was in ft. lauderdale for spring break both in 1984 and 1985. remember all the clubs on the strip. the button, penrods, big daddy's bikini lounge, the candy store, summers, the elbow room, and the ones off the strip like art stocks playpen south. too bad the residents there complained and destroyed this awesome club area. i think 85 was the last great year. penrods closed i think in 1988. unbelievable, but i believe the elbow room is still operating today. the only club on the strip that survived. got a huge wine goblet glass that has the button logo on front and devils triangle, ft. lauderdale on back. would love to have the original window sign from the button. will never forget spring break in lauderdale. great times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Erika Bartenope contact me 754-246-9825. miss you and saw whst you wrote on on disco music. I still have your calendar picture. Miss you long lost friend.
I worked @ the button on the beach, elbow room also was miss January candy store caleneder girl. Oh how I miss those times! The years fly by but will never forget my Lauderdale days. :
The Botton, was part of everything in ft laud in the 70s. It was part of the daily partying circuit. Every StPats day at 7am we all started there with green eggs and ham!! The best of times.
Wow...I wasn't old enough to experience spring break back in the 80s, but my love of the beach and palm trees has me LOVING the stories of the old spring break times in Lauderdale. Big fan of the Spring Break movie. And Crazy Gregg...what a life. An absolute legend. Sounds like he touched millions of lives. Not everyone can say that about themselves.
Wow really brings back so many memories worked the button on the beach and poolbar on 3rd floor in early 80s was the time of our lives met so many great people from all over the USA would go back home to visit when spring break was over and come back to work the next years spring break again hung out at button south after button on beach closed each night go with group of employees what times we would hav crazy greg of course still around back then would take many to bimini so much money to b made back then remember riding my beach cruiser to work everyday up and down A1A too and from marriotts harbor beach resort to button on beach anyone remember brett bartender from the button in early 80s or how bout andy he was the one managing the bar part time youd remember them if u worked their can remember faces but not alot of names
Does anyone remember or know David Moore? He was a bartender at The Button in the 70's. He was also a lifeguard and he was absolutely gorgeous!!
Great clubs,Strange but the button was a place to drink,not really a pickup place,that honor goes to Art stocks playpen --saw another pretty face at the flying machine-and for late night clubbing--The four o clock club- big Daddys on comercial blvd was cool
That is a nice read (article). I do remember all what was written, though only knowing of Crazy Gregg in the early eighties and all his clubs, which I visited much. You always saw him in a Hawiian shirt, and some silly hat, Crab, on his head and smiling and always open to hello's. Nice guy indeed. Thanks for all great times at your establishments. Those places and Crazy will be missed!
NEWELL, ROBERT "CRAZY GREGG", 69, died peacefully in his sleep at his Fort Lauderdale home on Wednesday. February 12, after a lengthy battle with lung and liver cancer. Long regarded as the" Father of Spring Break", his nightclubs and wacky parties helped put Fort Lauderdale on the lips of college students for more than 40 years. Newell, nicknamed "Crazy" after a beer promotion he once featured at the Elbo Room, was born in Boston, MA. on April 12, 1933, only child to the late Robert and Lucille Newell. He was raised in Highland Park, IL. and graduated with a degree in Audiology from Purdue University. He visited Fort Lauderdale for Spring break in 1955 and promised himself that he would return to the area after graduation to live his life surrounded by sunshine and palm trees. He moved to the area in 1957 and worked as a hearing aid salesman but soon the lure of the beachlife and nightclub business took hold of him and he began work as the bar manager at Calder's Club 88 in Lauderdale by the Sea. He later worked as the manager at the infamous Porky's on North Federal Highway before running the upstairs bar for 9 years at the Elbo Room. After a change of ownership forced him out of his job, he opened The Button in the Holiday Inn Oceanside Hotel in 1970 and began his series of daily "college parties" in 1971, pitting schools on Spring break against each other in various innocent and tawdry competitions. The Button parties grew in such stature that Newell opened C.W. Dandy's , The Windjammer and Button Up each Spring in other parts of the hotel to accommodate the overflow crowds. He sold his interest in The Button in the early 1980's and opened The Agora Ballroom in Hallandale, which eventually became The Button South. After co-owning Mr. Laff's All-Star Cafe in 1990, he purchased a green 34 foot Sonic speedboat named "Kermit" and opened a sightseeing business called Speedboat Adventures, offering tourists boatrides on the intracoastal, trips along the beachfront or even charter rides top Miami, the Keys or Bimini. He often would take Spring Breakers out for a joy ride at no cost, simply because he liked to see people enjoy themselves. A few months before his death, in front of over 200 of his former employees and longtime friends, Newell was the guest of honor at an "Aloha" party at The Parrot Lounge where Mayor Jim Naugle issued a proclamation declaring October 22 as "Crazy Gregg Day" in Fort Lauderdale. A similar party at Cheers in December re-united Newell with another crowd of over 100 old co-workers and customers. Newell confirmed all of his own funeral arrangements in the months leading to his death. Friends may call from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, Feb 16, at the funeral home. A mass will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, Feb. 17 at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 901 N.E. 2nd Street, Ft. Lauderdale, with interment to follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Ft. Lauderdale. Newell was not married and had no children or other close relatives, but is survived by many, many close friends in South Florida, and the Bahamas. In lieu of flowers, he asks that donations be made to Hospice Care of South East Florida, 309 S.E. 18th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33316 or St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St.Jude Place, Memphis, TN. 38105-1905. Arrangements by: FAIRCHILD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTER 299 N. Federal Highway Ft. Lauderdale,Fl 33301 954/763-4488.
