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The Grog and Tankard, a durable and dumpy Wisconsin Avenue rock room, gets a fabulous obituary by Moira E. McLaughlin in today’s Washington Post.

Back to me: I haven’t been to the Grog in more than 15 years, but news of the closing really hits hard. A band I was in used to play there. Not because we were any good — we were the opposite of good, plus tax. But the Grog’s booking policy was looser than John Edwards‘ morals.

We were all already too old to be in a bad band by the time we played out, but the soundman at the Grog never treated us like the losers we were. I remember being embarrassed at how excited I got saying “Check! Check!” into the microphone at his command for our first soundcheck and saying “gig” a lot that night and giggling.

We were supposed to get a good share of the door. But after the show we were handed $40, or about $200 shy of what we were led to believe we’d get for filling the place with our hobby-less friends.

But none of us complained about the shortfall. This was all a fantasy camp for us anyway, and getting ripped off by Grog management felt so rock and roll. I subsequently learned that every loser band in town could tell the same story.

As of my last move, I still had the $10 bill that made up my share of that Grog show. I’m going to look for that money today.