Saturday, November 28, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
I went to this show as kind of a "last-minute" thing - a female friend of mine had knocked on my door that afternoon and said she'd been planning on attending with a friend of hers but the friend had backed out at the last minute - would I like to come along, free ticket for me, she'd drive, etc. I couldn't turn an offer that good down.
I don't remember much about the opening band DoubleDrive other than I didn't hate them so they must not have been too bad. During the intermission between the two bands I went out of the auditorium to take a leak and the guys from DoubleDrive were signing autographs out in the lobby area. I figured, "Why not," and joined the line. I got my autographs, went to the john, and then rejoined my friend for the rest of the show. This was the second time I'd ever seen Queensryche. They were really good - but nothing could ever compare to the first time I'd seen them back in May of 1991.
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
I remember back in the fall of 1992 when I first heard on the radio that Rob Halford had left Judas Priest to work on a solo project, thinking, "Wow. That sucks." I just couldn't imagine Priest without Halford's vocal talents. But they found a suitable replacement in Tim "Ripper" Owens and carried on just fine without the Metal God. Halford, meanwhile, was busy putting together something special - his superbly heavy project, "Fight." I was lucky enough to see them twice in just over 2 months time back in 93-94. This was the first time.
PriestFreakNo.1 and I picked up another buddy of ours (we'll call him "The Cursed Alcoholic" - he is no longer a friend - it's a long, sad story) and headed off to the Mirage. None of us were too excited to see Cathedral so we went upstairs and had a few beers and shot some pool. The Cursed Alcoholic had several beers and then a few more just for good measure - quickly spending all of his money and becoming predictably beligerent and more stupid the drunker he got. PriestFreakNo.1 and I refused to buy him any more beers. At one point I remember looking over and seeing him grabbing some dudes beer from the ledge near the pool tables and downing it in just a few gulps while the guy was busy taking his shot at the table. The guy returned to an empty beer glass. He didn't see it happen and we weren't gonna point fingers at our buddy, but we were already growing disgusted with his behaviour on this evening. We shot another game of pool and went downstairs to see what Halford and company had in store.
When Fight took the stage, about 2 seconds into the first song, our buddy, The Cursed Alcoholic, decided he was gonna take a stab at the mosh pit. He jumped in and started going around, flailing away and trying his best to mosh like a pro - he made it about 3/4 of the way around the pit before some dude body checked him - HARD - and he went sprawling to the floor. PriestFreakNo.1 and I were watching all this from a distance and rolled our eyes at each other and had a good laugh at our drunken friends misfortune on the floor. He picked himself up and limped away...we saw him going back upstairs to the bar...I figured he was gonna spend the rest of the show up there stealing people's beers and winding up getting his ass kicked in. Whatever - I wasn't here to babysit that dumb fucker - I was here to enjoy the show.
Fight turned out to be even better live than on their debut CD, "War Of Words." This band was heavy, and heavily tattooed. Halford was even sporting a new tat on his shaved head. Being that they only had one CD out at the time, they played most if not all of the songs from that and also threw in a few heavied-up versions of some Priest classics as well. I was in and out of the pit throughout the show and, unlike my less-agile, more drunken buddy, I managed to stay on my feet the entire time. Sure, I was a bit sore the next day but I had a great time. I remember hoping I'd get the chance to see Fight again sometime - little did I know that I wouldn't have to wait very long for my next chance to do so.
Friday, November 27, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Another night of total metal mayhem in Minneapolis. We arrived a bit late due to heavy traffic and when we fianlly made it to the Quest, Doro was already on stage doing her thing. She lives for her music, that much is obvious from her performance.
Of course, we were excited to see Dio again, but I was most interested to finally see Guitar-God Yngwie Malmsteen after waiting nearly 15 years to do so. He was incredible - he's one of the best in the world and he makes it look so easy...like he could be cooking breakfast and doing his taxes while playing his amazing brand of classical-inspired music. I just stood there with my jaw hanging open throughout his entire set. I've never seen him since and would love to get the chance again, but he rarely comes to Minneapolis when he tours the United States.
After a short set change-over, Dio and his band took the stage and played for a little over an hour. He then announced they were gonna take a short break and they'd be back for more. He turned around to leave the stage and was met by someone from the Quest who leaned over to talk to him - then he turned back around, stepped back up to the microphone and announced that they would NOT be retruning to the stage...he said, "I guess we're done. Thanks and goodnight." And he and the band left the stage, looking confused and pissed off, leaving us to wonder why the set was cut so short. We found out a few minutes later when the guy from the Quest stepped on stage and announced that they were clearing the place - everyone had to leave - but if you wanted to come back in for "Hip-Hop Dance-a-Thon" or whatever they were calling the unannounced after-concert show - you could pay admission again and come back in to hang with the hip-hoppers and club-kids and some DJ's and their record players and get your groove on. OOOhhh...I get it...that's why the show started at 5:00pm - an unusually early hour for a metal show to get underway...and we left the club disgusted, thinking, "what a bunch of shit." It was a sudden, disappointing end to what had been, up to that point, a very excellent evening of great music.
And if you haven't heard the news yet, it was reported on November 25th, 2009 by Weny Dio, Ronnie's long-time wife and manager, that the 67 year-old legendary metal vocalist has been diagnosed with early-stage stomach cancer and will begin treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Our best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery go out to Mr. Dio.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
...a modest Thanksgiving meal, 1999
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.
Our friend and contributor Ed Siejka has sent along another great original piece with some inspirational, soul-searching thoughts for everyone to ponder today while spending time gathered with family and friends for the Thanksgiving meal.
Some Things to Consider...
by Ed Siejka
Some time ago
A late night supper
Was set for me
Solitary salt and pepper
In silver trim
All waited for me
On white linen.
I sat back
Drink in hand
Life takes many roads
Others narrow and endless
Signs Glowing in the night
Dot the lonely highway
Pointing in different directions.
Take nothing for granted
Until it’s done
Take what you need
And need what you take
Half of something is better than all of nothing
Keep your life simple
You need only one home
If you choose the monastic life
You need less than that
Only a reckless fool lives like
They’ll die tomorrow
No one can go back
To start a new beginning
But everyone can start today
And make a new ending.
Keep your word
People work hard for their money
Count yours carefully
And spend it wisely
Believe only God
An enemy can never betray you
Only a friend can.
Your family is all you have
Provide for them
And they will stay with you.
Every mistake tells a story
Be willing to learn
Experience is hard to come by
Book learning is good
But hard work and talent
Will unlock your dreams.
In the quiet of night
When the beating of your pulse
Is all you hear
Know the difference of
Following your heart
And reading between the lines.
You can read this and many more of Ed's excellent poems over at Poetry Soup.com
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
After seeing Flipp for the first time ever just 9 days previously at their in-store gig at the Best Buy in Richfield, I found myself at the Quest in Minneapolis to see the band for the second time in as many weeks.
I had been quite impressed with the mini-show they put on at Best Buy but this concert was the real deal - Flipp in all their glam-punk glory. The band performed songs from their self-titled debut CD, and from the new release "Blow It Out Your Ass," for which promotional pairs of tidey-whities with the name of the album emblazoned on the ass, had been printed up. Several lucky people walked away from this show with pairs of those, I was not one of them. They were also giving away copies of a cool "Flipp Tour Book" which I managed to score a few copies of.
