Sunday, January 18, 2015

The New Pep

The Peppermint Lounge on W 45th street was a gay bar in the 60’s that got popular with the celebrities when the Peppermint Twist song came out. According to Wikipedia, “Jackie Kennedy was such n enthusiast that she arranged for a temporary ‘Peppermint lounge’ to be mounted at the white House.” Even my grandmother had gone dancing there. The club changed names and then reopened at the same location in the 80’s and I saw Johnny Thunder’s there a few times as a young teen. It was a seedy spot, perfect for bands. Then the club moved to 100 5th avenue. And so many great bands played there! I remember seeing Iggy there in late 82 or 83 and not that many people were there. Iggy wore a hat with a light on it like a miner might wear and the stage was dark. He was so intense. The Cramps played there and it was not that crowded. They were brilliant. The place was not a rock club like CB's or even the old Pep. It had an adult drug club vibe, very decorated with lots of video screens and glass. But we went all the time because you could just stand around and see legends play. And I do mean stand around, because if you tried to sit anywhere someone asked you to buy a drink or get up. It was always  uncomfortable there because you had to get there early to get in free or cheap and then you had to wait all night standing up to see the band. Ah the problems of a teenager with no cash.

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