Today the Boston music community wakes up to a scene without T.T. The Bear’s Place. But before shutting its doors for good early this morning, the beloved Cambridge rock club threw a farewell party last night that was equal parts reunion, reflection, and celebration of more than 40 years of live music in Central Square.
Between closing sets by O Positive and Scruffy The Cat, longtime T.T.’s owner Bonney Bouley took to the stage and spoke for several minutes, thanking the bands, her staff and everyone who walked through her doors; reflecting on the music venue’s start and those who helped establish the club; and relaying stories of late bartender and booking agent Jeanne Connolly, a cherished figure who passed away in 2009.
Her underlying message to the 300-plus packed into 10 Brookline St., representing several decades of Boston’s music scene, was that it was the sense of community that made T.T. The Bear’s Place special.
“I want to thank these bands,” Bouley says. “I just can’t tell you what it was to be here, and stand over there and watch bands that nobody else saw and nobody knew about and just look and go ‘It’s just magic.’ And everybody that played these last two weeks, you are all magic and you always have been… I honor you all, every band that walked through this door. In snowstorms and rainstorms and miserable weather and miserable nights, and still got on this stage and played their hearts out.”
She continued: “The talent that is in this town and that comes through this town is unbelievable. We were just really lucky to have that we had. I hope somehow it continues. I hope it’s on this level that people can come in and get a chance, and I hope it doesn’t all go corporate. But things change and the world changes. But bands still need a stage, and I hope it’s sill here in Cambridge and Boston.”
Video of Bouley’s full speech can be viewed below. At the start, the audio quality isn’t the best, but when folks around the room — and in particular those on the other side of the T.T.’s bar — realized Bouley was addressing the audience, they all soon quieted down.
Together, then, they raised a glass to an institution.