Monday, January 31, 2011

Pizza N Pipes Plea

I need your help. I would like to write something sometime on Pizza N Pipes, either for MidMo or Slice. I only went there once. Does anyone have memories/pictures of it? I recall a banjo orchestra playing when I was there. I found a facebook thing about it including this amazing photo of a LIVE ACTION STAR WARS SHOW ACCOMPANIED BY "INTENSE" PIPE ORGAN MUSIC


Sacramento Punk Shows said...

assume you've seen this --

I have fuzzily pleasant memories of pizza and pipes but unfortunately no fuzzy pleasant photos.

I remember it was one of the few pizza places my dad would go cuz he usually hated the noise of pizza joints (esp. Chuck E Cheese) but he gave it a pass cuz he loved organ music -- had an electric organ at home that he played christmas carols on at home

i remember lots and lots of dark wood, the organ seemed huge to me (TWSS) but that may be just a kids perspective. I hated that if ended up sitting on the wood benches on one side of the table you'd have your back to the organ. but then I'd turn around and think it was weird that the old guy playing the organ had his back to me.

I remember a vague sense of corny jokes (but I don't remember any of them), I remember a mix of organ versions of songs my parents liked with occasional forays into songs i recognized from KZAP.

when all the bells and whistles got going that things was hella loud and you wonder what would happen if kids these days got their hands on one of those things,

hadn't thought about it for years but it was very impressive to this kid and now that I have kids I realized I'm bummed I can't take my kids there

not much here, mostly sense memories really, but good ones

I never saw the banjo folks there but I would imagine they are connected to the Sacramento Banjo Band and I would bet some of the old-timers there would have much better memories of it (as well as the old Shakey's on 56th and J

Sacramento Punk Shows said...

sacramento banjo band link:

Sacramento Punk Shows said...

article about the Fresno organ here (mentions it was stored in Sacto) --

and it looks like Pizza Party in Santa Clara used to be a Pizza and Pipes -- they don't have an organ there but they do have a 61 inch tv which is pretty big (TWSS-2)

Anonymous said...

luigi's on stockton had (has?) a big elaborate mechanical (banjo?) band up near the ceiling, but when i was a kid it never worked.


Anonymous said...

laurel and hardy/silent movies always running too. went there lots of times but the memories are a bit tattered.


Unknown said...

I used to go's my fuzzy memories:
- The organ was called The Mighty Wurlitzer.
- I remember that the pipes were actually behind a windowed wall at the front of the room. And the volume pedal controlled a set of iridescent slats in that wall--when the slats were rotated shut, that was quiet, and full volume meant they were rotated all the way open.
- All around the room, mounted up near the ceiling, were various percussion instruments: cymbals, a snare, a zylophone, a washboard, a pair of clapping hands, etc. When the organist triggered one of these, a lightbulb next to it would also light up so you could tell visually what was being played.
- I loved that pizza. Thin cardboard crust like Straw Hat used to have. Mmmm...

Snufkin said...

Dark 70s wood paneling all the way. And am I imagining that they used to do a night where somebody would play Rush on the organ?

Anonymous said...

I always used to see LP's recorded there at the thrift store.


McG said...

Pizza and Pipes was my favorite place to go as a kid. The Mighty Wurlitzer organ player always played 2001 a Space Oddysey.The lights would go off, the disco ball would come down, and all the special effects would kick in.

He would also play music to the Laurel and Hardy silent movies. Lots of sound effects. Stu Boyer may have been the organ player.

The pizza was good too. We would always try to predict which color our pizza number would be on the wall. They had a giant colorful number board on both sides of the restaurant.

Lots of wacky musical instruments on the wall that the organ player would use with a press of a button.

The Entertainer was another tune in rotation on the Wurlitzer.

Anonymous said...

All of these things sound great & all - but P&P closed down for one simple reason: THERE WAS NO SEMI CRASHING THROUGH THE WALL!