Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Closed Down Night Clubs


Recommended Posts

It seems to be the nature of small business these days; not many of them last very long. This is especially true of the local music clubs across the nation. I have read again and again about how all the old venues that we used to play are now out of business, or are no longer showcasing live music. Here in the SF Bay Area, almost all of the old clubs we used to play 10 years ago are gone. The Nightbreak, the I-Beam, the Stone, the Omni, the Berkeley Square, and many more have all closed their doors forever. It's very sad, mainly because most of these clubs have not been replaced by newer, better clubs. The local music scene in the entire East Bay is now limited to maybe two or three tiny night clubs. It's depressing. And it seems to be a sign of the times, across the country. So, what are some of the great clubs that have closed in [i]your[/i] home town? Have new ones opened up? Do the clubs pay decent money? Is the local music scene alive and well in your town, or is it dying a painful death?
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 32
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Orange County, CA... -- Band Stand Later the Cowboy Boogie... now gone -- A C&W place in Lake Forest. Now is the Elan... seems to be closed. -- The Revere House in Tustin dropped the bands in January. I am sure there are more. Even the dance-cotechs lost out. Knotts and Disney Land.

 

"It's all about the... um-m-m, uh-h-h..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh, dying a painful death. The Jazz Cellar closed, broke my heart. Then most of the "rock clubs" have folded too. But a lot of clubs have fucked themselves over, by hiring lame ass dj's, so they can make "more profit." When a nightclub goes for that they have to understand that they're signing up for "15 minutes of fame." They can be the hotspot for a while, but eventually people will want to go disco down somewhere else. Live music is just inherently more exciting, and wil keep audiences coming back... hmmm maybe I'm just trying to convince myself. :p

Want mix/tracking feedback? Checkout "The Fade"-

www.grand-designs.cc/mmforum/index.php

 

The soon-to-be home of the "12 Bar-Blues Project"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Running a club is pretty hard - 5 years is a good run, generally speaking. Hey dB. - What's the Omni now? Is it used for anything, or is it just sitting there? It was a nice room, but it had a lot of issues - namely lack of parking, an adversarial relationship with the neighborhood, and lack of a cabaret license. (That's why the rave thing never flew there - they were required by law to close at 2 AM, unlike the Stone where they could stay open all night.) The size of the room was a challenge, too (capacity of 800-1000 in the main hall) - they should have stuck with booking bigger names, rather than pay-to-play with nobody metal bands.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have like 10,000 people or something living around the general area. We have 2 country bars that have full time bands(min 3-5 nights weekly) 1 rock club 5 nights weekly 1 club that switches between rock, country and dance bands. 5 nights weekly 1 small club that gets a variety of blues, jazz, special projects 2-3 nights weekly. 1 jazz type bar that also showcases local singer songwriters 2-3 nights weekly. 1 bar up the hill that has a regular 3 night house band (country) and there are others that come and go with the season. Any night of the week you could go down town and walk from place to place and see a variety of live music all year long. If you are canadian and you want to play bars, and you are pretty good (don't be fooled by the remoteness and small size, there is lots of talent here) you should come here, you can gig as much as you want for an average of $125 per night per player in all bars.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the 70's and 80's, and early 90's, Boston's music scene was one of the hottest in the coutnry. I cut my teeth mixing is such clubs as Bunratty's, The Channel, Jumpin' Jack Flash, The Rat...all gone now. A corporate group formed early in the 80's and within a few years totally monopolized the club scene in Boston, and today it is almost exclusively either big money national acts or dance. there are almost no places where local bands can play that are at all decent, and forget about making money, it's a pay to play situation. The big corporate machine killed live music, and eventually it will kill us all.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think there was ever what you could call a thriving music scene here. What few clubs that survive (avg 6 mos. to a year) book the same 5 bands all of the time. If you are trying to break into the scene it is extremely difficult to get a paying gig anywhere. The funny thing is the competition between the dance bars around here. There's a million of em here.

Reach out and grab a clue.

 

