The El Mocambo: The End is Very Near

Later this month, the El Mocambo–one of Canada’s most storied rock venues–will be no more. A million bands have played the El Mo over the years and an impressive number of big groups–the Rolling Stones, April Wine and Elvis Costello among them–have recorded live albums there.

After being in continuous operation (well, more-or-less) since 1946, it will cease to be–well, soon. The building has been sold, but no one is talking about who the new owners might do with the place. But I think it’s safe to say that the venue’s days as a nightclub are over. The Globe and Mail reports:

The club’s final show is a benefit concert on Nov. 6 for Light of Day, an organization that raises funds for Parkinson’s research. “If the sale doesn’t go through,” Mr. Grosso says, “I’ll probably just shut it down and keep it empty.”

Up the street another musically significant venue, the Silver Dollar Room, is also in jeopardy. The Wynn Group, who owns the building and the Waverly Hotel next door, are planning on tearing it all down to make way for a private student residence, a fitness club and a new version of the Silver Dollar. Earlier in the year, the city rejected the proposal.

Generally, the city’s music club scene is healthy. But, as it always has, things shift.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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