Rock-a-Bye Baby: America's Top 10 Closed Concert Clubs
Maybe it's the karaoke. Maybe it's increasingly harsh DUI laws. Maybe it's the fact that every douchebag hipster with a Mac and blogger buddies thinks he's a DJ. Whatever the reason, it's been a bad era for the rock club. Anyone who likes to listen to live music on a small scale will tell you America is hemorrhaging concert clubs.
The re-opening of Long Wong's, Arizona's best-known rock club before it was shuttered, then demolished, back in 2004, has us thinking a lot about those missing music venues. And not just here. Here are America's top 10 now-closed meccas for live music. Many of these we've been to, a few we just wish we'd been to. All of them are dearly missed by their former patrons.
In the spirit of Long Wong's probable rebirth as a live music venue -- instead of its current role as just a well-regarded chain of wing joints with no connection to the Mill Ave. nightspot -- we've also included two clubs that re-opened after lengthy hiatuses, capturing some of their former mojo.
10. Mabuhay Gardens
Where: San Francisco, California
Claims to fame: A rowdy emcee who insulted the crowds of punk kids to incite their fury was a big part of the allure. Any old punk band you can think of played there: The Dead Kennedys, Flipper, Black Flag, The Dictators,The Damned, Devo, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Hüsker Dü, D.O.A., The Screamers, Minutemen.
Now: There's another venue, called Club 443, on the spot.
9. The Gold Dollar
Where: Detroit, Michigan.
Claims to fame: Home base for the Detroit garage rock scene that gave the world The White Stripes (who played their first show there), Soledad Brothers, Electric 6, Bantam Rooster, The Gore Gore Girls, etc.
Now: Like most of Detroit, it's now an abandoned wasteland. Check out the Google map.
8. The Bottom Line
Where: New York City
Claims to fame: Sure, Bob, Baez and the gang hung out at Greenwich Village's Bottom Line. But so did Lou Reed, who recorded a live record at this small and eclectically booked club. Bruce Springsteen offered to pay $190,000 to get this joint out of the hole if it's landlord, New York University, would give it a new lease, to no avail.
Now: NYU students take classes there. Sigh.
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