FLASHBACK: 30 Years Ago: The “Live at 288″ Record Release Party

Live At 288
Story by Greg Haymes

On April 10, 1984, 288 Lark in Albany hosted a wham-bam-thank-you-mam party that officially launched the release of the Live at 288, a nine-song compilation album featuring such bands as French Letter, Jeannie Smith & the Hurricanes, Operation Pluto, Lumpen Proles, the Watts, the Stars That Wouldn’t Shine, the Tragics and Capitle. Closing out the album was a cover of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Mirage” by the Reedies, a one-time-only band led by guitarist-vocalist Dennis Herbert (Young Reptiles, A.K.A./etc., the Steven Clyde Band) that also featured members of such bands as Fear of Strangers, Bang Zoom, Blotto and the Fabulous Newports.

Along with the classic Hudson Rock compilation album, Live at 288 – produced by Art Snay of Arabellum Studios – was the multi-band album that defined the golden age of Albany’s DIY music scene back in the mid-’80s. And the release party was one for the ages, too, with club managers Char and Dave Shortsleeve providing plenty of free-flowing champagne. The bash featured the debut of the full-length, in-concert “Live at 288, The Video” by Real George, and the night was capped off with a live performance by Operation Pluto, as Billy Harrigan and his crew fondled televisions, threw food at the audience and literally bounced off the walls. Liz Bishop was there, covering the event of WRGB-TV, and members of the Clash were on hand as well, on the eve of their concert at the Palace Theatre.

With a tip o’ the hat to Tim Livingston

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