A true end of an era.

My Facebook feed is full of pictures, tributes and condolences to the man who kept music alive for twenty years in one of the few surviving, long standing music venues in the country. It’s not fair that he owned the two worst possible businesses you could own during the pandemic- a gym and the historic Chance Theater. it’s not fair that he got The Chance all fixed up and never got to see a show afterwards. It’s not fair that he has to leave his family, wife and two daughters far too soon and it’s not fair that his life ended without getting to perform on that stage one last time.

I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to work for him at the legendary club that I’ve been going to since I was 16. He always had great stories, a hearty laugh and and a pretty positive attitude- especially for a guy with so much responsibility.

I’ll never forget my first night working there. Lynne told me they needed help for a show and spoke to Nikki (the manager) to get me in. There was no training and little instruction. It was about 110 degrees upstairs in the balcony where I was watching the VIP section of a very sold out Michael Franti show.

The air conditioners were struggling to fight the heat and the crowds, and people kept opening the emergency exit door. I was told (in no uncertain terms) to keep that door closed, so each time it was opened, I had to leave my post, fight the packed room of sweaty drunk people and go close it. After several frustrating trips pushing through the crowd to get to the door to close it, I looked across the room and saw it wide open yet again. Angry, I stormed across the balcony floor once more, reached behind the big, muscular guy standing in front of the exit and yelled, “this door needs to stay closed!” He replied, “says who?” I said, “says the Chance!” His four word response made feel certain that it was my first and last day working in the club I loved so much. “I own The Chance.” That’s when I looked up and said… “oh…hey…sorry Frank.” After the show, we cleaned up and I walked over to the corner of the bar where he was probably drinking a Disaronno or two and I apologized again. He just looked at me and laughed his hearty laugh and said, “don’t worry about it. You were doing your job. That’s a good thing.” I breathed a big sigh of relief and looked forward to working every show I could since that night.

I was happy to help out during the shut down with some of the renovations of the hundred year old building and anxious to get the club reopened. I had to constantly remind Frank that I’m not a carpenter and he would always say, just do the best you can. I couldn’t believe we would have to open without him. It was so surreal on opening night. No Frank. No Bob. Danny retired. It just didn’t feel the same and it never will.

As many have stated, Frank did so much for the Hudson valley music community. He not only kept the legendary club alive, he gave local musicians- young and not so young, an opportunity to perform there- even through the desolate years and near death of live music in the area. In addition to running two large businesses, raising two young daughters with his wife, Michelle, making the club available for many charity events and fundraisers, keeping the dreams of a multitude of aspiring musicians alive and being extremely passionate about our country, he also headed up two bands of his own and was a very respectable guitar player and singer.

Thank you Frank, for the opportunity to work in one of my favorite places in the world, to meet so many legends and musical heroes and for letting me be part of the ever changing, never ending Chance family. You will be missed by so many and never forgotten.

16 thoughts on “A true end of an era.

  1. He absolutely connected SO MANY with music, one major sad loss for the entire Hudson Valley !! Im forever grateful for becoming family at the Chance, things just wont be the same with Frank and Bob not there and Danny moving on. Well spoken Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike, my brother who takes such good care of me, my heart too is broken. I haul 98 miles from Jersey for him. Have for a decade and I do the app for the theater. It is no issue. Labor of love for the greatest people and venue there is. Frank Pallett, The Chance Theater, and my Hudson Valley Family, the greatest things on earth. I can’t say enough on how blessed I have been for a decade. All we can do is support the Pallett family, show them the love and try and keep The Chance thriving for him. Love you Mike ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tribute to a good man. He did a lot for many of us. He’ll live on in my heart forever. Love you Frank. Love you Morf

    Love you Mike for such a nice post.

    And too all my Chance family ….. Life is such a short ride ….. I love each and everyone of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice job bro! Sorry to hear of the passing of your friend! I always said that you missed your calling as you have a special gift of expression with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said Mike…I’ve been in and out of the CHANCE FAMILY since 1972. This run has been a GREAT RUN…He, FRANK, was an OUTSTANDING PERSON In the right place at the right time. I did not get to know HIM as well as the rest of the FAMILY but I respected HIM. Many times HE back me up at the front door on decisions that were made. Understanding what he wanted I gave it 100% and it worked well. He created a great team and knew how to steer the ship…HE WILL BE MISSED.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for a great write-up on Frank. I first met him 20 or so years ago when he was opening a gym in New Windsor. I did him the small favor of providing some free PR and photo work. A few years later my teenage son had the bright idea of starting a punk rock newspaper. For three weeks he tried but failed to sell a single ad to pay for the $800 printing cost. Then we met with Frank, and offered him a quarter page ad for $60. Instead he took a full page ad for $240 apiece for four issues. He then told my son not to worry, that once other advertisers saw he had The Chance, they’d come on board. Boy was he right: within two days my son sold $950 worth of ads. Years later when my son sought sales work in NYC, companies hired him and said they were specifically impressed he had started a newspaper at such a young age. I give Frank all the credit for jump-starting my son’s career. As everyone says, he treated his friends as if they were family. I shall miss him deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

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