Unlicensed Allston club to go before licensing board

The Boston Licensing Board holds a hearing tomorrow to figure out what to do about Uncle Crummy's, shut by police in January as part of a crackdown on unlicensed music venues in Allston and Brighton.

Peter Gallagher, listed as the operator of the place at 30 Penniman Rd., has to answer to charges he violated state law by running a night club out of a residence, selling beer and shirts, charging a cover charge and having a live band play, all without any licenses. He was cited after a police raid on Jan. 10, when Ramming Speed and Sexcrement were scheduled to play.

Board hearings start at 10 a.m. in its eighth-floor hearing room in City Hall.

Performance at Uncle Crummy's the week before it was shut:



Free tagging: 


I agree

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but I'm not distraught over being deprived of the live musical stylings of Ramming Speed and Sexcrement.

hey 3:32 since you obviously

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hey 3:32 since you obviously have no relation to any of this why don't you just continue being a norm behind your keyboard while the city of boston decides who can and cannot host live music for others to enjoy besides yourself? oh, that's exactly what you're going to do? great, thanks for your help.


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The city of Boston needs to decide since otherwise there would be all kinds of shady ass places holding shows with impunity, then there would be a fire or some other incident, and everyone would say "Why didn't the city of Boston do something to prevent this happening?"

What's a norm?

As much as I like to think of myself as a hip cat daddio and up on the latest teen jive way of speaking, I'm afraid you lost me on "norm".

Perhaps you are referring to Norm Petersen, the beloved barfly of TV's legendary "Cheers"?

Either way, you kids keep twistin' to that crazy rock and roll beat!

Always were what?

A norm? OK, let's check the Urban Dictionary, shall we?

used by mutants or other freaks to insult non-mutated or just normal people.

OK, I'll go with that...

I'm really having a hard time following the argument

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5:25: do you believe that we the people (acting through our government) have a right to:

  • Require that restaurants have their kitchens inspected, not use unsafe food, maintain proper temperatures in their refrigerators and dishwashing water, etc?
  • Require that the elevators in office buildings or apartment buildings be inspected and maintained?
  • Require that hotels keep their smoke detectors working properly?
  • Require that cars operated on the public roads have working brakes?

If your answer to all of these is "no", then you are consistent. If your answer to any of them is "yes", then the question seems to be "where do we draw the line?" rather than whether or not any government regulation is acceptable.

Lol what the hell is a

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Lol what the hell is a "norm"? Sorry I don't get together with a bunch of broke hipsters in a basement to listen to shitty bands.

Wow nostalgia

It's been a *long* time since any part of my self-image was based on who liked (or didn't like) the same music I did. Whoo. What next, arguments about who's "really punk"?

No need

I'm really punk, the rest of you are a bunch of hopeless posers.

Imagine what you can do now with all the time you'll save not wondering about this!

I love how "hipster" has just

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I love how "hipster" has just become a catch-all insult to throw at anyone who makes you feel self-conscious.

It's not a catchall insult,

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It's not a catchall insult, and it definitely has nothing to do with making me "feel self-conscious". A hipster is a real, distinct thing.

Ramming Speed kicks ass. All

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Ramming Speed kicks ass. All those dudes are stand-up guys, ESPECIALLY Pete Gallagher. This is a real shame.

I think there's a Lawrence

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I think there's a Lawrence Welk Marathon on the YDKGOML* channel tonight.


* You Damn Kids Get Off My Lawn!


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Needs. less. venues. that. gouge. performers. and. customers.

Really, paying $10-$15 for a show, and then $5 or $6 for a beer and having little to none of that money going to the performers is pretty infuriating.

Basement shows are a good alternative to that model, and while not up to code, almost all shows go off without a hitch. I've never heard of ONE fire occurring at an Allston house show in the...jeez... past 15 years or so.

Gross misunderstanding of risk

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and while not up to code, almost all shows go off without a hitch

And five out of six people who play Russian Roulette will tell you it's a harmless, albeit hair-raising, pastime.

Even though that's the

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Even though that's the shittiest comparison you could have come up with, I do sort of agree with you. My use of "hitch" was more geared towards: kerfuffles, fights, fuses being blown...all of which happens at legit clubs too.

