No Slam Dancing: An Oral History of City Gardens book will be available on March 10th! It is a retrospective of the underground music scene at City Gardens in Trenton, New Jersey through the 80’s and 90’s.
It’s taken over 15 years’ worth of blood, sweat, and tears but finally the story of ‘80s/’90s underground music as seen from the stage as well as the audience of Trenton, New Jersey’s City Gardens is being published. On March 10, 2014, the rest of the world will know the tale as No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens. I’d sent you a PDF of the book and was wondering what coverage you might be planning?
Authors Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico have created a painstakingly detailed oral history of the music played and the lives touched by New Jersey’s most infamous live music venue. No Slam Dancing is not just the story of a club and its promoter; it is the story of underground music itself, told in the voices of musicians that played there, the overworked and underappreciated staffers, successive waves of music freaks representing a wide range of tastes and social statuses who supported it, and Randy Now, the man who built the scene from nothing.
Besides so much powerful and exciting music, what many people remember about the club is that City Gardens changed their lives; it made patrons’ lives better and may have even saved a few. Attending those concerts and dance nights made outsiders and odd socks feel like they were part of a community—accepted and free to express themselves.
Amy and Steven conducted well over 100 interviews for the book including the likes of Henry Rollins (a onetime Trenton resident and Black Flag/Rollins Band frontman), Daily Show host (and former City Gardens bartender) Jon Stewart, Dean Ween, Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat and Fugazi fame), Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order),Oderus Urungus (GWAR), Al Jourgenson (Ministry), Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Harley Flanagan (Cro-Mags), Tesco Vee (of The Meatmen and Tesco Vee’s Hate Police), Dead Kennedy’s outspoken frontman Jello Biafra, City Gardens promoter Randy Now, plus bouncers, moshers, punks, skins, and other miscreants…to name but a few! Rollins and Tesco also provide back-cover blurbs re-stating the importance City Gardens held in the underground music scene of the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
No Slam Dancing is the product of the true, grass-roots, D.I.Y.-ethic. Self-published, promoted and distributed by the authors, the book’s printing was financed through a successful Kickstarter campaign that surpassed their intended goal. The people who backed this project are the ones whose lives were deeply impacted by what City Gardens meant to them, and now the rest of the music-loving world will get a small glimpse as to why.