After seeing the band the first time, I thought I had a pretty good idea what this show would be like...I was wrong. The show at Best Buy had been a rockin' little affair but this show was completely over the top crazy. The band were drinking on stage, took a few hits from a few joint that were lovingly tossed their way (what do you expect when the drummer's name is Kilo Bale?) and generaly made a mess of the place with guitarist Chia Karaoke tossing a box of "Flipp Cereal" around the place during his solo, and then the busted pillows full of feathers that seemed to appear from nowhere near the end of the set that were tossed around. I remember thinking to myself, "I'm glad I'm not the guy who has to clean this up." Late in the set the band pulled some lucky kid from the audience up on stage with them, (which I was to find out they did at nearly, if not every, show) and lead vocalist/guitarist Brynn Arens strapped a guitar around the kids neck and said "Play!" - so this kid got to jam with the band on one song - he looked like he was having the time of his life up there! "337" and I certainly were enjoying ourselves - the music was rockin', the show was entertaining as hell, and the drinks were going down well, which helped make things seem all the more crazy.
I knew after this show was over I'd be seeing Flipp again - soon - and often. And I did. I managed to see the band about 10 times in just 3 years. Then, sadly, just 3 years after this show, on November 21st, 2003, they performed their final gig at the Medina Ballroom in Medina, MN - and hundreds if not thousands of Flipp Fans (affectionately known as the "Crazy Sick Fuckers") have been in a state of mourning ever since at the loss of this great American rock band who deserved so much more recognition than they ultimately received.
This is a HUGE poster advertising this concert. I saw it hanging on the side of a building in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis a few days before the show. I had my "337," who was driving, pull the car over so I could hop out and grab this beauty. I didn't bring it to this particular show but about six months later I DID bring it to another Flipp show and had the guys all sign it. Freaky Useless (Bass) says to me as he's signing the poster, "Niiice! I don't even have one of these...want to sell it?" "Not really..." was my reply. "I wouldn't either," he remarked back.
You can see a great set of photos from this show, including a pair of the above-mentioned "Blow It Out Your Ass Undies," on the band's official website by clicking HERE.
Monday, November 23, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Another amazingly heavy evening spent with one of my all-time favorites, Testament. And check out that ticket price...$10.00. Man, those were the days.
And they'll be back on tour soon. Last week (November 17th to be precise) it was announced Testament will be the special guest on Slayer's upcoming North American tour which will feature Megadeth as well. The tour kicks off January 18th, 2010 in Seattle, WA. I've been saying for years that I wished Slayer would bring Testament out on the road with them - and now it's finally gonna happen.
(Image via: TestamentLegions.com)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Cafe Au Go Go
152 Bleecker Street (bet. Broadway and Thompson Streets)
Phone: SP 7-4530
Black ceilings and charcoal-gray carpeting frame this gargantuan cellar where reproductions of Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, et al, are affixed to the red brick walls. Three variety acts constitute the evening's entertainment. There might be a comic, a pops or jazz singer, a combo, or a vocal group. Most of the performers are neophytes, and what you get here is strictly catch-as-catch-can. Monday nights go hootennish, with visiting talent taking over.
No booze is served; but the ice cream concoctions are doused with ersatz alcoholic flavors, like cognac, rum a nd anisette. Exotic teas, coffees, iced drinks, snacks and pastries fill out the menu. None of these goodies is exactly bargain-priced, considering that an admission fee has already been exacted at the door.
What's there now? 152 Bleecker Street
Hotel Carlyle, 76th Street and Madison Avenue
Phone: RH 4-1600
One of the swankiet supper clubs in the city, the well-bred Carlyle oozes sophistication. Dominating this charming room is Georg Feyer, pianist extrordinary, who intones his urban ditties with a debonair air. Feyer plays just about anything and counts among his devotees presidents of the United States, international tycoons, and upper-crust socialites. A fair sprinkling of the 400 may be in attendance at this suave salon on any given evening. The maestro is on from half past eight.
There is a selection of first-rate supper dishes, both hot and cold, at about $3.50 each. Sumptuos desserts run around $2. For after-theatre snacking, the Carlyle is an ideal spot.
What's there now? 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue
725 Seventh Avenue (bet. 48th and 49th Streets)
Phone: CI 5-0088
Smack in the mid-stream of Broadway, this mirror-walled music mart purveys jazz of the first order. This is the strongest local bastion of Dixieland. The greats that have appeared here read like a Who's Who of the jazz world: Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Maynard Ferguson, Gene Krupa, The Dukes of Dixieland, and Red Nichols, among others. The performing bands - and there are always two every day - sit onthe platform and just play away. When one band winds up, the other one gets on. There are no intermissions; and the din - or music, as you prefer - is continuous.
There's a dance session every Saturday from 2:30PM on, of interest only to Twisters.
A dinner of chopped sirloin or broiled spring chicken plus apple pie and coffee is $2.50. Drinks are $1.25.
What's there now? 725 Seventh Avenue
Hotel Pierre, 61st Street and Fifth Avenue
Phone: TE 8-8000
This delightful, cozy night spot offers leisurely, intimate dining in a gay but dignified atmosphere. It is on eof the nicest places in the city for dinner-dancing. The dimly lit tables are perfect for quiet conversation and the dance floor, although small, is somehow not overcrowded.
The music, which comes on at Six and continues all evening, is diversified and pleasant. The attentive, but casula-paced, service encourages lingering.
Though portions are on the modest side, the a la carte selections are first rate. Sandwiches are $2 to $4; and teh cold buffet, the staeks and chops, rarebits, salads, and cheese are top-drawer in quality and price. Figure $5 or so a head for snacks, and about $10 for dinner.
What's there now? 2 - East 61st Street at Fifth Avenue
Westover Hotel, 253 West 72nd Street (bet. Broadway and Riverside Drive)
Phone: TR 3-1276
The largest and oldest Israeli nightclub in the city, this spot has particular appeal for folks of the Jewish faith. The talent, imported directly from Tel Aviv and vacinity, includes folk singers, dancers, instrumentalists, and comedians. Every show put on here is almost certain to contain a sampling of all these ingredients, and generally exhibits some creditable talents. A great number of the songs are in Hebrew.
The cuisine' sonly distinction is that it is strictly kosher. the menu lists such Levantine specialties as Shashlik and Dolmas, as well as the house specialties, Chicken a la Kibbutz and Kebab Tel Aviv.
What's there now? 235 West 72nd Street
135 MacDougal Street (bet. 3rd and 4th Streets)
Phone: GR 7-9221
Offering the benefits of spaciousness, creature comfort, and subdued lighting, the Champagne Gallery beckons to those who seek a quiet spot for amorous dalliance. Nothing much happens here in the way of formal entertainment, and that me be one of the Gallery's greatest virtues. Comfortable divans and dark nooks encourage quiet conversation.
From 7:30 on, a cocktail piano tinkles away unobtrusively. Most of the waitresses have musical aspirations; and whenever one feels a song coming on, she may hoist herself onto the piano a la Helen Morgan and let go with a ballad or three. Though most of these gals may not be stars in the embryo, the sure sit pretty. The waiters, too, exercise like perogatives, but the better to project their masculinity, they maintain an upright posture duringthe serenades.
The average assesmet for a libation is .95cents. Sandwiches and steaks may be ordered from the kitchen, but this is not the place to ingest solids; eating, like laughter, can be death to romance.
What's there now? 135 MacDougal (West 4th Street)
307 East 79th Street (bet. First and Second Avenues)
Phone: RH 4-9382
Here's the Hungarian capitol of Manhattan's Mitteleuropa. Murals of Budapest by night - the good, gay, gone Budapest of pre-World War II - light up the walls. The animated chatter, the gypsy bands, and the impassioned singers make the the Chardas a gay, lively club.
