Amy Yates Wuelfing & Gibby Haynes

  • Aired:  03/25/14
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"No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes" author Amy Yates Wuelfing and Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes reminisce about legendary New Jersey nightclub City Gardens. (8:25)

MY GUEST TONIGHT, SHE IS THECOAUTHOR OF NEW BOOK NO SLAM

DANCING, NO STAGE DIVING, NOSPIKES AN ORAL HISTORY OF

LEGENDARY CITY GARDENS. HE IS AFRONT MAN OF BUTTHOLE SURFERS.

HE USED TO PERFORMOFTEN AT THE CLUB. HERE IS A

PEAK OF THE UPCOMING DOCUMENTARYABOUT THE CITY GARDENS CALLED

RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR.

>> IT WAS A REALLY FILTHY CLUB.

>> WE WERE ROBBED WHILE WE WEREON STAGE.

>> I WALKED INTO THE BATHROOMAND THERE WAS THIS DUDE CRUMPLED

UP ON THE FLOOR WITH BLOODRUNNING DOWN HIS HEAD.

>> IT IS THE MOST DANGEROUSPLACE TO EVER GO.

I WAS TOLD OVER AND OVER AGAINDON'T GO THERE.

YOU'LL GET YOUR HEAD KICKED IN,

SKINHEADS IT'S JUST A ROUGH,ROUGH PLACE.

>> Jon: WE CALLED IT HOME.

PLEASE WELCOME AMY YATESWUELFING AND GIBBY HAYNES.

COME ON OUT.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]THE LOVE, THE LOVE.

>> GROUP HUG.

>> Jon: SIT, SIT, SIT. HOW AREYOU GUYS?

NICE TO SEE YOU.

BY THE WAY, SIR, AFITTING TRIBUTE ON THE ARM.

GWAR DAVE BROCKIE.

A VERY VERY SAD SITUATION.

BUT ALSO USED TO COME TO THECLUB.

I'LL ASK GIBBY FIRST AND THENWE'LL TALK ABOUT THE BOOK.

THIS WAS IN TRENTON, NEW JERSEY.

>> YES.

>> Jon: IT WAS BY ALL ACCOUNTSA (bleep) HOLE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: WHY DO YOU THINK SUCHGOOD BANDS -- ONE OF FIRST

CONCERTS I EVER SAW THERE WASBUTTHOLE SURFERS OPENINGING FOR

DEAD KENNEDYS.

WHY DO YOU THINK THIS WAS A MUSTSTOP ON THESE BANDS' TOURS?

>> IT WAS A PLACE YOU COULD PLAYBETWEEN NEW YORK AND

PHILADELPHIA.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: SO IT WAS PURELY A

CONVENIENCE SITUATION.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: OH, MAN, I THOUGHTTHERE WAS AN ESSENCE TO IT.

>> MAYBE PEOPLE JUST GOT LOST ONTHE TURNPIKE.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE

TO GET AN ORAL HISTORY OF THISCLUB?

I BARTENDED THERE FOR A COUPLEOF YEARS AND WENT THERE FOR MANY

MORE.

BUT I DON'T THINK WE THOUGHT ITWAS A LEGENDARY CLUB AT THE

TIME.

>> NO WE DIDN'T.

WE TOOK IT FOR GRANTED.

THE BOOK IS REALLY A TIMECAPSULE ABOUT INDY MUSIC IN

THE 80s AND 90s BEFORETECHNOLOGY

CAME IN AND CHANGED EVERYTHING.

HISTORICALLY IT WASN'T THAT LONGAGO, MAYBE 30 YEARS BUT

TECHNOLOGYWISE IT WAS LIGHTYEARS AGO.

THERE WAS NO INTERNET, NO CELLPHONES.

IF YOU WANTED TO MEET OTHERMISFITS AND, YOU

KNOW, PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T FIT INYOU HAD TO GO OUT OF YOUR HOUSE,

YOU HAD TO GO TO A CLUB AND FINDTHESE PEOPLE.

I THINK THE FACT THAT WE ALLWENT THERE STOKED OUR

CREATIVITY.

