The day Yoko Ono sat right next to me in a plastic chair started out as a regular day being a visitor in NYC. Back at our hotel that was located directly in the East Village, with sore legs from walking all day and a growling stomach, I checked my Twitter account while being lazy, chillin´on our uncomfy mattress. And there it was: Sonic Youth twittered a Kim Gordon solo gig for tonight in a venue called the Stone located on Ave B and E 2nd street. Walking distance from our room that was schmoozing us night by night with its 1920ties flower decor wallpapers that came loose in some parts of the ceiling. We killed a beer and hit the boulevard again.
Ave B was in an area New Yorkers call Alphabet City and back in the 80ties this district was a no-go-area packed with junkies, drug dealers and all kinds of criminals. Nowadays it´s quite interesting to walk, there´s tons of cheap food and burlesque dance bars. All in all, there was no big venue called the Stone anywhere around this adress. All we saw was run-down storefront that used to be a butcher shop a decent while ago. The shop windows were covered with black sheets so we knocked the door. Guess how I shocked I was when suddenly Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth opened the door from the inside, telling us that the show will start in about 2 hours and that we definitely found the correct adress. The door closed again and there we were, excited, confused. Being a fan of Thurston Moore for more than 15 years of my life, you can guess this by itself was pretty moving.
The venue was not made for more than 40 people, We entered first and sat down in white plastic chairs in front of a bunch of guitar effects that lay down on the floor. In our back more than a 100 people tried to pack and squeeze into this place, bruisng on the floor and hiding in every corner. One chair next to me remained free and I asked someone to take a seat but Thurston showed up again, telling us that he can´t explain it in detail but that it´s reserved, when suddenly a sharp voice instructed the huddled crowd to make a way for some special guest. Everybody in the room stopped talking, turned around and all the sudden Yoko Ono stepped in, guided by a younger woman arm in arm. Unreal, wearing her black hat and black glasses, she slipped silently through the gap. Nobody said a word until Yoko stopped right next to me, greeted me politely and was seated on the only remaining chair on my very left.
|Kim Gordon performing at the Stone (c) P. Otterbach|
Kim Gordon appeared on stage and all the sudden Yoko stood up, grapped a mic and started to scream and grunt while Kim penetrated her guitar upside down to the concrete floor with her high heels. Some young punk girl aged about 20 years sat on the floor to the right. I saw tears in her eyes and I was fascinated how these 2 crazy but aged woman still could reach the hearts of young people just by grunting and destroying a guitar with tender. This was something HUGE happening here and everybody in that room sensed it that way. 20 minutes later the hubbub was over and Yoko was guided back to her limousine that was waiting outside on the sidewalk with the engine still running. She vanished into the New York night as soon as she appeared and when I looked up again me and my girl were still smoking outside on the sidewalk. Next to us was Thurston Moore again, surrounded by Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Raymond Pettibon. They chatted, smoked and grin over to us.
That´s New York City as we know it.
Kim Gordon, Yoko Ono, Chris Corsano performing at the Stone, NYC