A show of sorts materializes twice nightly. It will usually contain a concert by the band, instrumental solos featuring violins and zimbalons, imported from the Continent. From about 10:30 on, the tiny dance floor gets a vigorous workout from the patrons.
The classic Hungarian cuisine shows to good advantage; Stuffed Cabbage, Goulash, and Chicken Paprika are the mainstays. A table d'horte dinner - and no one goes away hungry - averages $6.
What's there now? 307 East 79th Street
42 West 58th Street (bet. Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
Phone: PL 3-3773
Afire with passion and pachanga, the Chateau Madrid scores as the smartest watering hole on the castanets circuit. Palms surround a dance floor where the international clientele stylishly do the Rumba, the Cha-Cha-Cha, the Tango, and the Mambo. The virtuosity displayed here is so outstanding that it provides spectator sport for the few sedentary patrons.
Twice nightly, a stage is rolled out on which are presented distinguished talents - vocal, instrumental, and terpsichorean - of the Spanish-speaking world. On Sundays, a tea dance starts at 4 o'clock; and around 10, there's a Flamenco show.
The kitchen emphasizes Spanish Specialties such a s Panella Valencienna, a combination of sea food, chicken, and rice, at $6 and Rinones al Jerez, kidneys sauteed in sherry at $4. Dinner averages $7.
What's there now? 42 West 58th Street
303 East 53rd Street (bet. First and Second Avenues)
Phone: EL 5-8825
A way station in Upper Bohemia heavily subsidized by models (male and female), photographers, and junior execs, this is a vantage point from which to observe bright young natives at play.
The premises are befittingly suave. A glassed-in garden, bare brick walls, black leather settes and tiny flickering lights turn this nitery into a galerie moderne. A trio - bass, piano, and guita - takes up instruments about 8:30 and turns out jazz-oriented sets of half an hour's duration, eperated by 15 minute silences. On Sundays, vibes sub for the piano.
There is a contraption hooked up to the trio and to the juke box that projects color tones across the patio. When low notes are sounded the blues and deeper colors appear; when high notes are sounded, the reds, yellows, and the brighter colors are projected.
The small kitchen limits its offerings but does well by those it prepares. The steaks at $5.95 are highly edible, so, too, the Hamburgers, at $1.10.
What's there now? 303 East 53rd Street
Savoy Hilton Hotel, Fifth Avenue and 58th Street
Phone: EL 5-2600
Indirect lighting softens the brilliance of the red walls and the starkness of the massive, black-marble columns of this opulent hall. Two beautiful chandeliers hang in severe elegance over the urns of fresh red roses which adorn this lushly carpeted, spacious dance salon.
Even when filled to capacity, there is no crowding here; the tables are set far enough apart to allow for comfort. A large dance floor and a versatile trio afford pleasant moments. For an evening of dinner dancing, this is an admirable choice.
The food is top-drawer. Continental specialties are served at a leisurly pace. Including the cover charge, dinner will run $10. Luncheon averages $6.
What's there now? Fifth Avenue and 58th Street
10 East 60th Street (bet. Fifth and Madison Avenues)
Phone: PL 8-1060
Week afet week, headliners - comedians and singers - feed into this enormous, ong established nitery, grist for the entertainment mill. The luminaries who have appeared at the Copa constitute the elite of the marquee fraternity - Nat King Cole, Jimmy Durante, Leno Horne, and Jerry Lewis to name a few.
Shows run about an hour and a quarter, and include a half dozen or so cuties who kick their heels in uninspired routines and look alluring in bobbed costumes. The star of the evening is counterpointed by some other act; if a comedian has top billing, the other performer would be a singer - a luminary of somehwat lesser magnitude - and vice versa. View of the show is good from all locations.
A la carte entrees offer a good selection of Chinese and Continental specialties. The food is well prepared and tasty, and the tab will hover around the $9 mark. Supper items are moderatly priced and the minimum not be exceeded if but a snack and a drink are ordered. Coctails run from $1.20 up.
Dancing, which commemces at half past seven, breaks off for show time, and resumes after the performance. There are two excellent bands at the Copa.
From 10 o'clock on, some of the regular Copa entertainers put in an appearance upstairs at the Copa Lounge. Despite the fact that checks are then surtaxed to Uncle Sam, the pulse of the Lounge starts to quicken. When it comes fully alive around midnight, anything can happen in the Lounge, and sometimes does.
What's there now? 10 East 60th Street
Count Baise's Lounge
2245 Seventh Avenue (bet. 132nd and 133rd Streets)
Phone: FO 8-7527
Live music, played from 10PM till closing, and on weekends from 9Pm on, endows this sedate cocktail lounge with distinction. Jazz combos are nearly always in residence, and a Hammond Organ usually predominates in the sets.
Recording stars, many of them friends or colleagues of Basie - happen in for impromptu turns. But don't count on shaking hands with the Count. He's usually busy performing in some other corner of the world.
The food here has a southern accent and can be quite good as well as fortifying. But the action in this Harlem lounge begins at anhour when dining's likely to be well behind you.
A couple of drinks will work off the gentle minimum imosed on weekend nights. Both food and drinks are pegged at bargain prices for New York night life: a dinner averages $3.50, and most beverages cost about .80cents.
What's there now? 2245 Seventh Avenue
...TO BE CONTINUED
Thursday, November 19, 2009
More "Nightclubs" from the 1964 Hart's Guide to New York City...
Basin Street East
137 East 48th Street (bet. Lexington and 3rd Aves.)
Phone: PL 2-4440
A strong show made up of top talent is the rule here. A jazz musician, a comedian, a combo - any of these may be headlined. Basin Stret East is large, noisy, dim, and gregarious. On Sundays, the social dancing from 2 to 7 attracts a single crowd.
The food, judged by nightclub standards, is exceptional; the Chinese cuisine can be recommended even to a discriminating palate. Oriental entrees hover around $5; steaks and chops run a couple of dollars more.
What's there now? 137 East 48th Street
Charlie Bates' Saloon
1487 First Avenue (corner of 78th Street)
Phone: RE 4-9777
Here, behold, a highly active youth hostel. Though the site is in Manhattan's upper East Side, one step inside these precincts and you might believe you were back in the Wild West at the turn-of-the-century - red-checked tablecloths, sawdust on the floor, swinging doors, waiters decked out in derbies, arm garters and vests.
The appeal is to the young and to observers of the young at play. Boys and girls of mid-twentyish vintage convene at tiny, crowded tables, quaff beer from big mugs, and listen - and sing along - to an old-time honky-tonk piano.
Monday nights a movie projector is set up for the showing of old flicks - early Chaplin one-reelers, prize fights, and Mack Sennett comedies. On Sunday nights from 6PM to 10PM, Dixieland sessions are the order of the day. On Sabbath nights, too, during the ski season, schussers returning from the slopes, can drop off for a hot toddy on the house.
A brew is the proper refreshment here. there are sandwiches for .55cents, and steaks from $1.75 to $3.25, but, if you're hankering for gourmet viands, go elsewhere.
What's there now? 1487 First Avenue
Big Wilt's Smalls' Paradise
2294 Seventh Avenue (bet. 134th and 135th Streets)
Phone: AU 3-9327
Though this split-level Harlem funhouse - the oldest nightclub in the city - opened it's doors in 1925, nothing here suggests advanced years. The shows are staged on the lower level and variety provides the spice. There's a line of girls, a trio of dancers, a male crooner, a femme singer, and an M.C. who doubles as comedian. Between shows downstairs, and all night long upstairs, three lively bands alternate and lure many feet to the two excellent dance floors where the Twist and it's latest derivatives reign unchecked.
