Bensonhurst Locals Launch DIY Music Venue. Flashback To The Punk Temple On Bay Parkway?

All hail the return of local, do-it-yourself rock music for all ages!

The Brooklyn Vegan is reporting that a new group calling itself Frank’s Basement has popped up in Bensonhurst. The group will put on semi-regular concerts in one of the members’ basements, as well as shows at other venues like an upcoming production at the East Midwood Jewish Center.

The Facebook page for Frank’s Basement describes it this way:

We hold free all ages shows for any band or artist that wants to perform most of the shows take place in the basement but some at other venues

They already put on at least one show in May, and, in their hilarious video promo above, they claim to be shooting to have music and art shows every Sunday.

“All right so we’ve got free, all ages shows in Bensonhurst, you know? You come down, you and your friends, your friend’s band can play, you know, who cares? It doesn’t even matter. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of good music, it’s a lot of arteests that come by,” said the promo’s presenter, Fuzzy P.

Sure, the basement looks like a fire trap or murder pit, but, as they note, it’s all in the DIY spirit that launched bands like Nirvana. And it’s just a few blocks off from where the legendary L’Amour entertained metal heads.

Looking at what they’ve got out there so far, though, the group will be less like L’Amour, and more like another legendary music spot to kids who grew up locally in the late 90s and early 00s: The Punk Temple.

Located in the basement of a synagogue on Bay Parkway (the same synagogue where your editor was bar mitvah’d), the Punk Temple, gave kids a place to mosh to live punk, rock, metal and experimental music. It was the only all-ages place in the area, so it drew a huge crowd of teens and tweens. Aside from local bands, it drew some international talent as well, and had a heck of a reputation until its closing in 2003, when the synagogue was sold to developers.

The Temple’s “official” event photographer posted some photos from the final shows in a two part series. Coincidentally, many of the staple bands from the Temple are about to hold their fifth and final reunion at Coney Island’s Peggy O’Neills in August.

Some crowd surfing at a Temple show, in the same room where I occasionally learned some Hebrew and mostly got in trouble for stuff. (Source: Robert Barry Francos)


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