WE WERE SUBURBAN KIDS, WEWERE STUCK SORT OF IN THE MIDDLE

OF PHILADELPHIA AND NEW YORK.

AND YET THERE WAS THIS CLUB THATWAS A LITTLE OASIS FOR US,

A JUDGMENT-FREE ZONE. YOU COULDYOU GO AND BE YOURSELF.

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUTPEOPLE LOOKING DOWN ON YOU.

I THINK FOR A LOT OF US WHO WENTTHERE, IT WAS JUST A WAY TO

REALLY EXPRESS OURSELVES ANDREALLY FIND OUT WHO WE WERE.

>> Jon: THESE BANDS, BACK ATTHIS TIME THE TOURING GROUPS YOU

SAW CRO-MAGS. AGNOSTIC FRONT.

GWAR USED TO PLAY THERE, THERAMONS, BAD BRAINS ALL THESE

INCREDIBLE MUSICIANS WOULD COMETHROUGH THERE.

WITHOUT THE INTERNET WAS THERESORT OF AN UNDERGROUND CIRCUIT

THAT YOU ALL KNEW ABOUT?

THESE WERE THE CLUBS AS YOU WENTALONG THE EAST COAST OR WEST

COAST THESE WERE THE CLUBS WHERETHIS TYPE OF MUSICSTILL FLOURISHES.

>> WHAT THEY HAD BACK THEN THEYCALLED FAN-ZINES AND THOSE

WERE CIRCULATED AROUNDTHE UNITED STATES.

THAT'S BASICALLY HOW YOU FOUNDOUT ABOUT THESE DIFFERENT CLUBS.

AND THEN THERE WERE INDIEBOOKING AGENTS THAT WOULD GET

YOU INTO THESE DIFFERENT PLACES.

>> Jon: THE GUY THAT BOOKEDTHIS CLUB.

THIS WAS ONE OF THE MORE AMAZINGTHINGS WAS A U.S. POSTMAN RANDY

NOW.

>> YES, HE WAS A POSTMAN.

JUST HIS LOVE OF MUSIC.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> WAS WHAT REALLY PUSHED HIM TOCREATE THIS CLUB AND THIS

ENVIRONMENT.

I THINK THAT'S PART OF IT, TOO,IT CAME FROM A PLACE OF LOVE.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> IT WASN'T ALL ABOUT COMMERCEOR MONEY.

>> Jon: I'M GLAD IT CAME FROMA PLACE OF LOVE BECAUSE INSIDE

OF MOSTLY PUNCHING.

I REMEMBER THERE WAS A GOOD DEALOF PUNCHING.

FROM THE STAGE WAS THAT TYPICAL?

DO YOU -- YOU KNOW, WAS THISUNUSUAL TO THIS CLUB, THE

VIOLENCE THAT TOOK PLACE INTHERE?

WAS THAT WHAT THAT SCENE WAS ATTHAT TIME?

>> THE BANDS WERE USUALLY IMMUNEFROM THE VIOLENCE.

OCCASIONALLY I GOT STABBED ONSTAGE ONE TIME.

>> Jon: SURE.

>> GENERALLY YOU DIDN'T REALLYEXPERIENCE THAT ON STAGE.

THERE WAS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OFRESPECT PAID TO THE BAND.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHY I LIKEDBEING BEHIND THE BAR.

THERE WERE TWO OASISES ON THATTHE BAR AREA AND STAGE AREA BUT

IN BETWEEN AN AWUL LOT OF --

>> YOU STILL HAD THIS BUFFER ATCITY GARDENS AND YOU HAVE IT

HERE NOW.

>> Jon: GENERALLY AFTER THEINTERVIEWS I AM TIPPED STILL THE

SAME WAY AS IT WORKED OUT.

[LAUGHTER]YOU WERE THERE FOR A LEGENDARY

SHOW.

IT WAS A SHOW IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN1986, 1987. I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF

YOU'LL REMEMBER THIS SHOW. BUTSHOW THE, WE HAVE A PICTURE OFIT.

THIS WAS BUTTHOLE SURFERS ONSTAGE.

THAT'S FIRE.