There is usually no minimum or cover at Smalls', but occasionally an impost of $2.50 is ordained when the management believes that it's offerings are strong enough to carry a tariff. The kitchen is so small that food is not pushed; but if you should get hungry, the best choices are the Southern Fried Chicken in a Basket at $1.75, or the Steak at $3.75. Drinks average $1.
What's there now? 2294 Seventh Avenue - don't puke!
Bill's Gay Nineties
57 East 54th Street (bet. Madison and Park Aves.)
Phone: EL 5-8231
For three decades, this establishment has reverberated with old-time melodies and has served up pleasant doses of nostalgia. "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do," "By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea," "Down among the sheltering pines" - these are some of the oldies you come to Bill's Gay Nineties to hear, to sing, to reminisce over, to chuckle over, and even, perhaps, to shed a furtive tear over for the days that are no more. It might seem that Bill's would attract only seniors of this bygone era, but outlanders and natives, sophisticates and cornballs, stockbrokers and undergraduates, the young, the old, and the inbetweenish - seem to enjoy the proceedings enough to flock here.
The swinging doors at street level open onto a tiny parlor whose walls are adorned with period photographs of horses and boxers. At 7:30, an old upright goes into action; and after 9, a parade of flamboyantly festooned characters comes on to do their jigs and to lead the spontaneous harmonizing.
The premises upstairs are much larger. Here the wall supports some 800 framed photos of theatrical folk long since vanished from the scene. A honky-tonk piano on the podium offers the same amusement as maintains downstairs. Soloists, both male and female, barbershop quartets, and virtuosos piano tinklers are all generally quite entertaining; and as the evening wanes, the choir of enthusiastic customers waxes ever more robust and roisterous. There's a mellow evening to be had at Bill's Gay Nineties.
A dinner, fashioned for standard American palates, averages $7. Drinks run around $1.50 each.
What's there now? 57 East 54th Street - Bill's Gay Nineties lives!
1678 Broadway (bet. 52nd and 53rd streets)
Phone: JU 6-7333
Located at the "Jazz corner of the world," this club has become internationally known as the home of modern jazz. At one time or another, all the most influential performers have played on it's gold-canopied stage. Here the buff can listen to the best, and the uninitiated will find a good introduction to the world of syncopated rhythm.
This cellar-sanctum is no place to go if you want an evening of quiet conversation. Music is primary here, and everything else is not too consequential. Dim lights, "jazz purple" walls, simple menu - everything is designed so as not to intrude on listening. However, for the man who cannot live by jazz alone, there is a supper of barbequed ribs or broiled chicken with rolls and butter for about $2.75. There are also sandwiches around $1.50; drinks average $1.25.
If you wish neither to pay the $3 minimum, which is the fee for sitting at a table, nor to have supper, you can stand at the bar and order a drink for about $1.50. From this listening post, you can hear all that is offered.
What's there now? 1678 Broadway
147 Bleecker Street (bet. Thompson Street and West Broadway)
Phone: GR 5-7804
Offering a strong rasher of folk music in the city, the Bitter End has become renowned as a discoverer of new talent. It was here that Peter, Paul and Mary, the Tarriers, the Serendipity Singers - to name a few - took off for the big time.
There is continuous entertainment every night from around 8:30 until closing. The shows, which normally consist of two folk singing groups and a comedian, are somewhat uneven. You might strike anything here from misguided trash to sparkling talent.
Try this place after dinner. You can get all kinds of exotic coffee drinks and especially good ice cream concoctions, but no alcoholic beverages. The food is nothing to speak of and we'd better not.
Dimly lit, with murals galore and a decidedly inelegant informality, this place offers an engaging evening at an unusally modest charge. Including cover charge and a soft drink or coffee, the check, even on a Saturday evening, can be settled with a $5 bill.
What's there now? 147 Bleecker Street - The Bitter End survives!
152 East 55th Street (bet. Third and Lexington Aves.)
Phone: PL 3-5998
One of the best of New York's intimate supper clubs, the Blue Angel has been a showcase for luminaries of the entertainment world for 20 years. Orson Bean, Shelley Berman, Tom Lehrer, and Pearl Bailey are among the stars that have been launched from this well-regarded, handkerchief-sized rostrum.
here are generally three performers on the hour-long program. The offerings are marked by high sophistication.
Although the show's the thing, the French-Italian food is well prepared. Dinner, served between 7 and 10, averages $8.50, easily consuming the minimum. Quite adequate food and a fine show make this a very good buy. A la carte cupper items are also available. Drinks run about $1.25.
What's there now? 152 East 55th Street
40 West 8th Street (bet. Fifth and Sixth Aves.)
Phone: OR 4-0531
The stars shine brighter some nights than others in this subterranean and intimate corner of Bohemia. But one enchanted evening, an exciting new talent may light up the tiny stage on which have been launched the careers of Barbara Streisand, Kaye Ballard, Alice Ghostley, and many others.
Though quality is uneven, the quantity of show is predictably large. The usual format is four acts; each turn is on stage for about a half hour. Brief intervals between the acts allow for refueling. Sometimes the show runs so long that some of the acts don't get to appear twice during the same evening.
Almost since the club's inception some 15 years ago, Tiger Haynes has furnished the musical backing and a great deal of impish and risque commentary. He dentifrices flash in a fixed grin of mischief; and for many patrons of this nitery, Tiger is the reason for making the trip downtown.
In classic nightclub style, quarters are close and cramped. A few sandwiches are available at $2 up. If you intend to come here, avoid Saturday if you can help it, for the ques usually fill up the stairs and run out into the street.
What's there now? 40 West 8th Street
1122 First Avenue (bet. 61st and 62nd Streets)
Phone: TE 8-2230
Nice 'n easy marks the tempo of life here. Intermittenly, from 9 until dawn's early light, a bass-piano duo springs a jazz set. Attire at the Brown Jug ranges from chino to chinchilla. The wearers are neighborhood folk and the more flamboyant types who have emigrated here from the other precincts.
The Brown Jug boasts that it serves the best food in town. Actually, the boast is supportable, for the management will send out for anything you might want to order even if your whims should lead to the Pavillion, the Voisin, Quo Vadis, or wherever. Otherwise, if you're just plain hungry and crave immediate nourishment, you'll have to settle for the house hamburgers, chops, and steaks, all just run-of-the-kitchen. A full a la carte dinner will average $6.
With no cover and no minimum, this saloon can't be called overpriced.
What's there now? 1122 First Avenue
...TO BE CONTINUED
Monday, November 16, 2009
As promised, here are more entries from the 1964 Edition of Hart's Guide to New York City. For this one (and the next few) we'll be looking at the "Nightclubs" section of the book.
156 West 44th Street (Bet. Sixth Ave. and Broadway)
Phone: JU 6-7575
Shows: Continuous from 9PM
Well within the glare of Times Square's neons, the African Room beats it tom-toms for the tourist traffic. Anyone expecting an instant visit to the Dark Continent will be disappointed; the setting and most of the diversions are Caribbean.
For many years now, an amiable calypso artisan, y-clept Johnny Barracuda, has been the primary source of revelry. Aside from his vocal and bongo chores, he engages visitors in risque badinage. His quips are just naughty enough to be titillating, and the groups of out-of-town matrons who come here lap it right up.
A steel band and limbo contest (wiggling under a bar, without touching it, as it drops closer and closer to the floor) usually turn up on the program.
Dinner averages $7.50 and, if nothing else, solves the problem of the minimum. Entrees bear such tags as "Missionary Downfall," which turn out to be only a beefburger, and "Kara-Klu," a mixture of chicken, pork, shrip, rice, and soft noodles, which apocryphally purports to be authentic African.
