Tompkins Street in Kingston tonight

Tompkins Street Duo.
There, that was easy.
When Tony Alu and Joe Leone decided the best way to spend their retirement years was to dust off their guitars and see what was left of their voices, coming up with a name for their collaboration was a no-brainer. They met on Tompkins Street in Pittston when they were four years old and have been best friends since.
On Tompkins Street, where they lived just a couple of doors apart, they went from cowboy suits to St. Rocco’s school uniforms, and from baseball bats to musical instruments.
I don’t go back quite that far with Joe and Tony but we’ve been friends for more than 50 years. We were all freshmen at Pittston High School in 1964 when The Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and changed our lives. The influence on me was more hairstyle than anything else, but for guys like Joe and Tony, guys with talent, well, they started playing Beatles’ music and never stopped.
Tompkins Street Duo will do a handful of Beatles songs tonight, along with dozens of other numbers that transport me back to my youth, when they play at Flaherty’s in Kingston from 7:30 to 11:30. We jokingly call those times “old guy hours.” When the 20-somethings are heading out to begin their weekend, we’ll be heading home.
But we weren’t born 65 years old. When we were in our 20s, Joe played in a lot of bands and those bands played in a lot of bars. I’d show up at places like Gallagher’s Wooden Nickel in Dunmore, help carry in the equipment, and get half-priced beers all night since I was, you know, “with the band.”
I won’t be “with the band” tonight, but I’ll be there enjoying the music along with something from Flaherty’s extensive menu. These days the food is more important than the beer, but only a little.
Flaherty’s, which prefers its full name of Flaherty’s Eating & Drinking Establishment, is located at 277 Zerby Avenue.
Maybe I’ll see you there.

Ed Ackerman