Poster from 1967
The Cafe au Go Go 152 Bleecker Street (basement)

The au Go Go was an oasis for folk music, jazz, comedy, blues and rock.
The club was the first New York venue for the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, and Richie Havens and the Blues Project were weekly regulars. Jimi Hendrix sat in with blues harp player James Cotton here in 1968. Van Morrison, Tim Hardin, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, the Youngbloods, John Hammond, Jr., the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, the Chambers Brothers, and the Hamilton Face Band all played here as well. Blues legends Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Skip James, Bukka White, and Big Joe Williams performed at the club after being "rediscovered" in the '60s.  The world premiere of Andy Warhol's film Harlot took place here on January 10, 1965.

Comedian Lenny Bruce and the club's owner, Howard Solomon, were arrested here on obscenity charges in 1964.

CBGBs Club
The legendary CBGBs

Former CBGBs
315 Bowery today
CBGBs 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street.

Founded in 1973, CBGB (Country, Blue Grass, and Blues) was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became a forum for American punk and punk-influenced bands like the Ramones, the Misfits, Television, the Patti Smith Group, Mink Deville, The Dead Boys, the Dictators, the Fleshtones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. In later years it would become known for hardcore punk with bands such as Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, the Cro-Mags, Warzone, the Gorilla Biscuits, Sick of It All and Youth of Today becoming synonymous with the club.

The storefront and large space next door to the club served as the CBGB Record Canteen for many years. Eventually, in the late eighties, the record store was closed and replaced with a second performance space and art gallery, named CB’s 313 Gallery. The gallery went on to showcase many popular bands and singer/songwriters who played in a musical style more akin to acoustic rock, folk, jazz, or experimental music, while the original club continued to present mainly hardcore bands and post-punk, metal, and alternative rock acts.
The club closed in October 2006. The final concert was performed by Patti Smith on Sunday, October 15.

High-end men's fashion designer John Varvatos opened a store at CBGB's former space in April 2008. Much of the graffiti covering the bathrooms has been preserved.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, on Mercer St, has some relics from the club on permanent display.

8bc Club

337 8th Street today

8BC 337 8th street between Avenues B & C

Named for its location, 8BC was on a block of abandoned, burnt-out buildings and considered dangerous to get to. It was a performance space, art gallery, and nightclub in the underground art scene that exploded in the East Village in the early 1980s.

This was the most critically acclaimed of the many venues that sprung up in response to the influx of artists and performers reclaiming Alphabet City.

During its 2-year existence, Halloween 1983 - October 22, 1985, over 1,500 performances were held ranging from punk rock bands to Japanese Butoh dance.

82 Club 82 E. 4th Street

From 1958-1978, legendary drag cabaret the 82 Club was located here, on the southwest corner of East 4th st and 2nd Avenue. Ty Bennett became the headliner and "den mother", and it was a favorite hangout of Harvey Fierstein.  82 Club makes cameo appearances in both Torch Song Trilogy and The Rose.

By the 1960s and '70s, Club 82 became a popular hang out for celebrities and glam rockers like David Bowie and Lou Reed.  The Stilettos (the precursor to Blondie) performed here during this time, as did the New York Dolls.

It is now a restaurant called Stillwaters.

23 St Mark's Place-1968

now, a restaurant

The Electric Circus and The Dom 19-23 St. Mark's Place

Originally this was the Polish National Hall. In the mid-1960s, the basement of the building was converted into a bar and called the Dom. The bar was successful and attracted artists, musicians, and poets in the area. Andy Warhol and his entourage, in particular the Velvet Underground and Nico, performed here. The Velvet's strange atmospheric music and Warhol's performance displays of lights and costumes attracted a hip clientele (according to the New York Times, "everyone from hippies to Tom Wolfe and George Plimpton") way before St. Mark's would get its reputation in the 1970s with the punk scene.

In 1966, it changed management and briefly became the Balloon Farm.

In 1967, after another change of ownership, it was converted into a psychedelic discotheque called the Electric Circus. The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed here and legend has it that this is where Hendrix and Janis Joplin bedded down on several occasions. By 1970, the "tune in, turn on" hippie culture was in decline. When a small bomb exploded on the dance floor in March of that year, injuring seventeen people, the negative publicity accelerated the decline of the club, and it finally closed a year and a half later with the death of its new owner.

In 1971, it was converted into a community rehab center. Now it's a restaurant.

Fillmore East 1971

A bank and apartments today
Fillmore East Second Avenue at Sixth Street

In the late 1960s and early 1970s this rock palace operated in the East Village.

Known as the Village Theater for most of its previous existence, the venue had been a mainstay of the Yiddish theater circuit.  It had later become a cinema, but had fallen into disrepair before becoming the Fillmore East.

Acts that played here included the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Who, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Beach Boys, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Allman Brothers Band, Derek and the Dominos, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Lonnie Mack, Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Pink Floyd, Raven, Procol Harum, John Mayall, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Frank Zappa, Canned Heat, Miles Davis, Jethro Tull and many more.