What's there now? 156 West 44th Street
Alameda Room (at the Great Northern Hotel)
118 West 57th Street (bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.)
Phone: CI 7-1900
Shows: 9:30pm and 12:30am Every Day
During luncheon hours, this flowering plaza is so quiet and unhurried you could easily fancy yourself in some sleezy zocala in Latin America. Comes nighttime and the Alameda breaks out with a vengence. The animated review snaps to the beat of castanets and the flash of heels. Passionate seranades rend the air. The talent, imported from posts south of the border, usually consist of three acts; these generally include a flamenco dance team, an ensemble with singers or guitarists, and a comedian or a specialty performer. The shows aren't exactly dull but attention, dancing - which commences at 8 - is incessant.
A lunch which consists of a substantial sandwich, dessert, and coffee, can be purchased for as little as .95cents; but in the evening, the food levitates into the nightclub orbit. Spanish specialties are featured. "Arroz con Pollo" (cjicken with rice) is tabbed at $3.95; "Higado de Ternera Saltado al Jerez" (calf's liver sauteed in sherry) is $4.25. The menu choice is wide. From 4:30 in the afternoon up to 9 o'clock, hors d'oeuvres are offered free of charge. Drinks aren't much over $1.
What's there now? 118 West 57th Street
368 Eighth Avenue (bet. 28th and 29th Streets)
Phone: LO 5-9878
Between 27th and 30th streets, on and just off Eighth Avenue, there are some half a dozen Near Eastern nightclubs, each of which offers more or less the same fare in entertainment and food. The best of these is the Ali Baba whose gracious owners, the Topousis brothers, have acquired a reputation for running just about the friendliest nitery in the Levantine curcuit.
The shows star around 9 o'clock and carry on continuously until closing. Music is provided by a five-piece band playing Near Eastern instruments - an oud, a canoon, a bouzouki, a clarinet, and a guitar - all electrically amplified. When the band really lets loose, it emits a din of such proportins that the prudent customer sits as far away as possible from the focus of operations. However, such judicious seating sacrifices a close-up view of the dancers who, by and large, constitute the most fascinating part of the entertainment. The show generally features three belly dancers and two singers. On Sundays there is but one vocalist.
Perhaps as interesting as the scheduled show is the spontaneous participation by some of the patrons. Every so often during the evening, a pair of men - Greeks, Turks, or Armenians- will stride the dance floor and show their stuff, executing some of the folk dances from their native heath. These slow, dignified performances have the ring of authenticity, and give the onlooker the feeling that he is in a foreign land. The audience, compose largely of Near Easterners, grows more warm and mellow with each emptied glass. They show their quick appreciation by sending up drinks to the performers, or by strewing the stage with dollar bills - presents for the cast.
Drinks run from $1 up. The Greek specialty is known as "Ouza," a wicked licorice concotion. Appetizers such as "Feta," a Greek cheese, or "Olives and Peppers," or "Stuffed Vine Leaves" are about $1. More hearty fare is available. The most popular dish, "Shish Kabob Ajame Pilaf" (brolied lamb on skewers served with sauteed rice) is $4. Greek pastries are .75cents; tea or coffee, .50cents.
What's there now? 368 Eighth Avenue
1068 Second Avenue (bet. 56th and 57trh Streets)
Phone: PL 3-7923
Frequented to a certain extent by singles, jazz is the fare at this tiny spot, and the price is fair, too. With no minimum and no cover charge at any time, you can enjoy the music for the price of a couple of drinks, or a sandwich, or a moderately priced Chinese dish. (Chicken Chow Mein is $2.50.)
Music is played every day from 9 o'clock on, by two very competent combos who rotate throughout the evening; one of these groups is abetted by a plenty-swinging jazz singer.
Small, dimly lit and intimate, there's charm in the Apartment. Best bet is Sunday night when a celebrity sometimes puts in a guest appearance.
What's there now? 1068 Second Avenue
863 First Avenue (corner of 48th Street)
Phone: EL 5-1275
This handsome, high-roofed, red room, within nodding distance of the United Nations buildings, nostalgically suggests old San Francisco.
Abetted by a bass player, Hugh Shannon intermittently addresses the piano from 10PM on. Sir Hugh is a cult and he has his devotees. The Shannon repertoire leans heavily toward fine songs that are just a little too special to become standards, like many of the lesser known pieces of Rogers and Hart, Cole Porter, and the brothers Gershwin. The delivery is jaunty, and an aura of good feelings is evoked.
At Archies, smart is the word for the crowd, and late is the word for the hours they keep. The provender is good, hearty, true-blue American. Dinner, available from 5 to 10PM averages $6.50. Supper items appear after 10. Try the Irish Coffee here; it's real good. Mondays through Fridays, a table d'hote $3 lunch is served fron Noon to 3.
With no cover and no miniumu, the price at Archies can't be wrong if you fancy Hugh.
What's there now? 863 First Avenue
13 East 12th Street (bet. Fifth Avenue and University Place)
Phone: AL 5-9095
If you like opera, you'll like Asti's. The hired hands provide the diversion. Whenever th ebouncer, barmaid, bus boy, or barkeep fels an aria coming on, the warbler just passes a signal to the pianist and lets go. And what you'll hera is surprisingly good, for most of the staff has professional operatic experience. The singing of the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore is a sure-fire tour de force. Accompanying the chorus, there is a tintinnabulation of clinks coming from the glasses on the bar as they are struck rhythmically by the attendants.
Everything here has an Italian accent - the strains from Verdi and Puccini, the cuisine, and the gusto with which the staff discharges it chores. The food is adequate. Suffice it to say that it's worthwhile to come here for the singing which is lusty, continuous, and thoroughly exhilirating. A table d'horte dinner, averaging $6, is served till 10, after which an a la carte supper menu takes over.
What's there now? 13 East 12th Street
...TO BE CONTINUED.
Just a reminder, or in case you have not seen it yet, I'm continuing to work on adding more information to the Max's Kansas City Chronology I first posted about a month ago. If you have not already seen it, or have not checked it out since it was originally posted you can check it out HERE.
And thanks to all the new friends who are sending me information for this project - it's been nice meeting you guys!
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
One year and 8 days since the last time I'd seen them, and just 2 days after an awesome New York Dolls concert, I was back in Maplewood once again to see Skid Row again. This time they brought with them King's X (I was never really a fan but they were actually OK), and Nashville Pussy (who were, as usual, all jacked up and in serious ass-kicking mode). The opener was called Mardo, we might have missed them as I can't recall anything about seeing them. The Skids were pretty good - always a good solid rock 'n' roll show by these guys. We actually ran into a few of the same people we'd seen at the Dolls show a few nights before. And there were some very drunk, obnoxious guys down near the front who insisted on shoving and pushing heir way to the front row, trying to overrun and displace some nice girls who were there before them. "337" and I, and a few other more gentlemanly types, decided this wasn't cool. We not-so-nicely explained to these pricks that if they kept up with their attempts to get into the front row and bothering these girls, they might go home missing a few teeth. They finally got the message and settled back and the rest of us were finally able to enjoy the rest of the show.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Stopped in at a local thrift-shop yesterday and browsed the books for a while. I came up with this gem, "Hart's Guide to New York City," published in 1964. I paid $3.00 and it was worth every penny. There is so much history in this book it boggles the brain. Over the next few weeks I'll put some of it up here.
Today we'll start with some information that will make every music lover/record collector in NYC wish they had born in a different era, or at least you'll wish times were still like they were in 1964...from the section titled "Records":
There are 1,000 stores in this city that sell musical platters. Yes! That's certainly a record!
