Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz's Boston secrets



ill Janovitz is the hardest-working man in Boston show business. Singer and guitarist for Buffalo Tom—formed with UMass classmates Chris Colbourn and Tom Maginnis—Janovitz (above left, with Colbourn and Maginnis) also sells real estate in the suburbs, specializing in some of the area’s hidden-away midcentury modernist gems. And he blogs about that architecture and about his late-night adventures. All of which makes him a man after our own hearts—on top of which, he wrote a song called “Best Kept Secret” on his solo album Up Here. Still not busy (or secret) enough for you? Janovitz also has a side project called the Bathing Beauties, which does occasional bar gigs, has composed network TV theme songs, and helps put on the annual Hot Stove, Cool Music show. Here are some of Bill Janovitz’s Boston secrets: Wallace


Salmagundi in J.P. The place to get hatted. The proprietor is passionate about hats. I picked up a Bailey fedora there and he spent an hour with me encouraging me to try out various possibilities and picking out just the right peacock feather as a flourish. Viva la independent haberdashery!


The Minuteman Bike Path. I have used this for probably two decades, starting when I was living in Somerville. I have gotten more serious about cycling over the years, moving from basic mountain bike to dad-bike hybrid to old-school ’80s steel-frame road bike, to finally buying a real road bike. But it’s a slippery slope as I have started to wear some of the gear. I tend to wear the mountain-bike gear, though, and have not embraced the tight shorts, mercifully. A great ride either way, to Davis Square, or as a launching point for a 30-mile ride out from Bedford to Carlisle to Concord and back. 


Midcentury modernist architecture. Suburban Boston was fertile ground for post-war Bauhaus and other pioneering midcentury modernism. In my day job, I’m a real estate broker who specializes in marketing and selling these homes, designed by The Architects’ Collaborative, Walter Gropius, Walter Pierce, Carl Koch, Henry Hoover, Breuer, Stubbins, and so on. Many people know of the Gropius House in Lincoln, and that town has many great specimens, But Lexington has three highly significant neighborhoods and a few other developments that might not have quite the same history, and so do Belmont, Concord, Wayland, and other towns.


The Paradise. Perhaps the oldest continuously operated rock club in Boston. The Rat, Channel, Nighstage, Bunratty’s, alas! TTs is still there, but I think Paradise predates it. I have seen so many great shows over the years, but it feels like home for Buffalo Tom. It’s a great place to be a performer. Great stage, great sound, sight lines. And the people there, Billy Bud in particular, are some of the kindest folks in the business. It is also the home to and heart of Hot Stove Cool Music, which is obviously close to my own heart. It really is one of the best places to play live music, and we have toured the world.

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  1. Pingback: Win Tickets to Hot Stove, Cool Music - MySecretBoston

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