Tramps on West 21st street stopped being Tramps in 2001, at which point it became a hip hop-centric lounge by the name of Centro-Fly and then a gimmicky club called Duvet, which was filled with beds (geddit?). I never darkened the door of the place during those last two dubious incarnations, but as Tramps, it was a regular stop of mine.
Off the top of my head, I saw Matthew Sweet, Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Nashville Pussy (I took that picture up top of them), the Hellacopters, Prong, The Wedding Present, James, Elastica, Pigface, the Kitchens of Distinction, Barkmarket, jazz dude Ronald Shannon Jackson, my beloved Cop Shoot Cop and about a dozen other bands I can’t recall at the moment in that awesome little space. It’s fair to say that I never had a bad time there. When it closed its doors, I was thoroughly bummed.
It was also a cool strip. Up the block, towards 5th Avenue, there was the Sound Factory and Danceteria. There was also a bar whose name escapes me in the spot that is now the Shaffer City Oyster Bar that was cool. It’s gone too, of course.
In any case, when am I moaning about all this now? Well, earlier this week, I happened to walk down West 21st Street for the first time in quite a while. Like I said, Tramp’s has been gone since about 2001, but I was somewhat blown away to see that the site it formerly occupied is no longer a club or venue of any kind anymore. That same spot where I spent so many nights experiencing more great live music than I could shake a stick at … is now a stationary boutique called Envelopers. That's it in the picture below.
I found that to be depressing.