Saturday, October 13, 2007

C'ville driveby--Nobody Home

Thanks to my brother's driving through Charlottesville, I got to play ghost for an afternoon and haunt some old locales with a digital camera.

Below is my driveby pic of what was once the TKE fraternity house.

In its basement, I saw & heard many more bands than I can reliably recall. Local bands like The Next of Kin, Continental Drift, Rude Buddha and (I think) Bad Brains from D.C.

And sometime later, a band I was in, Nobody Home, played its first show in that basement. Indeed about a year later, I think my friend Dale and I played what might've been NH's last C'ville gig (of sorts) in the living room of TKE.

For a while there, Nobody Home used an office space to practice in. Below, the low building to the right was formerly a convenience store near that space. Necessary snacks were procured there before practice.

Here's the building in the photo below. Go thru the right hand door & up the stairs to the second floor. There our space would be, behind the two windows in the upper left hand corner.

Yep, those two windows . . .

And around the corner, I think the space was four of these side windows in length.

It was an office space with wall-to-wall utility carpet, faux wood paneled walls and drop ceiling. But we were there in the evening after the other offices (and our day jobs) were done. Our only nighttime neighbor was a Karate studio down the hall.

The C&O Restaurant may be the only other place standing where Nobody Home (or any number of far better known bands) played in C'ville in mid-1980s.

I guess while the restaurant is still doing well, the sideline of booking live music is long over with.

Just as it was at TKE, before Nobody Home ever played the C&O, I saw more bands there than I can remember. This would include: The Next of Kin's famous rendition of "Hawaii Five-0"; former UVA music faculty George Starks on saxophone; an all-woman metal band called Black Sabbath's Wives (decades before The Osbournes), Martin Atkins, Alex Chilton and others that may yet jog my memory.

I was glad to see the C&O still standing. I had moved away 21 years ago & probably hadn't been near this town in well over 15.

Unlike Trax or the Mineshaft, other bars where other bands (and sometimes NH) had played, the C&O was here to make that past not quite so remote.

And I remember what a friend Jim (who worked at the C&O once upon a time) once said way back then about everyone wanting to be in a band. It was as if he were positing that, in some corner of a collective imagination, so many were converging on the same piece of real estate: a bohemian Levittown full of bands and bars to play in, tour vans loading for the next show down the road.

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