Something Vicious

My solo crap

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Christopher Kemp: [b]Running a club is pretty hard - 5 years is a good run, generally speaking. Hey dB. - What's the Omni now? Is it used for anything, or is it just sitting there? It was a nice room, but it had a lot of issues - namely lack of parking, an adversarial relationship with the neighborhood, and lack of a cabaret license. (That's why the rave thing never flew there - they were required by law to close at 2 AM, unlike the Stone where they could stay open all night.) The size of the room was a challenge, too (capacity of 800-1000 in the main hall) - they should have stuck with booking bigger names, rather than pay-to-play with nobody metal bands.[/b][/quote]AAAaaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!!! PAY-TO-PLAY!!! Noooooo!!! Pay-to-play is EXACTLY what you think it is, Sal. The club makes you buy tickets to your own show, and you can only make money if you somehow manage to sell them all, which rarely happens. It's a really ugly practice that, I believe, started in L.A. Yuck! I can't believe clubs are still pulling that crap! Chris, the Omni is just sitting there, wasting away. It's so sad. :cry: Some of the best times of my life happened in that place... oh, well.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: And bands were stupid enough to fall for this 'pay to play' bullshit???? Wasn't it bad enough trying to get paid by those slimy creeps as it was? Well, that helps explain why so many clubs closed down I suppose... Maybe there are some business opportunities here for people with money to invest and some brains? :idea:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Sal Ubrious: [b]And bands were stupid enough to fall for this 'pay to play' bullshit????[/b][/quote]Yes... we were. It's a policy that preys on fledgling bands desperate for a gig. It's pathetic, really. The first and last time my old band did that was 1990. We quickly moved up the ladder to the "dirt pay" bracket. ;)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by dBunny: [b] [quote]Originally posted by Sal Ubrious: [b]And bands were stupid enough to fall for this 'pay to play' bullshit????[/b][/quote]Yes... we were. It's a policy that preys on fledgling bands desperate for a gig. It's pathetic, really. The first and last time my old band did that was 1990. We quickly moved up the ladder to the "dirt pay" bracket. ;) [/b][/quote]That's one of those examples of bands "whoring" themselves, like I was talking about in another thread.

Want mix/tracking feedback? Checkout "The Fade"-

www.grand-designs.cc/mmforum/index.php

 

The soon-to-be home of the "12 Bar-Blues Project"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in Kansas City, there are not a lot of clubs that offer live music; ask Tedster. There are some hot spots over on the Kansas side in southern Johnson County and in Olathe. From this neck of the woods, near KCI Airport, that's about a 40+ mile drive ONE WAY. Also, the competition is stiff... Now, we do have the Casinos that have tapped into the music scene, but mostly, they hire old timer accomplished bands. Occasionally, they have Karaoke competitions where entertainers work for free to gain recognition. I have noticed a few house bands at a few of the Casinos, but since I don't frequent the casinos, I'm not sure what their demand for house bands are. It's a sad situation... Now, we do have many Karaoke clubs throughout the city; but that's lame! It does NOT have the same appeal. In more recent times, I have noticed there are a few clubs out in this area that are attempting to bring live bands back into the heart of the city. Still, they don't really want to pay anything! I remember the good ole days where we had Battles of the Bands, Open Air Festivals, and all sorts of cool things going on... Winfield, Kansas used to be BIG; but I rarely even hear wind of it any more. Don't know, all these kids want to see a Walt Disney Production on stage and they're not worried about LIVE musicians since everything is LIP SYNC and preprogrammed music anymore.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of "whoring" myself... I agreed to do a weekly gig recently with a fledgling R&B vocalist at a fairly sizable club. I was told I would make around $150 per night. (That's $150 per band member). Then... well, the owner wants to see how well we draw, so he wants to start us low. Will I play for $75 per gig for a little while, until we prove ourselves? Then... well, an unknown act isn't really going to draw every week without promotion. We'll need to hire a promoter, and the club owner isn't willing to pay out of pocket. Can we pay the promoter out of the band's share, just for a little while, until we're established, and the owner agrees to spend more? That will drop my share down to $35. Oh, and I'll need to take a cab to and from the gig to move my gear. So now I'm making... $0. If I buy a beer, I'm in the red. Pay to play, baby.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by eljefe: [b] Then... well, the owner wants to see how well we draw, so he wants to start us low. Will I play for $75 per gig for a little while, until we prove ourselves? [/b][/quote]The answer should have been no. I mean, if you go up to his bar and ask for the first few beers free to see if you like them, how would that fly? The problem is of course so many musicians willing to work for nothing or next to nothing (or paying, god forbid) that it devalues their worth. BTW, maybe you can do the promotion yourselves?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we had the big quake back in 01 we lost one of my favorite hangs: The Fenix... I loved that place. :cry: Used to get rock star treatment there because my band would play it about 2 to 3 times a month. Free food and drinks even when we were not on that night! Ce La Vie... - DJDM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in my home town of Los Angeles, quite a few of my old gig joints (some great, some not so great) are no longer with us. A few of them, may they rest in peace, were: Madame Wongs East - Chinatown Madame Wongs West - Santa Monica The Sweetwater - Redondo Beach The Starwood - Hollywood Gazarris - Hollywood Trancas - Malibu (or Pacific Pallisades) Al's Bar - Downtown Club Lingerie - Hollywood The Anticlub - Hollywood Raji's - Hollywood All to be missed for various reasons but fortunately some of the classics are still kicking (the last time I checked): The Whiskey The Roxy The Troubador The Kibitz Room Cafe Largo
Signatures can appear at the bottom of your posts. This option may be disabled by the message board administrators at any time, however. You may use UBB Code in your signature, but not HTML. UBB Code Images are permitted.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One advantage of living in a state 7 years behind the times is there's still an OK live music scene here. The club we used to play up in Brigham City just went to a DJ to save money a couple of months ago, now his parking lot is empty every night. Fortunately a club we used to play at, Jordy's, was bought out by someone new who (a) enlarged the stage, (b) committed to live music at least 4 nights a week, (c) threw out some of the nastier regulars (we had stopped playing there because of these bums, they kept bothering the ladies) and (d) [i]gave us a raise!![/i] We're booked there monthly through the next year, and the place gets more clientele every time we're there. Salt Lake has a pretty good scene right now too, its not the club owners but the state government that causes the problems (i.e. shut down if they find a non-member, shut down for 30 days if they find a minor, a $1,000 fine if a bartender/waitress isn't wearing their name tag, etc). The more popular a club gets the more the Morality Police frequent it, araragh!! :mad:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Mr. Botch: [b]Salt Lake has a pretty good scene right now too, its not the club owners but the state government that causes the problems (i.e. shut down if they find a non-member[/b][/quote]Just curious, what is a non-member? Interesting to hear about different local music scenes :thu:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Sal Ubrious: [b] [quote]Originally posted by Mr. Botch: [b]Salt Lake has a pretty good scene right now too, its not the club owners but the state government that causes the problems (i.e. shut down if they find a non-member[/b][/quote]Just curious, what is a non-member? Interesting to hear about different local music scenes :thu: [/b][/quote]Utah does not have public bars, they are all "private clubs" to which you have to buy an annual membership (usually $20-25). It definitely does not lend itself to bar-hopping to catch different bands. I only keep one membership, the owner owns 4 different clubs here in Ogden and the membership gets you into all four, I'm trying to maximize my "bang for the buck" here. Its just another way the Mormon majority shifts the tax burden onto the gentile minority.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woohoo! Drinks are on me, but ya gotta pay for yer own membership! Yeehaw!
Signatures can appear at the bottom of your posts. This option may be disabled by the message board administrators at any time, however. You may use UBB Code in your signature, but not HTML. UBB Code Images are permitted.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by meriphew: [b]Seattle still has a pretty good live music scene with quite a few clubs to play in.[/b][/quote]True! I love to see shows at the Sit-n-Spin, (it's close to my work). There are other great clubs here but the Fenix was a personal loss to me. - DJDM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The live music scene here in Santa Barbara, a town vaunted for being an international destination of beautiful people with money to burn, is dismal. I moved here in 1994, and apparently I got into the last of it that was any good. It is [i]tough as hell[/i] to fill a room around here, and my group, shamelessly playing "Brick House" is one of the few that still does it consistently. Yes, club owners are loathe to pay musicans their due, even on a really good night, but there's a larger cultural problem. People just don't seem to socialize around local live music the way they used to. Around here, the successful places thrive on the pick-up scene, and to foster that vibe, you need people to focus on each other, not the band.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In recent years NYC has been plagued with the closing of small clubs. Wetlands Coney Island High Brownies and some others I can't think of right now. It's always tough to get something off the ground in the city but now, It's impossible.

