January 20, 2004

We can live in the empty spaces of this life

* Charlotte Pressler on the 1970s Cleveland scene.

an excerpt:

"La Cave was a small basement club on Euclid Avenue near East 103rd, a short walk from Case Reserve. In the middle Sixties, when the folk revival was in full swing on the college campuses, and racial tensions were still low enough that college kids felt safe in venturing two blocks into the ghetto, it had become the folk music center of Cleveland. Josh White, etc., had all played there. But around 1967-68, when acid-rock began to replace Odetta in the dorm rooms, lesser-known rock bands began to appear at La Cave as well. Some quickly went on to larger venues. One that never did, that became in fact something like the La Cave house band, was the Velvet Underground. Cleveland was one of the Velvets' better cities; and among the core of loyal fans who could be counted on to show up for each performance were two West Side kids, still in high school and thus technically underage for the club. They usually hung out in the back room between sets, listening intently while Lou Reed strummed his big Gibson stereo and talked about chord progressions and life on the road, An uneasy, tentative friendship began to grow between Peter Laughner and Jaime Klimek. Peter invited Jaime down to hear his band."


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