Remembering La Bastille

  • Mark Towns
    over 5 years ago
    I remember seeing great shows there by:

    McCoy Tyner
    Bill Evans
    Eddie Harris
    George Benson
    Freddie Hubbard
    Billy Cobham

    The Benson show was especially cool. He had just released "Breezin" and it had yet to take off. He played the album in its entirety and more. The packed house was groovin and rockin that night.

    Bill Evans (with Eddie Gomez and don't remember the drummer) was great, too. It was like--wow Bill Evans--HERE. Amazing.

    McCoy usually played to small crowds. I remember him playing the dulcimer one night.

  • Andrew Lienhard
    over 5 years ago
    My wife's uncle Ernie was the owner. Unfortunately La Bastille was around before I lived in Houston (and was old enough to go into clubs for that matter), so I never saw the place. To have seen Bill Evans in person, in Houston, must have been something!

  • David Cutaia
    over 5 years ago

    that was Marty Morrel playing drums with Bill Evans. Marty and Eddie hung with me for a couple of days. I showed them around Houston and took them for Mexican food at El Patio in River Oaks shopping center. They were blown away by Luby's cafeteria- they had never seen anything like it. Bill hung with Jack Edie who was an old friend from New York just after WWII. I first met Bill in 1972 at the Village Gate. He told me some great stories about he and Jack.

    Ken Ward and I were there every second. Sadly one night only about 6 people were there. It was hard for us to believe but Eddie and Marty were really bummed out playing with Bill. They were trying to score some acid. They liked to play on acid. They said it broke the boredom.

    Besides the ones you mentioned I also saw-

    Yousef Lateef

    Freddy Hubbard- went beserk one night

    Thad Jones/Mel Lewis-debued A Child is Born there

    Buddy Rich- gave Carl Lott's son his drum set off the stage

    Herbie Hancock- Headhunters

    Chick Corea/RTF- 5 sold out nights

    Billie Cobham

    Jack DeJohnette

    Art Blakey

    Rufus Reed

    Randy Brecker

    Dizzy Gillespie

    Barney Kessel

    Joe Pass

    Wayne Cochran- marched the whole club out into the street in a conga line after the gig

    Cannonball Adderly

    Walter Booker

    Carlos Santana

    The list is too long for me to remember everyone.

  • David Cutaia
    over 5 years ago
    oh yeah- I only have one word for Art Blakey- Asshole!

  • Andrew Lienhard
    over 5 years ago
    "It was hard for us to believe but Eddie and Marty were really bummed out playing with Bill. They were trying to score some acid. They liked to play on acid. They said it broke the boredom."

    wow... that's one for the history books.

  • Joe LoCascio
    over 5 years ago
    Wow, David, I'm kind of blown away by what Marty and Eddie said! How could anyone ever be bored playing with Bill Evans?

    I missed Bastille by about 6 months. Have heard some wonderful stories, though. David, it seems like you have plenty to tell!

    Please, do share.

  • Duane Massey
    over 5 years ago
    I didn't get into La Bastille very often (under age) but my uncle took me to see Dizzy Gillepsie.

    Little known fact: Oz Knozz played in La Bastille shortly before they closed down.
    The fact that they actually hired us tells you where the business had gone.

  • Ken Ward
    over 5 years ago
    I remember Marty telling us "Yea, Bill's playing is beautiful, but its really dated. I wanna get into the fusion thing." This was 1974. Ironic, isn't it?

  • David Cutaia
    over 5 years ago
    When Eddie G was at Cezzanne a couple of years ago he remembered our hang at LaBastille. When Ken mentioned what Marty had said about wanting to play fusion- Eddie replied - "look what it got him" (nothing).

  • Bob Morgan
    over 5 years ago
    Your wife's uncle was Ernie Criezis(sp?)?! WOW - news to me. I knew him and his wife (Toni Renee - once again - sp?) fairly well. I was Houston correspondent for Down Beat magazine in early 70s, and, therefore, never had to pay cover charge at La Bastille (or anyplace), so just about lived there. I'm not gonna reminisce because I wouldn't know where to start!

  • David Cutaia
    over 5 years ago
    Ernie had La Grenuille, a French restaurant, that was on Westheimer at Mandell. He originally opened St Michel although I can't remember which was first.

    La Bastille was in a basement. The stairs had a small landing half-way down and when we couldn't afford to pay we would go stand on the landing.

    Above LaBastille was the Bojangles Club where the Bojangles band played. They were formerly Lisa Minelli's band and were one of the top 'show bands' in the country.

    Around the Market Square there were about a dozen clubs with bands. Some had 2 or 3 bands- Besides LaBastille there was Upstairs on the Square, the Golden Fleece (Fire)- (open till 3 or 4 am), Mother Blues (5th Ward Express), Allen's Landing (13th Floor Elevator), the Village Inn, Huber's Beer Garden, the Cellar (open till 6am, maybe they opened at midnight), Continental Hotel (?), Club Seville. If you had a gig on the square, on your breaks you could go around and see so many bands.

    Mark- good thread. 4 WOW's (5 counting this one)

  • Henry Darragh
    over 5 years ago

    I think starting with any show would be a good place :)
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