When Punk Came to Philly

By Joey Sweeney
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 77 | Posted Oct. 10, 2001

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"Why did it end? There was a culture of entitlement: Everybody felt like they were in on things, so you'd be trying to charge people three bucks at the door and you get, like, in this long argument, they'd be like, 'but-but-but like, I'm one of you.' So it was commercially impossible."


"There were so many older punk people in Philadelphia and they tried to put on all the early '80s hardcore stuff. But by then, it was kind of just a whole different scene, really. The crowds became a lot younger, and it just didn't really work."


"By 1981, after all this us-versus-them, I felt kind of like an outsider. There were all these factions. I suddenly felt like I didn't belong anymore. A lot of the music was getting pretentious. Bands like Killing Joke and Bauhaus. As espoused by the Ramones, you need only three chords to make good rock and roll, and you don't have to play like Yes. But then hardcore came along and said they don't have to be the right three chords, and you don't have to play like Yes. So I kinda felt like an outsider even from the underground, because everything changed so quickly."


"You had morons coming up and saying, like, 'We're a hardcore gang from Jersey.' Someone else would say, 'Oh, I'm a hardcore gang from D.C.' And they'd start a fight, and someone wearing a plaid shirt would get beat up."


"I had started promoting shows in 1984 at a place called Abe's Steaks, which was at 48th and Market. It was just a steak shop. One time Gary Heidnik went to a punk show there. I just thought he was some weirdo Penn professor or something. He was, like, the most harmless-looking guy there."


"Who knows, maybe the people sitting in front of the Khyber are exactly the same as the people 20 years ago. But I think now there's like more of a road map of what to do and what not to do. I think a lot of bands then were like we're doing exactly what they wanted to do, and refused to change. Bands had foul four-letter words in their name and they'd be like, 'I can't believe the Inquirer didn't print our clubs listing.'"


"Philadelphia has a mania for parking lots, and it seems to have particularly honed in on the old punk clubs. Where the Love Club was at on Broad and South? Parking lot. Omni's at 907 Walnut? Parking lot. Kennel Club? Parking lot. At least half of those other places are now parking lots or schools or yuppie apartments or something. They just leveled them. You know, they don't sow salt or there's no plaque or anything, but still."


"The hardcore scene I found very destructive because of the attitude. They had a pretty narrow-minded view. There were kids who were into that, the preachings in it. It stuck a wedge in the music scene. I used to get all kinds of crap from hardcore kids. I was like the establishment all of a sudden. I don't know, it was just pretty stupid. I would book the hardcore bands, and they would still give me a hard time. And I would pay them! It got to a point where I wouldn't even book hardcore bands. I didn't want to put up with the aggravation."


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Comments 1 - 77 of 77
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1. James Regan said... on May 6, 2008 at 02:42PM

“Good article. I was in a New Wave Philly band called Lemmy Caution (later renamed The Tickets) in '77 and '78. We played the Hot Club on occasion as a local warm up act, Artemis on Samson, the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square, JC Dobbs and Grendel's Lair (wth the Stick Men one night). True story about Grendel's: we rented out the venue one night to produce our own show. A few weeks before the gig we were down on South Street plastering posters all over the neighborhood to generate interest. As we were about to post the last one an employee from Grendel's tapped us on the shoulder and said: "We had to cancel your gig because we had a chance to the book the Brecker Brothers." It was about 15 degrees that night and about 2 in the morning. Grendel's paid for new posters for a rescheduled night and, well, I have to admit the the Brecker Brothers were pretty damn good. This was the era of Pink Flamingoes at the TLA at midnight (with the chess board in the lobby), the Ramones playing Irvine Auditorium at Penn, Bob Marley delivering at the Tower, and local fave, Kenn Kweder and the Secret Kids kicking it Blonde on Blonde style with a SW Philly twist (remember the Lee Harvey Oswald poster?), and a lot of other happenings . . . . ”

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2. johnnydelrey said... on Jul 11, 2008 at 09:27PM

“Geez, I was looking for any remnants of the XPN punk show and I find this great little piece. I was part of the jersey suburb contingent that logged many trips over the bridge into philly for shows in the official 1960 Caddy Hearse punk mobile. Try finding a parking space for a 22 foot long Caddy downtown! Lee and Roid were definitely instrumental in bringing a "scene" into philly and I still thank them every day. I wound up doing the punk show on WPRB in Princeton for the sububan punks and helped warp many young minds. Punk rock cost me my friends, my job, eventually my house, and it was the most fun I ever had. I was at the Cramps show that tramatized Mr Star so badly and it was nothing compared to the Cramps show at Act 3 which never re-opened after that. Lee and Steve (Roid) would give me copies of advance demos they got from bands for my show. We thought we were doing something very important. No one else was playing the new music. It had to be heard. I was very sad when I heard about Lee Paris death. I never knew it was suicide. He was a great guy. Never forget the Hot Club. Where are we now, The legendary Johnn Roxx and Darling Rose Manitoba still together and living in a trailer park near Princeton NJ, Unemployed! (Trying to put together a "Live 365" punk show)”

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3. Patrick Stafford said... on Aug 24, 2008 at 08:29PM

“There is a film about LA punk band, The Germs, coming to Philadelphia. What We Do Is Secret starts at the Ritz at the Bourse on Friday the 29th of August. Check it out.”

