Almost three decades after Bruce Springsteen launched his career towards superstardom after a ten-night stand at New York City’s the Bottom Line, the singer-songwriter has offered his support to the venue, which is facing eviction from the East Village where it has spent the past twenty-nine years.
“The Bottom Line has made itself a central part of New York City culture,” Springsteen wrote in a post at savethebottomline.com. “When I think of the most memorable nights in my own career, few match the week of shows we did there in 1975. As a musician, as a citizen, and as one who loves New York City, I truly hope that a solution can be found that allows the Bottom Line and Allan and Stanley [owners Pepper and Snadowski] to continue their important, valuable work for many years to come.”
After hosting years of live music by the likes of Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Waylon Jennings and hundreds of others, the Bottom Line recently hit financial straits and fell into rent arrears to the tune of $185,000. The lease-holder of the 15 West 4th Street location, New York University, initiated eviction proceedings in September. Later that month, the club owners and the university agreed to a one-month period for a compromise to be worked out. Pepper and Snadowski are looking for a long-term lease, while a spokesperson for the university has claimed that the property’s $11,000 monthly rent falls grossly below market value. The deadline for a compromise was Thursday, but the negotiation has been extended another month.
Sirius Satellite Radio had stepped in and placed the club’s back rent in escrow should a new deal be struck. In the meantime, the New York Post reported that both Springsteen and Mel Karmazin, president of Viacom, have also made offers of financial support.
More information about the Bottom Line, including contact information to express support for the club, can be found at bottomlinecabaret.com.