Live at the Commodore

Live at the Commodore

The Story of Vancouver's Historic Commodore Ballroom

Book - 2014
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WINNER, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes); Community History Award (BC Historical Federation)

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Commodore Ballroom is one of the best-loved music venues in Canada, if not the world; it's played host to a who's-who of music greats: The Police, The Clash, Blondie, Talking Heads, Nirvana, New York Dolls, U2, and, in more recent years, Lady Gaga, Tom Waits, and the White Stripes. But the Commodore's history extends back to 1930, when it was built in the splendor of art-deco style. It then became a magnet for Vancouver's decadent society set, who stashed their contraband liquor bottles beneath their tables. Through World War II and into the 1950s, the Commodore was where Vancouverites enjoyed a night out to hear swing orchestras and dance into the night.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Commodore became a full-on music club, a must-stop for breakout bands and other music acts before they became arena headliners. Vancouverites soon filled the place on a nightly basis, not only to hear the latest in punk, new wave, blues, heavy metal, and rock, but also to dance on its legendary bouncy sprung floor. It is now regarded as a music landmark, "the nightclub for all seasons" that continues to attract the hottest acts on tour, defying and outlasting other cultural venues that have gone the way of gentrification.

In Live at the Commodore , Aaron Chapman (author of Liquor, Lust, and the Law , a bestselling history of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub) delves into the Commodore's archives to reveal stories about the constellation of characters surrounding the club over the last 80-plus years, as well as startling, funny, and outrageous anecdotes about the legendary acts that have graced its stage. Filled with never-before-published photographs, posters, and paraphernalia, Live at the Commodore is a visceral, energetic portrait of one of the world's great rock venues.

Publisher: Vancouver, BC :, Arsenal Pulp Press,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781551525662
Branch Call Number: 781.660971133 CHA NVD
Characteristics: 206 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 23 x 26 cm


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Jan 02, 2016

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