I grew up in Northern Virginia and did most of my youthful rock damage in and around Washington, DC. There were a number of rock clubs in Georgetown back in the day, all of which are now gone – the Cellar Door, the Bayou, Desperados, d c space. As Georgetown morphed into the charming but boring place that it has become, great rock moved toward downtown. The original 9:30 Club at 930 F Street was my go-to club after the decline of Georgetown.
The original 9:30 Club was a cramped and small basement space with a stage in one corner, a bar in a back room, a lounge area where the same people seemed to be hanging out for every show, and a low roof that would drip during the summer due to the heat/humidity/sweat generated in the room and condensing on the ceiling. It also had a roof support pole in the middle of the performance space room where a female employee would be hoisted to video each show (where are those tapes?) to project the show on the TVs located in the club.
I saw a lot of bands there, many of which I can’t remember anymore. But I do remember some great shows there by the Buzzcocks, the Fleshtones, the Young Fresh Fellows, Joe Strummer, Big Audio Dynamite, Wreckless Eric, Shoes, the Slickee Boys, Date Bait, and Fishbone. Alas, I moved to Philly, the 9:30 Club moved to bigger and better quarters in the U Street corridor, and the old venue was razed and is now occupied by a Marriott Courtyard hotel (I’ve stayed there, ironically enough).
Anyway, I miss that crappy old venue, but got a trip down memory lane when I was in the “new” 9:30 Club this fall. They have a little museum room in the new venue that has a collection of either LPs or CDs of virtually every band that played at the Club, and they are in chronological order of when they played. It’s cool, and I spent some time there digging on the display. Lots of great bands played there, some of whom went on to huge commercial success (think REM) and many of whom fell off and went to the obscure graveyard of former rock bands.
Anyway, just a little tribute to a great club that was a cool part of my young adult life. Hat’s off to you, 9:30 Club! And for BRP followers who prefer visual stimulation, a couple of pictures of the museum room at the new location follow. Thanks for indulging me, and have a great day!
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.