Punk Rock Bar
by Timm Carney
A Punk Rock
Bar is a beautiful thing. A thing to be celebrated and cherished. A true
punk rock bar is an unsung hero and deserves to be worshiped. Where else
can the ugly, the dirty, and the talent less be stars? Sure, there are
good-looking, clean, and talented punks, but they are few and far
between. Punk rock has always been a celebration of “the wrong”. The
outcasts coming together became a viable genre eventually celebrated by
The roots of
punk rock are punk rock bars. A punk rock bar should be dark, preferably
black. Loud music is always playing in a punk rock bar. The next
most important thing: cheap beer. The bathrooms of a punk rock bar are
vile. A punk rock bar bartender is either hot or an asshole.
have never played anywhere and sometimes never again are the opening
acts. Sound check? Yeah right. A punk rock bar should have a room the
size of a large closet. for the bands to stow their equipment and put
stickers on the walls.
bars have the most diverse and tolerant crowds. Punks don’t hate; they’re
just pissed off. As long as you are into the music you are totally
welcome in a punk rock bar. If there is a fight in a punk rock bar it is
The pit is something else. The pit is the X, the variable, never the same
twice. “How’s the pit? Who’s the band?” Fast and sweaty describes a punk
rock pit. If it’s not fast and it’s not sweaty it’s, not punk rock. It’s
If a punk
rock bar’s cover is over ten dollars tell the door guy to fuck off and
walk away. A punk rock show cover is cheap that’s all there is to it. Any
punk rock band charging more than ten bucks is not playing in a punk rock
bar unless it’s CB’s. CBGB’s is the proto-type of a punk rock bar; the
father of all punk rock bars an international cultural landmark.
has moved beyond a mere musical style; the ethos of punk rock infuses the
politics and mores of generations. There are punk rock grandfathers
walking around in our society with their punk rock grandchildren.
Lounge is the quintessential punk rock bar. Located on an alley in an old
nut store Providence’s Safari lounge embodies everything a punk rock bar
strives to be.
acoustics and a crappy stage take up one corner, behind the bar is either
a total hottie punk rock chick or a 50ish ex-speed freak with an amazing
lady’s mullet. Either one of these broads can kick your ass. Seated or
enthroned at the end of the bar is the owner; the king of his punk rock
domain. The owner of the Safari Lounge looks like he may actually live
under a bridge. This is his place and if you piss him off you’d better
get the fuck out. Those are the rules.
On the back
wall by the squalid lady’s room and fetid men’s room is a glass case.
Living in the glass case is a 12-foot yellowish-whitish constrictor.
Occasionally the constrictor is fed and a rat is dropped into the tank.
Rapt punk rock boys gather around the tank while their girlfriends wait in
line to pee between bands.
thing about the Safari Lounge is the cover. Zero, no charge. Three
sometimes four shitty bands will play on Friday and Saturday nights. A
lot of hair has been swung on that stage.
buildings around the Safari Lounge, once vacant office and retail spaces,
now house scores of Trendy People. Trendy People don’t like punk rock
bars. They’re too loud, too dirty and attract the wrong people. Trendy
is punk rocks enemy; it the age-old good vs. evil story.
A punk rock
bar is always being threatened with closure. Every cop knows every punk
rock bar. Just being in a punk rock bar makes you a suspect. The
sidewalks in front of a punk rock bars are littered with cigarette butts
and smokers. The real fun often happens in front of a punk rock bar. But
be you Goth, be you Metal, be you gay, whatever, there will always be a
night for you at a punk rock bar.