at least, that’s the plan.
moments before and after the official opening, we had already garnered a local following of employees of the cafe feenjon, the olive tree cafe and members of the cast who worked and performed at the cafe wha’? they would come in before and after their shifts, provided the door was open. we also had members of the new york city police department come in at times and help us, screw gun in hand, to help mount the corrugated sheetmetal ceiling. i have a picture of him in my mind. he was an italian guy and was nearing the end of his service commitment, aka, retirement. he was part of the 6th precinct in the west village for a long time, what was commonly known as the “cabaret precinct” back in the 1940’s thru 60’s.
it was this police precinct whose five-dollar summonses may have given birth to the beatnick/finger-snapping phenomenon. this could also be baloney, but as proprietor of such prior legend, i’m prepared to defend this to….whatever. it’s just a cool story and i may have even spoken about it before. maybe someone could find out the truth. maybe this is the truth.
maybe we can’t handle the truth.
sorry, i’m screening a jack nicholson film tonight.
if you want to read a story about me and jack, go back a few blogs here.
i learned he sounds just like himself in real life and has never been digitally enhanced. how about that.
allen ginzberg claimed that it was because of the air-shafts (of which are four) and the abrasive sound of applause running up these air-shafts in the six-story walk-up above the village gaslight, caused phone calls, police and summonses. it became a necessity to find another manner in which to assure the performers that were being appreciated for their talent. i don’t doubt clinking silverware to cups or glasses was employed and maybe even slapping hands to tabletops was tried. it seemed that a decision was made to go with the snapping of fingers. maybe mr. ginzberg was being poetic. maybe not.
hey, ask bob dylan.
either way, cool story and somewhat plausible.
scrap bar would be getting police visits about noise in the initial months after we opened.
we would do extensive work on the air shafts, two of which (located behind the bar) would be used for glassware and bar supplies and the others, located in the main space would have one used for cleaning and janitorial supplies and the other as a phone booth.
it was a great phone booth and at times, fuck booth. i wish i had a photograph…..(hint, hint)
after we soundproofed the police visits stopped, giving credence to the ginzberg tale.
i’m almost still on point.
then was the first lesson in understanding that rock and roll stars are people too and some people might be dicks. which equals some rock and roll stars might be dicks. because i didn’t recognize eighty-percent of rockstars what came here in the beginning, i was able to treat them just like people. it was like elementry algebra in the bar business. there are certain absolutes; some people are dicks, some people are dicks when they have a few drinks in them and the proportion of such behavior rises geometrically according to people per square foot multiplied by narcotics times two, multiplied beer times shots squared.
as i said earlier on in these chronicles, the bipolar eighties was massive moral and mood swings. disco was dying and fabulousness need a new perch. add to it the lethal blossoming of the aids epidemic, mix in reagan’s blind denial about the aids virus and the possible undercurrents of planned genocidal lab work having something to do with it. please note that i have inserted three links under the “aids,” word, this being the third, in these two sentences.
they represent vastly fields of thought as to the “how” and “why” of this disease.
below is a newspaper handed to me in the spring of 1986 on macdougal street, in front of my new bar, right around the time we opened and the disease was steadily racking up the body count. there was an early cable-access show by the same people who were handing this paper out. a few days later, i channel-surfed and found this show. it was cut off in mid-sentence as i watched it.
the punks steadily decreasing population, either by jail, death, rehab, corporate takeover or the technological prompting by communication companies that it was time for the next wave of whatever to become something to matter about….was beginning to happen.
it was loud and big-hairy. the punks were having trouble being young. it happens all the time. the only ones who seemed to be weathering this storm were the ramones.