Thursday, February 14, 2008


We opened The Pop Stand in the 70’s, around ’75 I want to say.  Punk wasn’t quite punk yet and rock had become so bloated.  There was definitely a weird gap to fill there.


It started with whoever wanted to play, I guess.  The Bowery was an utter shithole back in those days and yet there were some serious musicians hanging around.  I believe a band called Chump Change was the first band to play there, dressed in these money-green pullovers.  They played a thirty minute set, all one note, strummed in time with the drummer.  Odd, I guess you’d call it.  We had them in just about every week starting out.  Each night they came in with another chord they’d learned.  Later, I found out they were just going a half-step up each set.  Haven’t heard anything like it since. 


Oh, The Pop Stand had a lot of people come through who later went on to become household names.  Jick Diver was a regular.  Back then he wasn’t doing the one-man band thing though.  Not even playing music.  Just a street hustler.  But he hung around the Stand.  Members of Shirley Jackson’s Lottery were all in different bands back then.  Um . . . let’s see.  The drummer was in Smallpox and the singer and guitarist were in, I think, a band called The Famished Hogs.  And these line-ups pretty much changed week to week.  Norman Urn, before he called himself Norman Urn, would usually be playing the Space Invaders game we had in the foyer.  That guy would blow $20 in one night.  And he still had a drug habit to support.



You know, regardless of the garbage strike and the junkies and the constant smell of piss and vomit in the place, I’d give anything to go back there, if just for one hour.




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