Pictured: Erie’s Paul Yoculan (Younger) left, and Vinny Frazzini (Younger) to the left of John Lennon, laugh with Paul McCartney and John Lennon in New York City shortly after the Beatles’ first US performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Band member Larry “Bugsy” Cope is standing between Paul Yoculan and Vinny.
by Christine Lorraine – April 3, 2019
Back when Michael Jackson was an adorable child prodigy, Tony Orlando was asking someone to Knock Three Times, and “Joy to the World” by 3 Dog Night owned the radio airwaves, something unusual was unfolding in the sleepy, quiet little city of Erie, PA.
Fat Daddy’s Plastic Palace was being born.
It was conveniently located at a high-traffic site near W. 15th Street and Peninsula Drive, on the east side of the street, behind the bottom of the bridge.
Vinny Frazzini, one of the frontmen duo of Erie’s “The Younger Brothers,” saw a club named Fat Daddy’s while performing in New York City, and the name stuck with him. According to his older brother and co-organizer Joeseph (Joe) Frazzini, it was Vinny who coordinated the arrival of a high-powered Canadian band into the US to unleash a musical punch on Fat Daddys’ stage. And that top-notch level of entertainment trend continued through the club’s duration.
Fat Daddy’s other main organizers included:
* Robert White Sr.
* Paul Yoculan (Younger)
* Vinny Frazzini (Younger)
“The place was packed on weekends,” explained Joe. “It was a great nightclub atmosphere.” He shared his memories of this unique local club in an April 3, 2019 phone interview.
Joe describes this psychedelic disco-esque establishment as “successful,” and speaks fondly of the way everyone involved pulled together to help make Fat Daddy’s the trendy place to be seen.
Local resident William Gruelich chipped in and laid carpeting, someone else donated a large wooden bar, and local businessman Raymond Tubbs also added touches to the club’s decor. “It was something everybody wanted to do. A collaborative effort.” Joe added that he cut, created and hung decorative “icicles” from the ceiling, among a myriad of other tasks.
Marge Frazzini, (the author’s mom and wife of Joe), was a patron of this dazzling and different nightclub. She describes her time spent there as “fun and memorable.” Both Joe and Marge agree that Fat Daddy’s Plastic Palace was the happening place to be back in its heyday.
Ronald White, whose older brother was one the club’s founders, added that he met his wife there. Thus it was a place that brought people together on multiple levels.
From all accounts, the only thing wrong with Fat Daddy’s was its short life span.
The photo below shows the The Younger Brothers’ demo album cover with Vinny (left) and Paul.
If the author’s memory is correct, this might be the building that formerly housed Fat Daddy’s Plastic Palace on Peninsula Drive in Erie, PA. If it wasn’t this particular structure, it was definitely near this location when it was a thriving club in the 1970s.
Author’s note: Joseph Frazzini passed away three months after this interview. RIP Joe.