The Basement’s last night ends in ruin

While engineers from the Army National Guard were carrying out the long-awaited teardown of the old King’s Inn, a bit further up Broadway, death metal fans and other patrons of a popular drinking spot and music venue were doing their own — decidedly less welcome — demolition job. Now the building’s owner and police are trying to determine who is responsible for damages reportedly totaling upwards of $50,000.

Early in the morning on Saturday Oct. 8, hours before landlord H. Lee Wind and sheriff’s officials were set to serve an eviction order at the Basement bar at 744 Broadway, a triple-bill metal show ended in an orgy of destruction. Wind said that by the time he arrived early Saturday morning, the former bar was a wasteland of powdered drywall and broken glass with every fixture, from the toilets to the ceiling fan either smashed or hauled away.

A wrecked bathroom. Note the “Hail Satan” in the upper right. (Photo by Jesse J. Smith)

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“I guess you had some people who believe, to some extent in anarchy in music,” said Wind. “The problem is, they tried to transfer that anarchy into a real situation.”

The destruction occurred at the conclusion of a musical bill headlined by death metal rockers Immolation. Photos posted on the Facebook page of Poughkeepsie-based Tainted Entertainment, which produced the event, show fans cavorting in a snowstorm of floating drywall and tearing down a ceiling fan. Other pictures and accounts from patrons who turned out for the show describe a chaotic scene with free liquor flowing freely, scantily clad women dancing on the bar and a sledgehammer taken to various fixtures.

There are 12 comments

  1. Allison Gray Teetsel

    I am furious over this for a number of reasons. I don’t care what the reasoning is behind it…this is vandalism at its worst. The actions of those involved scream of irresponsibility and disrespect: for the property owner, for the neighborhood, for the patrons, for the musicians, and for other venues in the community.
    I really hope that people will realize that the musical genre has nothing to do with what transpired at The Basement that final night. The venue had been host to countless hardcore/metal shows in the past which went off without a hitch, and there are many bands/musicians in the genre who conduct themselves with an unmatched degree of professionalism and respect. From what I understand about the events that transpired that night, you probably could have had a chamber orchestra playing, and still would have had similar results. It isn’t fair to blame the music. Let’s keep the blame where it belongs: on the individuals who actually destroyed the place, and on the management which set the precedent and fostered such blatant disregard (Among other things, note that the police weren’t called when the demolition began…). I know a number of people who have worked at The Basement, and countless others who patronized the establishment, hoping to make it a somewhat reputable, successful venue. I hope it is clear to the community that those people are not the ones responsible for this despicable behavior.

  2. David Diaz

    My name is David Diaz and a partner of Tainted Entertainment and I am outraged by Jesse J.Smith’s amateurish attempt at news story.Jesse Smith and no one else from the Kingston Times every contacted any one from Tainted Entertainment for this one sided story.To set the record straight on this incident in question the inebriated”owner”Rob Stango stmubled onto the stage before the headliners and proceeds to tell the crowd that “this is the last show at The Basement and lets tear this fucker to the ground!”

    Members of our group and other patrons were trying to calm the dolts that started to carry out Stango’s moronic orders throughout the set.When the band stopped playing which was a shorter set cause everyone involved with the show wanted out of that chaos proceeded to leave immediately and leave Rob Stango and his drunken,moronic minons to destroy the venue.We at Tainted Entertainment have a good reputation with the venues we have worked with and bands.We have never had any violence at any of our shows and are extremely vigilant to make sure none happen and for our name to dragged in the mud and defamed because a unprofessional loser of a club owner decided to destroy his venue is just plain wrong.One sided news stories does the public no good.

    1. admin

      Hi David – this is Dan Barton, editor of the Kingston Times. Didn’t we just talk on the phone? I understand how you would feel that the story makes you look guilty by association. Jesse would be glad to talk to you for next week’s follow-up, and if you would like to submit a letter to the editor with Tainted’s point of view on the matter, I would be happy to run it.

  3. Rich

    Nobody wants to wait for the rebuttal in next weeks publications. This is 2011. News is real time. That’s ehh he posted in the comments.

    1. admin

      Good thing I let it go through, then. The article in no way stated that Tainted Productions had anything to do with the vandalism – they are victims too, as well as the landlord and the music scene in general in Kingston. Their beef is with Stango, if Stango indeed did what he is reported to have done.

  4. David Diaz

    Yes Dan I followed up with phone call in case my response was not printed.Any one of us at Tainted Entertainment would have gladly responded to any questions Jesse would have had on the story since Rob’s unprofessional behavior effected our business as well as his landlord’s and others.I personally am looking foward to speaking with Jesse for next week’s follow up and to set the record straight on who is responsible for the scenerio that took place.Thank you for your time

  5. Tainted Entertainment Official

    We totally agree with the fact that there were many victims here. None more so than the building owner obviously. We thank Dan for giving us the chance to voice our opinion in an update soon that Mr. Diaz will be conducting with Jesse. In the meantime, here is our official statement on this subject.

    “It has come to our attention through both word of mouth and local media of the damages incurred at The Basement in Kingston, NY following one of our shows that we promoted at that venue. We would like to go on record ( Again ) as saying that Tainted Entertainment or its affiliates neither condone nor support that kind of senseless activity ! We pleaded with the club Manager to retract his public announcement to the fans saying “Tear the place apart” and “F***ing Destroy everything in here”. Not only were we worried for the safety of our supplied talent and equipment, but also for the majority of the fans who were well behaved. Going one step further, We cut the set short and packed up to leave as Rob and his goons continued their rampage and threatening verbal assaults towards us. In our opinion, it is people like this that give decent fans and bands in the metal community a bad name. We here at Tainted will continue to provide quality entertainment to the public and to the MANY venues that can attest to our professional behavior and welcome us back time after time”.

  6. Jaymz

    and here we go, another reason for a journalist to make metalheads look like deviants, vandals and satanists. What exactly was the point in pointing out the “Hail Satan” in the garbage can?!?! What happened is in NOW WAY any fault of Tainted Entertainment or Immolation. Rob Stango was drunk out of his mind and grabbed the microphone and told everyone to smash everything in the place. Unfortunately others seen the destruction as Rob started to smash fans and drywall and a couple others decided to join in the mayhem. I was at this show and it was really, really fun and everyone was quite well behaved until Rob decided to incite a small riot of sorts. I have booked my band with Tainted Entertainment many times at alot of different venues including The Basement and this is the ONLY time something like this happened and it’s all due to Rob Stango. The guys in Tainted tried to calm Rob and his cronies down but he was so belligerent that there was no talking sense to him. I’m up set my good friends name is getting dragged into this, I’m upset that I couldnt enjoy Immolation’s set that night, and I’m upset that the general public is going to read this poorly written article and frown upon a general population of music fans who have been frowned upon all their lives. There always 1 bad apple, but I assure anyone reading this that the Metal community does NOT condone behavior like this at it’s events.

  7. Chris M.

    Honestly, Tainted Entertainment shows are some of the most successful and professional shows that I have had the pleasure of being part of when it comes to the North East. Yes, we really liked playing at the Basement and it’s a damn shame to know that we won’t have another chance to do so, so it’s frustrating, but it’s also frustrating to read this article because it does seem a little one-sided. Please get more information from both sides instead of only referencing some facebook photos. This article seems a little demonizing of underground extreme music and I don’t want to start seeing fingers being pointed at Tainted Entertainment.

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