Tuesday, 12 June 2012 20:45
Message from the current owner of the Basement.
Time to hand over the baton ...
"Some 13 years ago we were offered the rare opportunity of getting involved with Australia’s iconic venue The Basement, which at that stage had been providing local and international acts with a premier stage and environment to perform for almost 3 decades.
Prior to our arrival since the early days of Galapagos Duck, the club had seen the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Dudley Moore, Taj Mahal and (still regulars) Renee Geyer and James Morrison and more recently Prince, Adam Cohen, Neil Diamond, kd lang and Ryan Adams. Amongst other things, we’ve seen in the 10-season series of Live @ The Basement commissioned by ABC TV, created the Macquarie Place Bar, and in a market where recorded music is slowing, kept the live music running.
Now, with almost 40 years as one of the most recognized names in the country for live music come March 2013, and with a desire for a change in our personal priorities, it’s time to hand the baton on to the next generation to take care of the legacy and be part of the future history of this wonderful club. In 1999 when we joined Chris Richards to run The Basement, it was the first time there had been a change in the ownership since 1973, when Bruce Viles founded what was Sydney’s only permanent jazz club.
Tho’ jazz is still an important and vital part of the offering and indeed, it was to see the incredible Maynard Ferguson Band that former President Bill Clinton joined us one February evening in 2002, The Basement now includes a far broader range of live music. In any one week, the program could include Blues, R&B, World, Soul, Folk, and, of course, Jazz. In the past 18 months we’ve spruced the place up, reframed and re-hung the gallery of artist posters and photos, painted the joint and re-established the Green Room Bar and tho’ we’ve added a couple of lounges, there still isn’t a poker machine to be seen in the place as was rumoured to be on the cards in 1999. That said, it’s good to have Elvis – the pinball machine - in the building.
So, now with The Green Room, the main show room, and the much patronised Macquarie Place Bar, The Basement is now three venues in one for a drink, something to eat (or both), a show, a showcase, private functions, award ceremonies, tv recordings and just about anything we get thrown to ‘just make happen’ and all in all a space where just about anything is possible."
Tim Read & Jane Burridge
Image Jason Moran at the Basement by Joanne Kee