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4. Safety Pin said... on Feb 14, 2009 at 03:16AM

“"Philly is a jungle, a jungle, the jungle where I live!" Lee Paris and Bobby Startup were the two people most responsible for bringing punk to the people of Philadelphia and its environs. (Stephen Starr doesn't even belong in the discussion. Even back then, Starr glommed onto punk, hiring Lee to book and spin at Ripley's, the former "Disco For Blacks" (what they called it on their radio ads on WDAS) on South Street, the building that later housed Tower Records.) Lee and Roid and also (later) Jazz Connor spun the stuff on the radio, on Sundays, on XPN; Bobby spun it 'live' at the Hot Club. Where did they get those amazing records?! Third Street Jazz! Any self-respecting Philly punk knew to show up every week at 3rd St and check 'The Wall' for the new 7"s. The 7"s were numbered on the wall (and also underneath the stairs, above the cash register on the first floor.) You told the clerk what number/s you wanted and they pulled 'em from the corresponding slots behind the register. If you'd a clue, you hung by Bobby's booth and checked out what he was playing, then hit up 3rd St early the next day for the goods, before the rest of the clued-in showed up and bought out the best of it. Bobby'd tell you what he was spinning: Bobby's always been about the music. God Bless You, Bobby Startup: you certainly blessed us, playing all those great records. Lee played all kinds of stuff on 'YNMT', not just punk. He 'broke' Prince in Philly: he loved Prince almost as much as he (sadly) loved CBS Records' drugs. J.C. Dobbs didn't really have clue what was up with punk. Grendel's Lair didn't have a clue, either; they pulled in less than a dozen people for that first Police show that Starr mentioned. "Eat the Rich and Save the Hot Club!!!" Thank you, David Carroll, for keeping the Hot Club going as long as possible. Ok for Amarcord, though credit Split Enz barbershop/hair salon for the same reason. Hans, booker/cashier, made tapes of the best stuff and played 'em all day in the shop. He found out about good stuff directly from Bobby. Kudos to Cynthia for the stylin' cutz sported about town by many mod punks of the day. Bobby was managing the Stray Cats before the Hot Club closed, btw. Bloodless Pharaohs, anyone?!? Hey, Hey, Hey; Meet a Punk; Pizzas and Pepsi Lites... Hot Club, East Side Club, Filly's, Omni's, Love Club, Elk's Center, Starlite Ballroom, Ripley's Disco, Emerald City (Cherry Hill)... Bind me, tie me, Chain me to the wall. To you all: Oh, Nostalgia: up yours!!!”

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5. Mel Toxic said... on Feb 27, 2009 at 05:49PM

“The Hot Club in 1979, is where I was baptized into the new wave punk scene. Saw the B-52's and Plasmatics. I was hooked.”

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6. johnny ruin said... on Mar 2, 2009 at 11:21AM

“I have the sid vicious flyer with 999 and the autistics playing the show framed and hanging on my bedroom wall”

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7. Sbaoteur said... on May 2, 2009 at 11:56AM

“I have a bunch of the flyers Tina Peel Dead Kennedys Bloodless Pharaohs
I would never miss Dead Kennedys or 999. Omnis was good but nothing like the hot club. The real question is how did they get that great music on 45s in the juke box”

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8. johnj said... on Jun 10, 2009 at 09:08PM

“the ramones and the clash played the walnut st theater(different dates of course)in 79 the east side club the hardcore shows at broad&south those days were cool.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Jul 13, 2009 at 08:56PM

“What about the Starlite Ballroom at Kensington and Lehigh circa 1982, when they had to take down the plywood for the most excellent concert featuring headliners The Dead Kennedys, along with Informed Sources?, Autistic Behavior and another band. I recall our group being the only "regular" dressed people in the place...and the neighbors were not too happy about the concert.”

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10. Paul said... on Aug 2, 2009 at 01:19AM

“Dom and I (paul) videotaped the starlight show that night-the DK's were great, man was it hot that night.”

