Rock clubs come, rock clubs go. Same for music venues, nightclubs, bars, and other important cultural hotspots. But it's always been fascinating to us that so many notable (and in some cases, historic) concerts, parties, and events have happened across the city in places that no longer exist. And not only do these joints no longer exist, but what has replaced them -- condos, new businesses, university buildings -- have eradicated any trace of what went down. From General Electric building over the site of The Channel in Fort Point to the inconspicuous Allston location of early-'80s post-punk comet Underground, so much of Boston's musical history is hiding in plain site.
We pass these places every day.
So, what's sitting on these properties now? Well, it's often not pleasant. Vanyaland editor Michael Marotta and photographer John Hutchings spent a day tracing Boston's long-gone clubs, and photo-documenting what exists in these spaces today. We're a bit fascinated by the fact that New Order played what's now a BU dorm laundry room, The Doors played some weird Brighton apartment complex, and Led Zeppelin played what's now essentially a 7-11.
It should be noted, also, that we're not really lamenting here, just pointing out that interesting stuff has happened in places you wouldn't think to look because of natural change. It's cool to us that these old legacy bands played in places that we pass every day and don't think twice about. This is in no way a "better in the old days" post; we're just pointing out that musical magic took places in many unmarked graves around the city.
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Boston Tea Party
53 Berkeley St., Bay Village, Boston
From 1967 to 1970, the original Boston Tea Party location, before it relocated to Lansdowne Street, was a hub for the city’s psychedelic scene. In a historic building constructed in 1872 in the Bay Village neighborhood near the South End, the Don Law-managed Tea Party welcomed bands like The Who, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Velvet Underground. “This is our favorite place to play in the whole country,” Lou Reed reportedly said of the venue. There’s now a 7-11 on the building’s ground level.