Where is the Cellar Door in Georgetown, Washington DC

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Great Deceiver, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. Great Deceiver

    Great Deceiver Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I won the Miles Davis Cellar Door box set for a good price off ebay. I'm really excited to hear this set as it is supposedly much better than the cuts that showed up on Live-Evil. Visiting the club would be cool as I go to Georgetown university and the Cellar Door is in Georgetown. But my searches have been to no avail on google. Where is the club in DC? Does it still exist?
     
  2. bellwether

    bellwether New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    It's was called The Bayou the last I knew when lived there in the 90's. It's at the end of Georgetown under the viaduct near the river either K or L street at around 34th IIRC? I've seen some good shows there. I don't know if it's worthy of a visit though as the club itself is nothing special.
     
  3. jdmack

    jdmack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    It's now long gone. Razed to make room for another office building.

    J. D.
     
  4. markaudio

    markaudio Forum Resident

    I have to jump in here and clear this one up.The Bayou was a different club.The Cellar Door was on M Street. The building is still there. It's now a fast food place(sigh). I saw some great shows there,David Grisman Quintet withTony Rice,Les Paul,Tom Rush,Danny Gatton, Robert Hunter (not Miles unfortunately).It was a really small intimate room that they usually stuffed full of people.A great place. Those Miles shows must have been really loud in there. Mark
     
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  5. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Location:
    Horse Shoe, NC
    Thanks for "piping up", Mark, and welcome to the forum! I too, grew up in the DC area <65 - 74>, and remember walking by the Cellar Door in my forays into Georgetown <as a minor!> and hitting the bars that would let us drink underage. And boy, there were lots that did. If I only knew about the bands that were playing in the CD then! Never got to go there, I'm sad to say. The Bayou was down a block on the riverfront, and regrettably, I only managed going there once. Saw Rory Gallagher there and our group managed to get a table next to the stage. One of those things, walked in and the folks who had a choice table got up and left right as we walked in.. anyway, we were treated to a phenonemal show. That must have been 1970 - 1973.
     
  6. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Yep...The Cellar Door and The Bayou were two different clubs.

    I got to see Muddy Waters perform at both places. :D
     
  7. 120dB

    120dB Active Member

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Two different clubs in two different locations in Georgetown. The Cellar Door was more intimate and jazz-oriented until the 70s. The Bayou was traditionally a country/bluegrass venue that later hosted a lot of blues and new wave acts.
    I remember the only time I ever got a good parking place in front of The Bayou.
    We had gone to see Gary U.S. Bonds around the time of his well-known, Bruce Springsteen-produced "comeback" album. I jumped out to grab tickets while the rest of my party circled the block looking for a parking space. Nearing the club,
    I discovered a space right by the front door which I proceeded to stand in and tell all of the people that were trying to park there that "this space is reserved for Mr. Van Zandt" until our car made it back around. Sounds unethical, I know...but it's pretty tough to find a free parking space in Georgetown.
     
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  8. bellwether

    bellwether New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I stand corrected, now where did I hear that they were the same club? Is the Bayou still around?
     
  9. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I only went to the Cellar Door once, to see Peter Hamill accompanied by the violinist from the later incarnation of VDGG. Very nice, intimate place.

    I went to the Bayou many times, to see both international acts and local acts. Many fond memories of that place. When Gang of Four played there during their first US tour, I was standing at the upper bar with some guys. This bar was directly outside the dressing rooms, so you could catch the musicians going to and fro. When GoF walked past us on their way to the stage, one of the guys I was with starting joking with them about not wearing belts with their trousers. Don't ask me; I don't really understand either. Anyway, GoF took it in stride, smiled, and kept on walking.

    Historically, the building was originally a storage barn for imports/exports. Georgetown was originally an Indian trading port; Wisconsin Avenue led from it toward what is now Maryland, and it was a path used for transporting goods. Anyway, when the Europeans took over, they still used it as a port for many years. The Bayou was one of the buildings where goods (tobacco, etc.) were kept before or after shipping. Now there's a movie theatre complex there.

    Doug
     
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  10. acjetnut

    acjetnut Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I was just listening to the Richie Haven's CD, "Live at the Cellar Door". What a coincidence! Great album, by the way, and wonderful sounding.
     
  11. bellwether

    bellwether New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    'I only went to the Cellar Door once, to see Peter Hamill accompanied by the violinist from the later incarnation of VDGG. Very nice, intimate place.'

    Funny, I saw Peter Hammill at the Bayou with Nic Potter of the original VDGG.

    It doesn't surprise me that the Bayou has been turned into a theater, it wasn't doing that well when I left DC in the mid 90's.
     
