Bobby Albert - Serving Hub City Rock from 1981-2012
Nobody knows the answer Why Bobby Albert Jr would one day wake-up on a cold January and decide The Court Tavern(124 Church St) would close it’s doors forever. Maybe he got an offer he could not refuse — but I doubt it. Maybe the burden of a looming $60 thousand dollar bar license was just too huge an amount of hard swet and pride he was not willing to cough up one more time. The hole was just to big so he folded his hand.
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.
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.
15 minutes Prior to this photo Corey Parks from Nashville Pussy lit Eric on fire. Photo by me
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.
Most cop cars are Crown Vics. Any kid could tell you this. You don’t drive unmarked one’s in bad neighborhoods without locking them up and driving one will give you a certain amount of highway respect – even if you are not a cop. Which makes it perfect fodder for a song title. That’s an easy bet. Here’a new song by Eastern Anchors which is every bit Chavez as it is HUM sounding. All good things for consumerists of the noisy rock variety. This Anchors song is stealth though like most cruisers with tinted windows and weird guitar tunings disguising itself as a good pop song once its intension are revealed. Check it out. Various other such musical crimes will be committed live this forth coming Friday night but you’ll need to attend in person to be a witness. Because the kids won’t say shit unless you put the cuffs on them.
Family, Once again I am in the position of writing an extremely difficult letter. We have 24 hours to raise $20,000 or we may be forced to close. I know that times are tough and it is the holiday season but it’s not impossible, 4 people to lend us $5,000 ea. – 10 people/$2000 ea. – 20 people/$1,000ea – 40 people/$500 … See Moreea. and so forth. Here’s why: We owe @ $26,000 in back property tax and water and sewer to the city of New Brunswick. A friend of ours knew we needed help and offered it based on the fact that he was selling his house and asked how much we needed. Bobby told him $20,000 or so. He said he could help us out provided his closing went through on Friday, which it did. Today he came in with $5,000, apparently all he could do. Bobby was under the impression that he could lend us the bulk of it. Now we are really screwed. We must pay the entire amount by 4:00 tomorrow ( Tues. 12/15 ) or it will go to tax sale. If it goes to tax sale the mortgage company will start foreclosure proceedings. Commercial mortgages are different that residential and the only way to stop it would be to file bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court will take over the business and liquidate it. The end of the Court Tavern. Bobby and I and Cassius have sacrificed so much of our family time and money over the years just trying to stay afloat. Everytime we are ready to throw in the towel , someone will come along and tell them how much the Court means to them so we keep on going. Tony Shanahan is in the process of organizing a benefit concert for us at the state theater in March. We thought we had it covered, borrow the money from our friend, pay the taxes, in March pay him back and have some extra cash to get caught up on some other stuff. Not going to happen. If you can help at all please call my cell phone at 732-887-1612 ASAP. All loans will be repaid in March with interest. We only have 24 hours. You can also text me if it’s late tonight although I don’t know how I’ll sleep. Sincerely,… Eileen Albert” IF 200 people give $100 dollars this should do it. Come on WFMU people.
If you know anyone in a financial position to help save the Court, PLEASE pass this along to them! The Court could go under….TODAY!
…and they said damn the creatures will rise again, rise again for one night only: Aviso’Hara, Boss Jim Getty’s and Bionic Rhoda to perform at the Court Tavern Saturday Nov 28th, 2009. This show is being taped for the Hub City Rock City documentary.
Seven Inch Friday: This little punk rock story is probably one of my favorites although I probably won’t do it justice; it’s funny none the less. It’s the story of how the whole New Brunswick NJ scene got a Buzzov•en t-shirt but first about the music… This here 7″ has three grunge pot smoking epics that came out in 1992 sometime out on the Santa Rosa CA label Kirbdog Records. The band originated out of North Carolina and was led by Kirk Fisher. He was the guy behind the violence. The instigator of sludge metal. Fans of the melvins/eyehategod know exactly who these guys are. They always used horror film samples in-between songs, real smoke and the slower the rock distortion groove the better. After lots of touring and small releases they made it to Roadrunner records and were later promptly dropped. I had the opportunity to see them several times and witnessed first hand their asinine antics of lighting fireworks and kirk pulling a gg allin drawing blood on himself or throwing bottles of bud across the room; then giggling about it like little girls when the victim could not figure out who it was. I thought it was obvious. One time at the Brighton (photo below) Kirk got upset because Sebastian Bach was asked to leave so he wouldn’t get beat up. Sounds funny but apparently he had the good pot. Kirk had his priorities.
The most notable of nights happened when they decided to get in a fight with Buzzkill (NOt the uk band) after playing The Melody in New Brunswick. Now Buzzkill (formerly Butthead ) with just Dan and Bruce are 12 1/2 feet tall combined. The smelly pot smoking hippies did not stand a chance. For all their stupidity and getting pummeled they decided after being kicked-out of the party by force to take their vengeance on one of the party goers cars. In the end Kirk ended up in a orange suite for a few days in the New Brunswick lock-up and they left behind a whole box of T-shirts. Anyway, be sure to update your calender Sat Dec 26th 2009 as Buzzkill are playing The Court Tavern for a reunion show along with Prosolar Mechanics and The Stuntcocks. Bring back the 90’s man. Bonus: Mp3 “Rock and Roll Gas Station” from the album UP on A/T Mp3 “This place sucks” Tooth & Sole Mp3 “Dirge” from the debut I feel like myself again