Venue notes: The Beat, Port Chester NY

Premier punk/alternative venue in Westchester County from 1982 until its closing in 1998. Pat Sabatino, who spent much time there as employee, DJ and patron, elaborates in a July 2005 note:

"The Beat was a small club in the New York suburban city of Port Chester. Port Chester was a blue collar/immigrant city with a heavy Hispanic population. It was and still is a below average income area struggling with numerous failed attempts at gentrification.

"The Beat was one of the first punk/alternative clubs outside of New York to have great shows, starting around 1982. It was a run down hole in the wall that had a capacity of 78, but often filled to 120. Many great bands of the era played there, including numerous appearances by the Smashing Pumpkins, Helmet, The Reverend Horton Heat, anything on Sub Pop, and too many others to be listed. For the most part, if it was not on commercial radio and it did not have a synthesizer, it was welcome at The Beat. And the bands almost always slanted toward the loud, angry and fast crowd, although usually not hardcore.

"The surrounding towns were extremely wealthy, so The Beat always had a heavy influx of young, foreign nannies that we looking to enjoy their night out. We always made sure they had a good time.

"The club was mainly bands during the week - ones that had gigs in the city and were looking to pick up an extra show while they were in the area. It was not uncommon that a band that was playing a big venue on Friday or Saturday would play The Beat on Wednesday or Thursday in front of 100 people, and usually with at least one local band opening up. The weekends were mainly DJ based until the early to mid 90's when bands took over the weekends also and DJs played between the bands. The house DJ at The Beat from 1985 until about the time of Grant Hart show [02 Jun 1992], maybe a year further, was Moby, whom I had the great fortune to spin with on and off for about a year.

"The club was really slacker-counter culture. It was fueled by the students, grads and drop-outs (myself included in the latter) from S.U.N.Y Purchase -- the State University of New York's performing and visual arts school just up the road. Eventually the owners opened up a bigger club down the street (7 Willow Street) and the split of resources, time and money led to their ending their business relationship. The two guys each took one club and managed to run them both out of business by the end of the 1990s.

"Today it is a Spanish music bar, with dollar a dance women looking to eke out what ever living they can get from a set of heavy drinking immigrant workers."

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