I have almost no recollections about this late summer/early fall 2002 show. One thing I do remember is that this was my first trip to the new Peabody’s (at 2045 East 21st Street) behind Rascal House Pizza on the Cleveland State University (CSU) campus, not far from the WCSB studios. The venue’s location was within walking distance of my homebase at recording studio The Invisible City in Cleveland’s “real” (i.e., working) warehouse district, so I was pretty thrilled.
This was now the second venue in the neighborhood (the Agora was the other). I walked over. Easy. 9 Shocks Terror bassist Tony Erba had also lived at the Invisible City. I remember we were chatting outside this gig about the neighborhood rock factor being on the rise. Of course, I was selling all my shit and packing my bags for California so it didn’t mean a ton to me.
Also there was some sadness being here—another sign Cleveland was changing and my chapter was coming to an end. This new Peabody’s venue, while possessing a great PA system and a blessedly-conventional layout (as compared to it’s triangular, pillar-studded / sightline-nightmare predecessor in the Flats), smelled like greasy pizza and was basically a boring box. There was no outside area yet either (they may have subsequently constructed one).
The original Peabody’s DownUnder on Old River Road in the Flats had started as Pirate’s Cove in the 1970s—the place where Pere Ubu, Devo, Dead Boys and more had gotten their starts. John Petkovic has more info here.
I saw my first ever Cleveland concert in 1989 at Peabody’s in the Flats: the Pixies‘ Doolittle tour with Happy Mondays opening. It was hilarious how the six- or seven-piece Mondays were crammed on Peabody’s tiny stage in front of the Pixies’ gear. Shaun Ryder got in a fight with the roadie (his dad). The Pixies played songs in their set in alphabetical order. Kim Deal had a fresh buffalo chicken wing stain on her shirt, etc. My WRUW colleague Larry Collins was the booker there. Yeah that was a good place.
Although I also had bad experiences being shoved against or behind pillars at the club. Like, at the most violent show I’ve ever attend—Dwarves / Ed Hall / Flipper at Peabody’s in the mid/late 1990s. That sucked. No one wants to get body-checked into a Peabody’s pillar.
For awhile there was also Peabody’s Cafe near my apartment in Cleveland Heights. They had some seriously shitty bands playing there though. Except for once when we walked over and saw (the ultimately ill-fated) Acid Bath destroy things. That was fucking rad! They had a mezzanine there so you had an eagle’s view of the madness in the pit (which contained lots of thrashing, stanky dreadlocked dudes at that particular show).
How 9 Shocks ended up at the sanitized 2002-version of Peabody’s, I have no idea, but it was a great show!
I am kinda proud of the photos I took. Or, snapped. It’s ironic that lately (I’m writing this in 2022) I’ve become known for posting Cleveland scene pics. But I was never a “photographer.” I never had a pro camera rig—too fragile, I like to get in the pit!
No, I used disposable drugstore cameras and took snapshots.
By this point I was getting pretty good with those toylike imprecise things (good riddance). I put a lot of effort into getting the framing as right as I could and then waiting patiently for a good moment. I was not drinking or using or smoking during this era so it gave me something to do at shows.
I took my snapshot skillz with me to L.A. and Il Corral where I think I got even better before I gave up during the smartphone era.
Anyhow, I love everyone of these folks. Jim Konya was still jamming with 9 Shocks Terror months after he and the band changed my life when I roadied their Southern California tour. Wedge was and is the man, but I love the metal flavor Jim brought to 9 Shocks in 2002. I miss Jim (RIP).
Enjoy the photos. Please hit me up if you have any more details.
Here’s more from my final months living in Cleveland:
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