Illegal basement and loft shows could, under the right circumstances, be extremely dangerous...but, I've never heard of that happening. Not sure exactly why nothing catastrophic goes wrong, exactly. Perhaps since the crowds tend to have people who live in the house, or are friends of people who live in their, they tend to keep a watchful eye? Possibly.


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but comparing the Cocoanut Grove to a basement is apples and oranges. The Cocoanut Grove was jam packed with highly flammable decorations, drapes, furniture etc. Basements in Allston are generally filled with concrete, stone, steel, bricks, cinder blocks and asbestos. Also, I've never heard of a basement venue bolting alternate means of egress shut so that attendees cannot use them.

I guess the fire inspectors' reports aren't available?

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Also, I've never heard of a basement venue bolting alternate means of egress shut so that attendees cannot use them.

Of course you haven't. I can do that too: I've never heard of alternate means of egress in basements not being bolted shut so that attendees can't use them. How do you like them apples (or oranges)?

Look at how many problems

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Look at how many problems happen at legal venues vs. "illegal venues" without permits. It is about how things are run, not what permits you have.

Nice try citing laws

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Nice try citing laws pertaining to legal operating food, service, entertainment and hospitality venues.

The point is that the city of Boston is scapegoating a few individuals for providing a venue with what means they have to allow others entertainment. Boston has and always will have underground events, that is part of the appeal for musicians and people who enjoy music and entertainment in whatever form. It is just the same as, say, having a 20 person party at a house with a backyard. Under legal standards, the lack of permits would make this said 20 person gathering illegal...but how often is that the case?

What the real issue is, and can not be stressed enough, is the undeniable FACT that the D-14 police (Allston/Brighton) police have neglected their DUTIES and jobs as civil servants (police are meant to serve the people, not the other way around). This is evident by the rise in violent crimes in the Allston/Brighton area over the last few years, and the increase in police presence at underground events and what they find to be "negligent" behavior under a recently passed bill which is unconstitutional and furthermore just wrong.

Rather than wasting time trying to infiltrate and prosecute groups of hardworking individuals who risk their own freedoms and wages to provide entertainment that directly benefits the entertainers and audiences (rather than profit from it), the police of this city should do their jobs and crack down on violent crimes such as rape, assault, home invasions, theft, stabbings, shootings, etc...

Put cops on the poorly lit bridges that go to residential areas so my friends don't get raped and assaulted. Have cops walk a beat to prevent violent crimes from occurring during busier nights of the week when younger people are out wasted rather that busting up shows and spreading other wasted kids out onto the street. Make police answer for their assaults and failure to do their jobs.

The line may be blurry, but it's there

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It is just the same as, say, having a 20 person party at a house with a backyard. Under legal standards, the lack of permits would make this said 20 person gathering illegal...but how often is that the case?

I'd argue that there are a number of pretty obvious factors:

  • Once you collect a cover charge, then you're clearly running a commercial event and not a private party.
  • Just because you don't collect a cover charge doesn't place you in the clear -- there are plenty of times when commercial venues offer free admission, but they're still unambiguously commercial venues.
  • if all the attendees at your party are personally known by the host and personally, individually, invited by the host, that's pretty strong evidence that it's a private party and not a commercial event.
  • if on the other hand, there is a broadcast invitation (by "broadcast" I mean, sent to large numbers of people who aren't individually invited by the host, then that militates against it being a private party.

Lots of factors. Add them up - I hate to fall back to "you know it when you see it," but there's a difference between a private party and a public event, and I'm perfectly fine with the latter being held to a higher standard of public safety.

It's not that simple

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[...]a few individuals for providing a venue with what means they have to allow others entertainment[...]

You could make an analogous argument about people who can't afford a proper restaurant kitchen with refrigeration and sanitary dishwashing, using "what means they have" to allow others tasty homecooked meals.

There's a good argument that people ought to be allowed to do this, and there's an equally good argument that anyone dealing with an establishment that serves the public should be able to expect that certain minimum standards of health, safety, etc. be enforced.

There's no obvious answer.... I don't think a kid running a lemonade stand ought to be required to be serv-safe certified and licensed, but, on the other hand, anyone operating anything that has the look and feel of a restaurant ought to be. The question is always where and how to draw the line.

