Beatnik’s Worcester: 2009-2014

No worries:  it may be the end of an era but it’s the start of something new.  

In 2009, I started taking photos again after finding myself with a lot of free time due to a recent divorce. Beatnik’s was one of my first stops and set the tone for the last 5 years. I was new to Worcester and new to having ’empty spaces’ so I decided to fill my time with something I was familiar with: live music & photography.

In October of 2009, Beatniks had just been open for a few months. I was expanding my horizons and thought that bringing a ‘Match’ to a SKA show would be be a fun date.
Guns of Navarone 10/23/2009

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Arrived early and had some eats at the bar, conversation and drinks and then the music started. I excused myself & went to see the band and scope out the room. After a song I invited my date to come check out these great sounds and grabbed my gear. I must have gotten sucked into the music & focused in on the photos as the girl disappeared during the music set! I was concerned and showed the bartender a iphone photo of said girl and asked if she could check the restroom! Niki was so kind to look out for me a complete stranger. I had been ditched but I ended up staying & talking with the people & the band & making friends.Friends like Niki & Helen & Pete.

What could have been a potential bad evening ( stood up & alone in unfamiliar territory ) turned out to be the beginning of so many new friendships, a revitalization of my passions for music & art, the sense of belonging and restoring my faith in the masses.

That night and so many more on Park made me realize that there are great like minded people out there! Just waiting to play you some music, share a pint, and laugh & smile!

I feel very fortunate that Beatniks timeline and mine crossed when I needed it the most. I thank Niki for her support and appreciation of my ‘art’.  Meeting such friendly people and having Niki & Josh so approachable & welcoming made my hard times SO MUCH easier to overcome. The music will always be secondary to having found kindred spirits like her, Rich & Al, James Keyes, Helen, Zack & Laurie, Amy & Geo, Glenn, Sean,   ….

I’m going to miss Niki’s smiling face behind the bar & her passion for the local art scene, her willingness to try everything to support the people she trusted, the art shows, standup comedy, folk, punk, ska, surf, one man bands to 10 piece jams. She has set the bar high for Worcester and I’m looking forward to seeing where the new owners take this. It’s hard to be sad as I’ve seen so many great shows and met so many friendly faces and I am certain that this is just the start of a new era and the future will bring more of the same.

Retrospect Videos:  

You Tube playlist of 37 videos captured at Beatnik’s. Featuring James Keyes, Great Whiskey Rebellion, Keri Anderson, Jon Short & the Big Eyed Rabbit, Ten Foot Polecats, Samuel James, Amazing Dick, Molly Gene, Zack Slik, Mark Cutler, Somerville Symphony Orkestar , Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy, Cabinet, Slackeyed Slim, The Numbskulls, Farmer’s Union Players, Nemes, Cabinet, Swaggerin’ Growlers, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents…

Retrospect Photos:  
Thousands of pictures taken at Beatniks!