In the eighties we took on the task of reviving the Cat Club its flat-lined state. A partnership between Art D’Lugoff of the Village Gate and Pat Kenny of the the Bitter End and Kenny’s Castaways – all innovative Bleeker Street Clubs, the Cat Club rated zero in Details, which was the arbiter of club life at the time (“only people there on New Year’s Eve were the bartenders’ girlfriends getting free drinks.”)
Manager Don Hill, Tommy Gunn and others worked long hours to turn the club around. Within two years it became the hottest club in New York (Dire Straights and others played its stage, Michael Douglas, Maria Muldaur, Billy Idol all hung out, along with an unusual mix of wall streeters and punk rockers.
I am sad to say almost everyone involved is dead. Don Hill, Pat Kenny and now Rodney Underwood. Rodney used to hang out at the bar. We got to know him as an amateur blues man. His day job was creative director of a huge ad agency. I asked him to put something together for us, which he did. The result was a classic: