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Club Ponytail

Harbor Springs

Club Ponytail Stage


James Osterberg (Iggy Pop) Connection to Club Ponytail.

The Iguanas was a garage rock band formed during 1963 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was one the first bands of James Osterberg, now better known as Iggy Pop. Osterberg was the drummer of the band while in high school, and got his nickname “Iggy” from the name of this band. Also, an exhaustive compilation in several volumes (both LPs and CDs) by Greg Shaw of recordings by the Stooges was also named for this band and called The Iguana Chronicles.

The line-up was:

soon augmented by

They originally performed in high school dances, fraternity houses and later clubs in Ann Arbor.

In 1965 they were an opening act for bands such as Four Tops, the Shangri-Las and the Kingsmen at Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs, a local resort area. Osterberg left the group soon afterward, and with another drummer (Tom Rolston) they sought but did not get a recording contract.

Who has a list of bands acts that appeared at the Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs MI during the 1960s?

Larry Messmore, 239 537-0677
I remember Paul and Paula, Conway twitty, Brian Highland, Beach Boys, Dawn.
At that time the Dugless’s own the Pony Tail. Their daughter dated a friend of mine, Packey Warner.
I hope you can use this.
The name is actually Douglas’s and I did not date him I just knew Paxton Lee Warner the III. Linda
Michael Corpe: These bands also played there; The Animals, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (one of the best concerts I ever attended), Chad and Jeremy, Jan & Dean, Them (with lead singer Van Morrison) who actually played a song they sold as a jingle for a toothpaste: McCleans. Fun place with an interesting history. The Douglas’s son was my age. The owned two large Saint Bernard dogs, one of which ate one of my mittens. The Douglases were kind enough to return the glove when the dog passed it a few days later. Didn’t keep it. Will post more bands as I remember.
Directions to Club Ponytail:
This is the best information I can give you on how to go to where the Club Ponytail use to be. When you start down Highway M-119, going to Harbor Springs, you will pass a small airport. Just after the airport, by a red light, you will see a Best Western Hotel. If you continue past the Best Western to the 1st road that goes north (I don’t know the name of it), and take a right (the only way it goes), and go approximately 1/4 of a mile, you will see another road, which goes south off of the road you are on. You must hang a sharp left and go down that road, south. That road use to run directly into M-119, but they made a new entry road and closed the old “Ponytail Road” off. It is now a dead end. I believe the last house on the West side of the street, is the new owners of the Ponytail property. If you look carefully through the trees, you will see the wall still standing.



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6 Responses to Club Ponytail

  1. Ken Settle says:

    In 1963 or so, there was a black band that played at the Club Pony Tail. It consisted of David Ruffin before he joined the Temptations, Little Reuben Fisher on guitar, Melvin Davis on drums, Tony Newton on sax, and Joe Peel on bass. Years ago, I was friends with Reuben, and he could not remember the name of this group, but he gave me a photo of them onstage at Club Ponytail. I later purchased a different pose of the group which was in the files at Gathman’s Photo, which was a Harbor Springs studio. Does anyone know anything about that group? Of course, Ruffin joined the Tempts, Melvin Davis and Tony Newton became very well known Motown session guys, and Little Reuben lead various bands for decades in Detroit. I’d love any memories anyone may have of this band!

  2. Lee Graham says:

    I’ve started a Facebook page “Club Ponytail Memories” hoping to connect with fellow enthusiasts – what fun we had!

  3. Paul Magnan says:

    I was in the Boyfriends and we played Club Ponytail many times. We played indoors and outside. We also played opening for the Amboy Dukes at the club. We were the first band to play outside after the club burned down, and you could see all of the floors underneath the club, seeming to verify the rumors that this was a hideaway for mob members.
    Always a great crowd and a fun place to play at.

  4. Teri says:

    I am doing research on the Club Ponytail and the establishments that were visited by Al Capone. Are there any pictures available of the homes, events and underground tunnels that were used by Capone?

  5. Tom Kirby says:

    I was the drummer who played with Tonto and the Renegades. We played Club Pontail several times. in the 60’s. I don’t remember the dates, but I remember one of the times we were on the mainstage on a weekend between Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (I believe) and the Beach Boys. The Ponytail was one of the premiere venues in the state. It was once a hideout for Al Capone and had underground tunnels and a bunker. We were given a tour of the place. What a history there. I have a picture of us there, but I don’t know how to post it on this site.

  6. Chromex says:

    MC5 played there in the late 60s

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