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Rufus Rockhead Street

- EvilGentleman - Tuesday, May 8th, 2007 : goo

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This two-block long road in the area, just north of the extends from the in the west to the in the east. It is named after , who owned one of the most popular jazz nightclubs in the area during the 1940's.

image 20090
The corner of Atwater and Rufus Rockhead.

image 20091
The Atwater Market, as seen from Rufus Rockhead.

image 20092
The same view from further back. The condo block on the left is called and is located at 2700 Rufus Rockhead.

image 20093
The corner of Rufus Rockhead and Levis.

image 20094
The view up Levis Street.

image 20095
Same view, different lighting.

image 20096
The corner of Charlevoix and Rufus Rockhead.

A little of the history background:

A Google Map of the location:,-73.574452&spn=0.003664,0.007231&z=17&om=1

This article has been viewed 26381 times in the last 8 years

CartLegger: 8th May 2007 - 07:45 GMT

Glad to see you are using google maps, EG. Maybe now I can learn more about Nunavut, too.

Cinic: 8th May 2007 - 12:26 GMT

Thanks for the history lesson on rufus-rockhead. I always like hearing about street name origins. You know what I think could be a nice shot, on top of the superC looking at westmount at night, I should try to find a way up there.

EvilGentleman: 8th May 2007 - 14:27 GMT

Still getting the hang of it, CartLegger. If you also are party of the Google Earth Community, I have added a few placemarks there under the name of Arcticmohawk.

No problem, Cinic. As far as the Westmount shot goes, I think it will look too dark, since most everyone has a tree in their yard that blocks the light. But the foreground of that shot, looking up Atwater past Notre-Dame and the Lionel-Groulx metro station, with the towers of downtown above, might still make it worthwhile. Try it and see what happens. I know for a fact there is little security at the Super C (the back of which is visible on the right side of picture 3), cuz I spent over an hour in the middle of their parking lot one night last year having fun with a pretty lady, and no security showed up to kick us out, even though we were noisy as hell.

Donald Rockhead: 8th Jun 2007 - 18:34 GMT

Thanks for putting up info on my family history! I am so glad to see this. Its good to see something postive attached to our last name.

sientelo: 29th Sep 2007 - 06:32 GMT

this message is to donald rockhesd; turns out we have a connection, rufus rockhead and my great grandfather were first cousins. i would like to share/get some information. write me please at


Sean A. Rockhead: 10th Oct 2007 - 01:42 GMT

Wow. Looks like this man had to be a distant relative. A worhty honor indeed based on his story. Thanks and I'll be doing a bit more formal research about him.

america: wow! that's my grandfather street

Fiona Lambert: 13th Apr 2008 - 13:55 GMT

Who the Hell is Rufus Rockhead, sounds like a characture from the Flinstones., but an interesting name for a street, only in good old Montreal.

Robert Lajoie: 14th Apr 2008 - 04:25 GMT


One can safely assume you're a younger lass. Rufus Rockhead was the owner of Rockhead's Paradise, arguably the best night club ever in Montreal. As a young man, I spent several wonderful evenings (and nights)there.

It was located at the corner of Mountain Street and Craig (later Saint-Antoine).

Ah, the memories...


Fiona Lambert: 15th Apr 2008 - 20:05 GMT


I'm actually 41 years old, I just thought that rue Rufus Rockhead was an unusual name for a street.
My boyfriend used to live in Montreal (Pointe St. Charles) to be exact, he told me about a street of that name up there.
I'm sure Rufus Rockhead was a prominent member of Montreal society at one time to have a street named in his honor.

EvilGentleman: 17th Jun 2008 - 04:41 GMT

This was one of the more educational posts that I have done, at least in the sense that I learned a lot from doing this post.

When I initially shot the photos, I was focused on how funny the name sounded to my ears. I had assumed that it was named after a character of some sort that had been created or portrayed by a Montrealer. How little I knew.

I often google the subjects of my posts, in order to better understand what I am posting, and to give me more information to share with the public. When I researched this one, I suddenly realized that the focus of this post was no longer humour, but music.

I was quite impressed by what I learned of Rufus Rockhead, and I wish I knew more of the old history. Hopefully, someone will post some old photos of Rockhead's Paradise, so that we may see what it was really like.

I now know enough about this to say:

How little I know.

zagg: 17th Jun 2008 - 10:20 GMT

It is time to change it to Rufus Wainwright, I say!

hope: 22nd Jul 2008 - 02:05 GMT

Where are his three children now?
Jackie, Kenny and Rvela?

Lexxi: 13th Sep 2008 - 19:34 GMT

Great to know that the legend of Mr. Rufus Rockhead lives on with the naming of the street near Atwater Market, unfortunately most Montrealers have no idea of the history associated with this brilliant man and what his place of business represented in the 'club scene' years ago.

Spent my early years as a young child running through that club which both my parents as well as a few other relatives were employed, I will always remember him as a kind soul and never forget the red leather doors and beaded entrance to his office lol.

Met alot of famous acts, lyrical divas and extraordinary musicians! Rockheads Paradise was truly the place to be back in the day, no other establishment has ever topped out the Montreal Nitelife ever since!