(1,000!!! Can you imagine?? I can hear you all beginning to sob now! And I'd think that with over 1,000, this book might have reviewed more than just 5, but that's all we get.)
Colony Record & Radio Center
1671 Broadway (corner of 52nd Street)
10 AM - 4AM, Every Day.
Phone: CO 5-1260
This large shop in the theatre district is open every night of the week until early in the morning. No bargains here (and 45 years later this is still true!); but you can play a record before you buy it, and every disc purchased may be exchanged.
Colony is still there...
160 West 56th Street (bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.)
9-6, Mon. thru Sat. During July and Aug., closed Sat.
Phone: JU 2-7350
Located at the rear of the Joseph Patelson Music House, Mr. Darton carries on a good music business on his own. Though the two proprietors are very good friends (they were actually brothers-in-law), their businesses are not run as a joint venture. Darton emphasizes classical music. All new records sell at a discount - 20 to 30 per cent off, both on stereos and on monaurals. There is a fine selection of old 78's, which may cost from $1.50 to $150 a platter.
According to the link above, Joe Darton finally retired in 1991 and Darton Records ceased operation at that time.
Sam Goody, Inc.
235 West 49th Street (bet. Broadway and Eighth Ave.)
10-8, Mon. thru Fri.; 9:30-8, Sat.
Phone: CI 6-1708
This is the world's largest retailer of records and recorded tapes. All list prices are discounted. Some of the bargains are amazing: there are albums marked down to one-quarter of their original cost. Self service is the order of the day, and the store does not provide facilities for listening to a record: you buy it unheard. According to the management, it is these sparse services that keep prices low. The policy of the store is that you may bring a record back within 30 days for full exchange credit, provided that you have played it just once (I SWEAR, Mister, I only played it once!) and provided that, after it's one-time playing, it shows no marks of wear. There's a branch at: 666 Third Avenue (corner of 43rd St.). Phone: YU 6-8480
Not sure when this exact location closed, but the Sam Goody chain was purchased by their rival, Minneapolis based "Musicland" in 1978. From there it was aquired by Best Buy, who purchased MusicLand at some point in the 2000's. Then came Sun Capitol Partners. And in 2006, the remaining Sam Goody stores were all renamed F.Y.E. You can read about this clusterfuck of events HERE.
King Karol Records
111 West 42nd Street (bet. Broadway and Sixth Ave.)
9AM-Midnight, Every Day
Phone: BR 9-2342
The most complete record selection in the world - more than half a million titles - everything listed in Schwann, the standard record catalog - is stocked in this small, busy shop. Ben Karol, the owner, resents any attempt to pinpoint a specialty. "We have everything," he claims. "And," notes Mr. Karol, "if we don't have it, we'll find it for you." All records are sold at a discount of 20 to 50 per cent. Mr. Karol observes no holidays.
King Karol Records survived at least until 1984, according to THIS article from the New York Times.
The Record Hunter
507 Fifth Avenue (bet. 42nd and 43rd Streets)
10AM-Midnight, Mon. thru Sat.
Phone: OX 7-8970
This store carries the largest selection of recorded classical music in the world. There are thousands of other discs, too: jazz, folk-music, show music, spoken word. Recorded tapes are also sold. The Record Hunter will, of course, try to locate for you any discontinued recordings. Most records sold here carry a discount of at leats 20 per cent; and as much as a 75 per cent cut is not uncommon. Before you buy a record, you can hear it by requesting that it be played over the loudspeaker system. There are no refunds or exchanges, except for defective records. (I SWEAR, Mister, it had that big scratch on it when I opend it!) A free newsletter, "Masterpieces in the Mail", announces exceptional bargains in classical music. Subscribers who number 40,000 and hail from five continents, respond to the tune of some $1,000,000 in mail orders each year.
Check out this interesting piece, written by Ben Sisario, from April 2008, that claims there were only around 50 shops left in Manhattan at that time, whose primary business was the sale of pre-recorded music. And begin to cry all over again...
A colorful handbill for the show. These were printed on a glossy, thin cardboard-stock. They measure 4"X6". I don't usually hawk my stuff on here, but if you'd like one, I have several available...I'm asking $3.00 each plus $2.00 shipping (well concealed cash only!). Just drop me an email (found in my profile) and I'll send you my mailing address.
I also managed to get the venue poster out of the display case outside on the wall of the club before the show started. I really wish I cold have gotten this one autographed, but it's still nice anyway.
A schedule for the evenings bands. I ripped this off a wall in the Main Room at 1st Avenue, thinking it would make a nice piece for autographs. I was lucky enough to obtain one after the show...Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain.
A review of the show that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a few days later. Click HERE to see an enlarged view and read the article.
(All images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
On November 14, 2006, Little Steven brought his Underground Garage Tour to Minneapolis and I was able to witness first-hand the legend that is the New York Dolls. Yeah, I know it's only David and Sylvain left from the original lineup, but I was only 3 years old when that lineup was playing out, so I never had the chance. But this "new" Dolls was every bit as exciting as I hoped they'd be. Their set was a mish-mash of plenty of the classic material from the first two early 70's albums and songs from their newest, "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This."
You can view a beautiful set of photos of the Dolls' set (shot by "the Curse of Brian") by clicking HERE.
And it didn't hurt that all the other bands on the bill were very good as well. I'd never seen The Chesterfield Kings or The Charms before and they were both quite impressive. I'd seen the Supersuckers once previously, enjoyed them then, and was literally blown away with this performance.
Then there was the "between sets entertainment" provided by the "Garage Girls A-Go-Go", 4 good-looking girls done up in skimpy 60's style attire and go-go boots, shimmying and swaying to some cool pre-recorded music...it wasn't too hard to keep eyes on the stage while all this was going on. Only in the interest of "full coverage" of this show, check out the video of the Garage Girls below. This was filmed in October 2006 at the New Haven, CT stop on this tour.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
This was the first time I ever saw Flipp in concert - it was a free show at the Best Buy in Richfield, MN to celebrate the release of the band's (then) new CD titled "Blow It Out Your Ass." A co-worker of mine had been telling me for some time thet I HAD to go see this band he roadied for. I finally made it out to see them and when they came out and started to play I immediately regretted never having seen them previously...they were amazing. They sounded kind of like the Sex Pistols and Cheap Trick got thrown into a blender and this is what came out...seriously punk atitude with undeniable pop hooks. They immediately rose from an unknown (to me) entity to the position of one of my favorite bands, a position they still hold even now, several years after their final live shows. I was also excited to see their manager, former Kiss manager Bill Aucoin, was at the show. I din't get to meet him on this occasion, but I would soon enough, and that was pretty cool for an old Kiss fan like myself. This show was only a short preview of what was to be the "official" CD release party on November 25th, and since they were in a retail store, the level of chaos and debaunchery that usually accompanied the band's live set was kept to a minimum.
There is a set of great photos from this show, shot by Brian Garrity, on the official Flipp website, Flipp Central. Click HERE to see the photos.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
(Photo by: Pep Bonet via Rolling Stone.com)
I found myself in a waiting room today with some time to kill, so I picked up the only magazine that looked even remotely interesting...a late October 2009 issue of Rolling Stone. The photo on the cover (top) didn't really promise anything good inside, and lets face it, Rolling Stone is not exactly revered for their hard hitting music journalism anymore, at least among my friends and the bloggers I read). But I started paging through it and came across something that almost made me choke...in the midst of all the usual fluff and crap, there was this great article about, of all people, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. It's called "Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister - Vampire of the Sunset Strip" and was penned by Mark Binelli.
