Viewing entries tagged
folk music

Only in New York

A section of Washington Place was renamed for the Village folk legend in 2004. Van Ronk died in 2002.

A section of Washington Place was renamed for the Village folk legend in 2004. Van Ronk died in 2002.

Van Ronk buzzer.

Van Ronk buzzer.

  Gotta feel for the woman. Every time she walks out her front door she sees her former husband's name not in lights, but on a street sign.

  Andrea Vuocolo, the folk legend's second wife, lives on a street that shares her former husband's name. The sign is steps from the front door of her building where the buzzer is. (The buzzer has the Vuocolo name spelled slightly wrong.) 

  So whenever she leaves her building, she can glance up and see her ex's name immortalized on a street sign. Where else but in Greenwich Village, and on a The Beats and Bob Dylan walking tour no less! Can't make this stuff up.

 Not that she was on bad terms with Dave when she split up with him, and I am not entirely sure if she was still married to him when he died. Don't have the nerve to hit the buzzer and ask her, and no one I have asked has the same story twice about it. And I don't blindly trust Wikipedia. Their personal life is their own, to a point. I mean the Coen Brothers made a movie loosely based on the guy - Dave Van Ronk - called Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).

  And he was also arrested at Stonewall in June 1969. He was walking by and tossed a brick at cops who were needlessly arresting homosexual bar patrons.

  Good for him.

 

All Dylan Tour?

116 MacDougal Street, former home of the Gaslight Cafe.

116 MacDougal Street, former home of the Gaslight Cafe.

The death this week of Bob Johnston, who produced "Blonde on Blonde" and "Highway 61 Revisited" for Bob Dylan (plus classic albums for Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and many others) got us thinking about adding another tour to the Save The Village lineup - an all Bob Dylan tour.

Doing research for the Save The Village tours, we went on some other local tours - both walking and on those ubiquitous double decker buses - to see what was good, bad and ugly.

The saddest was at the end of one tour when a woman from Australia turned to me and said, "Mate... How can these people offer a Greenwich Village tour and not even mention Bob Dylan?! That is why I came on the tour!"

Agreed.

I know who John Dos Passos, ee cummings and Dashiell Hammet were, can point to the corner where the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire took place and know where on Grove St. that Thomas Paine wrote "Common Sense." And some people do come on tours for old stuff. But people also want to see places that they can relate to, from their own memories or experiences. That is why we point out where on West 10th St. Julia Roberts has an apartment. (Across from Edward Albee's old place).   

It would not be too hard to put together an All Bob Tour, encompassing where he lived, worked, played, visited, shopped... all below 14th St. (Maybe we'd stretch it up to Irving Place where one of his business managers we know had an office.)

161 W.  4th St., where Dylan first rented an apartment - a top floor studio facing the back.

161 W.  4th St., where Dylan first rented an apartment - a top floor studio facing the back.

The tour would likely include places he performed including just on MacDougal Street: The Folklore Center, Cafe Wha? (see photo), Gerde's Folk City, the Gaslight Cafe and Kettle of Fish; the Theatre de Lys on Christopher Street which was a favorite spot; also the Cedar Tavern on University Place, The White Horse on Hudson St., The Bitter End and the Village Gate (both on Bleecker Street) or he'd be in Washington Square Park listening to music on a Sunday afternoon (as famously captured in a McDarrah photograph elsewhere on this site); or places he lived or crashed such as 161 West 4th St. (see photo) , 94 MacDougal St. (see photo), the former Hotel Earle or One Sheridan Square.

And Fred W. McDarrah did photograph most of these places.

Hmmm...

94 MacDougal St., which Dylan owned in the 1970s. 

94 MacDougal St., which Dylan owned in the 1970s.