After nearly 40 years, Bill FitzGerald is selling his namesake club in Berwyn.
Over those four decades the club has hosted a wide array of musicians, from The Famous Potatoes to jazz great Marcia Ball to Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier.
FitzGerald joined Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia on Tuesday to discuss the musicians that have come through FitzGerald’s, why it was time to move on and his hopes for the club after he is gone.
Tony Sarabia: What was your philosophy when it came to booking music?
Bill FitzGerald: I love the excitement of presenting bands that really know how to rock the house … who can get on stage and really put on a dramatic performance. It doesn’t have to be loud, but I do like rock ‘n’ roll. And you hear from agents and musicians who is doing it. Let’s say Marcia Ball set the mark and got us started, then you have people like Stevie Ray Vaughan or The Neville Brothers or Johnny Reno & the Sax Maniacs. You get addicted to what they are doing.
Sarabia: What are your hopes? Do you want to sell it to somebody who wants to carry on the mission?
FitzGerald: Absolutely. People call it a campus now because it has the side bar and the party room. Music happens there, music of course in the club, the parking lot — we’ve even had shows on the roof I think. And the restaurant next door creates the bookend buildings on either side of FitzGeralds, and everything is linked together to a certain degree, and it just works so well as a campus.
Sarabia: Is there one artist or band that you still want to hook in before you call it quits?
FitzGerald: We always talk about how it would be great to have Lucinda Williams at our club. That’s somebody for sure.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click play above to hear the whole interview.