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Tuesday, December 22

More Lounge Ax Memories

Gapers Block has published a sentimental but even-handed reminiscence of my favorite rock club. For those of you who didn't make it before the flying monkeys showed up to carry it away, the writing here comes as close as words are able to capturing the feel of the place.

It was a dump, but it was our dump. I use the possessive here not as a former employee, horrible band member, or boyfriend/husband of owner, but to elucidate a sense that many of us had, and hopefully still have, when we're aware enough to look around and inside of us and realize that we are part of something larger than ourselves.
Before I knew the owners there, I had already grown enamored of the place. Lounge Ax was a place where we felt at home, much like the original Antone's in Austin, with its trough urinal, unilluminated interior, and small stage overflowing with enormous talent, and to a somewhat lesser extent Liberty Lunch, which was a great venue for fans—open to the sky, nice and wide so it was rarely cramped, the musicians were right there, but it never quite connected in that special way.

Perhaps it was the Betty's Resale couches that made us feel better about the ones we all had back at the apartment, or the bathrooms, which did the same, or the fact that for big shows we were all packed near the stage and so very obviously we were all in this together, if for no other reason than self-preservation. Maybe it was the photobooth that gave us tangible memories, a few of which we might rather not have. Perhaps that feeling merely comes from the habit of regular attendance thanks to their stellar bookings, or perhaps it was the consistently high quality of the shows we got to see because of the comfort level for the performers. Whatever. It was there.

For the first two weeks of 2000, Lounge Ax fans came out to stand in the snowy cold, not just to see their favorite bands, who would surely be back playing at a different venue in the not too distant future, but to see their favorite bands playing there, on that stage, over that PA being run by those sound engineers, in that room, and to imbibe drinks served over that bar from those busy but smiling bartenders, all of which we felt we had earned a stake in, that we each might take one more tiny, fleeting relic home with us to add to our personal trove.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to read this warm and heartfelt post, Patrick. Thanks!


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