||152 Bleecker Street
The au Go Go was an oasis for folk music,
comedy, blues and rock.
The club was the first New York venue for the
Grateful Dead, and Joni
Mitchell. Richie Havens and
the Blues Project were weekly regulars. Jimi
Hendrix sat in with blues
harp player James Cotton there in 1968. Van
Morrison, Tim Hardin,
Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, the
Hammond, Jr., The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,
Cream, The Chambers Brothers, the Hamilton Face
Band all played there.
Blues legends Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Skip
James, Bukka White,
and Big Joe Williams performed at the club after
in the '60s.
||115 MacDougal Street
(corner Minetta Lane)
Still in business
a short set of Woody Guthrie songs at Cafe Wha? on
very first day in New York City (January 1961) and
during the following
"I used to play in a a place called Cafe
Wha?, and it always used to open at noon,
and closed at six in
the morning. It was just a non-stop flow of
people, usually they were
tourists who were looking for beatniks in the
Village. There'd be maybe
five groups that played there. I used to play with
a guy called Fred
Neil, who wrote the song "Everybody's Talking"
that was in the film
Bert Kleinman Interview, Ritz-Carlton Hotel,
NYC, NY, Jul 30, 1984.
116 MacDougal Street today
|The Gaslight Cafe
Bob Dylan at the Gaslight in
|116 Macdougal Street
The Gaslight Cafe was a coffee house
located in the
basement at this address.
The Gaslight was right next door to The Kettle of
Fish, a bar where
many performers hung out between sets. Some nights
the bar was "locked"
down to the public because a young "reclusive"
singer and poet was in
attendance...Bob Dylan. Also next door was the
Folklore Center, a
bookstore/record store owned by Izzy Young and
notable for being a
musicians' gathering place and center of the New
York folk music scene.
In The Folk
Gaslight was weird then
because there were air shafts up to the apartments
and the windows of
the Gaslight would open into the air shafts, so
when people would
applaud, the neighbors would get disturbed and
call the police. So then
the audience couldn't applaud; they had to snap
their fingers instead."
|Gerde's Folk City
||11 West 4th Street
(corner of Mercer Street)
the scene played at Gerde's. Dylan played his
first professional gig
here on April 11, 1961, opening for the Greenbriar
Boys. His September
1961 appearance was reviewed in the New York Times
by Robert Shelton,
which gave Dylan his first major break. Joan Baez
was in the audience.
When Bob heard she was there, he got his guitar
and followed her out to
the sidewalk with the hopes of impressing her. She
was the bigger star
at the time. This was the start of their
The building no longer exists. In it's place is a
unattractive building built in the 1970s. NYU owns
the property now.
There is no door on the corner anymore so there is
Still in business.
The Bitter End opened its doors in 1961.
the club hosted Folk music "hootenanies" every
week featuring many
performers who have since become legendary. An
earlier club, "The Cock
and Bull" operated on the same premises with the
same format, in the
late 1950s. The poet Hugh Romney (who later became
known as Wavy Gravy)
read there. When Dylan began hanging out in the
Village again, in the
1975, he played here with Patti Smith, Ramblin'
Jack Elliott and Bobby
Neuwirth, before embarking on the Rolling Thunder
The City of New
York bestowed landmark status to the night club on
July 23, 1992. The
Bitter End is still here.
Albums by Peter, Paul and Mary, Randy Newman,
Curtis Mayfield, Arlo
Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, The Isley
Brothers, Tommy James &
the Shondells, among others, have been recorded
live at the Bitter End.
|The Bottom Line
|15 West Fourth Street
(between Broadway and
Washington Square Park).
Opened February 12, 1974, The Bottom Line
played a major role in
Greenwich Village's status as a cultural mecca.
played legendary show-case gigs and Lou Reed
recorded the album Live:
Take No Prisoners there. Harry Chapin even held
concert at Bottom Line in January 1981. The Bottom
Line hosted mainly
folk music, playing home to Loudon Wainwright III
and others, but also
hosting acts ranging from Dolly Parton to Ravi
Shankar to the Ramones.
The last show was on January 22, 2004, just shy of
the clubs thirtieth
anniversary. Another victim of NYU which held the
lease on the property
for a while.
|The Commons/ The Fat Black
||11-13 Minetta Street
Opened in 1958, it was originally a small theater
and cafe . It offered
poetry readings, folk music, jazz and espresso,
and had a Bohemian
The Commons expanded a year or two later, and its
name was changed to
the Fat Black Pussycat. Tiny Tim
performed there before he became
famous. So did Mama
Richie Havens and Shel
Silverstein. Bob Dylan
became a regular there
in the early 60's and wrote "Blowin'
in the Wind" here.
The Fat Black Pussycat changed its name several
times in the 1960's,
and became a Mexican restaurant, Panchito's, in
1972, but the old sign
was never painted over. It is still visible today.
|110 MacDougal Street
This was not a music venue, but it was very
part of the folk scene in the late 50's and early
60's. In 1957,
Izzy Young opened the Folklore Center, a store for
books and records
and everything related to folk music. It was a
couple of narrow rooms
strung together with records and books in the
front. There were
instruments on the walls, usually many people
milling around. Bob Dylan
often used the typewriter in the back room to
118 West 3rd today
|The Night Owl
|118 West 3rd Street
Before he went to London, James
Taylor performed at the Night Owl, where they
played regularly for
It was a sad day when the Night Owl was converted
into a poster and
button shop. It is now Bleeker Bob's Records, and
there is a wonderful
picture of the Night Owl with the Blues Magoos on
stage in the window.
Village Gate sign today
|The Village Gate
||160 Bleecker St. (corner
Dylan wrote "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" in
September 1962 in Chip Monck's apartment in the
basement of this
building. The Village Gate was a notable folky
hangout for 36 years. In
April of 2001, the original building re-opened as
The Village Theater,
a venue for dramatic performances. The old sign