For musician Ben Taylor, the Hot Tin Roof legacy is an unfinished song. The lyrics tell a story — since 1979 so many rock and roll, blues, funk, hip-hop, bluegrass, and folk greats have walked through the doors of the Vineyard nightclub at the airport.
Now Mr. Taylor and the current owners of the nightclub, which is now named Nectar’s, say there is one more verse to write.
Thursday night will mark the first in a series of events that is aiming at reviving the Hot Tin Roof name. Ben’s mother, Carly Simon, retained the rights to the name when the nightclub was first sold six years ago. “We’re throwing a party because it’s time for the Hot Tin Roof to breath and revive itself here, and the spirit of it to take life on the Island again. But it never really left as it turned out,” Mr. Taylor said in an interview.
Mr. Taylor, his friend and photographer Peter Gurnz and Nectar’s have formed a partnership for art collaborations through music, writing, photography, sculpture and multimedia.
Thursday Mr. Taylor will perform alongside Vineyard bands Dukes County Love Affair (DCLA) and Kodacrome. Sculptures will dot the dance floor, Mr. Gurnz’s photographs will hang on the walls and a live stream of a deejay contest in Los Angeles will be projected onto a screen.
“It’s going to be everyone who I’d want to come and see play a night of local music on Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Taylor said. Proceeds from the event will go to the Island Grown Initiative.
Mr. Taylor said his mother told him it was time for him to take an active role in helping to support the arts community on the Island.
“She spent a long time trying to make sure the integrity of the Hot Tin Roof brand was preserved,” he said.
Chris Walsh, a principal partner at Nectar’s, said the new collaboration has been a long time in the making and he is excited about it.
Mr. Taylor said a benefit concert is planned for late August, but there are no details yet.
“Martha’s Vineyard is an amazing concentrator of creative energy and spirituality. It brings together people from all over the world that have a very native feeling about this place,” he said, his hand on his heart. “It’s such a strong community. Whether or not they actually work together, they influence each other and affect each other so tremendously it’s pretty damn close to inspiring.”
One of the first Hot Tin Roof traditions Mr. Taylor wants to see revived is the hubcaps; artists who performed at the Roof decorated a hubcap with their name that was later hung on the wall. Pat Benatar, Peter Tosh, Bonnie Raitt, and Mr. Taylor’s parents, Ms. Simon and James Taylor, are among the many names that decorate the hubcap wall.
“It’s something we’re all doing because of historic nostalgia and relevance, this place has meant a lot to a lot of people,” Mr. Taylor said. “It’s my responsibility to try and do something new, for better or worse. We’re going to try and make it more creative and more interesting.”
Ben Taylor performs Thursday night at Nectar’s at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Tickets are $20 and available at nectarsmv.com. The show is for ages 21 and over.