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B-sides: 9:30 club owner Seth Hurwitz just wants to bang on the drums all day

seth hurwitz9:30 club owner and sometimes-stage-crashing drummer Seth Hurwitz. (Mark Gail/TWP)

The 9:30 club turns 30 next month. To mark the occasion, J. Freedom du Lac talked to a bunch of people about the place. So many stories, not enough space. Here's one mini-section that didn't even make the semi-final cut, on 9:30 club owner Seth Hurwitz and his penchant for sitting in on drums with bands booked at the club.

Join du Lac and Hurwitz for a live discussion about the story and the club Monday at noon.

Hurwitz: It started with my bachelor party. Dody [DiSanto, the club's founder] threw it for me at the 9:30 in '84. The Fleshtones were playing and I knew the guys. Somebody had decided I was going to get drunk and play with the Fleshtones. I played drums my whole life, with friends in basements, in bands that were together to play a high school dance or something. But I didn't want to do it. It became this thing where they carry you out onstage and you have to play.

Peter Zaremba, Fleshtones singer: You could really stretch out as a band at the 9:30 club and go crazy and push the performance aspect of it. Our performances there would get so loose that we'd end up playing, like, garage-disco jams. There was a lot of room for Seth to play drums with us in a place like that, because we were so loose. Most promoters, you wouldn't do that if they asked. You would discourage it. But Seth was different. Our impression of him was good. And he wasn't a bad drummer.

(Dave Grohl weighs in, after the jump.)

"Big Tony" Fisher, Trouble Funk founder: Seth had called me and said, "I want to get up there and do one jam with y'all." I thought he was playing. But he could actually play a little bit. He came out of the gate solid. But he ran out of gas on us.

Hurwitz: I've seen a lot of bands, but Trouble Funk was one of the best live bands ever. Big Tony called me up there one night -- it might have been New Year's Eve. I get up there and and they kick into "Play That Funky Music" white boy. That's what I sat in with them on. But Trouble Funk will play forever, so at one point, Tony said: "Somebody get him off of here, he's tired."

Fisher: It was all in good fun. The crowd really liked it.

Rich Heinecke, 9:30 club co-owner: Seth lives for that. I'm the other side of the coin. I'm reticent to even go out on the little balcony above the stage. I went out there once and Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray climbed up the speakers and grabbed me and introduced me to the club, holding me and not letting me loose. My friends got a big chuckle out of that. I'm not really good like that; I stay behind the scenes.

Hurwitz: When I get up there, I actually get this horrible stage fright. I get so sick, people are like: "Why do you to this to yourself? You look like you're going to die." But once you cross that line and get up, it's like skydiving. You just have to jump. Were you there when I played with the Foo Fighters?

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters frontdude:
Honestly, I'm one of thousands of musicians that Seth has hosted and been friends with over the last 30 years. Any band I've ever been in, he's been really good to and taken care of. Sometimes, you have to repay that favor by letting him play drums with your [expletive] band. That's all it is. And I'm sure he doesn't want to get up and play drums with Widespread Panic or some [expletive] like that.

Hurwitz: I really want to sit in with R.E.M., but it's become this running joke where they've never let me play.

By David Malitz  |  April 19, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  B-sides  | Tags: Foo Fighters, Seth Hurwitz  
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