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11. bifaren said... on Aug 3, 2009 at 10:14AM

“God bless David Carroll. The Hot Club was the is of it's time. I worked with David or should I say for? What happened to the Hot Club is what happens anytime peoples sensibilities are challenged. The H.C. and it's punk attitude no longer could be tolerated by the changing neighborhood.Well to do citizens wanted the area for their own. The us vs. them mentality permeated the fabric of that time and space. Them were not comfortable with us looking fashionably dangerous. Razor blades, chains and leather were not what them wanted to see. Green, pink and blue hair unacceptable. Part of the punk mentality is confrontational therefore the confrontation. Adios in town, hello kensington. The glue huffing, dope shooting, drunken rumblers just couldn't wait for the circus to come to town. It was just a matter of some broken bones, busted lips and bloodied noses later before the Starlite Brawlroom would perish. But it was a HELL of a ride.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Aug 10, 2009 at 12:03AM

“Remember the Love Hall? All the best shows, without a doubt! I remember the red hot chili peppers pulling up in a beat up van and station wagon, the Misfits, Minor Threat, YDI, and so many others. The best of the 80's. Let's not forget Long March either across the street.”

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13. SandieS said... on Aug 23, 2009 at 04:27PM

“I've always wondered what happened to all the people who used to go to the East Side Club, and Emerald City which is where I mostly hung out, and of course, The Hot Club.
I worked at Platters at 10th and Chestnut. Does anyone else remember that place?
The music was phenomenal and a real music/art/culture scene was born and flourished at that time. I miss it!”

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14. Art said... on Aug 26, 2009 at 03:27PM

“It's funny how time flies. I live in Cherry Hill and went to shows from 1979 to 1999. The Venues for me in the area were Emerald City, Omnis, East Side Club, City Gardens, Elk Center, CEC Center, Love, Ripley's, Dobbs, Khyber, Nicks, Troc and so many great memories of local Bands and Bands from everywhere else!! It was fun and I still enjoy hearing something that tweeks my ears. Every Scene builds and builds...untill it collapses from within from being commodified, and like Society it becomes the next Generations "Scene" ( whatever that may be ), I really liked reading the Posts.”

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15. Sherry X said... on Sep 1, 2009 at 08:45PM

“I moved back to Philly in '79 ...Really liked Platters, the record store at 10th & Chestnut...First show I saw here was the Buzzcocks at Emerald City...Loved Omni's and Lee Paris”

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16. Mike H said... on Sep 13, 2009 at 07:37AM

“I tended bar at the Hot Club for a while after the fire when it was temporaily on Chestnut St. Moved into E. Passyunk Av in 1979. Couldn't get folk to walk down the block back then. It was rough. We had no heat or running water the first winter, but we survived and had some fun. It was a great time for live music.”

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17. Johnny H said... on Sep 27, 2009 at 09:58AM

“I remember the "punk festivals" at the Elks center, 5 bands for 5 bucks, sadistic exploits, autistic behavior, decontrol,The Stickmen and $1pbr's in the basement...line around the block to see Black Flag at eastside,Husker Du at west side club,(a rowhouse that some WKDU dj's lived in).. old city was a sleazy area and much more fun, lesbian bar Sneakers across from 3rd st jazz, riot at starlight ballroom in kensington at Dead Kennedys , cops breaking up the MDC show at a plumbing supply company in some godforsaken area of ,north philly?,Minor Threat in CAMDEN!...very scary night....and softer moments like XTC at Emerald City...don't think they ever toured again, thank god i had a fake ID and didn't miss all of this...English Beat at irvine auditorium, the Damned, Jodi Fosters Army at....remember the LOVE Club,broad and south?Philly was better than NYC,things trickled UP from DC and Philly, miss those days a lot”

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18. Anonymous said... on Nov 13, 2009 at 11:38AM

“What about the Penalty Box and The Menagerie...anyone rememebr these places?”

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19. Anonymous said... on Feb 14, 2010 at 10:36AM

“You're kidding about those Jersey places, right? I lived in SouthJersey and wouldn't have been caught dead in either of them.”

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20. Anonymous said... on Apr 29, 2010 at 04:11PM

“Weren't they just top-40 cover-band places? I grew up in SJersey and couldn't have imagined ever going there.”

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21. Anonymous said... on May 3, 2010 at 12:23PM

“Nice to see Stephen Starr contributing. His places Stars and Ripley's were wonderful places to see bands. The were professionally run and he treated both the performers and the customers in a respectful and friendly manner.”

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22. Anonymous said... on May 4, 2010 at 06:52PM

“did the buzzcocks play the hot club”

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23. Jim o said... on May 27, 2010 at 11:16PM

“My friend Mitch produced the DKs show at the Starlite in Kensington - I wasn't there, but it was legendary.”

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24. Marc Librescu said... on May 30, 2010 at 04:18PM

“When the Clash did their 1st US tour, unbeknownst to anyone, I was on the phone with the William Morris Agency, trying to get them to come to the Hot Club. If they agreed, my plan was to contact David Carroll. I didn't really know David, other than to say hello to as a patron of the Hot Club.

I told the agent why I was calling--I wanted to see if the Clash would play Philadelphia. She asked me if I wanted to book them. I said, "No, but I know someone who does." In the theatre world, this is known as "Improv."

She put me on hold. When she came back on the line, she said, "The Clash aren't playing Philadephia because they don't *want* to play Philadelphia." When they eventually did play there, it was on the London Calling Tour. (Was it at Walnut St. Theatre?)

