Dir. Jessey Williamson
Run Time: 75 Minutes
Jessey Williamson never visited The Warehouse, but he has dedicated years to researching it and putting together this extensive and sentimental documentary devoted to its memory. A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas opens by saying that none of the bands’ music would be played because of high royalty fees, and that music that they can’t afford was performed live by those bands at The Warehouse for just a $3 - $4 dollar cover charge. The late Warehouse co-founder Bill Johnston explains his journey of opening the venue in the vein of large, now legendary venues he visited around the country, and the former staff members joyfully explain how the space was not just simply a century-old brick warehouse surrounded by housing projects located at 1820 Tchoupitoulas Street; the interviewees go into great detail about the amazing shows they saw, the intensity of the performers, the friendly atmosphere, and the dank interior that didn’t faze them. The doc delves into the unreal stories surrounding the building like how Jim Morrison was so intoxicated that he slept for much of The Doors’ set on stage, and how kids would sneak in through the fan vents on the ceiling. The venue wasn’t the nicest place; people would sit on squares of carpet that became wet and filthy, but you won’t believe when you hear about the famous people who showed up just to have a good time, get high, and groove with the crowd. A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas will premiere on WYES-TV on Thursday, November 7 at 7 p.m., with encore performances on Saturday, November 23 and Thursday, November 28 at 9 p.m.
You can listen to my interview with the late Bill Johnston at WhereYat.com.