R.I.P.: Stanley Snadowsky, Co-Founder of The Bottom Line

Here is a link to the New York Times obit on Stanley Snadowsky, co-founder of the legendary Greenwich Village night club:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/nyregion/stanley-snadowsky-founder-of-greenwich-village-nightclub-dies-at-70.html?_r=0

thebottomline logoThe Bottom Line was open from 1972 through 2004. During the late 70’s heyday of the record business, it was the industry’s premier showcase venue, launching many new artists into the spotlight. Seating about 300, the Bottom Line offered brilliant sound, great food, and an excellent view from just about every seat. It was a place for the industry and the famous (who would be spotted there almost every night), as well as for the serious music fan.

Shows would often sell out fast, but tickets for upcoming shows were usually sold at the club’s box office before they were announced to the public. Whenever you were there, it was a must that you checked out the schedule posted on the ticket window to see what new shows were handwritten at the bottom. This is how Music City Mike got to see one of the famous Bruce Springsteen shows in 1975. If you missed getting tickets and a show was sold-out, there was always a standing room line for every show which meant you could always get in if you got there early enough. This is how I saw Elvis Costello’s New York City debut in 1977. Here’s a photo of me in my study with original posters from each of these shows.

The Bottom Line 2

Over the years, I got to see a total of 94 shows at this intimate venue. In addition to Bruce and Elvis, I had the pleasure of seeing Patti Smith, Squeeze, The Police, David Johansen, Joe Jackson, Rockpile (with guest Keith Richards), Lou Reed, Hall & Oates, Carly Simon and Warren Zevon, as well as the only USA performance of the 1979 Be Stiff tour.  It was for many years home for David Johansen’s alter-ego, Buster Poindexter, along with his Banshees of Blue–a show he claimed could only play in New York. Here are original posters from a 1978 David Johansen show and the 1979 Be Stiif tour.

The Bottom Line 3

With Stanley gone, the speculation that The Bottom Line would return will probably finally be put to rest. It was a place full of many great memories for me and certainly a landmark in music history. I plan on taking you back there with some “retro” stories in the future.

The Bottom Line

I am always looking for original posters from Bottom Line shows that I attended. This is one I recently acquired from a Rachel Sweet show in 1979.

The Bottom Line 4

And this one for a Hall and Oates show.

Hall and Oates - Bottom Line Poster

Here’s some Bottom Line memorabilia from my archives.

Bottom Line Table Card

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11 comments

  1. Hi Mike… I came across you’re blog researching a Costello Bottom Line Poster I have like yours. Some people say they are knock offs. You say your’s is original. Can you add any info for me? Do you know if these were copied? Is there a way to tell an original from a knock off? thanks. Chris

    1. Chris–in my years of serious Costello collecting, I don’t recall his Bottom Line poster being copied. The Springsteen Bottom Line poster was well-copied, and was easy to tell by its faded color look. I wish I could help you more.

      On the other hand, they all could have been fact, in that an original poster could never have been issued in the first place. But I somehow doubt that.

      1. HI. Mike: Here is the best answer I got from a fella selling them on Ebay regarding authenticity.From the below, I guess we can believe what we want to believe…….

        ——————————————————————————————————-
        That’s a good question. I probably shouldn’t be telling this to a potential buyer, but I had over 50 of the Bottom Line posters years ago and I still have around 15 left. The same was true of every concert poster I got from CBS. Anyone familiar with printing will tell you that they rarely go to the trouble of printing any poster without doing a run of at least 1000 or more. It just isn’t practical to print very small quantities. The Bottom Line was indeed a very small club, but it was one of the most prestigious venues in New York to debut a new act, and Bottom Line posters were literally plastered all over the city

  2. I think that does make sense because the purpose of the poster was to promote the artist more so than the event. And you would see them all over the city.

    The way I felt that mine was real was that it had a small amount of wear which to me indicated it was used somewhere to promote the show.

    1. That BE STIFF Tour Poster is Super Cool!!

  3. Yeah and those shows were fun. I see that poster show up on E-Bay every so often.

    1. Yea, that tells me the guy who is asking $450.00 for the Same EC poster “without” the bottom Line tag. is just trying to drive up his market. They must have made the Generic Posters for Record Stores, and the Bottom Line poster for the NYC show. Prob. many of the generic posters were trashed because they were taped and tacked all over stores.

      Who knows. Below is the ad for the “non bottom Line” poster that says beware of knock offs that say Bottom Line. But like the other guy stated, they probably made at least 1000 of the Bottom line posters, and perhaps used Half or 3/4ths across the city. The rest is on the market. Why you don’t see more of the NON Bottom line?? Who knows. Again, record stores must have gotten tons of different artist posters, and if they were not into “PUNK” it never got saved or put out and when right in the trash.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/ELVIS-COSTELLO-MY-AIM-IS-TRUE-FIRST-U-S-POSTER-ORIGINAL-AUTHENTIC-NOT-A-COPY-/221258259834?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3384051d7a

  4. Trendy · · Reply

    Why Would The Version With the Dates be an automatic sign they are reprint if every other Bottom line Poster i have come across has the exact same setup Artist album or show name and date of actual event . I wonder why he would go out of his way to proclaim all with the dates are fake.

    1. I tend to agree.

  5. Pete Bellini · · Reply

    I loved that place and while not seeing 94 shows (outstanding) I did see some absolute classics: Graham Parker & The Rumour (after midnight) the same weekend in ’78 they opened for Thin Lizzy and obliterated the notion of ever opening up for any band, Hall & Oates in their 1st NYC appearance for their Abandoned Luncheonette set backed by Chris Bond & The Abandoned Band, and a great Flo n Eddie show partying with Frank Zappa in the audience! He did a 20 minute version of “What kind of Girls Do You Think We are ?” and so many more.

    Life altering my man, life altering. I never missed a show there that I REALLY wanted to see thanks to Alan, Stanley and (Of course) Carlos the doorman.

    1. Thanks Pete–you saw some great shows. I often think about and miss that place!

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