"Wow," I thought to myself as I began reading, "Miracles do still happen." And it turns out, it's a great article. I can't find it on RollingStone.com yet...hopefully soon, but here's a preview from RS.com on what the article is about...LINK.
And my appologies for having to expose you to that Madonna photo...
Turns out Peteski has a very cool blog of his own featuring tons and tons of cool artwork, photography and miscellaneous oddities I'm sure anyone who reads this blog would enjoy. I'll leave it at that - you'll have to check him out at:
THIS ISN'T HAPPINESS
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
11/11/87 - 22 Years Ago Today in Duluth, MN - Whitesnake/Great White - A Tale of Teenage Debaunchery
Click HERE to see and read enlargement.
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
This is how it all went down on the night of November 11th, 1987. It's not pretty, but it's the truth. Names of the participants of this tale have been left out to protect the innocent...and the guilty. May not be suitable for all readers.
This is the show that I went to - but didn't go to. Let me explain...
I bought my ticket in advance, right after they went on sale. The day of the show arrives and I travel to Duluth with a few friends. Of course we were loaded down with enough booze to wipe out an Army regiment. We were feeling pretty good by the time we arrived at the Duluth Arena and my buddies got out of the car to go to the box office and buy a ticket, as they hadn't bought in advance. Bad news, boys, the show was SOLD OUT when we arrived - no tickets available. What to do, what to do?
Well, I decided to play entrepreneur. Since my buddies obviously weren't gonna be able to get tickets (they weren't willing to pay scalper prices) I decided that since the show was sold out I might be able to sell mine for a nice profit and just spend the evening partying in the parking lot with all the other (soon to be) drunken metal-heads. This was back in the era when you could do that and not get hasseled by the cops. They didn't care what you were doing or how old you were, as long as there was no violence. I was never one to say no to a good party and this one looked to be the mother of all parties. So I started walking around looking for someone who needed a ticket. I was hearing people paying upwards of $30.oo (sounds like very little but that was big money for a concert ticket back in 1987!) (for a ticket that originally went for $16.00) and I thought, "I can get more than that." Pretty soon I run across these 3 girls...two of them had a ticket - their sad looking friend did not and she seemed desperate to get ahold of one...it was getting close to show time. So I told her I had one. "How much," she asked. "$75.00," came my immediate reply. "What?!? That's crazy. I'll give you $30.00," she said." "No deal," was my reply, "Try to find another ticket." People were heading inside to line up as the doors were about to open. She walked off, but a few minutes she was back. "OK," she said, "I got the $75.00. It's still a rip off." "Whatever, do you want it or not?" And she took it. She didn't even say thank you, the ingrate. But I just made the easiest 60 dollars I'd ever made in my life up to that point.
So those with tickets were now inside the arena getting ready to rock and roll with one of the most popular hair-metal bands of the genere, and the rest of us degenerates were left to our own devices in the parking lot. It was only 1987, but we were about to party like it was 1999. We killed off the Strohs 30-pack we had brought with us in pretty short order and then moved on to some harder stuff...I can't remember what it was (maybe Windsor?) but it was certainly doing the trick. Then, in the midst of our partying, I ran into a few freinds of mine from the high-school I'd been attending prior to moving in my Junior year. They too had no tickets for the show and were partying the night away, waiting for friends who did have tickets and were currently inside rocking out. And they had more beer. Mmmm - beer...just what the doctor ordered - these were friends indeed! So we partied on for a while, getting, literally, blind fucking drunk. At some point we decided we needed some food. There was a McDonalds within walking distance so off we went for cheeseburgers.
We arrived at the McDonalds a few minutes later and as we were walking in, I spotted these girls sitting in a booth. One of them was so cute I just couldn't resist talking to her. Now I know I was drunk - sober I would have never been so brave to do what I was about to do. I sat down right next to her without asking, asked her what her name was and if she had a boyfriend. She told me her name and said she did not. I aksed her if she wanted one. "Maybe," she said with a smirk. "Are you drunk?" she asked. "Maybe," I lied. So we got our sandwiches and sat with these girls and got to know them a bit better. When we were finished, they agreed to walk back to the arena with us. They couldn't drink though, they said, they had to be home in a few hours. So we drank for them. They didn't seem to mind. We found our party-buddies back in the parking lot and resumed our consumption, swigging down what ever came our way, which was plenty.
At some point, we decided to take a walk around the arena and see what we could see. Somehow, we managed to get into the skywalk that connected with the arena. Once inside, we could hear Whitesnake playing! Coooool! So we hung around for a while, straining to listen, and soon I was on the floor, making out with this chick I'd met at McDonalds. One of my friends, later on, told me they were betting weather or not she and I were gonna "do it" right there in the skyway. This must have been my lucky night! Little did I know...
Next thing I know, we're back outside. The girls have to go home, so we exchange phone numbers and they leave. My friends and I go in search of more booze which wasn't all that hard to find. At one point while we were walking around the back of the arena (again), my one buddy is turned around, walking backwards, talking to us, not paying attention to where he is going. Just as he turns around, BAM! He walked right into a tree. He hit the ground and we were all laughing so hard I thought I was gonna piss my pants. But he was really down. Knocked himself senseless for a few minutes. After we quit laughing, we asked him if he was OK, and as he staggerd to his feet he assured us he'd be OK...if he could find another beer. Yeah, that's the kind of evening this was.
A while later, now back in the main arena parking lot, I run into this other girl. We say Hi, and I'm wondering where I know her from. I know I know here, I just don't know how. It takes us both a few minutes, but we finally figured it out. A few weeks prior, I had been at this monster keg-party out in the woods just outside our hometown (I told you, I wasn't one to miss a good party!), and around midnight, all of a sudden someone yelled "Cops!" So everyone was making a mad scramble to get in whatever vehicle they could get into and try to get the hell out of there before the 5-0 decended on our little get together. I jumped in the first car I spotted and as a few more people jumped in, the driver, this girl who I was now talking to at the concert, started the car and we were off...just in time. She saved our asses. She dropeed me off at home and I never even got her name. I didn't know her, she was a few years older, going to the local community college. I never gave her a second thought. Until we met up at the concert. We had a good laugh about our narrow escape from the long arm of the law and I asked her what she was drinking. She had some beers and some other harder liquor she was drinking. I asked her where her friends were...aparently she had come to the concert by herself, and like so many others, had no ticket and had decided to party in the parking lot. So she and I start drinking together and talking, and I don't remember if she suggested it or if I did, but it was decided that I was gonna ride back home with her instead of with my buddies. At some point during all of this, I picked up a ticket stub (above) from the show that someone had tossed on the ground.
Just after the concert ended, I said goodbye to all my friends from my old high-school, all my friends from my new high school, and this girl and I hopped in her car and headed back for Grand Rapids. We stopped on a dark country road about half-way home and...well...we had a moment, let's put it that way. And I was almost in shock...this was the first time I'd ever "had a moment." After we were through, we resumed our drive and she dropped me off at home and went on her way. It was about 3:30 in the morning by this point. I was still drunk as a skunk and was really hoping my parents weren't up waiting for me. I made it inside as quietly as I could and I hear from the top of the stairs, "How was the concert?" Oh shit! It was my dad. "Great," I lied. "I'll tell you about it tomorrow. I gotta get some sleep." I went down the stairs to my bedroom and when I got there I felt like puking...the room was spinning and my head was pounding. And I had to be up in...two hours?? Yeah, drunk or not, I had a paper route that I had to do before I went to school. So I decided to stay up because I knew if I went to sleep I'd never get back up in time. And I knew if I tried to lay down, I'd puke for sure and I didn't want to do that. So I put on some tunes, I was still thinking about my "ride" home, and I reached into my pocket and pulled out this slip of paper which the girl from Duluth had given me. On it was her name and phone number. I was thinking about her ("Call me tomorrow," she had told me as we'd said goobye)...and about the girl I had rode home with. What the hell was her name? I didn't even know. Wow, what a crazy fucking evening. If my head wasn't pounding so hard I would have been in absolute heaven. I met two girls in one night? That just didn't happen to me...ever! But now it had and I was feeling pretty good about myself...despite feeling like I was gonna puke.
