Long-Time Performer Was An Entertainer Extraordinaire At This South Bay Bar
He had a style that was unlike any other, delivered at an energy level that threatened to blow the roof off the place.
For many years in the 80s and 90s, Carey Carloff was the mainstay musician at Pancho’s in Manhattan Beach, CA, packing the tiny cantina bar with loyal locals and happy newcomers who happened upon the place.
And it was at Pancho’s on Saturday, Oct., 24, where many of those people again packed in to say goodbye to Carloff. Earlier that week, Carloff passed away peacefully in his sleep.
It was a sad moment for many but the memories Carloff provided them still lives on in Pancho’s to this day.
Carloff – whose real name was actually Rick Scapicchio – was as much of a fixture at Pancho’s as those Raiders jerseys hanging from the rafters.
Sometimes, it was even Carloff who was hanging from the rafters. He would grab a rope that was attached to the ceiling and swing over the crowd during shows.
Carloff played rock cover tunes and played them hard, well and with a passion that was infectious to everyone in his presence. Few people were seated when Carloff was on stage.
He would bang away on a little piano, often lighting it on fire. And still played it.
He would bend his leg up to it and play the keyboard with his feet. When he put on those red shoes – he seemed to save them for special moments – he was more on fire than his piano.
It was during one of those moments that a visiting friend of PubClub.com nicknamed Carloff “Red Shoes.” After being introduced to him the first night of his visit, the next day the friend said, “let’s go see Red Shoes again.”
Carloff was so popular people hired him for private parties and to play at their weddings (who knows what the families thought when he put on those red shoes and lit up the keyboard at the receptions!).
Eventually, Carloff gave way to the current long-running band, Day of Daze. But there will always be a piece of Carloff on that stage and in that tiny cantina at Pancho’s.