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
Comedian Lenny Bruce and the club's owner, Howard
Solomon, were arrested here on obscenity charges
The legendary CBGBs
315 Bowery today
315 Bowery at
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 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
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
337 8th Street today
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
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
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
19-23 St. Mark's
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
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
Second Avenue at
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.