Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Their Own Words




There are many things I miss about The Bottom Line, the legendary NYC nightclub where history was ostensibly made every night. Those things do not include the damp and undersized English muffin upon which the hamburger was served or the boatload of undercooked French fries for $6.75, the floor-to-ceiling beams that I somehow managed to always sit behind, or the as legendary "shut up and wait" service. They do include the musical magic that was the "In Their Own Words" series, where 5 songwriters would take the stage, share stories, and basically recreate a campfire sing-a-long, assuming you went camping with James McMurtry, Marshall Crenshaw, Jules Shear, David Halley and Don Dixon. (That was my favorite evening, by the way.) There were other great evenings, as well. How about this one:

FEB 19,1993
"In Their Own Words"
A Bunch of Songwriters Sittin' Around Singing
Featuring:
LUKA BLOOM, DAVID BYRNE,
ROSEANNE CASH, LOU REED
All Seats $15.00


Or this gem

SEPT 23,1993
"In Their Own Words"
A Bunch of Songwriters Sittin'
around Singing"
Featuring:
FELIX CAVALIERE, AIMEE MANN,
MOJO NIXON, "SIR" MACK RICE
Hosted by VIN SCELSA
All Seats $15.00


You can search the entire Bottom Line archive HERE and see what you've missed, while missing what you've seen.

Another one of my favorites was this one:


FEB 21,1997
Writers In The Round
"Bluebird Style"
With:
RICHARD BARONE, JULES SHEAR, TERRI ROCHE
PETER HOLSAPPLE, SUSAN COWSILL
All Seats $15.00


The name had changed slightly by then, but the vibe remained the same. I offer you the encore from this night, wonderful takes on the Randy California classic "Nature's Way" and a killer "Louie, Louie."

Anyone out there have the McMurtry/Crenshaw/Shear/Dixon/Halley night? I'll gladly swap it for this night.

NATURE'S WAY, LOUIE LOUIE ZIPFILE

6 comments:

David H said...

Thanks for the link! I was working at RS in this era, and thanks in part to Smithereen drummer Dennis Diken's lovely wife Donna who manned the box office, I went to several of these, (but did not tape) including
PAT DINIZIO, GENE McDANIELS and CARI COLTRANE,
GRAHAM PARKER and JIMMY WEBB
and
GUY CLARK, ROBERT EARL KEEN,Jr.,
PAPA JOHN PHILLIPS, JOHN STEWAR
and
SONNY CURTIS, DION, JANIS IAN and MARTI JONES
and
DONALD FAGEN, AL KOOPER,
GARY NICHOLSON, SPOONER OLDHAM
and DAN PENN
and most memorably one I can't find here that I swear had Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely, and someone else -- maybe it was before Vin had coined the formula.
I wrote it up for Rolling Stone. They later released a CD which had stories/cuts from individual shows, which really didn't do it justice. I wonder if Vin has them ALL on tape somewhere.

Sal Nunziato said...

David,
I believe it was Guy Clark, but these guys toured a bunch of times, so it may not have been part of the series. Or..it may have.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I really miss the Bottom Line, many a night was spent there. All the shows i saw were solid.

Mel

steve simels said...

I've got a non-bootleg somewhere of a Bottom Line best-of from some of these shows.

A very nice "King of the NY Streets" by Dion, and an unplugged "I Wanna Be Sedated" with Joey Ramone.

steve simels said...

I should also mention that if you were a Bottom Line opening act, you got a very nice fruit basket in your dressing room.

Michael in New York said...

Sal, It's focused on country, but the CMA organizes a similar night of country music songwriters that's held about monthly at Joe's Pub. Worth a look see.