Thursday, June 07, 2007

The End of The End of The End of An Era

This Sunday marks the end of an era - actually, it marks the end of the end of the end of an era as the building that once housed JC Dobbs will host its last live music show, as the current owner has sold the property and the new owners plan to make it a clothing boutique.

However, the reason it's an end of an end, etc. is because the 'era' truly ended in 1996, when JC Dobbs closed its doors. The new owners gave the club a (some might say unneeded) facelift and reopened as The Pontiac Grill.

Last year The Pontiac, after haphazardly trying several different approaches, gave up and closed - ending live music at 304 South Street. Then they opened - without any heart - and hosted occasional, one-off gigs ... this Saturday night they will host their final gig ... finally.

Some are sad to see the transformation from music club to clothing store. Personally, I felt that sadness when Dobbs left the strip - and the big D that hung over the stage and its patrons, was taken down and stored away.

Since then the space had no personality. It tried ... actually it didn't try; individual promoters tried to create scenes there ... the club owners constantly derailed any motivation by shifting plans and visions.

As it stands now - with the exception of the TLA (or the Fillmore Philadelphia at the TLA ... whatever), South Street is a void for live music.

I never thought that the street that I grew up on; the street that Grendel's Lair, Ripley, Dobbs, 218, Abilene's, along with a few others once called home - would be so silent.

So, as we inch closer to the final END OF AN ERA, I wanted to share some interesting video clips of a happier time...

The first clip is the most interesting - sadly it cannot be embedded - so check it out! It's a chat with the former owner of JC Dobbs John Travis, as he talks about the very early days of Dobbs & performers such as The Stray Cats & George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers.

Goodbye to live music at 304 South Street - it was fun while it lasted!

Robert Hazard at JC Dobbs / 1983?

Elvis Presley (a.k.a. Kenn Kweder) at JC Dobbs / 1989 (this was an incredible night!!)

Nirvana at JC Dobbs / 1989

Tool at JC Dobbs / 1992


Chris Krakora said...

I've had some memoriable nights at Dobbs over the years as well, like with the Wedding Present (1990) and Springhouse (featuring Jack Rabid, editor of The Big Takeover, on drums, 1989). To paraphase Rufus Wainwright, "Release the stars; Don't you know that old South Street is over."

Adam @ Y-Rock on XPN said...

All I have to say is: I WAS AT THAT TOOL SHOW.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad. South Street used to be so cool. There was Ripley's Music Hall (now the defunct Tower) and Grendl's Lair. So much has been lost.

Benjamin New said...

As a member of the Band Macchu Picchu, I LIVED South Street for a number of years playing Grendel's Lair, Khyber Pass, Bacchanal, Dobbs,
and Chestnut Cabaret. The place was bursting with creativity. I cannot express the sadness I feel to hear live music is essentially no more, there on South Street.
Long Live The Memory!

HughE2030 said...

I saw my first A's concert there in 1982