  12. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    It was on 34th street, IIRC, around the corner from M Street. You can see it in this album cover.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. reechie

    reechie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Baltimore
    I saw some great Smithereens shows at The Bayou, we were all really sad when they closed it up. Now the band plays once a year at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA. instead.
     
  14. rck60s

    rck60s Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga, USA

    The Cellar Door ( owned by Jack Boyle)was THE BEST CLUB IN DC to see national acts for years( they did not book local acts unless they had a record out)..2 shows a night and up close and personal with all the great artists of the time....The Bayou was on the corner of Wisconson and K streets under the Freeway...Originally owned by the Tremonte family it was a jazz club then home to bands like The Cherry People, Puzzle, Gary St. Clair, Cherry Smash, Sinbad and others before opening to national acts....Having played both clubs as well as most clubs similar in the US I can say without a doubt there will never be a club like the Cellar Door again.....
     
  15. sgb

    sgb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    The last time I was in the Cellar Door must have been 1967. At the time, the bar across the side street from it was one of the most popular for us from the VA suburbs, as it was at the end of Key Bridge. It served cheap beer by the pitcher while the Cellar Door charged more but always had live and well-known entertainment.

    In 1967 while working a part-time job at the Key Bridge Marriott, I met Ritchie Havens in the lobby who gave me a free pass to his show at the Cellar Door. I also remember seeing members of the Chad Mitchell Trio there a year or so earlier.

    The other really popular watering hole in that part of Georgetown in the mid-sixties was The Crazy Horse Saloon. It was also on M street, but several blocks closer to Wisconsin Ave. IIRC.
     
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  16. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Sadly, the Bayou's building got razed and the site now has a multiplex movie complex. Great memories there: the Kinks, Randy Newman, Los Lobos, Billy Joel......
     
  17. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I interviewed Los Lobos there in 1985 (IIRC the True Believers opened). After the interview it was hard to find a good seat, so we had to sit in the balcony.
     
  18. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Back in the late 60s Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (then performing as Fat City) were opening for John Denver at the Cellar Door. After the show, Bill and Taffy invited Denver to help them finish writing a song they were working on called "Take Me Home Country Roads". Denver recorded the song and the rest is history. Another Danoff-Nivert song, "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado" was also recorded by Denver and it became the theme song of Colorado.
     
  19. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    I saw Randy Newman there. Great show.
     
  20. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    John Denver at the Cellar Door circa 1970:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Probably THE most famous "discovery" at the Cellar Door was Nils Lofgren.

    I'll let Nils tell it himself...."He (Neil Young) was playing in Washington, D.C.," Lofgren remembers, "at a little club called The Cellar Door." Lofgren managed to sneak back stage, and after Young basically forced Lofgren to play a few of his tunes, "he bought me a cheeseburger and a coke. And we started a friendship that we still have and I'm very grateful for."
     
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I never went to the Cellar Door, but I took in a few shows over the years at the Bayou. One of my favorite stories: after waiting 10 years to see Big Country (I was underage when they played there in 1983), I saw them at the Bayou with some grad school friends. (They were just along for the ride because they knew how much the show meant to me - and tickets were only $6!) We got a table on the balcony, and as we're starting to leave, security rushes the band past us. One of the goons slams into my fairly small female friend and knocks her over. He doesn't care - he plows ahead. Stuart Adamson stopped to make sure she was okay, though. :thumbsup:
     
  23. Great Deceiver

    Great Deceiver Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yeah I just checked and have been told that The Cellar Door was replaced by Philly Pizza: what a shame :shake:
     
  24. houston

    houston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    I was too Young to go to the Cellar Door but I knew of it; Didn't FOREIGNER get their start there around 1976? I'm pretty sure of that, someone correct Me if I'm wrong; By the way, there's a cool little Jazz Club in that area, too, BLUES ALLEY, has had a lot of great show in the past, I remember acts such as WAR and Phyllis Hyman; in fact, the ICEMAN Jerry Butler has a stint there early in 2007, about a week's worth of shows, worth checking out:thumbsup:
     
  25. sgb

    sgb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    All of this talk about The Cellar Door prompted me to think back to that time in the early sixties when friends and I would go to Georgetown at least twice a week.

    I grew up in the Virginia suburbs of DC, left there for 2 years when I got drafted in 1965, returned in '67, then left again in '69 for good. Throughout the years I'd return to the area to visit family and friends, but it had been perhaps as much as a decade before I made it down to Georgetown again. I was amazed at how much it had changed; how glitzy and commercial it had become.

    I feel for you who didn't get a chance to see what it was like back then.
     
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