Sifting through the voluminous scans from John Pusateri’s archives, I see that there were quite a few venues that “experimented” with Punk and New Wave. Ultimately it took a club like Scorgies to make it as viable venue for non-mainstream music. By the time I moved to Rochester in 1981, most of the other clubs had reverted to the tried and true “traditional” mainstream acts. It didn’t help that there was little, if any, radio support for music outside of the realm of “Corporate Rock.”
My memories of the Orange Monkey are limited. It’s proximity to R.I.T made it a logical choice for a venue. It also seemed to be the headquarters of the Little Trolls. The doors shut in the early eighties and then turned into the China Gate restaurant. The Electric Circus was located in the heart of the industrial part of Dewey Avenue and Big Daddy’s was at the corner of Lyell and Dewey, near the old Tent City. That part of the city is still in decline after 30 years; the side streets are dotted with curbside memorials for the victims of street crime.
Another long-gone club… was this the club that later became Idols?
The Penny Arcade has had some great shows in the past and continues to persevere into the new Millennium. My post-Scorgies band Lotus STP had one disasterous gig there with the Fertility Rite Brothers in the late eighties. Fittingly enough, Clayton was working there at the time and saw fit to heckle us. Made us REALLY nostalgic for Scorgies!
I found this flier for the Parliament Lounge in my collection… I believe Rock and Roll Joel and Jim Havalack tried to turn this Bowling Alley/Bar into a viable venue. Suffice to say the owner had other ideas in mind! More to come in a later post from Joel!
Another one from my collection: Ruth and Irv’s Astrological Fish & Steak (everybody loved the name). unfortunately, they were destined to fail. What was a plus for drinkers (all drink prices $1.50) was a minus for things like profits. This is the original paste-up for the gig flier. Cousin Al, Da Huh (feat. ex-Cappy Mike Houser) and the legendary Bulus. Note the reference to the Brian Bram Show. The Ruth and Irv’s site would later be the home for the original Idols.
Of course, I have to throw a MAJOR shout out to Schatzees, the club whose claim to fame was that they featured the “best bands in the world that would play for the door.” Schatzees would later morph into Richmonds, which carried on much in the same fashion. It was not uncommon to stumble into Schatzees on a lazy Sunday & catch Ten Thousand Maniacs and see Natalie Merchant whirling like a dervish
Somebody’s got to teach a class: “Building a Buzz 101” (perhaps a night class at MCC) for aspiring Rock and Roll Stars. Note the recycling of clips from the Times Union, Freetime Magazine and the Democrat and Chronicle.
That’s it for today folks… I’ll add more to this post soon.