“If one listens to your song Sidewalk (which is an incredible song in many ways), this era seems to have been an important one in your life. If so, in what ways? If not – why not?”
Thank you for the compliment.
This answer will have to be quite broad in scope, and very limited.
Perhaps someone(s) will write a book(s) on the scene one day.
Every era in my life has been important, but yes, this one was indeed.
I was older than some of the ones that performed there. I had already been part of a punk rock scene in Norfolk, Virginia, in the 80’s. I was already 34 when I moved to NYC in 1999.
I met Brian Wurshum (then Brian Wayne) and Laurel Hoffman in California in 1998. They were coming to NYC and I basically followed them over.
They found Sidewalk Cafe before I did, and promptly told me about it.
For the next 20+ years I played there numerous times each year, except for the year I lived in Georgia.
I met the woman that I later married (years later, we divorced) at Sidewalk. She was a performer as well.
The Moldy Peaches were, around 2002, given the opportunity by Rough Trade, to put together an anti-folk compilation. They asked me could they put All I Really Want (a song of mine) on there, and I said yes.
The talented and amazing people I met were numerous. There were hundreds. Some I still email with or see today. Most I do not.
Who can say why these scenes appear and disappear. The scene at CBGB’s is another example of a scene that came and went. They aren’t planned out by mortals. For whatever reason they form, and for whatever reason, they unform.
What is interesting to me, in retrospect, is how, in some ways, the only thing we had in common was talent as singer-songwriters and the willingness to be honest about what we thought. Our beliefs, or lack thereof, are all over the place. I wrongly assumed many of us felt the same way about everything, basically, which I see now is untrue.
It was an honor to be a part of something so……..necessary and truthful. I learned from the others, and perhaps they learned from me as well.
(I was sent other questions, which I may answer in other posts.)