RIP Rufus, and Thank You for your contribution to Montreal's club scene, you shall live long in the heart and soul of many!!

Malcolm: 11th Nov 2008 - 05:38 GMT

Enjoyed many evenings at Rockheads. He handed out roses to the ladies. If my memory serves me rightly he was targeted by the Catholic church because he was a Jehovah Witness. They shut him down by removing his license. I believe he fought and finally won a victory of some sorts at great cost.I am not religious and believe he was done a great injustice by the powers that be in Quebec.

Brian Dring: 19th Aug 2009 - 21:43 GMT

As a youg man back in 1976, I used to go down to Rockhead's to see the great soul bands in the upstairs cabaret...and yes, he always did have a rose for the ladies. The bands were usually from Philly or New Jersey and would come to Rockhead's on the soul circuit from Atlantic City casinos....really top notch bands complete with 3 singers in sequined suits.

Downstairs, there was a jazz trio featuring Ivan Simons trio. My wife was a black woman who had come to Montreal from New Jersey. I was 22 at the time but looked about we would get some looks....nothing bad though.

She would introduce me to a lot of the people there. Ivan was a car mechanic who moonlighted with the music thing for extra bucks. My wife also had a jazz singer girlfriend she'd met from Denver named Martha Mitchell who had come to Montreal. She used to occasionally play with bassist Charlie Biddles who would later open his own jazz club Biddles. At the time, there was a small community of black musicians from the States who had come up to Montreal to find work.
Those definitely were the good old days. I live in the U.S. now and was sorry to learn about the place was such a Montreal landmark.

Marjolaine Montreal Quebec: 30th Dec 2010 - 16:52 GMT

I wish I had known Rockhead's Paradise, my beloved brother, who passed away a 1 1/2 year ago used to talk to me about good memories of Rockhead's Paradise, about Mr Rockhead, his classy way of owning his club, I wish I could have attend a musician's set with my brother, I was too young at this time, but was very happy to see a street named after him in the Littler Burgundy!

Marjolaine Montreal Quebec: 30th Dec 2010 - 16:52 GMT

I wish I had known Rockhead's Paradise, my beloved brother, who passed away a 1 1/2 year ago used to talk to me about good memories of Rockhead's Paradise, about Mr Rockhead, his classy way of owning his club, I wish I could have attend a musician's set with my brother, I was too young at this time, but was very happy to see a street named after him in the Littler Burgundy!

multicultural museum: 29th May 2011 - 16:23 GMT

here's a piece of history the martini glass used to hold matches on the longest bar in the country. oh the storys it could tell, like you could meet anyone at anytime because as notorious as it may have been,it was always packed and jumping!!!

mcm6: 29th May 2011 - 17:00 GMT

sorry, i could not upload the pictures, but if you go to ebay you'll see a piece of rockhead's

Jim Ford: 27th Jul 2011 - 01:00 GMT

It seems as if there were a lot of loyal "Rockhead Paradise" followers back in the day! I was a young military man from Upstate N.Y. and I LOVED MONTREAL!!!

Phil Dubois: 26th Sep 2011 - 16:17 GMT

What is written here by Briand Ding interests me. I've just found on the web an advertising in the "Montreal Gazette" from 1967 from Rufus Rockhead
mentioning a Charlie Aikens' "Copper Fantasy Revue" - music by FROSTY PYLES & His COURTIERS. I'm searching about that William "Frosty" Pyles bio & discography. Is it the same person ?... In the early 60's, after have played guitar & recorded in Los Angeles, he was recording in New Jersey with the tenor-saxophonist Jesse Powell.

Marcelle Dumais 19th nov. 2011: 19th Nov 2011 - 19:03 GMT

J'ai 76 ans et que de souvenirs - je suis allée au Rockhead quelque fois et Mr. Rufus
nous acceuillait avec une Rose Rouge. Mes deux soeurs ont travaillé comme barmaid
au Rockhead et ce n'était pas bien vu au début des années 60. J'ai eu l'occasion
de rencontrer Kenny Rockhead et son épouse Ann Farry au baptême de ma nièce
Wendy Farry.

edc: 2nd Jan 2012 - 01:27 GMT

Anybody ever heard of a musician named Reveal Thomas? He is in his late eighties and can really play the piano. He is at my parents' old age home in Montreal. He knew Stan Patrick from St. Eustache, but he does not seem to recognize the name Rockheads. Reveal must have been amazing in his day. He plays from time to time at the home.

c Alexis: 4th May 2012 - 20:43 GMT

EDC, It depends what kind of music he was playing and he may at his age lost his memory a little bit. Anyone that know soul music, R&B, knows about the Rockhead's Paradise. A lot of good shows there in the 60's 70's.....

Rockhead: 13th Jul 2012 - 22:11 GMT

I enjoyed visiting Montreal,My Children were overjoyed to see a Street Named after there Great-Grandfather Rufus Rockhead.

Karen : 20th Feb 2013 - 14:07 GMT

Hello is there any old photos of the Rockhead's Paradise? Also has anyone ever heard of a guy named Frank Daly aka JD. He use to hang in the club in the 60's

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