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doors locked at double deuce



DOORS LOCKED AT DOUBLE DEUCE
Staff, booker quit following Sunday's show
by Tim Arsenault, Halifax Herald, Tuesday, May 31, 1994
-------------------------------------------------------

	The future of the Double Deuce Roadhouse, once 
described as ground zero of Halifax's acclaimed 
alternative music scene, is in doubt after its booker 
and some staff quit following Sunday's show.
	Greg Clark, who recently dropped out of the 
running to take over the vacant Misty Moon space, said
Monday that he and owner Alex Gillis of Halifax had
reached an impasse.
        "We couldn't come to a deal that was suitable
for both of us," Clark said.
        "The offer is still on the table.  In the
meantime, we're pursuing other options."
        Most of the 20 staffers, the majority working
part-time, apparently put loyalty ahead of their jobs
and caused the doors to be locked there Monday.
        "We don't feel great that we're leaving bands
hanging or the clientele hanging.  We're going to stay
out of commission as little as possible," Clark said.
        The Deuce had garnered international attention,
from U.S. fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Details
to U.K. music bible Melody Maker, for its successful
slate of mostly local alternative rock acts.
        The grungy Hollis Street bar's new music policy
was instituted in March 1992.  Low cover charges and
hip music soon attracted a core following of
college-aged patrons for loud guitar bands such as
Sloan, jale, Bubaiskull, and Hardship Post.
        Colin MacKenzie, manager of jale, was
understandably disappointed by Monday's news.
        "It's awful.  It's horrible...I don't know
what's going to happen."
        He said jale, anticipating an international
summer release of its debut album, "certainly wouldn't
be where they are if it wasn't for the Deuce."
        Doug Barron of Deep 9 Recording and Rehearsal
Studios in Halifax held the launch of a new compilation
album at the Deuce on Wednesday.  He said even the
temporary closure of an important music spot such as
the Deuce was devastating.
        "We're already in a desperate situation with
venues in this town.  It's really depressing.  It's
embarrassing for us as a supposed scene," Barron said.
        If Clark and his expertise are out of
commission for a while, some will try to pick up the
slack.  CKDU, the community radio station broadcasting
from Dalhousie University, may promote more concerts in
the Green Room and McInnes Room, according to the
program director.
        "I know CKDU will do what it can to support
local live music over the summer," Chris Trowbridge
said Monday.
        The Deuce's decline affects CKDU twice, he
said.
        "One of our major advertisers is gone.
        "As far as the music scene, in some ways -- to
look on the bright side -- it'll bring it a little back
down to the underground level and people might
appreciate what they had."
        Clark dropped out of the recent Moon venture in
April, saying re-opening it as the Capitol Music Hall
was too complicated and time-consuming.  At the time,
he said he was going to stay with the Deuce and make it
better.
        Rob Cohn, another music maven in Halifax, has
also pulled out of trying to revive the Misty Moon.
        Clark's pedigree booking live music here has
been long-established.  He started the earliest
incarnation of the Flamingo as a coffee house on
Grafton Street and watched it become a venue for
diverse local and international music, first on
Gottingen Street and then in the Maritime Centre.
        He later left the Flamingo and its partners and
booked Waldo's, a short-lived bar below the Misty Moon.
He resurfaced at the Deuce, which hosted a successful
alternative music festival last fall and had been
planning another.
        Sunday night's scheduled acoustic open mic
session at the Deuce turned into something of an
unscheduled party for the club.  A sort of symmetry was
achieved with Paul Boudreau and Barry Walsh of the band
Cool Blue Halo, the Deuce's first act in 1992, being
the last performers.
        Coincidentally, the bar is said to have enjoyed
one of its five top nights at the door Saturday with a
double bill featuring The Lowest of the Low and Big
Sugar.
        Efforts to reach Gillis for comment Monday were
unsuccessful.

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     _                                  _     James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>
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