Defunct Restaurant Chains

Some of these restaurant chains,  people will remember some won’t because it depends on where you live and if any were in your market. A few may have a handful open with Franchisees but for the most part, they are closed.


Steak and Ale -1966 – 2008   I liked the Mock Tudor building and the atmosphere inside…the food was good. They are trying to make a comeback…I hope they make it. Last time I ate at one was in the 90s in Huntsville Alabama.

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Burger Chef – 1954 – 1996    They had over 1200 locations at one time. Many were bought out and turned into Hardees.

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Rax Roast Beef 1967 – (handful open now)   I liked the Roast Beef but the best thing was the chocolate chip milkshake. There are a few lone Franchisees left. I remember going to them in the 80s.

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Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken  1968 to mid-1970s – How-dee-licious…indeed. It was actually really good. When I was in 2nd grade we would go to one in a nearby town once in a while…really good chicken… it went down because of faulty accounting… Great article here.

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Bennigan’s 1976 – (Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale making a comeback together)  An Irish Pub theme restaurant. I went there a few times. There are a few locations left…

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Red Barn – 1961-1988 They were known for the “Big Barney” and Barnbuster burger. I see an old Red Barn where I work and now it’s a Mexican restaurant.

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Howard Johnson’s Restaurant – 1953-2017   I do remember eating at a few of these traveling.  In 2017 there was one left in New York but the owner was arrested and now it’s closed.

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LUMS – 1956-1982  I did go to one but I was really young and traveling at the time.

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Bonanza Steak House – 1963 – 2008 (bankruptcy) There are a few of these left… these and Ponderosa… Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright) was an original investor. In the late seventies before we would go to a movie we would stop at a Bonanza. I did go to a Ponderosa a few years back.

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Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown

I first noticed  Candian Gordon Lightfoot riding in the car with my sister …with the AM radio station playing this song. Sundown got a lot of airplay back then. It peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #33 in the UK in 1974.

The inspiration for this song was his girlfriend Cathy Smith who would later have a romantic relationship with Richard Manuel of The Band and a fatal encounter with John Belushi.

Hard to believe but Gordon turned 80 last month. 


From Songfacts.

The inspiration for this song came from Lightfoot worrying about his girlfriend, who was out at bars all day while he was at home writing songs. He recalled during a Reddit AMA: “I had this girlfriend one time, and I was at home working, at my desk, working at my songwriting which I had been doing all week since I was on a roll, and my girlfriend was somewhere drinking, drinking somewhere. So I was hoping that no one else would get their hands on her, because she was pretty good lookin’!”

“As a matter of fact, it was written just around Sundown,” he added, “just as the sun was setting, behind the farm I had rented to use as a place to write the album.”

Lightfoot most likely wrote this about the stormy relationship with his one time girlfriend Cathy Smith, who was later sentenced for delivering a lethal dose of heroin to John Belushi.



I can see her lyin’ back in her satin dress
In a room where ya do what ya don’t confess
Sundown you better take care
If I find you beenn creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown ya better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs

She’s been lookin’ like a queen in a sailor’s dream
And she don’t always say what she really means
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain

I can picture every move that a man could make
Getting lost in her lovin’ is your first mistake
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again

I can see her lookin’ fast in her faded jeans
She’s a hard lovin’ woman, got me feelin’ mean
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again

ZZ Top – I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide

ZZ Top is a fun band. I liked their stuff but when they made the Eliminator album in 1983 they seemed to remake it over and over again from then on. Their music before that album is a little rawer and edgier. Billy Gibbons is a great guitar player and  Jimi Hendrix was a fan of his.

This song was released in 1979 and didn’t chart but it remains one of my favorites of them.

They are a tight band and I was given a ticket to one of their shows in the early 80s and they were a lot of fun to watch. Never been a huge fan but they had a huge sound for a trio. I’ve heard Bruce Springsteen cover this song.

From Songfacts.

This song was inspired by Texas blues musician named Joey Long, who was good friends with the band. As Billy Gibbons tells it, Long didn’t have a driver’s license, but he always had new Cadillac that his beautiful wife Barbarella used to drive him to gigs.

The song is confabulated so Long is enjoying the company of a few lovely ladies during this ride, all wearing nylons, spike-heeled shoes and smoking Lucky Strikes – he was living large!

Long, who died in 1995, wasn’t as rich or famous as he’s made out to be in the song, but he was one of the most acclaimed blues guitarists in Texas and a mentor to Gibbons, who cites Long’s playing on the Barbara Lynn track “We Got A Good Thing Going” as a formative influence.

Billy Gibbons played what he described as “a multi-stringed mandolin-like instrument from Parral, Mexico” that Joey Long gave him on this track. “If you listen closely, you can hear close-miked mandolin-sounding rhythm accompaniment,” he told Guitar World. “The lead track was played on a custom-made, half-sized, real short-scaled guitar tuned to G. It was actually standard tuning cranked up three steps, which remained quite playable thanks to the guitar’s short scale.

The song’s tail end alternates between three distinct effects created by two pedals: an Echoplex doubler and a Maestro octave box alternating every third bar between having the octave up and the octave down.”


I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide

Well I was rollin’ down the road in some cold blue steel
I had a blues man in back, and a beautician at the wheel
We going downtown in the middle of the night
We laughing and I’m jokin’ and we feelin’ alright

Oh I’m bad, I’m nationwide
Yes I’m bad, I’m nationwide

Easin’ down the highway in a new Cadillac
I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back
They sportin’ short dresses, wearin’ spike-heel shoes
They smokin’ Lucky Strikes, and wearing nylons too

‘Cause we bad, we nationwide
Yeah we bad, we nationwide

Well I was movin’ down the road in my V-8 Ford
I had a shine on my boots, I had my sideburns lowered
With my New York brim and my gold tooth displayed
Nobody give me trouble ’cause they know I got it made

I’m bad, I’m nationwide
Well I’m bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, I’m nationwide
Yes man!

