B’Ginnings a/k/a B.Ginnings was a large musical showcase nightclub in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, that opened in approximately 1974. The principal and most well-known owner was Danny Seraphine, the drummer for the supergroup rock band Chicago, who had had a hit song called Beginnings.
Pentwater, a 1970s band that played B’Ginnings over 20 times, recalls that “B’Ginnings’ interior was decorated to resemble a Chicago street scene, complete with stoplights, ‘el’ tracks, and street signs. Gold records adorned the dressing rooms and the free drinks and big haired girls flowed .” Another rock historian similarly remembers B’Ginnings as the “class of the suburban rock venues,” featuring “eye-candy hostesses combined with ear-piercing Marshall stacks .” Owned by musicians, it was considered a great place for musicians to play because of the amenities, which included dressing rooms with lighted mirrors, showers, and beer on tap . The venue was “totally remodeled” in 1980 but closed soon thereafter.
The club was noteworthy not only for attracting national acts, but, as the following list demonstrates, for supporting local Midwest bands and, at a time when most Chicago clubs would not book punk rock or even New Wave bands, or little-known acts, occasionally taking chances on them, at least for a warmup or audition night performance. Probably the biggest impediment to the club's longevity was its location, in a shopping mall nearly an hour’s drive from the Chicago city limits. While several of the members of the band Chicago, and many progressive area musicians, hailed from the suburbs, most fans of harder and edgier rock lived in the city. The club was impossible to reach by public transportation, and to fill its capacity had to rely either on fans from the more conservative towns nearby, or on large numbers of urbanites making the long drive out.
Some Bands That Played at B’Ginnings Edit
- Jade 50s (1975)
- Cryan’ Shames (1975-76)
- Spirit (Oct. 1975)
- Jimmy Skafish (Feb. 1976)
- Manfred Mann (Nov. 10, 1976)
- Cheap Trick (Dec. 31, 1976)
- M&R Rush (1977)
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (c. July, 1978)
- The Dictators (c. July, 1977)
- AC-DC (1978)
- Lou Reed (May 1978)
- Pezband (July, 1978)
- Devo (Nov. 1978)
- Scorpions (1979)
- The Buckinghams (Aug. 29, 1980)
- John Cougar Mellencamp (Oct. 1980)
- Average White Band (Oct. 1980)
- UFO (1977)
- Billion Dollar Babies (date?)
- Buckinghams concert flyer, dated August 29, 1980