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The Time Bill and Hillary Clinton Rented Out the 9:30 Club

The Clintons meet the 9:30 Club family. Photo courtesy of the 9:30 Club.

When it comes to ties between the 9:30 Club and the Clinton namesake, Parliament and Funkadelic leader George Clinton is probably more associated with the venerable DC concert venue, having performed there many times. But that doesn’t mean the once-and-possibly-future first family are strangers to the place.

A new oral and visual history book compiled in honor of 9:30’s 35th anniversary, taking place this week, recalls the time in early 2001, when Bill and Hillary Clinton rented out the club for a private party.

Ryan Bray, an AV Club writer who penned the excerpt on the party in the book, says the event—cheekily dubbed “I Survived the Clinton White House Party” by the venue’s staff—featured entertainment from the Pat McGee Band. At first, the club was unsure whether the outgoing President and the new senator from New York would show up, but they did end up stopping by. The Commander-in-Chief even took the stage at one point to say a few words.

Having such high-profile guests under their roof left club owners Seth Hurwitz and Rich Heinecke as well as then-marketing director Liz Drogula pretty starstruck, Bray writes:

After he thanked everyone from the stage, he walked off and came over to me and said, ‘Hi, I’m Bill,’ Drogula recalls. “I froze. In seven years of working there, I never had a rock star moment until that moment. I just said, ‘I know.’ He laughed and just went around shaking everyone’s hand.

No word on whether the Clintons plan to attend 9:30’s anniversary party.

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