999 - The Thanksgiving That Started it All or How Ian Copeland Made City Gardens (Oh, and Courtney Cox!)

999 - The Thanksgiving That Started it All or How Ian Copeland Made City Gardens (Oh, and Courtney Cox!)

The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico

999 – November 27, 1980 (Thanksgiving Day)

Randy Now: I owe nearly everything that City Gardens became to Ian Copeland and Ruth Polsky. The first national act I booked was 999, and the only reason I got them was they were booked to play the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at Hitsville, a club in Passaic, NJ that unexpectedly closed down. I heard this through the grapevine, so I found out their agent was Ian from FBI. Ian was Miles Copeland’s brother, and Miles managed The Police and IRS Records. Their other brother was Stewart Copeland, the drummer for The Police. Since 999 was our first big non-local band, we set up a makeshift, temporary stage in the front room just for them, so they could have more room.

Sim Cain (Rollins Band/Regressive Aid/ GONE): 999 toured like crazy and used to play there all the time. But I remember the first time they played, the bass player was doing this manic sideways pogo and kept falling off the stage. It wasn’t deep enough, and he kept eating shit. Eventually one of their road crew planted himself just off the stage on the floor to keep the guy from flying off the edge.

Randy Now: The show went well, the band was happy, and Ian Copeland was happy. The next day he started offering all kinds of acts. Ian was a great guy. At his office at 1776 Broadway, the elevator doors would open up to an entire floor filled with pinball machines and posters of The Police, and a lonely receptionist sitting at a small desk. That lonely girl turned out to be [actress] Courtney Cox. But Ian would visit City Gardens frequently. He loved the club, the layout, the sound system, and the promoter…


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