Monday, August 24, 2009

Gone Fishin'...

Dying On Bar Time is on vacation and will return shortly with new images, posts and videos. Keep the faith!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A slight departure for the dearly departed...

We were all saddened by the untimely passing of Willy Deville. Sadder still is the fact that his death went largely unnoticed by the press. I received no New York Times News Alert as I had done when Ron Asheton exited stage left several beats too early. Bill Dickson, front man for The Rousers and 70s NYC music scenester and I were chatting about a week after Willy's passing and Bill had heard nothing about it. A shame, he thought, since by his estimation Willy Deville was one of the coolest fuckers to grace the NYC punk scene. With his New Romantic look and pencil mustache, he cutting quite a dashing figure in 70s and 80s NYC. No one looked like him, dressed like him and no one sure as hell sounded like him.

Perhaps best known as the fella who found Johnny Thunders' lifeless body at the St. Peter House in New Orleans in 1991, it's a wicked rippin' shame that Willy's death came and went with a whisper.

R.I.P. Bless Willy Deville's pointy lil' head...Sha babby.

This is The Bottom Line

In 1993 I had the great pleasure of seeing Allen Ginsberg and Jim Carroll at The Bottom Line. Mr. Ginsberg performed Don't Smoke amongst other poems/songs and Mr. Carroll read a lesser-known story featuring a snake and a deli. Not only were the stories great but the whole evening cost me $15 bucks. I was a waitress and bartender at the time so seeing two of my heroes for a price that wouldn't even buy me a t-shirt these days made me feel like I was getting over. It was the cultural equivalent of dine and dash!

The Bottom Line closed on January 22, 2004. Today it's a lecture hall for NYU law students but for whatever reason always looks empty...

Allan Ginsberg performs Don't Smoke

Jim Carroll Band People Who Died

The Bottom Line then...

The Bottom Line today (August 2009)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And now for your listening pleasure...

Great bands, singers and performers EVERYONE should know about!

The Senders

The Rousers

Vivien Goldman

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Die Young, Stay Pretty

They say the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Perhaps this explains the brief period that was punk music in New York City and its London counterpart. Sure there are bands that survived; Blondie, The Clash, The Ramones, The Talking Heads, etc. But even these bands have either altered their line-up, have unfortunately passed or no longer play together. Equally the venues in which these bands played; CBGBs, Max's Kansas City, the Pepermint Lounge, the 82 Club, Mudd Club, etc. burned bright but burned out. The venues have given way to delis, dorms, chain restaurants and lecture halls.

This is a visual and oral tour through that time. Enjoy...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Night They Brought the House Down: The Rise and Fall of the Mercer Arts Center

Before CBGBs played home to The Ramones, the Mercer Arts Center was THE slummy locale to play and who better to headline there but the Lipstick Killers themselves; The New York Dolls. Located at the back of the Broadway Central Hotel near the corner of Mercer and 3rd St, the Arts Center was run by Sy and Cynthia Kaback. The front entrance was on Broadway and was a crummy SRO/residents' hotel. But the Arts Center housed performance spaces and was the perfect backdrop for a band who got its name from an uptown Doll Hospital. The New York Dolls played in the Oscar Wilde Room (among other similarly named performances spaces in the Center) until the hotel's collapse on August 3, 1973. In fact the Dolls played there every week from the middle of June 1972 until the beginning of October that same year. Seems oddly fitting that Personality Crisis would bellow out of a room named after another irreverent dandy with a penchant for feminine attire. My cousin Bill Dickson of The Rousers used to see the Dolls at the Mercer Arts Center. He and his band mates would get gussied up in their SVA art student finest and go shake a tail feather and then some to David Jo, Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, Syl Sylvain and Arthur "Killer" Kane. Good times...

The building collapsed just hours before hundreds of patrons were scheduled to file in. While sadly the collapse did kill 4 hotel residents, the subsequent remains of the hotel were demolished and a 22-story dormitory for law students (they still live in dorms?) was erected in its place, built by, you guessed it, NYU. Have a look...

And before its reconstruction...