Much has been made recently of the Verb Hotel, the recently-christened Fenway joint that is paying tribute to the Boston rock scene with musical decor, culturally themed rooms, and art direction from the great David Bieber, formerly of the Boston Phoenix, WFNX, and WBCN.
But nearby, the high-end Hotel Commonwealth — emphasis on wealth — in Kenmore Square is getting into the ritzy rock nostalgia act as well. Its Rathskeller Suite, which raises a champagne glass to the dirty old punk rock club the Rat, opens next month with a nightly charge of $1,095. According to WCVB Channel 5, the room “will be filled with Rat memorabilia, including the dressing room mirror covered in band stickers.”
As many know, the Rat was a basement dive bar that once hosted live performances by newcomers like Police, Talking Heads, and Metallica and pretty much every punk band through the late-’70s and ’80s and every hardcore band in the ’90s before closing in 1997. The space eventually gave way to what is now the Hotel Commonwealth.
The Rat’s glamorous room at the hotel will be quite fancy, a far cry from the dingy old space that was often seen as dangerous and unsightly.
To help remind people of the true legacy of the Rat — and why your mom definitely didn’t want you ever hanging out there — we’ve compiled a few videos that show what it was really like. Few would drop a grand to spend a night here, even the rich people who now want to slum it for the weekend.
Rock and roll’s legacy is for sale, and those who crafted it can’t afford to purchase it.