If anyone remembers the giant poster behind the stage at Omnis of Olivia Newton-John with Alice-Cooper style spray-painted eyes and a melted LP coming out of her mouth, I'm the one who created that.”

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25. C.Scarabonium said... on Aug 31, 2010 at 02:18PM

“I saw that Clash show and it was at the Walnut St. Theater on the Pearl Harbor Invasion tour. I remember this well as it was back when they were "the only band that mattered" and before I could ever really know what full time (read coke-sniffing) rock stars they already were. I should've had my clues right there and then as when they were very heartily urged to come back for an encore, Joe Strummer kind of crawled his way out to the mic and in his best cockney stumbled, " The band feels we played really shitty tonight" etc. Truthfully, I can't recall if they did one anyway but I don't think so. All told, I'm so glad that they came into my world when they did ~ cartel powdered passion or not my heart grew and grew from shows and bands like this.

I often laugh at how underrated the scene was. There were many great bands that came to play and killed it! Bad Brains, Black Flag, TSOL, DOA, Minutemen and on and on...”

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26. Anonymous said... on Sep 9, 2010 at 01:22PM

“I was in a band called "The Beatoffs"

We were booked by Michael McGettigan to open Omni's, and david Carrol to play at the Starlite Ballroom. We were the opening act at OMNI and played there three consecutive nights. We played a lot at BBQ Barn and all over Philly.
We had a bunch of really catchy pop tunes, kind of a cross between the Beatles and The monkees. We broke up in 1983 and Jay Schwartz wrote in an article urging us to get back together, but never happened.

This was a really good article and reminded me of those fun times.”

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27. Ted said... on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:32PM

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!!! The Beatoffs was a great band - not punk, but we sort of fit in with the scene. Those were fun times. Went on to play with the Ravens which had some local success but even more so in NYC. I enjoyed this article. It really jogged some lost memories.”

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28. Mary said... on Oct 1, 2010 at 12:25PM

“who recalls when the clash played at U of Penn?”

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29. Joe L. said... on Oct 22, 2010 at 07:30PM

“Dear Mary
I saw the Clash at U of Penn and they were horrible.
After seeing them shake the roof at the Walnut and then play
a sublime show at the Tower a year or so later, it was a crushing disappointment to see them play a show with fans wearin' Clash t-shirts that actually explained on the shirts' back
what a difficult situation it was for them to have to satisfy their
"old" fans on the one hand and their new fans who wanted to
hear the Combat Rock songs. They even fucked up Garageland. I can laugh about it now.”

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30. Mikke said... on Oct 26, 2010 at 06:05PM

“I saw the Clash at Penn--Class of '23 rink. It was full of crotch-grinding Whartonite couples. Very strange, and TERRIBLE acoustics, plus they were way off their best...as I'd seen them at the same shows commenter Joe L apparently attended. The Penn show was Sandinista! tour, wasn't it? One of my school colleagues--he had a dual major, Annenberg and Wharton--was the treasurer for the Dead Milkmen. :D

That was also the era of The Boomer Bible/Shuteye Train, which nobody has mentioned yet.”

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31. Peter said... on Nov 12, 2010 at 12:07AM

“In 1978 one Saturday night, I brought my friend to the Hot Club (or was it Artemis) to see what would have been an incredible (maybe dangerous?, hey, probably so for us sheltered suburbanites) show: the Autistics, the Sick Kids, and the Cramps. I had a flyer that proclaimed this lineup would perform both Friday night and Saturday night at the club. Well, on that Saturday night, there was no Cramps concert at all; instead it was some decidedly non-dangerous local group called Lemme Caution. I remember their sedate music and three part vocal harmonies singing, "This/Is/Where/I/Belong" but I didn't think they belonged there, I'd brought my friend to see a rude, crude, and frightening punk show!! And, we met other patrons who also had expected to see the Cramps, The Autistics, and the Sick Kids. So I asked management, what gives? Where's the crazy punk show? And he said "That was last night." Boy was I upset the flyer said it was both nights. I learned to call to verify the show is on!”

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32. who is Jay Medley? said... on Dec 2, 2010 at 04:02AM

“I remember the Tickets; I played with Michael & Warren briefly. We played the Hot Club as The Duplicators.”

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33. Johnny DelRey said... on Feb 16, 2011 at 08:50PM

“I am glad to see so many more posts. So much fun packed into such a short span of time! Someone said Steve Starr treated his customers well. My brother got ushered out the door after 5 minutes just for being a litlle loud and excited BEFORE a Dictators show! My girlfriend almost got kicked out permenantly for for being the first person to graffitti the bathroom. A rock club with no graffitti? In the bathrooms? Oh, did I say "rock club" "Starrs" was a comedy club that booked Ken Kweeder and the Secret Kids as a punk act. That Cramps show was the wake up call for Mr Starr. Table Cloths and candles.............”

