9 February 2008
The view from Lansdowne Street
I wasn't much of a scenester during my brief sojourn near Boston Uncle Sam, who owned my services at the time, saw to that and I remember this part of town mostly because it was on the edge of Fenway Park, making for a different dynamic entirely; but somehow this rings a bell:
I walked down Lansdowne Street the other day, and saw the chain link fence that surrounded what used to be Axis and Avalon. The crews haven't begun tearing the place apart, but you can tell it will only be a few days now....
My memories took me back to the late nineties, when my sister and I would dress up in our nicest cocktail dresses in our dorm room and board the T to head to Kenmore.
As I stood there in the rain I remembered my first concert at Avalon, Catherine Wheel, and I remembered seeing Our Lady Peace there. Though my memories are hazy, I think I also saw Placebo, Stabbing Westward, and Econoline Crush there at some point as well. One night, when they were sold out, I sat outside the door listening to Type O Negative. So many memories, being torn down to make way for another cookie cutter venue.
By which she means a House of Blues, which is nice enough, I suppose, but which is too common to be really special.
Sappy as it sounds, I started to cry as I realized that in truth, whether the buildings remained or not, those carefree days with childlike reckless abandon and irresponsibility are over. The buildings and clubs were just symbols of that time. They will be replaced with architecture that will become symbols for other people, and represent their youth. With any luck, they won't be torn down in their lifetime, or at least not until they move away. But for me, every time I walk through Central Square or Kenmore, or Lansdowne, I see a gaping hole where my past used to be.
Perhaps there's something in us older folks that kicks in to protect our memories. I remember lots of walking down Newbury Street. Last time I was in Boston, it occurs to me, I didn't get near the Back Bay.
Disclosure: I bought my first Catherine Wheel recording in 2007. I am nothing if not anachronistic.Posted at 10:25 AM to The Way We Were