Venue notes: West Side Club, Philadelphia

The "West Side Club" was the basement of a row house at 424 N. 32nd Street in Philadelphia. A guy named Jeff lived in the house and staged punk shows downstairs. Hüsker Dü played here twice, 16 Apr 1983 and 26 Jun 1984. Brett Tobias writes more than 20 years later, in Sep 2005:

"I saw both these shows and they were great! Although I can remember after the second one Bob Mould wasn't too happy about having had to play again in this tiny basement of a Philly row house. The place was packed tight with probably less than 100 people, it was hot, hard to breathe and so they played a very short set. It was more like a party, really."

He also points out in his correspondence that the first show (which I'd misplaced at BYO Hall from a careless reading of the flyer), was actually a benefit for the not yet existing BYO Hall.

Lenny Bandoch, who lived in the building at the time (and who identifies the guy two feet from Bob's guitar in these photos as his buddy Christian), joins the discussion in Sep 2006 to provide additional information: "We opened up our house to bands like Huskers, Die Kreuzen, Scream and many more as an alternative to the East Side Club, which was an over 21 bar that you had to buy membership to get in. Tons of bands were bypassing Philly because they wanted to play All Ages Shows and there was no place to play. Jeff and myself got to be friends with Huskers and a bunch of the touch n go bands so we opened up our house to hundreds of kids who otherwise wouldn't get to see these great bands, and also to the bands who wouldn't get to know Philly. It was great overall, except for the occasional visit from Philly's finest. Eventually we started renting halls and putting on shows that wouldn't destroy our house. The only bad experience we had was when Bob blew up at the 2nd show saying he couldn't play at our place because Huskers had outgrown the basement. He didn't mind crashing at the house all the times before that but that's another story! So that's the story of the famous West Side Club!"

[Do you have more information about this venue? Please email me.]

Return to Hüsker Dü dates page