For reasons that have become increasingly unclear to me, I have thought, for several months, that King Missile should play Bowery Electric, a club located relatively close to where CBGB’s was located back in the day. That proximity may have been a reason, or it may be that a number of my friends have played there and I liked the sound and the layout of the place, and a friend of mine tends (or tended) bar. I don’t know. But I knew that after two shows at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium, it would be good to play Manhattan, and I thought Bowery Electric was a logical choice.
I went to their website, and found a contact email, and I made an inquiry. I didn’t hear back. I emailed again, and was told by Nick (not his real name) that he had forwarded my email to Debby (not her real name). She eventually got back to me and asked if we wanted to play a free show in the bar area upstairs. I said, “No, we’d like to play the downstairs room. I’m sure we could get a lot of people there. We have done well at Shea.” Or something like that. I didn’t hear back. I emailed again, and Nick got back to me, and then Debby again. Finally, we settled on a date: April 10, 2016. Debby told me I could put the evening together by adding bands to the bill but that I should get back to her in ten days.
I was excited. I asked Rachel Trachtenburg if her band wanted to play and she said yes. I had trouble thinking who the third band would be, and the ten day deadline was approaching, so I emailed Debby to tell her Rachel would open and I was just looking for the third band. Debby told me that she had filled the 9 and 10pm slots for that evening but that if King Missile wanted to play at 10, maybe she could switch the 10pm band or move everyone earlier. “And is Rachel 18 yet?” Debby wanted to know. Debby apparently doesn’t know about Wikipedia.
I got on the phone with Debby, and she started asking me questions about my band (“Are you local?” Are you the band’s manager or are you in the band?”), and I quickly realized that this was way more of an uphill battle than I had expected. I told her, “I think maybe I’ll find another Manhattan venue, one that is actually wants us to play.” Debby said, “How can I know if I want you to play when I don’t know anything about your band?,” to which I might have replied—“Wikipedia?” “You Tube?” but I was kind of resigned to the fact that this wasn’t going to happen. So I ended the call.
We went ahead and booked a show at Cakeshop for this Sunday (May 21, 2016) and yesterday I learned that we got a little write up in the New Yorker. In order to kind of rub her nose in it (but more because I still really wanted to play there), I sent Debby an email, reminding her about the show we had booked there that had fallen through (without blaming her) and letting her know that we got a little write up in the New Yorker, and that I hoped we could put a night together at Bowery Electric in the Fall. Her response was. “Congratulations. Cakeshop is a good size room for this.”
I pride myself these days on not writing angry obnoxious emails to people who are really pissing me off. So instead I wrote back and said “Thanks, but we’d really like to play Bowery Electric sometime.” Her response was “Maybe down the line. Thank you.”
If you know me at all, you can imagine the kind of things I wanted to say to her. I think I am glad that I didn’t say any of them. And I guess King Missile will never play Bowery Electric. And I guess that’s okay.May 25, 2016