, things like that," Schneider
says, dropping names like Little Sammy Davis, Slam Allan, Maria
Rockman and others.
range from $8.50 to $12, and some of the proceeds will benefit the
Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop, the organization that owns the
Rivioli and was instrumental in making the new Pursuit possible.
For more information,
call 914/439-3053 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rivoli is at the corner of Rt. 42 and Laurel Avenue in South
committed to this," Schneider says. "Even though it's been ten years,
people still miss the Pursuit of Happiness."