4pm on Thursday, 6th day of 1983, and it’s time to wake up!
Though we’ve only been staying at Jack Rabid’s flat for a week, we are starting to get into the groove of this NYC schedule.
Get up around 5, sit around and bullshit for a while, go down to the bodega for tall cans of beer, and slowly get ready to start a night again.
Get out on the streets, find out what is happening and where, and maybe a couple slices at St Marks Pizza before hitting the clubs.
We come home with the morning sun, after a sumptuous breakfast of cheeseburgers and pirogies covered in caramelized onions.
The lifestyle is delicious and unconceivable to us. We’re used to liquor stores that close at 10pm and only our beloved Naugles as a place to get fed after midnight.
We are comfortable now with the cozy clutter of the apartment, and have even gotten pretty good at smashing the cockroaches that flutter beneath the flyers and posters. Just more glue after all!
Jack, responsible soul that he is, actually has a normal job somewhere out there in the city. We see him when he comes home, bruised and battered by another day out in the harsh proletarian arena.
He comes into the apartment and looks around at the snoring and farting degenerates, yet another traveling band camped out in his warm home.
Yet he does not even allow himself a sigh, he is so used to the sight by now.
We chat a bit with Jack as he warms up some soup in a battered pot— unfathomable as it seems to us, when you have the world’s greatest pizza right outside that door.
But Jack is ready for a night of listening to records, thinking about them, and tapping out his manifesto on a typewriter.
We, on the other hand, have spent our
days nights with the madman roommate, Doug Holland.
I guess I could thank, or blame, Doug for introducing us to the warped nightlife of the city, early eighties style. We might’ve discovered it on our own, eventually, but Doug gave us a crash course on how to behave like lunatics in a city that catered to lunatics.
See, besides being the guitar player for NY hardcore icons Kraut, Dougie also held down a job bartending at the famed A7 club down on –duh! A and 7th!
The club became a home away from home. We wouldn’t show up until 2am and would still find ourselves the earlybirds, fuckin toursists!!
The colorful crowd became friends, and when we would find ourselves with an off night (always dangerous and expensive for a touring band) we would simply make up a flyer in Magic Marker announcing a gig that night at A7, run off 50 copies, and hand them out to the late drinking crowd on St Marks Place. Why the hell didn’t we have anything like this back home??!! we kept asking each other.
There was lots of hanging out at CB’s, of course, and nightly trips to Bleecker Bob’s to trade albums for T shirts and other albums—- we’d wrap up the night at the Park Tavern, and listen to Ike rail against the strange Jamaicans that ruled his bar with subtle nods and trips to the bathroom.
And, hell— we weren’t above a voyeuristic journey through the different levels of Danceteria either!
But maybe our favorite thing were those few hours before going out, twilight hours in the cold darkness, when Jack’s apartment bacame a cozy Salon for the Punk Rock Illuminati of the day.
We would sit among the stacks of beer cans and LPs, listen to Jack and Doug argue, and marvel at the parade of characters that dropped by the pad.
Harley Flanagan, Bobby Steele. The guys from Adrenalin OD with Davey Gunner and Johnny Feedback. Jimmy Gestapo.
Bad Brains and Beastie Boys, they were friendly and interesting to a man.
Drinks were drunk, stories were told, and then Jack would excuse himself and head back to the typewriter.
It’s what–oh, midnight, around there…time to start thinking of a little dinner?
Doug laced up his combat boots and splashed that city water on his face, then would make sure we were all bundled up against the cold.
And we would head out, into that city and its unknown wonders one more time.