Published in the Sun-Sentinel on 2/14/2003.
I stayed in one of those hurricane-proof bungalos.Really comfy living right across from the beach.It was a parking lot last time I looked.Slept in the old life guard stands also after an eve of guitar and smoke.In Coco you could have bonfires in '71.Great time.all gone.
I wasn't aware that Crazy Greg owned any places like that. How cool. Though I now live in Vegas, would sure have been nice to know that the Button on the Beach, and especially Hallandale were open again. That trip back would be a must for me!!
Crazy Gregg owned all the small bungalows just south of the Button. That's were most of the Bartenders from around the beach lived.
The Button, I came across this web-site and it brought back memories from 10975-1977. Left from Youngstown Ohio for Spring break. Not many memories we did party Hard.
The button did not get it´s name from a erotic zone. The "Button" was phrase back then for cute little (please excuse the expression) chicks. amen!
I have forgotten how the button got its' name.I think it referred to the love button-erotic zone.In '73-'74 it was the most deeply packed music house ever,like a whole crowd got glued together and dropped in there.So loud you had to yell to the person next to you.Drinks almost as potent as The Flying Machine remember that one?One contest was akissing contest in"77 I think,and the winner got a date with Ann Margaret.Serious hardcore action there booze and sex with alot of head candy in between.I still have a Button"77 button.When I find it does anyone want to buy it?
Button South was definatly the bar of choice over all. Easier access as far as driving and parking. But lots of named band members would stop off there when they had a tour thru So. Fla. Of course late night, the strippers (off duty) came in. Lots of bands, both big names and lots of local bands, and smaller non local bands, played there almost nightly. There was a time you could go on a Sun Mon Tue or Wed and just as many people as you would see on weekends. The real great 'hay day' of the Button South was anytime from 1984-1990. Start around Early 90's you were seeing a down trend. The Button South then closed to remodel. When it re opened mid late nineties, it didnt know what it wanted to be...Was said to see it die off slow like that. The locals stopped going when The BS was in this faze of uncertainity.
At any rate Joan Jett or not Button had great bands and cover bands. I remember going to button south in hallandale.the bar would empty out at about 1am then get crowded again by 3 and stay that way until 6. Crazy!!
No, I dont ever remember Joan Jett playing there, but I suppose she could have. I think once in a while they had a few name bands there, but mostly that was at Summers
I remember button on the beach in 84. I might of seen Joan Jett and blackhearts perform there. Does anyone remember seeing Joan Jett there too?
Ok, great. But again, I was asking how the Button got it's name. I went to the Button on the Beach since early 80's till it closed, as well as the Button South (which was much better on every level) till it closed, or started changing it's look and sound in the early 90's. I do miss both though.
It was usually beyond crowded in there-(button).A real meat factory.Used to go around the corner to the prop club across from the hall of fame swimming pool and next to Papa Niks in'73.Big Mama Blu used to cook at Niks.She taught me to cut up taters in my hand and throw 'em on the grill and then she would take a bank bag of "seasoniing" and sprinkle it on the taters.She said it kept 'em coming back for more.She practiced her singing there while cooking.A lot of magnificent human beings passed through Papa Niks' doors '73-75.Any one remember Randy alias "Lauderdale Lard"?Or Nihasa,or Lucifer,Mitchico and her husband?The strip was where all the lost colorful spirits of the world reincarnated to remember for a short while who they were and what they all meant to one another.I'm Tommy at Taliesynetaliesyne@yahoo.com.I remember.Peace.
