Instead of going somewhere where everybody knows your name, go somewhere where everyone is someone. Welcome to Nobody’s!
We Were All Nobody’s sets the stage for the popular 80’s New York club, Nobody’s. The documentary explores its beginnings and its downfall with the people closest to the scene. From the owners to the employees to the bands that played there, they all share their fond memories of the club and how much the club meant. Not only to them personally but to Queens, New York.
Charles Caracciolo, a member from band Third Eye Butterfly – not Third Eyed Blind – decided to make a documentary about the place he loved to play, Nobody’s. From what this documentary tells, Nobody’s sounds like a musician’s wet dream.
“…sets the stage for the popular 80’s New York club, Nobody’s.”
Nobody’s, a perfect name for a place that belonged to everyone and nobody at the same time, was Queens’ version of CBGB’s in the late ’80s to the early ’90s. The pub was a cornerstone for music back in the mid-’80s. No matter which genre of music a band played, they would be allowed to play. No matter how many people they brought in, they would still be allowed to play, which is a rarity. I was in a band years ago and just about every venue we would play, we would have to sell a certain amount of tickets beforehand. It was “pay to play” and still is these days.
The documentary includes dozens of musicians that played at Nobody’s. Each interview adds valuable input that gives many different layers to the Nobody’s pub as much as it does to the owners and employees that worked there. There is nothing but good things to be said about owners Seamus O’Toole, promoter James O’Hanlon, and sound engineers Rennie Xosa and Jay Stone.
“…the fond memories…made it more of a sweet-feeling documentary with very little bitterness.”
The downside to this documentary for me is that there was not a lot of music featured from the bands that played Nobody’s. There is some footage from some of the live shows. It usually was played with some commentary audio over it. I would have liked to hear more from these bands, but also it was a different era. It’s not like everyone had cellphones and GoPros available at their disposal, and video cameras were not cheap back then. These could all be possible reasons as to why there was not more music featured in the documentary.
We Were All Nobody’s serves as a big thank you to the owners and employees that gave these New York bands a home when there were not many places to go and play. I really learned a lot about the people that ran the pub, and the documentary makes it easy for these strangers to feel like familiar faces to me by the end of the doc. It’s sad how a tragedy led to the pub closing its doors. Though the fond memories that each person shared made it more of a sweet-feeling documentary with very little bitterness.