On this day in 1994, we played with Sleepyhead at Sudsy Malone’s in Cincinnati, a venue which as the name implied doubled as a laundromat. Across the street, at Bogart’s, a line had already started to form for the next night’s appearance by NKOTB, the farewell tour (I think) of New Kids on the Block. It wasn’t a particularly long line, and when we departed Sudsy’s eight or so hours later, it didn’t appear to have grown any, and if you detect a note of bitterness, maybe I’m just jealous because no one’s ever waited outdoors for over 24 hours to hear Yo La Tengo.
Closer to home, AJP from Brooklyn writes: On this day in 2013, I walked a block from my office to see YLT perform the live score to The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller at the Kitchen in NYC. As a former architect, present design nerd and devout YLT fan, it was about as enticing an evening as I could imagine. I attended that night’s early show, notable for the fact that I sat one seat over from Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. Laurie smiled and said “hello” when she sat down. Lou said nothing, then fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep through the show – which is a shame because it was tremendous. In the post-show Q&A with Bucky’s adorable and elderly daughter, I mustered the nerve to ask a question (“Did you grow up in a dome house?”) in front of my assembled musical heroes. For the record, she did not. I said “hello” to James and Georgia after the show, then walked toward the exit with Georgia, who noted with disappointment that it was raining. I left for the subway, and only then realized that I should have offered her my umbrella.
I’m sorry, Georgia.
It would soon be publicly revealed just how ill Lou Reed was at the time; mere weeks later he would undergo a liver transplant. We never saw him again, and awake or asleep, we were very excited he was there.