The Mouse Trap Club

The Mouse Trap Club, Vernon Hills, Illinois

Here is the finest collection of ’60s photos I’ve seen in ages, taken mainly at the Mouse Trap Club in the Vernon Hills suburb of Chicago. The Riddles are featured in four of them, the PK-5 in one, and there is an unknown group to be identified. If anyone has information or news clips on the club, please write to me or comment below.

These photos are the property of Philip Metzler, former host of The Mouse Trap, sent to me by his daughter.

The Mouse Trap Club
The Mouse Trap Club
The Mouse Trap Club - audience
Audience at the Mouse Trap Club
Mouse Trap Club - Philip Metzler "A Better Mouse Trap Club"
Philip Metzler: “A Better Mouse Trap Club”
Mouse Trap Club Card
A Better Mouse Trap Club – Where the Elite Meet
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap 1
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap Club
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap Club
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap 3
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap Club 4
The Riddles at the Mouse Trap Club
Mouse Trap Club - The PK-5 with Dex Card of WLS
The PK-Five with Dex Card at the Mouse Trap Club

Info on the PK-5 came from James Terry Smith’s comment below, which I’ll quote here:

The amazing PK5 … all cousins from Deerfield, Illinois. Drums John Hackmiester, lead guitar Bill Pekara, vocalist and saxophone Ron Pekara, bass Rich DuLoft, lead and rhythm Dan Gora. They played all over Chicago and won many battle of the band contest … I saw them at Mccormick Place twice and they were hard working … R&B mostly.

Bill Pekara’s son posted this video of the group doing a great version of “I Ain’t Got You” to Youtube with a few additional photos of the group:

Mouse Trap Club - Unknown Band
Unknown Band
Unknown group & dancer at the Mouse Trap Club
Unknown group & dancer at the Mouse Trap Club
The Tydes Mouse Trap Club, January 1966
The Tydes at the Mouse Trap Club, January 1966
Tydes Mouse Trap Club, January 1966
The Tydes at the Mouse Trap Club, January 1966

17 thoughts on “The Mouse Trap Club, Vernon Hills, Illinois”

  1. Riddles always played at CB (Coffee Break) in Elmhurst on Lake Street, after several moves. Later a Mouse Trap opened up just to east. Either on Lake or a frontage road off Lake. Same owner as your Mouse Trap?

  2. We played an off-night at the Mouse Trap in Waukegan in early ’65, but the place depicted in here looks as if it were a teen place. The one we played was not, and I show it being at 580 Old Skokie Rd (hwys 120 & 41). Any connection?

    1. I remember also The Mouse Trap in Waukegan and I also believe they served alcohol there. It was crazy back then but fun.

    2. Does not look like there is a connection, but The Mouse Trap in Waukegan (Park City) was where Cheap Trick played from 1974 until the club was called Bermuda Bob’s.
      I was to engage in a battle of the bands as lead female vocalist, but was glad my band Hot Mama Silver didn’t all appear.
      Great fan of yours, sincerely, Roxanne E

      1. Didn’t the Mousetrap in Park City, become Night Gallery? I know that I saw Cheap Trick there and also Captain Beyond and Budgie. I think that was around ’76 or ’77

    3. You are correct, Mouse Trap, Night Gallery, then Bermuda Bob’s. I was supposed to perform a song in a battle of bands with Cheap Trick. Glad my band didn’t have it together, but enjoyed CT, they sold out in Waukegan Genesee Theater tomorrow night, March 11, 2017!!! Roxcty1

      1. We used to go to the Mouse Trap on the 60’s. Followed a great band there called the Predictors. Awesome rock band! My buddies hauled me there for my stag party in 1967 drunk & bouncers wouldn’t let us in! A night to remember for sure!

    4. Hi Gary, yes the other Mouse Trap, adult, was in Park City, on the west side of Waukegan. I also played off nights there with Nob Young and Nick Maroni. We played on nights at Club 63 Winthrop Harbor. We had Billy Hoff, who sang with the Galaxies on bass for a while. Bob on guitar, Nick on drums and me in Wirlitser piano. When Billy left I took over bass and we stayed a trio till we broke up. Did a bunch of Surfside gigs with that band too. And the first Go Go club outside of Antioch on 173. I played this Mouse Trap in Veron Hills too, but I remember a higher stage and the mic stands coming down from the ceiling. The entrance and ticket booth look the same.

  3. wrt the unknown group with Dex Card, might that be the Bel Air Five ? They put out a “frat-rock” 45 in ’64, Bring Back My Baby To Me / Time Has Come (USA 764). The hairdos look like pre-Invasion rockers/greasers rather than garage/beat moptops.

    1. The “unknown” group with Dex Card is the amazing PK 5…All cousins from Deerfield, Illinois. Drums John Hackmiester, Lead guitar Bill Pekara, Vocalist and Saxaphone Ron Pekara, Bass Rich DuLoft, Lead and Rhythm Dan Gora… They played all over Chicago and won many battle of the band contest…I saw them at Mccormick Place twice and they were hard working…RandB mostly.

  4. Wow what fabulous photos. – the first of the mystery groups – could be ‘the ONE’ 😉 Look at that athletic drummer ! And the letters are sparse on the drum head – hey buddy move to your right just a step… 😉

  5. I believe I am in 2 of the pictures, dancing with my future husband, and I recognize one guy near the stage – Dennis Clark. What fun memories! Thanks

  6. I was the bass player for the P.K.FIVE.
    At age 65 still playing Bass, and rockin to R&B, the good stuff from the the late 60’s early 70’s!!!

  7. The mousetrap in park city, ill. Was in an unused and smallish factory as i recall. No effort to decorate it was made. I believe they had a Barbor chair you’d sit in, recline and pour booze in you mouth. I lucked out and saw the trick.

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