Tag Archives: “Staples: The High School That Rocked”

COVID-19 Roundup: Virtual Dance Party Tonight; Face Mask Collection; Business News; How To Help; Staples Rocks; The Ospreys (!) And More

Joe Agostino, an enthusiastic participant in the STAR program for people with disabilities, is a budding DJ. Tonight (Saturday, March 21. 6:30 to 7 p.m.) he’s hosting a Facebook Live Virtual Dance Party, in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day. Go to Facebook; search for @djjoegetdown — then get down!


Need a delivery of food? Medications? Toilet paper (the holy grail)?

Cup of Sugar can help. Its mission is simple: make deliveries for those who need them.

It’s simple — just click here, then click “Request a Delivery.” I’m not sure who is behind this, but for many people it could be a literal life saver.


She la la in Playhouse Square is closed. But the popular store placed a box by the front door. They’re collecting N95 masks, face shields, wipes and sanitizers for health professionals and first responders. If you’ve got some to spare — give generously!


With shipments coming in to Compo Farm this week and next, “06880” reader Peter Huggins says, “It would be great if people order flowers for delivery both to help a local business survive, and make their homes a little happier in these troubling times.”


Stacey Henske is helping ease isolation, loneliness, fear and anxiety among seniors. Kids, teenagers, adults — anyone — can write poetry, letters, short stories, essays, cards, illustrations or anything else that can be slipped under a door.

They can be dropped in a bin by the front door at 10 Poplar Plains Road, off Wilton Road. If you can’t leave the house, email staceyhenske@gmail.com; she’ll arrange for pickup. PS: Please don’t lick any envelopes!


Logan Goodman is a Bedford Middle School 8th grader with a great business customizing sneakers. Some designs are her own; others are based on famous artists’ works.

With time on her hands, she’s eager for work. Check out her Instagram (@lacedbylogan), then DM her for details.


The UPS store at 606 Post Road East next to Dunkin Donuts is considered an “essential business.” It remains open, offering printing, scanning, faxing and notary. For anyone working from home, those services can be truly essential.


Starbucks may or may not be an “essential business.” But dozens of Westporters believe it is.

They’ve voted with their feet — well, their tires. This was the scene on the Post Road at 10:45 this morning.

Gotta have that quad long shot grande in a venti cup half calf double cupped no sleeve salted caramel mocha latte with 2 pumps of vanilla substitute 2 pumps of white chocolate mocha for mocha and substitute 2 pumps of hazelnut for  toffee nut half whole milk and half breve with no whipped cream extra hot extra foam extra caramel drizzle extra salt add a scoop of vanilla bean powder with light ice  — well stirred!

(Photo/John McKinney)


Not long ago, Westporter James Mapes created a 2-disk toolkit, all about helping users manage stress.

In these stressful times, he’s giving away the download to the first 20 healthcare workers who email him (jjm195@aol.com). Include your affiliation, please. For more info, click here.


Remember all those stories you’ve heard about the bands that played at Staples High School: the Doors, Cream, Sly & the Family Stone, Animals, Rascals and Yardbirds?

Remember the 2017 documentary produced by Staples grad Fred Cantor, and directed by another alum, Casey Denton? Remember how mad you were that you missed its showings in Westport?

Now — thanks to Cantor and Denton, and their desire to bring a bit of rock joy into socially isolated America — you can relive (or learn about) those amazing days.

They’ve made it available — free — on YouTube. Just click below.

And even if you’re quarantined in your room, start dancing.


Running out of things to do? Board games are great — and right around the corner.

Looking for educational toys for your schooling-in-place child? They’re right around the corner too.

Amazing Toys in Compo Shopping Center offers curbside service. So does Age of Reason on Post Road West — and they deliver (within reason). Just call ahead!


Hank May’s Tire & Auto Centers offer curbside drop-off and pick up. Call ahead to be checked in by phone. Cars can also be dropped off before or after hours. Leave keys and information in the night drop box; they’ll call back.


This has absolutely nothing to with the coronavirus, other than raising everyone’s spirits when we need it most.

Alert “06880” reader Lynn Wilson reports that the ospreys are back at Fresh Market!

The 2019 ospreys. (Photo/Carolyn McPhee)

Staples: The High School That Rocked!

It’s a story so outlandish, folks who were there don’t believe it: In a 2-year period in the mid-1960s, the Doors played a concert at Staples High School.

So did Cream. The Yardbirds. Sly and the Family Stone. The Rascals. The Animals. The Beau Brummels.

Plus over the next few years, the Byrds, Rhinoceros, Buddy Miles, J. Geils,  Peter Frampton and Taj Mahal. And Steve Tallerico, before he became Steve Tyler.

I saw most of those bands. I’ve written about it, on “06880.” So has Mark Smollin, a 1970 Staples grad, in his great book The Real Rock & Roll High School: True Tales of Legendary Bands That Performed in Westport CT.

Still skeptical? Now there’s even more proof: a video documentary, called “The High School That Rocked!”

high-school-that-rocked-poster

It’s a labor of love from Fred Cantor, a 1971 Staples alum who missed most of those performances, but is now making up for lost time.

Rock has never died — witness all the young rock lovers born decades after Jim Morrison died — and Cantor enlisted the help of a very recent Staples grad to bring his vision to reality.

Casey Denton (Class of 2014) led a high-level Emerson College camera and sound crew, then edited the final prodcut.

Doors posterThe video includes research Cantor had done for Smollin’s book, and over a dozen interviews with people who were there at the concerts. (Spoiler alert: I’m one of them. Our recollections seem pretty accurate, despite the admonition that if you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.)

Cantor focused on a 2-year period, when 6 bands now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame all took the Staples stage. He is convinced no other high school that could make such a claim.

The video also includes Staples grads from that era who made their mark in the music world. One is Paul Gambaccini, perhaps Britain’s most famous music presenter. Another is Charlie Karp, who at 16 years old was influenced by the concerts to leave Staples and join the Buddy Miles Express. A third is Emmy winner Brian Keane.

Cantor is working with the Westport Cinema Initiative, Westport Historical Society and Levitt Pavilion, to bring “The High School That Rocked!” to a wide audience here.

He’s also entering it in festivals (film, not rock). The first is Film Fest 52 at the Bethel Cinema (Wednesday, March 8, 6 pm VIP party meet and greet, 7 pm film, followed by a Q&A and reception). It will also open the SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival in Providence on April 25.

You don’t have to have seen any of the Staples concerts — or even to have been alive then — to love this film.

But if you were there, you’ll appreciate the final credits.

They say the film was produced by “Sally’s Record Dept. Productions.”

Ginger Baker, Cream's drummer, at Staples. (Photo copyright Jeremy Ross)

Ginger Baker, Cream’s drummer, at Staples. (Photo copyright Jeremy Ross)