Thursday, February 28, 2013

#307: Requiem for an Arcade

Garment District, NYC
Today's 307 marks a sort of requiem, a headstone if you will, for a pretty wonderful time in my life -- the time I played accordion and sang in the now-defunct punk-pop cabaret band known as Peacock's Penny Arcade.

The nostalgia in this photo lies not just in the word "ARCADE" on the facade, but also in the fact that we rehearsed inside this building on West 36th Street. I tend to only play in bands so big we bring our own entourage (it lessens the sting, I've found, when only three or four people show up for your gig), and this endeavor was no exception. While I'm certainly not short on things to do these days -- revising my novel with one hand, taking notes for my thesis with the other, waiting till weekends when I can grab my hockey stick and smash stuff up on the ice rink, and by "stuff" I mean "myself," mostly -- I do miss huddling in the poorly upholstered, lager-soaked internment cells practice rooms with six or seven of my closest friends, singing songs we'd written about Alexi Sayle, rust belt vampires, and Robert Mitchum.

Perhaps the best oddball gig we ever took was a spot playing on the Queen Mary 2 for the PEN World Voices kickoff party, which, for all its infinite weirdness, got written up here. Salman Rushdie, I should mention, was not in attendance at the event (neither was he in hiding), but his name was on the invitation, dammit, and I take great pride in being the house band -- and for being at least 1/7 responsible for Dale Peck and Jonathan Ames taking the stage armed with tambourines and kazoos to entertain our most illustrious audience.

I don't knock about the garment district too often these days, but when I do, the arcade is never very far from my heart.


Jackie said...

Your Dale Peck story is pretty much one of my favorite stories of all time.

Therese Cox said...

Yup. Anyone who storms a stage I'm on with a kazoo and a tambourine is pretty much OK in my book.