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34. Johnny Roxx said... on Feb 16, 2011 at 09:16PM

“Hey, Jay Medley from the Accidentals! Somebody gave me a tape of an Accidentals show from Artemis and I played it on my punk show. That tape got stolen and I never got over the loss.”

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35. KENN D said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 09:14AM


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36. Kat said... on Mar 28, 2011 at 08:00PM

“As a 13year old exurbanite, I used to pull in YNMT with a bizzare arrangement of antennas and wires in a tree outside my window, and plotting how to get down to Philly someday., By the time I got down there, the "scene: was different, perhaps dead, by the standards of the first wave. I did however get a hell of a kiss from a Stickman at 16... and would have done a hell of a lot more, but he was a good guy. I even met his mom, oddly enough. Not saying who! :D Played in a band that was doomed to go nowhere, but had a lifetime doing it. Now I'm the mom of an Emo teen girl in the midwest..... So funny to watch the kids thinking they invented all of the Hot Topic shit LOL!”

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37. df said... on Jun 18, 2011 at 05:53PM

“Im from d from crash course in science and Ive been reading these posts and now feel compelled to post-as-well.. My favorite memories were having Lee Paris as and Steve Pross as our managers.. they were encouraging to the point that the three of us took risks that change our lives. I will never forget when we played as the openers for Phillip Glass at the U of Penn Rotunda.. People reacted in very many ways and Phillip G. was one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. Going to shows at the Hot Club was always worth it.. Most of the most memorable shows have been mentioned in previous posts.. I remember most of all seeing Iggy Pop bouncing off the walls, and Jello Biafra stage diving and then when It all came to an end.. when the f***ing neighborhood petitioned the club out of existence... we had the honor of playing on the last night.. we opened for
OMD and we had home-made wooden keyboard stands and their sound man made sure we had no sound check.. but never the less.”

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38. Anonymous said... on Jun 25, 2011 at 10:01PM

“Kenn Kweder and the Secret Kids at Penalty Box. Kweder doing that Spider-crab crawl of his all over the floor. Maybe 30 people there? Motors @ Hot Club, getting in argument with guy running light board (I was sooo wasted.) Bonnie Parker @ The Erleton Lounge (Uncle Al's) and the Rockbox in Sommer's Point. Hmmmmm. Somebody @ Jack's Place in Avalon ?????
Sooo long ago.”

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39. Chris W. said... on Aug 23, 2011 at 08:20AM

“Yes, I saw Bauhaus and The Fall at Omnis. Brian Brain at Rainbows. Then I got into hardcore, Black Flag, 3 times, Elks Center, Eastside Club and the Love Club. I also saw Flipper, the Minutemen, Discharge, Decontrol, and others. Saw the Clash and PIL at the Tower Theatre. I was going to art school and lived in center city from 1980-1984. Had a great time!”

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40. Jerry Blavat said... on Sep 3, 2011 at 01:23AM

“"Cardboard...on the brain."

I still have the flyer for the Crash Course / OMD show.
It's packed away somewhere, but as I recall, it's a photo of someone watering a lawn, standing next to a flamingo lawn ornament - probably a pink flamingo, but the photo's black and white!

The 'London Calling' Clash show was at the Tower.
The Clash show @ the Walnut Street Theatre was on the 'Take The Fifth Tour'.

They'd 'gone electric' after Ian Curtis' death, however New Order played a great show at City Gardens, in 1981.

Head Cheese - Jungle Jam video:

Hey, hey, hey; check it out!
Blint's posted a couple of videos on YouTube of Lee, from Lee's goofy cable access show:

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41. TJKerrigan said... on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:42PM

“I saw the Police at the Walnut Street Theater with The The and some ther bands. It was a punk radio station promotion concert for Q102 and tickets were $1.02.

The B-52's and the Ramones at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Blondie being booed off the state at an Alice Cooper concert, and Alice Cooper playing Emerald City.

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42. Jim said... on Nov 9, 2011 at 08:59AM

“nice to see memories like these! i grew up in the Philly 'burbs in the late 70s, started at PCA in 1980, and lived at the old Adelphia House/Hotel at 13th and Chestnut with the East Side Club right next door....i remember seeing the Bloodless Pharoahs from NYC one time, and I swear a little while later Setzer was there again, except in the Stray Cats...cool little club, and i remember seeing brian Brain, Killing Joke, Professionals, Pretty Poison etc there.....ah, Third Street Jazz was a mecca-bought countless import 45's in that tine basement area...i've been in Boston now, for 25 years, after many years out west, but have cool memories of Philadelphia and how you REALLY had to be into the music and bands, and seek things out yourself to find the gems........”

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43. Tomsun said... on Nov 12, 2011 at 11:28AM

“The Jags (pre- Impossible Years) - Check out these newly recorded tracks from songs that graced the Hot Club and environs circa 1978-79.

