left to right – larry rivers, jack kerouac, david amram, alan ginsberg and gregory corso (with his back to the camera)
if you don’t know david amram, let’s say that he, when i met him here almost 2 years ago, was the person who told me that i had done the right thing. that upon entering this place for the very first time, he was thrust back to his youth. he told me that he felt like he just walked back in time to the way greenwich village was. to understand fully the implications of what he meant, go here; David Amram and read about him. as we spoke that first time, i revealed to him that i had another place in my past that he might remember. “what place was it?” he asked. “116 macdougal.” i answered. i saw his eyes flash. “you had that place? that’s amazing! your spirit is linked to an amazing past and it shows.” I had a place in the 80’s and 90’s called Scrap Bar. i like to say that punk had its last rights and wake there and metal and big hair bands got baptized there with MTV performing the services. (did anyone notice that i might have been a catholic at one point of my life?)…… it was, in a way, the antithesis of the beat generation, but not in a bad way. Youth and discovery are based on self indulgence, self inspection and self realization. in spandex or blue jeans, it’s all forward motion. The Scrap Bar website can offer a little insight into the time. Scrap Bar’s Myspace can offer more. Eventually, I’ll be adding more in the blogs located there (there’s 9 short, lead-up stories about Scrap Bar there right now), like when Alan Ginsberg walked down into the place as i was spray-painting flourescent lightbulbs and told me the history of the the Village Gaslight and why beatnicks and “finger-snapping” became synonamous. He spoke with excited reverence about his youth. About the age of awakening from the McCarthy era….that’s why this David Amram meeting was so wonderful. Twenty years after meeting Ginsburg, I’m in my new “home,” no longer where traditional NYC bohemia exists and another and possibly the last important link to the age of fearless creativity walks into my life and tells me “you’re doing good.”
This was a kind note Mr.Amram sent me a while back after i had spoken to him about the weariness of my journey. Being “out there” (out here) has its low points, believe you me. He wrote it for me to put out there, so that’s what i’m doing;
Glad the New Yorker will give you some play
Goodbye blue Monday’s is an invaluable part of
It provides a showcase for some amazing talent. In an era where music venues are colossally expensive, this warm, family-type setting is affordable, charming and a perfect place to both do creative work and go to listen to new performers.
i often go there with my kids to hear new groups, and the two times i played there were truly gratifying. The owner and artistic director of the club is a modern day Medici for a whole generation of performers of all genres.
It is one of the places I take all my friends who visit New York who want to witness what is new, artistically excellent, innovative and truly entertaining.
As i look at my calendar, i know i’m doing my job. Thank you David.