Peter V. Perrone, owned Mohawk Place - The Buffalo News
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Peter V. Perrone, owned Mohawk Place

Jan. 8, 1943 – May 7, 2014

Peter V. Perrone, former owner of Mohawk Place, a longtime center for Buffalo’s alternative music scene, died Wednesday in Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina after a long illness. He was 71.

Mr. Perrone purchased Mohawk Place in 1990 as a haven for the rockabilly, blues and roots music he loved. He turned it into an internationally renowned music club that was a haven for touring Americana, punk and indie bands.

The club became a popular spot for local bands like the Irving Klaws, Girlpope, the Dollywatchers, Bobo and many more. National touring acts performed there, and the club was an incubator for many local artists.

Mohawk Place also hosted many now-famous bands such as the White Stripes, Mudhoney, the Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Broken Social Scene, Daniel Johnston, the Jayhawks, Drive by Truckers and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Mr. Perrone was highly regarded by members of the Buffalo independent music scene as an enthusiastic booster of local bands.

The club held multiple, annual street festival events such as a classic car show, a blues festival and an American roots music festival called Americanarama. The club hosted annual tribute shows for the Joe Strummer Foundation (The Clash) and held its own benefit to retrofit the 100-year-old building with a new sprinkler system in 2003. The club closed last year.

A native of Pittston, Pa., Mr. Perrone moved to Buffalo with his family as an infant. He graduated from Bishop Fallon High School in 1960.

He served in the Air National Guard with the 107th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls. He was a mechanic and a member of the ground crew for the Air National Guard’s airplanes.

From 1968 to 1969, he served in the Air Force in the Vietnam War as part of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at the Tuy Hoa Airbase in southeastern Vietnam.

After returning home, he continued to serve the Air National Guard, retiring after 20 years of service as a master sergeant in 1982.

Mr. Perrone loved fishing on Lake Erie, classic trucks, baseball and rockabilly music.

Surviving are his wife of 46 years, the former Denise Lorraine Hodur; a son, James Vincent; a daughter, Lucy Ann Perrone Van Hoeven; and four sisters, Sally Alexander, Joanne Chimera, Marie DeSalvo and Lucy Perrone-Mancuso.

A memorial service will be scheduled.

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