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44. Marc said... on Dec 29, 2011 at 02:49PM

“My band The Cyclones had the honor of performing at the Hot Club in the early 80s. We were on a bill with a band from Athens called The Method Actors. A large group of friends drove in from Brooklyn that night, and along with the regular crowd made it a great evening.”

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45. Bill said... on Jan 20, 2012 at 05:43PM

“Clash show at the Walnut Street Theater was on the "Takes The Fifth" tour, late 1979, between the release of "Give 'em Enough Rope" and "London Calling". The Undertones opened.”

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46. Fiore said... on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:00PM

“Wow reading this brings back great memories. I used to work at the East Side Club and Ripleys. My father Neil hired Bobby Startup to work there. I was a kid of just 15 tending bar and having a blast in both places. I remember so many of the bands. ANd so many good times..”

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47. Fiore said... on Feb 23, 2012 at 03:08PM

“Anyone know if Bobby Startup is still working in Philly?”

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48. FM said... on Apr 12, 2012 at 09:51PM

“Check out or add to the cool music venues that had been in the Philly vicinity, including the Hot Club, the Trauma, Alexander's, Uncle Al's, Grendel's and the Bijou, at www.cyberplaque.com.”

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49. dlux said... on Oct 21, 2012 at 07:06AM

“Let's not forget the second part to YNMT, Michel Polizzi as victishis http://musictravel.free.fr/concerts/concerts80.htm A school girl crush on him. Shows every night and he was almost always there. Bad Brains were great at Love Club, so many bands,Omni,Eastside,Starlight,Painted Bride even had some intersting shows. London Victory with the Stickmen. The scene started to fall apart in 1982, Bands trying to play out around on South st during the day. Gang of Four every time. I enjoyed all the radio shows on TSR, PRB, KDU...Randy Now was a Lee want a be. City Gardens, made friends with the old man security cop at City Gardens and he'd let me go upstairs to meet bands. After the music died here I moved to LA almost in search, but it was all heavy metal. Came back in 1984 and in Bucks County there was the "Undergound" at the Oakford Inn, last time I saw Lee at a show. Dead Milkmen played. It was a day-glow little club. Turned 21, it wasn't so much fun any more with what was left.”

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50. dlux said... on Oct 21, 2012 at 10:37AM

“It tells a story....not to far from Philly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NURma4Aqmz4 Randy and Don Rettman.”

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51. Joe Brett said... on Dec 12, 2012 at 03:04PM

“Anyone remember the Barbeque Barn, on the SW corner of 11th and Locust? A long bar, booths on the Locust St side, a stage over the beer box, and no food. I took over managing the place in late 1979, as a 22 year-old with about six months in the business, but before I ran it into the ground I did do one thing right: I hired Kenn Kweder as my bartender. Growing up in the N.E. I had always dug the Secret Kidds posters I would see plastered around, and when Kenn walked in looking for work I hired him on the spot. Kenn and his crew built the stage over the beer box, and they would play to packed houses on Friday and Saturday nights. So much of my time then was spent in a drug- and/or alcohol-induced haze that my memories of the period are pretty fuzzy, so if anyone remembers the joint, speak up.”

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52. Betsy Berlin said... on Jan 9, 2013 at 11:59PM

“What a time it was. The best times of my life. Thank you, David Carroll. I'll always be grateful to you. I'm so glad I lived on Philly during that time.”

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53. Anonymous said... on Mar 13, 2013 at 07:57AM

“Abe's Steaks was at 40th and Market Chuck, how could YOU forget.”

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54. Anonymous said... on Mar 13, 2013 at 08:04AM

“I saw the clash at the Class of 23 ice ring and it was a bit of a let down, Burning Spear opened both nights and were booed by clash fans both nights...I saw them at the Tower too for London Calling tour and was blown away by the openers; Lee Dorsey, Mikey Dread and the B-girls.”

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55. Anonymous said... on May 10, 2013 at 07:38PM

“recalls the smell of sweaty leather jackets. you probably saw Bauhaus at elks club not omni, peter was ,mesmerizing even if the acoustics sucked. suicide and wall of voodoo played omni. lee closed every night with no tears. bunnydrums at eastside amazed as did omd when they showed up with a drummer instead of a drum machine and rocked out. tractor,vietnam,and pylon at eastside as alternative to athens alternative. most bizarre show ever was gun club at eastside. anyone see polyrock at 13th and walnut?”

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56. Zickel said... on Aug 7, 2013 at 04:04PM

“I remember seeing Elvis at the Hot Club. They had chicken wire strung in front of the stage and people were throwing Heineken bottles at the stage. Elvis ripped thru MAIT like a hurricane. I remember the roof leaking at Starr's place seeing fat boy slim and the sec change band. The rest... Is a blur ??”

