Chapter Four

“A GREAT DANCE BAND”

The Raybeats debut: Pat Irwin, Don Christensen, George Scott, Autumn 1979

Their freshman gig was a benefit at the Squat Theatre Nightclub, located near the Chelsea Hotel, in late September 1979. This was followed by an inauspicious outing at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey, then a more fitting affair (and reception) at Tier 3 in lower Manhattan.

“Everybody was at the Tier 3 show,” Irwin said. “It was the place to be. A lot of people knew who we were because of the Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy. We were probably pretty loose. But for a lot of people hanging out on the club scene, the band was really something else, particularly for the No Wave scene.”

They immediately built up a reputation as a hardworking combo that loved to play.

“We were definitely a party band,” Christensen stated. “The shows always went well. I think it was an advantage that we didn’t have a moody lead singer for the fans to focus on — it gave them a chance to just have fun and boogie down.”

“The dancing was pretty wild,” Irwin added. “Don always put down a pretty tough beat and people would shake it right back. The Raybeats’ fans were the best and the dancing was great. It was all very unpretentious.”

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