ATOMIX! :evil:

http://www.abc.net.au/common/logos/whtblkgrn.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Beatheavy: [b]In recent years NYC has been plagued with the closing of small clubs. Wetlands Coney Island High Brownies and some others I can't think of right now. It's always tough to get something off the ground in the city but now, It's impossible.[/b][/quote]Sux to hear that, for sure. I may end up there in a year or two. Pay-to-play seems to be annoyingly common here, and in some cases we`re talking about serious green-like, I just wanna play here not buy the damn place. So far I`ve only done one holiday gig and I`ve got another in two weeks, both non-pay. In the first case they expected the band to pay for the food too-I said no thanx. I don`t know, I think it`s too late for me. Unless it`s an showcase situation or something, I`ve been hopelessly spoiled by my early gigs-pay-to-play can go screw itself. This excuse of `club owners geting burned by overhyped bands` is crap-that sounds like a situation with bands that are already signed and have reps hyping them. Either that or soembody`s going around saying `we`ll pack this club out no problem` and then not doing it. They need to shut up.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]posted by DBunny: [b]Here in the SF Bay Area, almost all of the old clubs we used to play 10 years ago are gone...the I-Beam[/b][/quote]The I-Beam, on Haight Street, closed?? WTF??!!! I still have my VIP membership card for the I-Beam stashed away somewheres around here. That sucks. You know SanFran is going down if the I-Beam goes under. In Philly, there's lots of places to gig at; it's in flux as always...but still lots of places to gig. I was just at a gig tonight at L'Hexigon on 1700 block of Sansom Street...Wellstar put on 2 great sets. Bar Noir is just around the corner, has some cool live sets, then walk a few blocks south to Tri-Tone for some world-class world/fusion hosted by the likes of Jamaladeen Jacuma and Rick Iannacone et al... Sorry, don't mean to rub it in like that...but maybe if y'all are thinking of relocating to somewhere you should consider Philly. It's happening here. No complaints, at all. You could go out on any night of the week here and catch happening live music here. More than I can keep up with.

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...