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57. eric said... on Oct 14, 2013 at 06:29PM

“Back about the time the Hot Club was about to close, I had moved from Philly to Pittsburgh for school. A friend of mine called and said word was out that the Hot Club was going to get shut down. I drove all the way out there just to experience it one last time, and it was either the last night they were open or very close to it. The guy who was the manager or owner grabbed the mike after the last song and screamed something like, "They say we're a public nuisance. Let's show them a public nuisance!" The place went nuts, and everyone was destroying everything.
For my money, back then if you weren't going to the NY clubs the only places to see a lot of great punk / new wave bands on the East Coast were the Hot Club, the Electric Banana in Pittsburgh, and the 9:30 club in D. C. (which is still in business and doing well, I believe).

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58. johnj said... on Dec 26, 2013 at 11:17PM

“I remember the bbq barn when ken kweeder bartented the beatoffs were great the tom&jim shows.alice choen&fun city(latter of the vels) miss those days the police never played walnut street theater lee apris was a smack”

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59. johnj said... on Dec 27, 2013 at 05:34PM

“the ramones at the walnut st. theater.79.was great.the hardcore shows at broad&south were usually good if you didn't get ripped off.”

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60. Mike Frank said... on Jan 3, 2014 at 08:22PM

“I too remember the BarBeCue Barn! As a result of my hanging out in some magical potion induced haze, I played bass with Kenn Kweder for awhile. Remember some great times and great music like Fun City, Woodsman Church (my band) , the funky women , but most of all the feeling that SOMETHING was about to happen!”

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61. Rabi K. said... on Mar 1, 2014 at 12:30PM

“Does anyone remember the strange (at least in Philly) relationship between Reggae and Punk audiences? I remember Steel Pulse the Psychedelic Furs @ Emerald City, Big Youth @ Ripley's where the audience nearly cleared the building when the dreads and punks started dancing. I guess
they expected a fight to eventually break out (it did not!).”

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62. Synkronized Mindz said... on May 1, 2014 at 05:52PM

“Wasn't tomorrow wonderful - oh wait, that's pop.
The DK's at the Blue Horizon - oh wait, that was the 80's.
Prince in Philly, well before 1999, when we were all just pink inside and having a good time - oh wait, I really do remember that show, too!
What wonderful memories - oh wait, this article is from 2001?
We need a book or a documentary on this scene...
All that energy, all that passion, all that originality, all that life, now; lost, like tears in the rain - oh wait, that's a quote from a film.
Thank you, all, for being there, and for remembering - oh wait, that's sincere.

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63. Android said... on May 14, 2014 at 03:51PM

“I still have black and white pictures I took of the Clash when they played at the Walnut St. theater in '79. If I'm not mistaken, that was the first venue they played at in their first US tour.”

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64. UltraDismalist said... on Jul 22, 2014 at 08:06PM

“We opened for Stray Cats at the East side Club... it was the show of the summer. We got a mention in the Inquirer with the description of "flat, droning vocals"... our drummer said "that's great, that's a compliment". The East Side, Club Love, Omni's, Ripley's were fun places. So much of center city was burned & boarded up that putting up posters was easy (try that today). I can still remember the Killing Joke show at East Side... stage lights off and the glow of eyes and teeth. The two P. Furs shows at Emerald City were also highlights. Bobby Startup always had the best bands booked, he even gave us the opening slot to our heroes, The Comsat Angels. Bill at 3rd Street Jazz always had a new band to check out. Great memories.”

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65. BlunderBoy_DaveB said... on Aug 22, 2014 at 03:53PM

“I remember the "good old days" in Philly. I started out with "New Wave" stuff at Emerald City. My first Hardcore show was the Circle Jerks at the Starlight Ballroom. I went to see the Stranglers, but was hooked on hardcore after seeing the Circle jerks. Me Chuck Meehan that night. I eventually got my brother into punk and hardcore and we later formed Crib Death/Blunder Boys. We both went on to play with several hardcore bands. I played in them for almost 10 years (I moved North of Boston in 1991). My brother continued playing with The New Byles with Rick D. (I was the original bass player).

Unfortunately, my bro passed away a few months ago, but we had an AWESOME party for him at Connie's Ric Rac earlier this month.

Hey, how about "Decline" at the TLA?

Anyone remember "Purple Scurvy"?

This article and the posts brought back many memories. I could add to the stories, but I should be "working".

Sometime i wish those days were still here, and I still lived in Philly.

Dave B”

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66. Jimski43 said... on Jan 12, 2015 at 12:16AM

“Anyone remember Ruin? There shows at St. Mary's were epic! I actually got them to play a show out in the burbs at my high school in 86! They played with Scram, and FOD... Gotta love those old rock against hunger shows! $5 to get in $4 if you brought a can of food. Chuck knows what I'm talking about he started those shows and was a graduate of my almamater!!!”

