ClevelandWeirdness prose

Why Tremont Owes Me A Parking Spot

Tremont owes me a living, or at least a permanent parking space in front of Edison's. I built this village on rock and roll. Before Sosumi played at Pat's in the Flat's back in 88, 89 & 90, Tremont was just another white ghetto. We made Tremont a destination.

In 1987 part time Rocket scientist and Sosumi drummer John Walsh answered an ad to be drummer in a house band. The ad was placed by Pat, who had just taken over Ann's Lunch on West 3rd St. from her mom, Ann. She wanted to have a house band, and be part of the then booming entertainment buisness that was happening on Old River Road. The band was called Pat's Hot Knight's and was lead by singer/songwriter Brad Thomas. From Spring to summer of 1987 the Hot Knights did a good job of keeping the local drunks at the bar long after happy hour. Their Bruce Springstein styled orginals, coupled with classics like Tommy Twotone's one hit "8675309" kept the guitar player's girlfriend and the dayshift at the glass recycling place coming back for more. Then Pat stopped all bar tabs, and the guys from the recycling center melted away. This left the guitar player's girlfriend, who wasn't much of a drinker. This was a problem for the Bar's bottom line, and when Pat asked what to do, John suggested that Sosumi play there.

Our first two shows weren't very well attended either, but we did have some friends who would stop down, and liked the location. A cheap bar just south of downtown, great for an afforable after work drink. We were happy to play there, as we couldn't get a gig at Peabody's. We weren't alone in that category, a lot of alternative bands couldn't get gigs from the rock clubs that still relied on cover bands for a lot of their draw. After seeing the Vivians play a party, our guitar player Chuck invited them to do a show with us at Pat's. the Vivians had a lot of friends, who showed up at Pat's one Saturday. The big turnout impressed Pat, so we invited other bands down there, like The Floyd Band, The Synders of Berlin, The Holy Cows, the14Th Flr. Pretty soon alternative/punk bands started booking their own shows. The Mice, 2Bobs, Mumbo Jumbo, The Unispired Five.

Pat's was a starting off point for a whole generation of Cle underground. The gritty suuroundings reflected the gritty music. The gas burn off from the chimney of LTV, dubbed the "eternal flame", the big oil tanks across the street, the piles of crushed glass down the road, the burnt out cars, all gave that place a dirty, industrial wasteland vibe. Great place to see a punk show.

If you wanted some mainstream entertainment, a growing number of establishments on Old River Road could accomodate you. If you wanted to bash maniquin heads together Pat's was the place.

In conjuntion with his new basement recording studio, John Walsh started a "Battle of the Worst Bands" competition. This was a first, and actually encouraged people to be "bad". This was a great creative outlet, introducing the world to such musical luminaries as Sleezy Jesus and the Splatterpigs, Mission of Parma,and that French heavy metal band Shefukdher. The competition went on for 4 Saturdays culmulating in the packed final round, with Shefukdher ripping a confetti filled manquein and tossing it into the air. The confetti stayed airborn for 5 minutes. This made Pat's quite the place to be. John Walsh and I booked National acts like Alice Donut, Algrebra Suicide, No Means No, and Scrawl. The booking agent for Peabody's showed up at the Algebra Suicide Show. He was impressed by the turnout.

I put together a compilation LP of bands that played Pat's called "Crash Course in Cleveland Life" that futher embellished the mystique of Pat's. College radio airplay made people drive up and down the Eagle Street ramp looking for the place the Synders of Berlin were playing.

In 1990 Sosumi played a gig at The Babylon AGoGo. Manager Chris Todd gave us a case of beer and paid us $150. We never played Pat's again, and live music disapeared from there within the year. The news about Tremont had spread however, and when Miracles opened a year or two later, at least some of the patrons knew how to get there because they used to see Sosumi down the road at Pat's. I take total credit for the rejuvination of Tremont, and I want my parking spot.

Malcom Ryder

 


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