Once, after a infamous patron argument Bobby once put up a sign behind the stage and painted over a mural by E-Gun(RIP) that said “Cruel but Fair” that would yet stamp the attitude of his bar. Years later the mural was uncovered again to reveal all the past “floating chromosomes” on the wall. Even though the sign was ugly it was a statement that had been a part of the folklore and lure of the Court Tavern crowd – always in chaos but always intriqueing. This was one of many incidents you’d hear about from the dixie cup chain of hooligans and curmudgeons who congregated here to celebrate rock-n-roll and get the occasional cocktail. For the most part the bands were understood and respected as Artists, well at least most of the time. The point is that this was punk rock bar that embraced most of us –no matter how weird or misunderstood.
The Final Fuck You MP3 by Boss Jim Getty’s from Tigrebeat
Hit It Now MP3 by Plug Spark Sanjay from the IMF Compilation (1999)
Damned MP3 by Nudeswirl (1993)
Mr. Sad MP3 by True Love from i was accident (2003)
Kicked My Dad MP3 by Buzzkill
His father Bobby Albert Senior first ok’d live music in the bar then in came the local rock bands like The Smithereens, Crossfire Choir and Opium Vala. There was also bands like A.O.D., The Blisters, PEDs and Bad Karma. Ok so you maybe you never heard of any except for one of these bands but the point is local bands used to draw just as much as any indie touring band. Matter fact the local bands these days are all pretty well known so sort of perplexing with so many high profile punk shows that the situation got to be too much. This was a place where turning up the volume was par for the course and sometimes the band just played for flies and that was part of the risk of bringing in outside bands or having locals who just forgot to tell their friends. Sure the club/bar has had it’s fair share of early performance by the likes of Flaming Lips, Buthole Surfers and Superchunk. The list of who’s who goes on and on so here we’ll post some of these lesser known bands. (so second post is coming) The truth is this past week I’ve been bumming pretty hard as are a few of my other friends. Literally stayed away from facebook to take a step back after I heard the news. Just in December the Mayor of New Brunswick celebrated the clubs 30th Anniversary in the local press. In my humble opinion culture has pretty much been erased out of New Brunswick in the past 20 years since it began rebuilding the city so its always been a sideways battle. Homogenized from the day J&J decided to move-in and every bit of cheap real-estate bought up by UMDNJ under eminent domain in some cases we lost other amazing clubs there like The Roxy and The Melody Bar where Matt Pinfield used to spin (even when he was famous). Like roaches the music will survive somehow but it won’t have a place to hang it’s hat or hoodie like the Court. Well at least until somebody sees an opportunity as the court is now officially for sale.
My friend and rat bastard Cliff mentioned on one of the Facebook threads that we were done with this culture. Which is true maybe it’s time for the next generation to make their own fucking thing but for me it’s like loosing a bridge to my youth. Which was maybe ill spent at times but damn was it fun burning through those brain cells and hearing for that matter. This we can all agree on. Maybe even selfishly at times booking my bands with bands I wanted to see and hear; trying to help build up a scene and knowing full well the mystique was a commodity that paid-off in spades or could fail miserably. But at the end of night we’d always hear these words last works.
“You Don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”
Well at least until the next time. Lets hope somebody else picks up the torch for next generation of Sonic Youths and pulpit pues.
Now on to the music.
Download: The Diamond Church Street Choir MP3 by The Gaslight Anthem from American Slang. This is super poetic tribute song that Brian Fallon wrote which is about my comrade Andy Diamond who I guess up until a few days ago booked bands there. He had some serious shoes to fill with the likes of Tom Crowe, Eric Gundry (the Artist behind the murals RIP), Adam and Sluggo who’s tastes were broad giving a lot of bands a place to practice and show-off their craft.
Highway To Hell (AC/DC Cover) MP3 By Nashville Pussy from High as Hell
Pins And Needles MP3 by Deadguy from Fixation On A Coworker
Ice Fishing MP3 by Duochrome from All Day I Dream About Sex
Chili Dog MP3 by Bionic Rhoda
She’s A Cokehead MP3 by Doc Hopper from Zigs, Yaws And Zags (2005)
About those fuckin’ bands
There were so many to mention that I’ve either seen there, played with or wish I’d seen. Here’s my List of memorable shows: Nudeswirl(2x), Buzzkill(12x), Monster Magnet, BarkMarket, Transilvia, Boss Jim gettys'(10x), Mule, Don Caballero, Nashville Pussy, 9lb Hammer, Bionic Rhoada(6x), Mad Daddies(3x), The Raging Lamos, Whirling Dervishes, Tiny Lights, Chris Harford and the band of Changes, Deadguy, Duochrome, Ween(5x), MoistBoyz(2x), False Fron(3x).. jesus this list will never end but it was a lot of rock and I’ll never forget mostly thanks to the intertubes. I will say the songs I’m post barely make a dent so we’ll have to do a follow-up post.
Adios Amigo MP3 by MoistBoyz from II
Longhair MP3 by Monster Magnet from 25 – Tab
El Camino MP3 by Ween from God Ween Satan The Oneness (1990)
Gimme What I Need MP3 by Mars Needs Women from Sparking Ray Gun (1995)
Wish I’d seen these shows:
Pussy Galore, Flamming Lips, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Supersuckers, Butthole Surfers, Urge Overkill… there’s more.
Part II coming soon.
2009: Save the Court Tavern from their ungodly taxes
2010: Court Tavern Benefit w/ Patti Smith & The Smithereens
2011: ‘Legendary’ Court Tavern in New Brunswick marks 30 years of music
2012 Brookyln Vegan: Mixed comments from a bunch of heartless assholes
The Court Tavern is for sale 1.25M