Slang from the Seventies

I remember most of these. Once in a while when I’m in a good mood at work…I will slip some of these in just to see the reactions. I’m in IT so I can get by with it…we are viewed as weird anyway. I never realized how much out of date slang there is out there. This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Do Me a Solid – do me a favor

To the Max – I still use this one…it contains my name so it fits.

Disco Biscuits – Quaaludes

Cool Beans – Not a side dish but it’s cool

10-4 – good buddy – an understanding

Sweet! – very cool

Psyche – To fake someone out…love this one

Groovy – Everything is cool

Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid – Stop getting into my business

Do Me A Solid – Do me a favor

Catch you on the flip-side – See you later

Far Out – Cool and groovy

Can You Dig It – Do you understand

Wicked – Awesome

The Skinny – The lowdown

Good Night Johnboy – from the Waltons…a form of goodbye

Dy-no-mite! – JJ or Jimmy Walker from Goodtimes…something that is great.

Dream On – Saying something is unrealistic

The Man – Well this one is used today…the authority, corporations, police, government… the boss

Bitch’n – very cool

Gimme Five – This one has totally vanished…I’m updating this one…many do this with kids now…so I see a comeback.

No Way, Jose – Not going to happen

That’s Bogus – Not fair


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Walter Egan – Magnet and Steel

One of my favorite pop/rock songs. Beautifully crafted melody. In 1978 this song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100. Walter wrote this song about Stevie Nicks and she sang on the track. The bass and drum sound in this song is fantastic.

From Songfacts.

Stevie Nicks sang on this track and provided inspiration for the lyrics. Walter Egan tells us about this song:

“In 1976 I was living in Pomona, California and I had a notion to write a song with the ‘stroll’ beat (made famous by Chuck Willis) and so began the rough outline of what was tentatively called ‘Don’t Turn Away Now.’ Now, this was also at the time of putting together my first album, Fundamental Roll, and my two new friends and producers, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks and I were starting the recording process.

On the night when Stevie did the background vocals for my song ‘Tunnel o’ Love,’ my nascent amorous feelings toward her came into a sharper focus – I was smitten by the kitten, as they say. It was on my drive home at 3 AM from Van Nuys to Pomona that I happened to be behind a metal flake blue Continental with ground effects and a diamond window in back. I was inspired by the car’s license plate: “Not Shy.”

By the time I pulled into my driveway I had formulated the lyrics and come up with the magnet metaphor. From there the song was finished in 15 minutes.

It was especially satisfying to have Stevie sing on ‘Magnet,’ since it was about her (and me).”

This was used in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights.

This was Egan’s only Top 40 chart entry for his own recordings, though he also wrote Night’s first hit, “Hot Summer Nights,” which reached #18.

Magnet and Steel

Ooh ooh ah
Now I told you so you ought to know
Ooh it takes some time for a feelin’ to grow
Ooh you’re so close now I can’t let you go
Ooh and I can’t let go
For you are a magnet and I am steel

I can’t hope that I’ll hold you for long
Ooh you’re a woman who’s lost to your song
Ooh but the love that I feel is so strong
Ooh and it can’t be wrong

With you I’m not shy to show the way I feel
With you I might try my secrets to reveal
For you are a magnet and I am steel
For you are a magnet and I am steel


Steely Dan – Dirty Work

This song came off the Can’t Buy a Thrill album. It’s a song about an affair from the man’s point of view.  The song is well known but it did not chart and I will add that I am surprised. I have double checked the charts… Donald Fagen and Walter Becker wrote the song and it was sung by David Palmer.

Becker and Fagen debated leaving the song on the album. It has since also recorded by other artists, including The Pointer Sisters, Iain Matthews, and Melissa Manchester.

David Palmer has recently sued Steely Dan in 2014 for digital royalties.


Dirty Work

Times are hard
You’re afraid to pay the fee
So you find yourself somebody
Who can do the job for free
When you need a bit of lovin’
Cause your man is out of town
That’s the time you get me runnin’
And you know I’ll be around

I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah
I don’t want to do your dirty work
No more
I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah

Light the candle
Put the lock upon the door
You have sent the maid home early
Like a thousand times before
Like the castle in its corner
In a medieval game
I foresee terrible trouble
And I stay here just the same

I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah
I don’t want to do your dirty work
No more
I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah


I’ve always liked Tie-Dye shirts and whatever else that it is applied to. I’ve bought some things at street fairs and watched them as they did it. There is an art to doing it.

I’m astonished they did this in the 1920s.

Methods of tie-dye were formed in India, Japan, and Africa as early as the sixth century. the oldest known tie-dye tradition that is still practiced is an Indian method called Bandhani.

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Tie-Dye was popular in the 1920s from home decorating to dresses.

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In the sixties, tie-dye soared in America with the hippie movement. Hippies wanted to throw off the norm of the fifties with flashy and out of the norm clothes.

Before tie-dye became popular, Rit Dye was struggling. Don Price, a marketer for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, began a marketing campaign for the dye in Greenwich Village, where many hippies lived. He went door to door, looking for artists who would use Rit for tie-dyeing. Then came Will and Eileen Richardson, two retired artists who made tie-dye pieces that Price showed to designers and fashion editors. After clothing designer Halston started using tie-dye in his designs, stars such as Janis Joplin were wearing it. Soon enough, tie-dye became a bandwagon the entire youth generation jumped on.

To this day you can go anywhere and buy anything tie-dyed you want…it’s not just for the counterculture anymore.

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