Bruce Springsteen has pledged big money to save the Greenwich Village nightclub the Bottom Line from possible eviction by landlord New York University, the club’s lawyer said on Friday.
The Boss and Viacom President Mel Karmazin have offered “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to bail out the club, lawyer Mark Alonso said. He was not sure if the money would be a loan or an investment.
The Bottom Line, a Greenwich Village fixture since 1974, has played host to some of the biggest names in music over the last three decades, including Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt.
The club owes NYU $185,000 in back rent, accumulated over three years. The university also wants a big rent hike and physical improvements to the building before agreeing to a new lease. Even with Springsteen and Karmazin’s help and an offer from Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to pay the back rent and expand an arrangement to broadcast live music from the club, the two sides remain far apart, Alonso said.
NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement: “The Bottom Line’s rent is at least 50 percent below market value. The current arrangement, in which our not-for-profit educational institution subsidizes this for-profit entertainment business, is not appropriate or sustainable.”
The sides told a New York court last week they had failed to reach a settlement during a 30-day recess to the eviction action granted last month by Judge Donna Recant. The judge is now expected to issue a ruling on eviction within 30 days.
Springsteen, who rocked the nightspot with a memorable week of shows in 1975, earlier this week posted some comments on the Save the Bottom Line Web site, saluting the club as “a central part of New York City culture.”
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