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"I remember in the '90s, Tom LaPenna, who has the Marquee now, said, 'No grunge bands want to play your club because you got all these hair metal bands hanging on the wall.' My favorite of all times, if I had to choose a period. The hair bands drew the coolest crowds — the hottest chicks — and they were easier to deal with. And, I don't want to offend anybody, but it lasted longer."
When Franco sold the Mason Jar business to his stockbroker, Michael Manfredi, but remained the club's landlord, he could already see the writing on the wall — and it didn't read Jackyl or Megadeth.
"I knew that rap was going to take over. You book a metal show, it would sell 30 or 40 tickets. But you book a rap show and it would sell out in a heartbeat. We did rap shows two times a week. Eminem, Biggie, Tupac, Lil Wayne — I booked all those early rap guys. You used to stop at a red light and hear Metallica, Scorpions, or KUPD. After that, you didn't hear it so much. Every third car was playing rap," Gagliano says, giving a brief imitation of a boom car.
At that point, Gagliano realized he needed a life, and being a landlord of apartments, rather than a patron of fledgling bands, afforded him one.
"For me to do the business right, I had to be there all the time. There was no weekends, no Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Christmas, or New Year's. Now I can just pack my suitcase and go to Italy whenever I feel like."
Despite all the aggravations and occasionally losing his Hawaiian shirt over a poorly attended show by a band with more name recognition than followers, doesn't he ever miss being overlord of a crazy rock club?
"Fuck, yeah, I miss it. Of course, I miss it."
Did the thought of ever coming back to do it again ever appeal to him?
"Who knows? What do you think? You're the expert on the music business."