[ LAUGHTER ]AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN SEE

THIS GIBBY THERE'S A NAKED WOMANBEHIND YOU.

>> SHE'S GOT A T-BACK ON.

>> Jon: OH YOU'RE RIGHT, I'MSORRY, SHE HAS SOME UNDERWEAR.

NOW IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY,AND TELL ME I I'M WRONG,

WE USED TO DO ALL AGES SHOWS.THESE WERE THE HARD CORE SHOWS.

YOU HAD KIDS THERE 12 TOWHATEVER.

YOU HAD A PERFORMER WHO ENJOYEDNOT HAVING FABRIC.

>> NUDITY.

>> YES.

>> Jon: SOMETHING HAPPENEDWHERE THEY PULLED THE SOUND.

DO YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THIS?

>> YEAH, WELL, THE MAIN THINGTHAT WAS REALLY KINDA THE WAY

EVERY NIGHT WENT FOR US.

[LAUGHTER]BUT THE MAIN THING I REMEMBER

FROM THAT SHOW WAS THAT AFTERTHE SHOW WAS AFTER THE SHOW

WAS OVER I WAS BACKSTAGE TOTALLYGETTING BITCHED AT BY

THIS HORMONE CRAZED SOCCERMOM TELLING ME HOW IRRESPONSIBLE

I WAS FOR PERFORMING THAT WAY INFRONT OF HER 14-YEAR-OLD SON SHE

HAD TAKEN THERE.

I WAS LIKE WHAT ARE YOU DOINGAFTER THE SHOW?

JUST MADE HER ANGRIER.

>> Jon: I THINK I CAN SEE WHYTHAT WOULD MAKE HER ANGRIER.

IT WAS THAT KIND OF ANARCHY THATIN A WEIRD WAY SPURRED A LOT OF

CREATIVITY.

I REMEMBER FEELING RELIEF ATBEING ABLE TO COME TO THIS PLACE

AND SEEING TRULY ANARCHIC THINGSHAPPEN.

>> IT WAS AN ANYTHING GOESATMOSPHERE. AND IT WASN'T IN ABIG CITY.

>> APPARENTLY NOT.

>> Jon: FIRE WAS THE ONEPLACE YOU COULDN'T GO.

>> THE BEST PART ABOUT THATSTORY IS AFTER ALL OF THISCHAOS,

FIRE, THE BAND REFUSED TOLEAVE, THEY HAD TO CALL THE

POLICE TO GET YOU OUT OF THERE.

>> THERE'S ONLY ONE REASON FOR ABAND TO NOT LEAVE A (bleep).

>> Jon: I THINK I KNOW WHATTHAT MAY BE.

HE DIDN'T COME UP WITH A BAG OFMONEY.

>> I'M THINKING MAYBE.

>> THEY HAD A CLAUSE IN THECONTRACT SAYING IF YOU

TRY AND BURN THE PLACE DOWN,THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY YOU.

>> I WAS WAITING FOR THE SOCCERMOM.

>> Jon: WAITING FOR THE STABWOUNDS TO HEAL. I'M DELIGHTED

YOU PUT IT DOWN. IT WAS ONE OFMY FAVORITE TIMES IN MY LIFE.

I REALLY HAD SUCH AN AMAZINGTIME THERE. AND I THANK YOU

FOR ALL THE GREAT SHOWS THATWERE THERE. HAVE A SHOWCARNEGIE HALL.

>> CARNEGIE HALL, PAUL SIMONSONG, SOMEONE DIDN'T GET THEMEMO.

>> Jon: GIVE ME A HINT.PERFORMING AT CARNEGIE HALL.

>> MONDAY THE 31ST, BENEFIT

>> Jon: CONCERT BENEFITING MUSICEDUCATION PROGRAMS.

I DON'T IMAGINE THEY LIGHTPEOPLE ON FIRE THERE BUT I

HAVEN'T BEEN THERE IN A WHILE SOI'M HOPING.

>> COULD HAPPEN.

>> Jon: NO SLAM DANCING, NOSTAGE DIVING, NO SPIKES.

IT'S ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

GIBBY HAYNES AND AMY YATESWUELFING.

THANK YOU.

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