This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

7Oct/17

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK: CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE BOTTOM LINE

if these walls could talk

Who: David Bromberg, Jimmy Vivino, Darlene Love, David Johansen, Sean Altman, Marshall Chapman, Clint de Ganon, the GrooveBarbers, Ula Hedwig, Garland Jeffreys, Christine Lavin, Curtis King, Terre Roche, Feifei Yang, Garry Dial, the Uptown Horns, Will Lee, Paul Shaffer, Gregg Bendian
What: Music and memories about the Bottom Line
Where: Schimmel Center at Pace University, 3 Spruce St. between Park Row and Gold St., 212-346-1715
When: Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14, $29-$55, 7:30
Why: From February 11, 1974, to January 22, 2004, the Bottom Line was one of the great music clubs in the country, a four-hundred-seat venue that featured acts from a multitude of genres, good food and drink, and large pillars that could block part of your view depending where you were sitting, but there was no place else like it. Among the myriad performers who played there from a multitude of genres were Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Charles Mingus, Patti Smith, Donovan, Warren Zevon, Prince, Little Feat, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Meat Loaf, Janis Ian, Santana, Melissa Etheridge, Steve Earle, the Indigo Girls, the New York Dolls, Mose Allison, Joan Armatrading, the Uncle Floyd Show, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Barry Manilow, Cheech & Chong, Television, Jimmy Buffett, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Nona Hendryx, Gil Scott-Heron, the Roches, the Cars, Miles Davis, the Hollies, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega, Steve Forbert, Dolly Parton, 10,000 Maniacs, Jorma Kaukonen, Carly Simon with James Taylor, Richard Belzer, and regulars Flo & Eddie from the Turtles and Buster Poindexter, the alter ego of David Johansen. Owners Alan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky had a knack for finding new talent; in some ways, the Bottom Line was the folk version of CBGB, a key step on an artist’s rise to national, and international, success.

On October 13 and 14, tribute will be paid to the legendary club with the special program “If These Walls Could Talk: Celebrating the Life and Times of the Bottom Line,” two evenings of live music and personal stories about the venerable venue, which closed its doors over back-rent and lease issues with NYU. Hosted by Paul Shaffer and with Gregg Bendian serving as music director, the shows will feature Sean Altman, David Bromberg (Friday), Clint de Ganon, the GrooveBarbers, Nona Hendryx, Garland Jeffreys (Saturday), David Johansen, Christine Lavin (Saturday), Will Lee, Darlene Love with Ula Hedwig and Curtis King, Terre Roche with Feifei Yang and Garry Dial (Friday), the Uptown Horns, and Jimmy Vivino. It’s like the ultimate version of “In Their Own Words,” the Bottom Line’s long-running series of “a Bunch of Songwriters Sittin’ Around Singing,” which was started on May 24, 1990, by the great Vin Scelsa. The Bottom Line had a personality all its own, and it is dearly missed by those of us who frequented its hallowed halls on the corner of Mercer and West Fourth Sts., so this should bring back some grand memories, along with some great music.

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