Arbitrarily enforced

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I'd be less mad if there wasn't a bro jock party in the same building a week later, complete with kegs and a cover charge and dad rock bands. B

The BPD enforces this law arbitrarily.


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that's a good point.

as a former 20something

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as a former 20something subversive shitrocker turned 30something dad weekendwarrior rocker i am totally unsure how i feel about this comment

Defenders of the Faith

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Licensing board threw out out the case in about 10 seconds...does anyone know who that super handsome frontman is in that totally ripping band from the video. I bet he's really smart and strong as well as a total ripper

the only people that are

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the only people that are concerned with the "safety" of "underground concerts" are clearly those who don't attend house or basement shows period, and most likely have no relation to the music scene in this city at all.

or, i reiterate, norms.

Nope. I'm into noise/power

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Nope. I'm into noise/power electronics, but I also happen to be almost 40 and a home owner. I've seen amps smoke and catch on fire, and saw a carpet set on fire by a hot lightbulb (I think that was Bee Mask). These incidents were all dealt with swiftly, sure, but it did make me think twice about how quickly fire can start and spread. Bummer that I'm not able to see as many shows as I used to, but if I don't think I'll be able to get out of a basement quickly - with 20 - 30 other people pushing and shoving - I don't want any part of it. And I wouldn't want to lose my house because some dicks crammed too many people into a basement and couldn't deal with a fire before it got out of control.


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I care about the safety of rooming houses, even though I don't live in one. I care about the safety of food served at fast food restaurants, even though I don't eat in them. I care about the safety of playground equipment, even though my kids have outgrown using it. I care about the safety of young women riding home alone on the T late at night, even though I'm neither young nor female nor do I take the T home late at night.

Call me whatever you want -- busybody, norm, nanny government advocate -- I don't care. My engagement makes the world a better place, not a worse one.

I don't personally attend underground music concerts, but my kids, and my kids' friends, and my friends' kids, do. While I completely understand the arguments about selective enforcement, and about the police and licensing authorities serving the interests of established clubs by squashing the upstarts, that doesn't change the fundamental principle that any place open to the public needs to meet certain standards of safety.


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Before you run around playing the "muggle" card maybe you should consider some of us who think that basement venues are not where it is at were just like you once, but then we got older and wiser and learned about things like responsibility and liability. Some of us are even musicians who have seen our fair share of electrical shorts and fires from equipment. And we all know that a lot of houses in Allston are hardly up to code for normal living, and certainly have not had their electrical wiring updated prior to 1932.

cover charges, etc.

I wonder - could one of these shows become a private party via the internet?

Something like "download Cruxwhore's and GutterHelmet's latest tracks for $6 and join our invite list".

People who download the track for the excessive amount then get a "free" invite to the next "invitation only private party".

when i see these kids wearing their handmade clothes, im scared.

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jesus, bless the po who expunged these peoples' outlet for art. they should be working, as respectable computer programmers, not playing around with instruments.

there is no monetary gain in music, hence there is no validation. art doesnt need to happen. artists dont need to express it. shut the fuck up and deal with the way things are.

allston is changing, for the better. there's fewer galleries and venues than before - that means less opportunities for local ingenious artist turds. police presence is way up. they're using all available technology to locate rat holes like the one is the video, with an intense intent of exterminating the residing vermin.

it's about time, the only city in america named after an artist became more gentrified. i for one believe that if a young person isnt in college, or doesnt have a child yet, they shouldnt be allowed the choice of an alternative lifestyle. their displacement is no concern of mine.

if you look at american history, we've always displaced cultures - of all varieties - all over the world. this is nothing new, and obviously these weirdos didnt go to school or they'd know this by now.

i blame the parents. i dont know any norms that would allow a growing son or daughter to listen to such noise, nevermind actually create such a demonic sound.

why does it bother me so much that there's a minority of the population constructing and supporting a DIY culture in Massachusetts? because we desperately need a higher standard of living, class, sophistication, refinement.

if these kids think that they can move into incredibly poor living environments, maintain miserable eating habits, and get disapproving attitudes from the public - just to make music - boy do they have another thing coming.

we just wont let them make music. that'll teach them... to not make music.

art sucks. music sucks. weed sucks. beer sucks. friends suck. shows suck. meth valley sucks. ramming speed sucks. whoever took that video sucks. this sucks.