Paper Memories

A dollar per jazz genius. Memories? Priceless, as they say.

I was cleaning out a drawer today and came upon some old concert tickets.

I took this one initially to be a flyer, but then realized the “void” stamps meant it was, in fact, a ticket. There’s no year listed, but it was 1989. This was at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut at the southwest edge of Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan. I lived a half a block from Tompkins Square Park during the riot that occurred to August prior. By the time this show happened, I was either living a few blocks from the Knitting Factory, or I’d moved to Brooklyn. I’m pretty sure this concert was part of a series of events that John Zorn was curating, long before he founded his own club, the Stone. I learned today that there’s now a King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, Scotland, named after this long defunct New York haunt. Hank Roberts, the evening’s cellist, was the subject of one of the first two or three articles I ever wrote professionally, right around the time of this show. The article was timed to the release of his Black Pastels album. Just five dollars for the ticket. That’s a dollar per jazz genius.

. . .

This was a phenomenal show at the Knitting Factory, where I saw more concerts at that time than all other venues in New York combined.

. . .

This was about a year after I moved to California (to Sacramento, to work on the music magazine, Pulse!, that Tower Records published). Ray Anderson, the great trombonist, played with a bunch of musicians who were key to the Knitting Factory scene, and catching him in California was very centering.

. . .

This was a few years later. I was still living in Sacramento (I wouldn’t move to San Francisco proper until midway through 1996). My vague recollection is the hall was so large you could walk away from the stage to the point where you could barely hear the band, and yet somehow still be inside the space.

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