MTV recently hipped us to the new hep Brooklyn scene. That’s all cool, but we also remember being hepped to one a few years back when the sound was more Electroclash, the leg warmers more colorful, the Fischerspooner more Fischerspooner. It was a time before Luxx became Trash Bar and a lot of people were into Gang Of Four (or at least into sounding like them). On top of that, the cocaine flowed like a white, hyperactive river. Not to cop the faux old-timer tone of Vice’s excellent Please Kill Me-punning oral history of Kokie’s Place, but it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the strangeness of that period.
Last time you were in Williamsburg to check out MGMT did you stop at this bar called the Levee? Well, back in the day, nestled there on Berry and North 3rd, it was called Kokie’s Place and, much like it’s hilariously obvious name suggested, you could, in fact, order yourself a line or two. We don’t want to incriminate or condone or say drugs are cool, but some of us thought we knew the spot well. Shows what we know. Like, can we really directly blame Kokie’s for Electroclash? You be the judge…
JEFF JENSEN: Kokie’s has a huge place in Brooklyn’s history. I would also like to submit that the genre of electroclash was officially started at Kokie’s. I can prove it because I was there. In the early days, there was a janitor who worked at Kokie’s who was from Saskatoon and claimed that he had seen Bigfoot. Me and Casey Spooner used to laugh like crazy over his Bigfoot stories. That’s what gave Casey the idea to start Sasquatch, his Bigfoot-themed band that eventually became Fischerspooner.
Hmm, pretty brutal to be remembered for either of those things. We thought we were supposed to blame Larry Tee? At least, that’s what we’ve been doing for years. Regardless, wonder how Kokie’s “no mustache” policy would fly in the current facial hairy Brooklyn. Blind item!
JERRY P: I remember they wouldn’t serve [singer of a then-popular band] because he had this big, goofy mustache and he looked like a policeman. He asked me if I would cop for him, and I said no. I didn’t want them to see me getting drugs for the guy they didn’t want to serve. I was like, “Sorry dude, serves you right for looking like that.