Sunday, October 20, 2013

Days of Wine and Roseland Ballroom

If you're someone who goes to shows on a regular basis and lives in the NYC area, you've mostly likely been to Roseland Ballroom.  According to this article from Billboard, it appears Roseland is scheduled to close it's doors in April of next year.
It's sad to see another great live NYC venue shutting it's doors, but at the same time, who's to say how accurate this timeline will prove to be. Maybe someone will step in and "save the day" or maybe this venue's time has simply come.
Below are some quick tidbits about some of the most memorable shows I saw at Roseland over the years.
Nirvana (with The Breeders and Half Japanese). 
I expect a more in depth blog about this one time I got to see Nirvana when they become first round inductees into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame next year.  For now I will just say this is perhaps the luckiest I ever was in scoring tickets.
In 1993, I would find out about most of my shows by checking out the weekly area publications (Village Voice, EC Rocker, The Aquarian) or by simply calling Ticketmaster and asking about newly announced ticket on sales for specific bands or venues.
It was probably a Thursday that I made the call (because tix would in general go on sale either on Friday's or Saturday's at 10:00am) to Ticketmaster.  I think we all knew the biggest band in the world at that time (Nirvana) were doing some touring and hoping they would hit up NYC.  I happened to ask if anything was showing up in the Tri-State area and I was told that yes "tickets were going on sale the next day at 10:00am for Nirvana at Roseland."
Holy Shit!!!  First of all, Nirvana could have played multiple nights at Madison Square Garden at this point and would have sold out as many as they put on sale.  Roseland holds about 3500 people.  This was going to be quite the show.
At the time I was self employed, so I didn't have to worry about being free at the time they went on sale.  I got up the next day and went to J.C. Penny in the Poughkeepsie Galleria, which had our local Ticketmaster outlet.  I didn't know what to expect other than the fact that this was going to sell out super fast and I was not chancing calling in for tix and getting a continuous busy signal.  This was well before ticketmaster had an online presence.
Considering I was diligent about knowing about shows and I almost missed it, I guess I should not have been surprised that no one else in the area showed up for these tix at our local outlet.  10:00am came.  I got three tix (me, my sister and my buddy Kev) and the rest is history. 
Thank you fate, Nirvana and Roseland.

David Bowie The "Bowienet" Fan Club Show
Luck seems to play a large part in my best Roseland shows.  This was a fan club only show.  David Bowie at Roseland - a show that would sell out in minutes if offered to the general public.  I think I saw a news item on it and thought to myself "Damn those lucky fan club members...I wish I had joined...hmm...maybe it's not too late?"

And it wasn't!  I went to the site and I think it was $20 to join.  As soon as my credit card approval went through I went to the "Roseland Tickets" link and it was not sold out!!  Tickets were around $35 each and you could get two.  Each ticket also came with a poster for the show (mine appears to be long gone) and a cool lime green tee shirt specifically for this show (which I think I might still have).  I brought my Bowie buddy Lissette and it was quite the fantastic show, somewhat a send off as I was shortly moving to Denver to be with my true love (I was back a little over a year later...que sera sera!)

This whole show is on Youtube in three parts.  OneTwoThree.  It's fantastic and fun and a great career spanning setlist.

Sex Pistols
One of my favorite bands of all time and one of those I never thought I would get to see (I think I'm somewhat spoiled at this point since almost every band I ever wanted to see that broke up prior to my getting a chance to see them now gets back together...although there are a few that haven't yet that I still hope for.)  This original reunion tour run played two nights at Roseland.  This was the second night (although I think it was the first to go onsale and when it sold out they added the previous night.)  One of the most fun shows I've ever attended.  Sold out crowd who of course knew every word...Friday Night in New York City...They played EVERYTHING.  It was simply a complete blast!

The Pogues - St. Patrick Day runs
In late 2005 it was announced The Pogues were getting back together with Shane MacGowan for a short two week American tour hitting NYC for a run of shows at St. Patrick's day in 2006.  I was ecstatic as I had never seen the band with Shane and theya re another of my favorites of all time.  I got tix for all of the run.  That first year the shows sold out immediately and were held at the smaller Nokia Theatre.  For the next three years, the Pogues would come back each year at this time and play Roseland.  Below are some of my tickets.

I just heard this year they are playing their favorite album of mine, "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" from beginning to end along with select hits at their Christmas run in the UK.  I think it would be a fitting to have them return to Roseland just before it's close for one last St. Patrick's Day celebration in NYC.  Let's see if that Roseland luck (of the Irish in this case) comes through one last time. 

That's about it for today, a little celebration of a great venue.  If this is it for Roseland, I can't's given me some amazing memories with friends and family.

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