Lovely piece. I didn’t experience the ’60s, though I remember seeing Beacon Street Union play with the Grass Roots at the Music Hall (I was 11 or 12). I consider myself very lucky to have been introduced to the club scene in the mid ’70s, and I pretty much lived at the Rat, Cantones, the Channel, the Club, etc. There were nights I knew there was no better place to be than where I was at that moment. The ’80s were fun, with lots of music to please everyone and anyone. I still read the Phoenix to keep abreast of who’s playing where. I’m proud to say I was there in Boston’s clubs when it really mattered — they’re really rockin’ in Boston! Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.
Great article, thanks! It brings back so many memories, like Mondo’s after an all-night game of Risk in the BU dorms, discovering “real” Italian food at Simeone’s, and the many, many great meals (and massive murals, only a trace of which remain today in its Dalí incarnation) at Peasant Stock. Just one quibble: I grew up in Inman Square in the ’50s, a block from the original Legal, which at that time was just a fish market with a take-out fish-and-chips counter. My recollection is that when they first opened up a dining room (which had not only paper plates and blackboard specials, but the then-revolutionary concept of a wait-staff team), it was next door to the fish market, not upstairs.
And let me say as well that your reviews back then were a bible for me and many other nascent foodies! I still remember your pronouncement on the now-defunct El Phoenix Room: “Yes, some of the food comes from cans, but they’re the RIGHT cans.”
In general, Adam Reilly’s article “Blame Game” on the reaction of conservative pundits to the outcome of the 2006 elections was well-researched and interesting. But it’s curious that Reilly would dis conservative journalists who observed that two-term incumbent presidents usually lose party seats in their second midterm elections by noting — twice, in fact — that Bill Clinton didn’t get shellacked in the second midterm (six years in) of his presidency. That’s true, as far as it goes. But Reilly seems to have forgotten that Clinton got shellacked in the FIRST midterm of his presidency — just two years in — when Newt Gingrich and company seized control of both houses for the first time in 40 years. In Clinton’s second midterm, Republicans lost five House seats but maintained solid control. The balance in the Senate remained unchanged.
Regarding your piece on Sinéad O’Connor’s March 31, 1988, concert at Paradise Rock Club, I’m glad somebody remembers this woman’s talent. I saw what I believed to be an earlier show at Axis on that tour and she blew me away. I was 10 feet from her and she was a gangly deer in the headlights, 18 or so. She spit on the stage like she was outside but, man, did she have pipes. I loved the show I saw and still think about it from time to time. It’s a shame her politics and feminism torched her career because she was brilliant and absolutely radiant on stage. I have seen her several times since, but that first time was the best. I love this town for those types of moments.
John J. Farrell