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"I have the feeling that everybody is working in his own corner, but with no connection to other fields of music or art. Maybe I'm wrong."
--Peter Brotzmann
Oct.08 Cover - 688 Club PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   

John Wicker: “My wife and I ran Pink Flamingos in Little Five Points. It was more her store. A friend of mine told me 688 was going to go under, so I went and talked to Tony and bought his shares. I just thought it was an opportunity.”

Kevn Kinney: “Cathy Hendrix was really the secret soul of the place and we really trusted her... She was the conscience of 688.”

Cathy Hendrix (688 promotions): “I was hired to basically do publicity and promotion. And to be Steve’s assistant. But I sort of made it into whatever it was. I think I got that job in January of ’83.”

ImageSteve May:
“In ’83 they passed a new law where our insurance went from about $1500 per month to $5000 a month. Liquor costs went up about 20 percent. I kept raising prices at the bar, but I thought there was only so much I could get out of these kids. They only had so much money to spend.”

Tony Paris: “When the drinking age started to be raised to where it was finally 21, that was the beginning of the end for 688.”

Steve May: “In ’85 I had to put in money to pay the withholding taxes for two quarters. Because that’s one thing you have to pay. So I said, ‘Hell, I’m not going to be doing this much longer.’ And Sheila and I decided to have some time apart in ’85. She said, ‘I’ll sell you my 10 percent, and you run it,’”

Renee O’Hearn: “She moved out to LA and stayed with us for a little while, and then she got her own apartment. She had two jobs, and she was trying to take care of herself. I think that she wasn’t really happy in her relationship with Steve, and I think she just wanted to leave and start a new life.”

Steve May: “And then Mike Hendry came in. ’Cause when Tony got a bunch of money from John, I kind of got jealous and said, ‘I want money too!’ I wanted to buy a condominium. So I sold him what the down payment was gonna be. I had 55 percent at that time, and I sold him 30 percent, and I kept 25.”

John Wicker: “He’s a lying fuck, like always! Steve only owned 15% of it. I owned 45%, and Mike Hendry owned 40%.”

David T. Lindsay: “When Mike Hendry took over, now that’s a son of a bitch. He always reminded me of a wrestling promoter. I got an opportunity to tell him to his face, ‘What, are you one of those guys who has more money than brains?’ And he flew into a rage and told me never to come back around him. He was never at the club anyway. I think Mike Hendry was their downfall.”

Steve May: “By July of ’85 I thought the writing was on the wall, but I had promised Mike and John that I would stay on for a while. And it actually ended up going on for another year. But they kept on saying, ‘How can we keep 688 open?’ I said, ‘Well, you’ll have to diversify, and maybe get a record label and do some things outside the club.’ I thought the club was not gonna support itself anymore.”

John Wicker:
“That’s when we started the record label, and we started a video production company, and we were in negotiations with MTV to sell a show to them. Live performances at the club. But MTV got bought out by Viacom, and they bailed on the concept.”

Cathy Hendrix: “A lot of starting the label had to do with Drivin’ n’ Cryin’. They were a band that we thought were going to get signed, and it was gonna happen soon. So being able to get them was a coup. The Fleshtones participated because they played the club often, and really loved Steve and wanted to do it. They were never really signed to 688, they were just on that compilation [688 Presents]. John [Wicker] was in a band called the Vinyliners, who had a couple of songs on the compilation. So it might’ve been a bit of a vanity thing for John to finance that. Dash Rip Rock was a band I knew from living in Louisiana. And finally, Arms Akimbo, who at the time were very popular – they were on the compilation, and then we put out their album and they promptly broke up.”

Steve May: “I was just going through the motions, pretty much, I guess, in July and August of ’86. I planned on leaving around the end of September, and then Sheila died.”


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