The 2 hours passed by and it was time to get on my bike and deliver newspapers. So I did, completed my route in the usual ammount of time, and headed back home to get ready for school. My dad an step-mom were both up, in the kitchen, getting ready for breakfast when I walked in. I'm sure I looked like a million dollars by this point. I was still drunk. I headed for the bathroom, trying not to make eye-contact with either one of them and the shower helped a little to clear my head. I got dressed and sat down at the breakfast table and told them how great the concert was. I know they knew I'd been drinking, but I couldn't let them know thats ALL I'd been doing the previous evening or they might not have ever let me go to another concert again! So I told them how awesome Whitesnake was and they seemed none the wiser...but they were looking at me like, "Uh-Huh. He's still fucked up." And I was. But I had to go to school. And I figured I could handle it.
So I'm in shcool and FINALLY the booze is starting to wear off. Several of my friends were in similar shape, there were alot of very hung-over/still drunk kids at school on this particular day. I barely made it through the morning and was still feeling pretty rough by the time it was lunch period. I'm sitting at my usual table, the one where all the headbangers and other losers ate their lunch. I'm trying to eat...and every bite I take, my stomach is telling me NO! NO! STOP! So I didn't eat much. Lunch period was almost over and I just couldn't hold it anymore...I knew I was gonna puke. So I got up, walked over to the teacher who was watching the lunchroom doors, making sure none of the animals escaped. I said to him..."Look, I'm about to be sick. Can I go to the bathroom?" "No," came his reply, "sit down and wait till the bell rings." "O.K.," I said, "But when I puke, someone's gonna have to clean it up and it ain't gonna be me." With that, I limped back over to my table. The minute I sat down, I stood back up and RAN to the water fountain. And puked...and puked...and puked. I'm sure it was a sight to behold...some metal-head puking his guts out in the water fountain...good times...good times. I wiped off my face and went back over to the door-monitor and said, "Happy? I told ya..." "Get out of here," he said, motioning towards the doors. I went down the hall, cleaned up a bit in the bathroom, then went to the office to use the phone. I called my step-mom and told her I was sick and asked if she could come pick me up. She didn't seem to surprised to hear from me and said she be there shortly.
So I'm back at home, hung-over as hell, and I finally got to get some rest. I dozed for a few hours and when I woke up I decided to call the girl from Duluth. So I did, and the conversation went well. We actually made plans for me to come see her at some point in the near future. I did not, however, mention my ride home the previous evening. I figured that was best left unsaid. When I hung up the phone, being the honest guy that I am, I decide to call this OTHER girl, who I'd been kind-of-dating (We'd meet at the Mall and walk around town and talk. I guess that's "kind-of" dating?) Anyway, I figured I'd better tell he that I'd met someone else. I dialed her number, she picks up the phone, and I start to explain...and BAM! She hangs up on me. Good thing she didn't get to hear the part about my ride home with that OTHER girl I met...what was her name? I couldn't believe I still couldn' t remember. I remembered everything else, but not her name.
I was wondering when (or if) I'd see her again. I did eventually see her again...and she wasn't even mad when I asked what her name was...she said she didn't really remember mine either.
But that's another story...
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
After the extremely disappointing Metallica concert of just 3 days earlier, I couldn't wait for this show - I knew Nuclear Assault wouldn't let me down. And it didn't hurt that Coroner was on the bill either, I was pretty sure they'd deliver the goods as well. I had no expectations for Panic as I'd never even heard of them.
Panic (from Wikipedia: Prior to the grunge explosion in Seattle another band used the name [Panic] and was managed by Tony Isabella of Bill Graham Management. Members included George Hernandez (Bass), Jack Coy (Drums), Martin Chandler (Guitar)- later of "Hog Molly" and "The Ones", and Jeff Brameis (Vocals).They released two LP'S with Metal Blade Records "Epidemic" & "Fact". ) came on and impressed with a set of tight psuedo-thrash. I made a note to run out the next day and pick up their current album, "Epidemic." It is a highly underrated album.
Coroner (from Wikipedia: Coroner was a Swiss technical thrash metal band from Zurich. They garnered relatively little attention outside of Europe. They combined elements of thrash, progressive rock, jazz, and industrial metal with suitably gruff vocals that have put them at times in a death metal camp. They did not completely fall into any of those categories but integrated influences from them while some defined their style. With their increasingly complex style of progressive rock-infused thrash, they are often labeled as "the Rush of thrash metal" by music critics.) was really something to witness live, and I regret not ever having seen them again after this concert.
Nuclear Assault, the band formed by former Anthrax bassist Danny Lilker (he decided Anthrax wasn't heavy enough) was amazing. They announced that this was the final show of their current tour and were throwing candy and other stuff at each other throughout the show. At one point, vocalist/guitarist John Connelly scaled a support column that connected the stage to the upstairs balcony, dragging his guitar along with him. One he was upstairs, he began to jam again, stopped at the bar and grabbed a drink, finished it off in short order, began playing again as he decended the stairs, then jumped back up on the stage to join the rest of the band. Their set included material from most of their releases up to that point, the most enjoyable stuff coming from the "Survive", "Out Of Order" and "Handle With Care" albums. Other than the few deatils described above, I don't remember alot of the particulars, just that they were thoroughly kicking ass. Sadly, I believe this was the last time they ever appeard in Minneapolis and was the only time I've ever seen them.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Went to this one with my buddy Jonah, his first time seeing Kiss, my tenth, but it was my first time seeing Aerosmith. It was odd that Kiss agreed to play before Aerosmith...don't know how Tyler and Co. managed to talk Gene and Paul into that but whatever...it was a great show, both bands at the top of their game. We must have arrived late because I can't recall seeing Saliva. This was the first time I'd seen Tommy Thayer in the role of Ace Frehley and he seemed to do OK I thought, although it was a bit weird, and it was the last time Peter Criss toured with Kiss, so I'm glad I got to see him one more time. Aerosmith shot some video, they said it was to be used for the Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve 03/04 TV special, but when I watched the show on New Years Eve, I'm pretty sure the footage never aired.
Monday, November 9, 2009
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
When I think back to this concert, I just get all pissed off that Rob Zombie had to split this amazing band up so he could grab all the glory for himself. White Zombie was a monster...so heavy...a true thing of beauty. When they took the stage you could not just stand there and observe, you were compelled to move! I think this was the first time I saw them as headliners...I'd previously seen them open for Anthrax (also at the Roy Wilkens Audiorium) and as the opening act for Pantera, that one taking place at the much smaller Mirage club in Minneapolis. To see them as a headliner was just amazing...I have a hard time writing about it because to describe it just doesn't do the experience any justice...either you saw them and you know...or you didn't and you missed out. You and I both know that most bands of this caliber that split up eventually get back together for a reunion tour at some point...I'm always hoping WZ will eventually re-form and once again stalk the land and stomp heads.
Here is one of my favorite Zombie tunes..."Real Solution #9" - recorded live at the Bizarre Festival in Koln Germany on August 19, 1995.