Preserving The Memory of Larry Bloch
I was living in New York City back in February 1989 when I first saw a Village Voice strip ad for a new club. A few weeks after the venue opened, a couple of us hopped onto the 1 train and made our way downtown to Wetlands Preserve.
It was a night I’ll never forget. The music was from New Potato Caboose (who also had performed at the club’s official opening a few weeks earlier). I enjoyed their set and in particular the song “Promising Traveler,” the title track from the album that Ryko Disc would release a few months later.
Still, it wasn’t the band that most impressed me but the venue itself. Wetlands was unlike any music club I had yet seen, let alone a venue in New York City. There was an playfulness and an intimacy to the space. My lasting memory might well be just kicking back on the comfy pillows downstairs flashing back to my parents’ basement where I’d had my share of parties over the years.
Over the years to follow, I spent many, many hours at Wetlands and experienced profound moments watching the music and enjoying good ol’ fashioned chit-chat with friends old and new. In 1998, I held a Jam Bands book release party at Wetlands (with The Disco Biscuits and The Slip). The next year I brought the Jambands.com tour to the club for two nights. In 2001 we had a Relix editorial meeting in the “Inner Sanctum.”
The man who put all this in motion was Larry Bloch. This past Sunday, he passed away after an eight month battle with pancreatic cancer.
As I stated in our obituary for Larry, “I don’t think it’s hyperbole to suggest that there would not have been a Jambands.com, a Jammys or even a present-day Relix without the effort and inspiration of Larry Bloch. He created a gathering space for both sacred and profane communion with an enduring legacy.”
I’ll talk more about that legacy next month.
For now, rather than a moment of silence, I’ll toss on an “Eyes” and a “Ripple” in his memory. Why don’t you do the same…
Later days and peace,