Tuesday, March 14, 2006
For a while now, I have been thinking about finding the locations of famous sites in New York punk history and photographing what has become of them now. I just don't have a real sense of where places like the Mudd Club or Max's or the The Kitchen were, and it would help me to better understand the music and the city to locate them. However, I have not gotten a chance to start this project.
On a related note, I was recently on an extended business trip in DC, so I decided to figure out where a number of the venues for early DC punk were. Above is the location of the original Madam's Organ at 2318 18th St., NW. There is a bar by the same name today, across the street about a block and a half up, but the original Madam's Organ was formed by dissident students from the Corcoran School of Art. It later developed into a sort of Yippie collective. The Yippies let the punk kids put on shows, and it was about the only place bands like Bad Brains could play. The collective shut its doors in 1980.
I will be posting pictures of other DC venues: the 9:30 Club, DC Space, the Wilson Center. It is a study of the fast gentrification of DC. I lived in DC a little over three years ago, and on the recent visit I was surprised by the fast pace of gentrification. The whole city seems like it is under construction/renovation. However, this strip of 18th St. is little changed from when I lived there. Bars, restaurants and shops. It is nice to see and independent record store in the basement of the old Madam's Organ. Presumably, the neighborhood was a little different in '79-'80. However in Mark Anderson's and Mark Jenkin's "Dance of Days, Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital", they note Madam's Organ was evicted because the neighborhood was gentrifiying and the rent was raised to $350 a month (for the entire building).
You will notice my dog Seven tied to the stairs.