Java Monkey 1993 to 2018
Java Monkey was a Decatur, Georgia coffee house where I played off and on for around ten years. I may have been the last person to perform there, sometime in November 2018. That was a week or so before a disgruntled former employee burned it down. With fewer and fewer places willing to host live music, it was a real let down. Knowing it was a dingy, dilapidated, and sometimes dangerous place to play was a source of pride for the shop. As Decatur, GA shed its previously bohemian skin and became a shinier and prettier locale, JM proudly hung on to its disheveled and unwashed personality. In doing so it filled the narrow niche between the big rooms where bands played and small rooms where professional solo-artists played. Java Monkey was too dirty and unprofessional for anyone trying to make a living at music. It was just right for people not wanting to infringe on someone’s livelihood, but wanted to go out and make some noise, too. I’m sorry it’s gone and, apparently, not coming back. I’m keeping my eye out, however, on the narrow sliver of space where it once wedged its dirty little self and hoping someone will build something there with a small stage.