Ken Demko Live at the Lamplighter Inn

Fine food, good drinks, and organist Ken Demko combine for an evening of entertaining pleasure.

As a youngster, my parents used to take me to a restaurant called the Captain's Inn in Toms River, New Jersey. Capain's Inn had a fellow just like this Ken Demko -- he sat behind an incredibly complicated machine with three keyboards and dozens of switches, entertaining us as we ate our lobster and shrimp scampi with delightful renditions of Songs Everyone Knew. I can remember spending many hours (or at least the good part of one hour) watching him throw switches, press footpedals, and somehow get this monstrosity to make music.

The folks at Century/Advent records must remember, too. This disc captures the atmosphere perfectly, right down to the restaurant noises in the background. Demko plays a 1928 Kimball Theatre pipe organ (I read it on the liner notes) while his patrons dine, chat, and otherwise socialize to the tune of Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Beer Barrel Polka, Hava Nagila and even 2001. I don't know whether Ken Demko is still performing today (or even if the Cleveland-based Lamplighter Inn is still open), but with Ken's best performances in the can, does it really matter?

Ken Demko Live at the Lamplighter Inn
(click picture to magnify)
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Tie a Yellow Ribbon (Real Audio) Wherein Ken Demko and the 1928 Kimball meet Tony Orlando and Dawn. A little slow at first, but it picks up.

Your Comments:

Bonnie Demko ( says:
Hi How are you? I was wodering if you know Claire Demko, My name is Bonnie Demko I just found your website. I was just wondering if we are cousins I think we are. Please email me back. I would love to hear from you. Bonnie Demko (11-09-1999)

Bonnie Wolf ( says:
Sorry I do know your mom and dad steve and mary if its the same one my dad is your dad brother. Bonnie Demko (11-09-1999)

Soul Vengeance ( says:
OH DEAR LORD!! This is hideous. Having grown up in the heart of deepest Arkansas, I could go out to certain restaurants or the houses of deeply religious old ladies and see just this sort of organ. (OOOH, that sounded a bit rude, dinnit.) One of the most surreal moments of my life was when Blockbuster video finally opened a store in my podunk town. Instead of piping in muzak, or maybe playing one of the movies they hoped to rent, they found some little old lady to play an organ sort of like this one...... and let me tell you, she smoked on the arsenal of hymns she brought with her. ( This was around 1990, why do you ask? ) Thanks for reminding me about that VINYL JUNKIE! I always get a laugh whenever I think about that moment! (10-14-1999)

LC_Ludwiig ( says:
Pork chop pad music. (06-09-1999)

deney terio says:
rumor has it, that on this night demko wore a turtleneck instead of his usual poly-blend shirt, gold medallion & glued-on chest hair because his life partner had planted massive hickeys on his neck the night before... (03-25-1999)

Son of MOOG 2.5b says:
He needs a Roland 808 and some of Chick's "premium" licks (thats the good shit baby!!!) Stoop on down, one time, and let Yo daddy see!!! (02-20-1999)

a real parakeet says:
This guy needs a parakeet on his shoulder. Or on his lap. Wink, Wink , Wink!!! (02-20-1999)

Dan Shepard says:
Which is worse, Ken's taste in music or his taste in loud plaid slacks? Bet he's got white patent leather shoes with argyle socks on. (01-08-1999)

Ted Demko ( says:
Let's hear some polk! (10-27-1998)

mary alice demko nelmes says:
Ken, If your mother's name is Alice and your father's name was Steve, please e-mail at respond soon! (10-23-1998)

julie demko ( says:
Hi! I'm from the Demko's in Geelong, Australia. None of us are musical but we still like music. Nice to know that there are lots of Demko's across the world. Hava a good day! (06-28-1998)

John G. says:
The eating makes it so special. I truly like this album--gotta get one. I remember restaurant organ music from my youth, but not on a fancy organ like that. Fond memories. Pass the rolls, please... (06-02-1998)

Tim Demko ( says:
Hello! I'm too demko!...Ah, those crazy Demko's, we're a loony lot! Oh, I do play the piano, a bit. Haircut is not nearly as dodgy, though. (04-03-1998)

Sir Droopy Drawers says:
Would the word "Live" be pushing it, just a tab bit much? (03-23-1998)

Robert Demko ( says:
Hello! I'm too demko and too like organ,or syntetizer and guitar.I play on this instruments. i live in Michalovce ,study in Zilina on the electrotechnical university radoi-telecomunications,but i want be singer. zdar Robert (12-11-1997)

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