A book about a momentous New Jersey nightclub, 'No Slam Dancing: City Gardens' gives some the best memories of living music legends a worthy forever after. Here is some footage of the prime contributors off the page and on the stage, doing their thing.

A book about a momentous New Jersey nightclub, 'No Slam Dancing: City Gardens' gives some the best memories of living music legends a worthy forever after. Here is some footage of the prime contributors off the page and on the stage, doing their thing.

City Gardens on 1701 Calhoun Street, Trenton, New Jersey is where the party was at. The fifteen years of New Wave, punk, reggae, hip hop, hardcore and alternative rock that went down there is something music journalists, Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico, don’t want you to forget.

Having been there – live, kicking, tripping off the insider stories they got – the twosome have set that slice of head bopping history in typographic stone.

No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens is a collage of vox populi that goes some way to piecing the scene back together. It’s a little book of big stories from the prodigal underdogs and iconic acts who played the makeshift venue – may it rest in peace. HUCK trawled the web to find some golden nuggets of live action from that influential era.

Straight Edge: Minor Threat
Despite existing together for just three years , Ian MacKaye’s band Minor Threat overhauled both the style and ethics of the hardcore punk scene in the early ’80s. Beyond introducing Do It Yourself music distribution and concert promotion, they went against the mainstream screaming But I’ve got better things to do/Than sit around and fuck my head/Hang out with the living dead/Snort white shit up my nose/Pass out at the shows in their Straight Edge EP. No doubt the lyrics kick started a fresh movement that called for a stance of alcohol and drug abstinence in the industry. This fan-made tape is of an intimate gig and the band rocking out to the start of the record.
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Liar: Rollins Band
This video’s brazen peeling back of the human consciousness to reveal barefaced untrustworthiness at the core, combined with deep-throated post-punk lyrical throws of ‘I’M A LIAR!’, were disturbing enough to get Henry Rollins and his band, Rollins Band, significant airtime on MTV in the dawn of the ’90s. Watch the spectacle-clad American frontman mutate into a muscular brute to the beat of the music, and have your soul well and truly shaken.
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Blue Monday: New Order
People struggle to cope when a friend takes their own life, but it’s practically unheard of for a band to make it when their lead singer commits suicide due to depression brought on by a failing marriage and a diagnosis of epilepsy. But ’70s English rock group Joy Division did just that when Ian Curtis ended his suffering. Taking the remaining members and adding synth musician Gillian Gilbert, they reformed themselves as New Order. The new line up positioned them as more of a techno – and cut throat – collective that sported minimalism on their album sleeves and played encore-less performances. This is one of their genre merging New Wave and electronic dance tracks, aired on the BBC in 1984.
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Read more about City Gardens in Huck 43 – Street Photography with Boogie.