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67. Peregrine said... on Jan 14, 2015 at 03:22PM

“I'm late to this party, but so was everyone else (7 years between publication and the first comment?) so here are my memories:
I got into punk via my sister, who was in Art School, and my girlfriend senior year of high school, who was (by far) the only punk rocker at her nice little girls' school in Chestnut Hill. We were like 17 but the Hot Club didn't care, they didn't ask for ID or you could show them something super-bogus. I was still a kid but I went to a memorable handful of shows there--most notably, their last 2 shows ever, which was a wild show with The Mutants (Cordy Swope of Ruin's band the Xstatics opening) and a much tamer one on the very last night with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Emerald City was actually harder, even tho' the drinking age in Jersey was only 18 at the time, you had to show them something real-ish. At EC I saw Talking Heads, Magazine (whose song "Philadelphia" is about playing the Hot Club in '79), The Ramones, and the Psychedelic Furs.

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68. Kevin Duplain said... on Jan 15, 2015 at 12:40PM

“David Carroll of The Hot Club called to tell us The Cramps had tore up their club that Saturday and planned to wreck The Atlantis Club in D.C. when they played there the following Friday and Saturday.
Almost! Riot on Friday caused Saturday Night cancellation.
Lucky nobody got killed.

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69. Tara said... on Jan 18, 2015 at 04:24PM

“Anybody remeber "the Secret" punk/ska band at JC Dobbs and The Rusty Nail (havertown, Delaware County PA) in the 80's Dave Gerrity, awesome guitarist and Dave Marabella fierce drummer”

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70. Anonymous said... on Jan 25, 2015 at 06:58PM

“I hung out and then ended up working at Omni's...wild nights and fuzzy memories....Lee taking requests only accepted with pills....Jayne, the Queen of the bar.....Al, the enterprising old owner.....George, the uncontrolling door man, Frank Blank & Denise, the club couple.....Charlie, polishing his gun in the basement booth....Bauhaus (fed them cheesesteaks) was the best and the 2nd biggest event second to The Dead Kennedy's that became a riot between the bikers, the skin head's and punks (Walnut St theatre got trashed)...the juke box was the best, I tried to get the 45's out after the fire 9my birthday 7/9) only to be chased off by cops....the place survived bomb threats but not lightning....Pretty Poison had their big coming out party scheduled later that July, as well as, REM on the July calendar - a great night that was never to be....what ever happened to Kenny Bender the stage manager and house drummer?”

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71. Anonymous said... on Feb 6, 2015 at 01:26PM

“Hello from Pittsburgh-
I think in the lead paragraph you actually mean "Dionysian". Apollonian (or "Apollinian"??) is the opposite. :)

Love the Stick Men. Those records are impossible to find. Cuneiform
did a nice CD reissue of that material in 2001, pick up that CD if it's still available.

Anyway I see nobody recalling Bunnydrums. They put out at least four records that I have. They must've made an impact, no?
And also I know this isn't "punk", but weren't Book of Love one of the biggest bands to come out of Philly in the early 80s? Susan from that band put out a 1983 comp LP called "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia" (Pretty Poison was on that for example).

And big props to the Milkmen and Joe Jack for still doing it after all this time!”

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72. alba said... on Feb 10, 2015 at 10:22PM

“young Mr. Lee Paris: FABULOUS

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73. Burooj119 said... on Feb 12, 2015 at 04:26PM

“Nice that this article is still getting comments...Also grew up on Punk in South Jersey in the early 80's. I see a mention of Bunnydrums above, saw them open up for Gang of Four at Emerald City in 1981.
Who opened for Bunnydrums??? REM.
Saw so many bands at EC...Plasmatics (RIP WOW), Ramones, 999, Stranglers, Cramps...even the CURE's first show ever in the US.
Was at Starlite Ballroom in 1982 for that DK's show. Autistic Behavior opened up. I remember it was soooo hot in there. Jello was throwing water on the crowd. Had the mike for part of Nazi Punks.
Angry Samoans at the East Side Club.
And where was the P.I.L. show when Johnny was pissed and did the entire show from backstage?
City Gardens had the best mosh pits....great memories.”

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74. Anonymous said... on Mar 21, 2015 at 09:00PM

“lots of comments about EC here also. saw gang of four and pfurs there. anybody remember the fanzine photo of the furs under the somethingorother
fur store across the highway? classic. learned how to speedline to westmont and then cram a cab to EC from some center city punks. ever grateful. EC bartenders ended up at east side club.”

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75. Scrod said... on Jun 24, 2015 at 11:18PM

“Does anyone remember DogBeans? Cathy (Dreaming of Monday) Cummings? Bunnydrums?”

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76. Mr. Lucas Brice said... on Aug 8, 2015 at 01:10PM

“Burooj119: I saw The Cure played at The Hot Club before they played at Emerald City. It may have been before EC even opened. I was there.”

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77. Gothmog said... on Oct 11, 2015 at 06:35PM

“Saw lots of shows at Abe's. Played in Gutcart - did a show once with an all girl band from D C called Sybill (I think). Also the Morpheinds!”


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