Drummer Murphy Farrell describes the Hastings Street transformation of the ‘70s and how the changes made it ripe for punk to thrive at the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret.

Museum of Vancouver

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Transcript

NARRATOR
Drummer Murphy Farrell describes the Hastings Street transformation of the ‘70s
and how the changes made it ripe for punk to thrive at the Smilin’ Buddha
Cabaret.

MURPHY FARRELL
There was definitely a shift on Hastings. You know, things started to deteriorate
in that area. And so the Buddha, which used to be a supper club, and actually
the guy who ran that, there’s the famous story, his name was Lashman, and
everyone knows Lashman as the guy that fired Jimmy Hendrix because [laughs],

We asked him, “Hey Lashman, you know, you fired Jimmy Hendrix? How come
you fired him?” He goes, “too loud. Music’s too loud.” So little did he know.

So anyways, so Lashman, you know, to his credit, when Hastings Street started
to go down the tubes, he started just renting it out or letting the youth in there so
they had a venue.

And I don’t think he really cared what was happening as long as he was making
money. And he certainly wasn’t spending any money on his club, but you know,
he put up with it, and it became well known all over North America.

NARRATOR
According to Joe Keithley, frontman of Vancouver punk band DOA, business

started to pick up dramatically at the Smilin’ Buddha with the advent of punk in
the Downtown Eastside.

JOE KEITHLEY
The Buddha went by, had this slogan was uh, “Vancouver’s Oldest and Finest
Nightclub.” Well, it had been many years since it had been Vancouver’s finest.

Lashman Jeer and his wife Nancy who owned the Buddha and ran it for years,
were really happy ‘cause there’s like 25 punks there buying beer at $1.25 each,
and they’d paid $1.50 to get in.

‘Cause the usual Buddha crowd was, like, usually six people. They’re be like two
drunks, two hookers, and two undercover cops. And that was about how big the
crowd, as big as the crowd ever got in the Buddha ‘til the punks showed up. So
all of a sudden Lashman is going like, “Hey, I’m selling all this beer,” right. This is
great. “You guys do whatever you want. Just keep bringing the people.”


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