On this date forty years ago, The Bottom Line music venue in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan. The Bottom Line was an eclectic venue that booked just about every kind of musician. The club was owned by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky. The club opened (let’s do the math) on Feb 12, 1974.In 2003 the club was deeply in debt ($190,000 in back rent, plus several hundred thousand dollars in other expenses) and no longer bringing in large crowds. Its landlord, New York University (NYU), increased the rent to market level, which was beyond the club’s ability to pay, in contentious negotiations, the university threatened eviction,.and finally the owners closed the doors prior to being evicted. The last show was on January 22, 2004 just shy of their 30th anniversary! The building now houses NYU classrooms. Oh, but what a venue it was everyone played The Bottom Line.The venue was famous for
….presenting major musical acts and premiering new talent. Bruce Springsteen played showcase gigs at the club and Lou Reed recorded the albumLive: Take No Prisoners there. Harry Chapin held his 2000th concert at the Bottom Line in January 1981..
The Bottom Line hosted an extremely wide variety of music and musicians. Among the thousands who performed on its stage were The Police, Stan Ridgway, Linda Ronstadt, Richard Marx, Prince, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Van Morrison, Chuck Mangione, Emmylou Harris, Clinn Rippy, Neil Young, Barry Manilow, Laura Nyro, Loudon Wainwright III, New York Dolls, Lyle Lovett, The Electric Flag, Pat Martino, Todd Rundgren, Graham Parker, Horslips, Dire Straits, Chris Hillman, Hawkwind, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tracy Nelson, The Pointer Sisters, Betty Carter, Ravi Shankar, Ramones, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus, Mose Allison, Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Ray Barretto, Peter Gabriel, Al Kooper, Tom Waits, Melvin Van Peebles, Neil Sedaka, Billy Joel, Suzi Quatro, Patti Smith, Flo & Eddie, Toots and the Maytals, Cheech & Chong, Tower of Power, Tim Hardin, Roger McGuinn, JJ Cale, The Meters, Greg Kihn Band, Ry Cooder, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sam & Dave, Asım Can Gündüz, The Ronettes, John Cale, Gong, Peter Bardens, The Violent Femmes and Michael Hedges.
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Between the closing of the venue in 2004 through 2011, the owners would update fans of he venue each year on the anniversary of the club’s opening continue on their search for a new venue. The search ended in February of 2013 when owner Snadowsky died from complications of diabetes.
So now to let’s try to pick some music – this is what I found among the videos from music recorded live at The Bottom Line from Harry Chapin’s 2000th performance, here’s a song dedicated to Pete Seeger. Now sadly we can say we miss “Pete, Harry and The Bottom Line!!