Many live albums were recorded at the legendary venue, notably "At Fillmore East" by the Allman Brothers Band, and Jimi Hendrix recorded a live album here with the Band of Gypsies. John Mayall's "The Turning Point" was also recorded here. Grateful Dead released a 4-disc set taken from their 5-night stint at the Fillmore East in April 1971, appropriately titled "Ladies and Gentlemen… The Grateful Dead: Fillmore East — April 1971". They additionally recorded the albums "Fillmore East 2/11/69", "History Of The Grateful Dead Volume One – Bear's Choice 2/13–14/70", and "Dick's Picks Volume Four – Fillmore East 2/13–14/70", a 3-disc set released on Grateful Dead Records. Another famous album recorded here was Miles Davis' "Live at the Fillmore East", laid down on March 7, 1970 in a rare live recording of Davis' so-called "lost quintet".

Shortly before it closed, Frank Zappa and the Mothers recorded a live album in June 1971, entitled "Fillmore East — June 1971". The performance included The Turtles' two lead singers, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. John Lennon and Yoko Ono included the live tracks recorded with the Mothers at the Fillmore East on the album "Some Time in New York City".

Its final concert took place on June 27, 1971, with the billed acts being the Allman Brothers, the J. Geils Band, Albert King, and special guests Edgar Winter's White Trash, Mountain, the Beach Boys, and Country Joe McDonald in an invitation-only performance.

As of 2015, the former entrance lobby is a branch of Apple Savings Bank. The rest of the interior has been gutted and rebuilt as an apartment complex.

Max's Kansas City, circa 1974
PHOTO: Bob Gruen

213 Park Avenue South today

Max’s Kansas City 213 Park Avenue South (17th and 18th Streets)

Max's Kansas City was a nightclub on the second floor and restaurant on the first, and was a gathering spot for musicians, poets, artists and politicians in the 1960s and '70s.

Opened in December of 1965, it was a hangout for artists and sculptors of the New York School, as well as for sculptors John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschenberg and Larry Rivers, whose presence attracted hip celebrities and the jet set,  It also a favorite spot of Andy Warhol’s entourage, and the Velvet Underground played their last shows with Lou Reed at Max’s in the summer of 1970. Deborah Harry worked here as a waitress before joining Blondie. It was homebase for the short-lived Glitter rock scene that included David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and, of course, Lou Reed.

This was the first place many bands began their careers. Bruce Springsteen played a solo acoustic set there in the summer of 1972. Both Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played their first New York City gigs here. Bob Marley & The Wailers opened for Springsteen here at the very  beginning of Marley’s career on the international circuit in 1973.

Max’s Kansas City’s popularity declined after pop art had transformed into punk rock, and the legendary establishment closed in December, 1974.

The Mercury Lounge today

The Mercury Lounge 217 East Houston Street

Since it's opening in 1993 as a music venue, many famous artists played at the Mercury Lounge, such as Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Bikini Kill, the Damnwells, Jeff Buckley, Jimmy Chamberlin, the Strokes, Paper Route, Interpol, Tony Bennett, the Dandy Warhols, Broken Social Scene, the Killers, the Editors, and various others.

The structure originally housed the servants to the Astor Mansion, connected to it by an underground labyrinth of tunnels.

Garfein's Restaurant occupied the space in the early part of the twentieth century, and from 1933 to 1993, the storefront housed a seller of tombstones.

Former Mudd
77 White Street today
The Mudd Club 77 White Street

Opened in October 1978, the Mudd Club quickly became a major fixture in the city’s underground music and counterculture scene. The club featured a bar, gender-neutral bathrooms, and a rotating art gallery on the fourth floor curated by Kieth Herring. Live performances showcased punk rock, new wave, and experimental music.

As it became more frequented by downtown celebrities, a door policy was established and it acquired a chic, elitist reputation that made it impossible for an ordinary person to get in.

The club closed in 1983.

The Peppermint Lounge 128 West 45th Street

This was an early discotheque where "go-go" dancing is reputed to have originated in the early 1960s. "The Twist" dance craze was closely associated with the club. Women began getting up on tables here and dancing "the twist".

Many celebrities frequented the Peppermint Lounge, including Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962, and The Beatles during their first U.S. visit in 1964. The lounge was the home base of Joey Dee and the Starliters, who recorded their #1 hit "Peppermint Twist" at the venue in the early 1960s. In the mid '60s, the house band was the Wild Ones. The Denos, a traveling road house band that performed soul music with a dance beat, were featured here.

The venue closed when it lost its liquor license on December 28, 1965.

The Pyramid Club 101 Avenue A

Opened in 1979, this nightclub helped define the East Village scene of the 1980s.

The struggling artists, actors, and musicians who lived in the East Village in the late '70s and early '80s created their own scene. They took over the Pyramid, an undistinguished club on a desolate block.

Andy Warhol and Debby Harry dropped in to do a feature on this club for MTV. Madonna appeared at her first AIDS benefit here. Both Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first New York City concerts here.