Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky opened their 400-seat room, The Bottom Line, on February 12, 1974 with two shows headlined by Dr. John. Neither a dance club nor a hipster lounge, “The Bottom Line put musicians in front of audiences who came for no other reason than to pay attention to the music.” (Jon Pareles, The New York Times, 1.26.2004)
The Cars, the Police, Dire Straits, DEVO, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers all played The Bottom Line in their early careers. In August 1975, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band played ten shows over five nights to launch Springsteen’s career-making album Born To Run. The Bottom Line presented major artists in every non-classical genre including country (Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton), jazz (Bill Evans, Charles Mingus), folk (Joan Baez, David Bromberg), and blues (Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan).
After Stanley Snadowsky moved to Las Vegas in 1992, Allan Pepper continued to operate The Bottom Line. Later he engaged in protracted but ultimately unsuccessful lease negotiations with the club’s landlord, New York University. The last show was a various-artists tribute to Woody Guthrie held January 10, 2004; The Bottom Line closed January 22, less than one month shy of its thirtieth anniversary. The building now houses NYU classrooms.
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