Gigs and capturing the experience.
How many times when on a gig you wished you had saved a poster or taken a picture of the gig, then months or even years later someone mentions something about the gig and you remember! You remember that you were on a gig and you start talking about who played what and who did what, but you have no pictures or video. It is kind of a sinking feeling when you don’t have something as a keepsake from the gig. Not even a cellphone photo!
There really is no excuse for this nowadays. The other night, some friends and I were talking about some of the gigs and different clubs and concerts we’ve been to. The subject then switched to bands and gigs that I had the good fortune of having been a part of, then the flood of memories came back. A couple of gigs came up in conversation, and I just happened to have one of my portfolio cases at the house that I had taken out of storage to look up some information. We were reminiscing about certain musicians that I have had the good fortune of playing with over the years, and up popped the name “Wallace’s” and “Delmar’s.” These two venues represented the place where a lot of bands in New Jersey, especially northern New Jersey, got their start.
Wallace’s is a small liquor store and corner bar located on the corner of Washington and High Streets in Orange, N.J., and featured some of the best established and up and coming bands in New Jersey. People like John Schofield, a world renowned jazz guitarist and composer, and Billy Hart, a world class drummer and percussionist who lives right here in Montclair, both got their starts there. Earl Sauls, another world class musician, happens to be one of the most prolific bassists in New Jersey. I just played with him this past Tuesday.
The memories of these guys go back some 35 years. I started playing in Wallace’s in 1975! That’s 40 years ago, and we are still making music today. Now, Delmar’s housed my band at the time “Tayata”; it was a go go bar, and they would put all the bands that played there between two go go cages.
Delmar’s was located at 10 Orange street in Bloomfield, N.J. This venue was very important in the music history of New Jersey because that venue later became the ”Dirt Club.” The “Dirt Club” became one of the most popular and famous original music clubs in all of New Jersey. Bands like the ”Smithereens,” “Catholic Girls” and many original punk bands, dance companies, hard core and a host of other genre busting bands got their start there. My first gig at that venue was in 1977. I was young and curious and a little crazy and wild. I am glad that that conversation came up amongst us friends. One note, the “Dirt Club” was often called the “CBGBs” of New Jersey.
With technology today, it’s important to take at least some photos and videos of all of your gigs to help you out with that unavoidable stroll down memory lane.