Ok, well if anyone knows the origin of the name, would be cool to hear
@neon Sorry amigo I mean why did they name it "The Button"? Where does the name come from?
Not sure I remember the Button's origin name
Can anyone tell me where/why the name "The Button" had it´s origin? (I know where!)
The clubs were a drug, especially the ones on and in Ft Lauderdale. I didnt start going to the Button on the Beach till 82-83 until it closed. Hence, though I admit, clubs and bars are still my 'drug' of choice. Viva Lauderdale Strip
Yeah the clubs were a gas but we´re all forgetting one
thing. I worked construction in the eraly 70´s and you met people from all over the states that were working
construction too. We all made good money but after paying the rent and going out on the weekends on monday
we were all broke. We all swore that the next week would be different, yeah right!!! The clubs were a drug!
I agree with Tim. We locals usually shyed away from the strip during Spring Break. I was there but couldnt wait for it to be over. It was crazy yes, and there were stories, but just not the same vibe...but if there are more stories of the strip or any of the clubs in Lauderdale or on the Strip..love to hear..It was such a huge part of my life since I was old enough to drive.
@billd9505, no offence but the only time we didn´t go to the clubs was during spring break. And the only beach we went to was Pompano. To many whities
I remember what could have been the craziest afternoon ever in the button on the Ft Lauderdale strip. My school was entered in the famous college competitions. Erotic banana eating contest, etc.
Too crazy to mention. What a crazy town in the 70's during spring break
Remember Crazy Greg? He was the owner. I would come in sometimes with some strange 'Crab hat' on his head and a hawaiian shirt. Always smiling. It was a great place from time to time. Sometimes Button on the Beach would get a band that you would enjoy watching all night. Made it hard to bar hop when that happened.
Rosebuds on Oakland Park turned into the the Metal Factory. Big Daddys on Commercial near LBtS not in but next to Stans Lounge was Big Daddy's Brother Jim's In LBtS was Trader Jacks, The Wharf Pub, Then there was Gaffers Pub, Barricuda Bob's, Bobby G's, Sneeky Pete's, Ocean Mist Lounge, The Hut, sooooooo many great places I'll remember more later.
Are we talking about The Button South(Hallendale) or Button on the Beach(Las Olas/Strip). Both owned by same owner. I loved both. The Button on the Beach was connected to the same building as the Holiday Inn AND was my first bar I went to legally and ordered a Rum and Coke. Was a fantastic place being open all day for the beach goers, then turned more into a great bar(club)at night. Saw many a bands there till their closing sometime mid 80's. They would have Free drinks 8-10, and sometimes a free T-Shirt or Mug or both. And come Spring Break...wow...SOOOOO many people. The girls werent shy there to give their room keys to the bar staff then. Im sure the bar tenders have stories after hours. The place was cool cuz it would stay open later then any other bar(club) on the strip. Good rock, sometimes mainstream, but still...The bathrooms werent the cleanest...ummm..I think I even went a few times to another bar if I had to hit the john, then come back. We would park the car, then hit The Button on the Beach, Summers, Candy Store, and sometimes Penrods...then just bar hop back forth, skipping one and going to another in no apparent order. BUT hitting all 3-4 all night. I miss it as I miss the entire Ft Laud Strip scene...THE BEST EVER...
Yes, I do remember one on Oakland Park Blvd. Can't remember if I ever stopped there. I worked at several of the hotels in the mid to early 80's by the Galt Ocean Mile so I frequented places more on the North end of Lauderdale. Around 1979-81 my friends migrated to an "anti-disco" bar called Nard's. But since this is a disco site we won't talk about that......!
kathyaye you´re right about Big Daddys being all over Florida. I think that there were three in and around Lauderdale alone. I also think that the Excalibur was on Oakland Park Blvd.
I remember a Big Daddy's on Commercial Blvd in Laud-by-the Sea. I drank there a few times around 1974-1976. I thought Big Daddy's were everywhere in Florida!
I was in the Button from 1972-1973. I always had to give my Bike-Helmet to the bouncers when I entered.
Wild Place. Anybody remember Big Daddys Excalibur
I remember going here after all day on the beach. We would stay until around 6pm. Go home change and hit Playpen on Sunday nights for Ladies night..drinks were freeeeeee...
I remember the Button-had a reputation of being real wild-but wasn't everything in Ft. Lauderdale?