The Empty Bottle was everybody’s home away from home

dkulash
©Damian Kulash

“The Empty Bottle was everybody’s home away from home in the late ’90s. We all hung out there at least five nights a week, either watching each other’s bands or watching some band called the White Stripes from Detroit. I basically lived at the Empty Bottle. We were huge fans of Elliott Smith at the time. Figure 8 hadn’t come out yet, but he was doing an advance tour of acoustic shows around the country and we begged Bruce to let us open. We did a cover of Smith’s “Clementine,” hoping that he wouldn’t be pissed off. We did a big shoegaze-y, wall-of-sound version. But it was really cool for us because the Bottle isn’t very big. There’s only one basement dressing room, and we shared it with Elliott, our hero, which meant that we got to hang with him for a bit, and he was really wonderful and very sweet. That was huge for us.”

Tim Nordwind

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