ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY: October 5th, 1993 - Rollins Reflects on His Time as a Trenton Local

Rollins    at City Gardens. Photo by    Ken Salerno

Rollins at City Gardens. Photo by Ken Salerno

Rollins Band – October 5, 1993

Henry Rollins: October 5th, 1993 was the last time we played there. We were testing new material right before we were ready to record. Toward the end [of Randy’s time at City Gardens], it was always Randy vs. Tut. Tut didn’t want bands in there. All the staffers, without exception, were cool to me, so I never had any problems. I remember Randy was struggling to keep himself in that place, and it was always a money thing. Tut really liked those Thursday [dance] nights. They played records and the place was packed, and the bar rocked. When we were in town, [Rollins Band members] Andrew and Sim would go there, because all their friends would be there. I don’t know if I ever went for those things. I doubt it. I’d probably be furiously writing, and too angry and self-involved, to hang out like that. I probably missed out on a lot of fun.

Rollins    at City Gardens. Photo by    Ken Salerno

Rollins at City Gardens. Photo by Ken Salerno

[The crowds] were never violent to me. In fact, they were always appreciative. Black Flag, the spoken words shows, or the Rollins Band. I never had a bad night where the band bombed, or I bombed alone onstage. The people were always receptive. With Black Flag, we played there so often we were almost locals, and with Rollins Band, people knew we were a Trenton-based band. So, we were an international touring act that made their home in Trenton, and people were quite into that, I think. People would see me around town and be like, “What are you doing here?” and I’d say I was living down by the river. I’d take that little train out to Princeton, and we’d all go the Princeton Record Exchange, we’d eat at the Crystal Diner, and go to shows at City Gardens. Randy was always really good to us. He booked the first Rollins Band tour. He was always extremely straight ahead and helped us a lot. I never heard anything bad about [City Gardens]. I know local bands had a problem with Randy and the politics of being the opening band for the headlining act. That was local political subterfuge. There was always someone griping. City Gardens was the place where everybody played, and I never heard any stories like fuck City Gardens. Everybody played there, and if those walls could talk… Iggy, the Ramones, everybody…