Updates on URBANOLOGY

Walk ‘n’ Roll: Punk Secrets and Memorials of the East Village

A piece of Pete Townshend's guitar is between the Union Jack and the Led Zeppelin logo.

A piece of Pete Townshend's guitar is between the Union Jack and the Led Zeppelin logo.

Musicologist Bobby Pinn provides the ultimate walking tours of New York’s East Village for rockoholics. Here are some of the highlights.

Bill Graham’s Fillmore East – the Second Avenue venue that witnessed legendary performances by The Allman Brothers Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (with John Lennon sitting in), the first performance of the Who’s Tommy and much more – is now a bank. It closed in 1971 after numerous underage drinking citations. The remaining evidence is a street sign designating this block Bill Graham Way, and an incredible street-post mosaic. Artist Mosaic Man (who has hand-decorated several posts in the neighborhood) created a tribute to those who performed here. It includes a piece of Pete Townshend’s smashed guitar.

 

 

 

Joey Ramone lived here and owned three apartments 

Joey Ramone lived here and owned three apartments 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, the New York Dolls and many more shopped  here

Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, the New York Dolls and many more shopped  here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How cool is this? The cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1977 Physical Graffiti album is this building. One entire floor was removed from the artwork (to fit the album space, but also, allegedly, to calm Jimmy Page’s concerns that this floor was where his dealer lived!) The fire plug and four trash cans are still there! This building is also seen in the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Strummer mural. This is its third incarnation in this location

Joe Strummer mural. This is its third incarnation in this location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Birdhouse,” jazz legend Charlie Parker’s home from 1950-54 on Avenue B

“The Birdhouse,” jazz legend Charlie Parker’s home from 1950-54 on Avenue B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iggy Pop also lived on Avenue B, and even released a 1998 album of the same name

Iggy Pop also lived on Avenue B, and even released a 1998 album of the same name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

234 East 4th Street, apt 4A, was Madonna’s home in 1977

234 East 4th Street, apt 4A, was Madonna’s home in 1977

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is now this little garden was the location of The Ramones first album cover photo

What is now this little garden was the location of The Ramones first album cover photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joey Ramone Place was at one time the most-stolen street sign in NYC

Joey Ramone Place was at one time the most-stolen street sign in NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was once rock club mecca CBGB is now this trendy boutique with $2,000 jackets for the new denizens of the East Village. The boutique (named for rock photographer John Varvatos) prudently preserved many of the walls: Every square inch is gloriously covered in graffiti and band stickers. Some of the walls are behind plexi-glass, but others are just bare. Somewhere in here was a sticker for my band Lawndale who played here in 1987. My son, Paul, a Ramones lover who has his own band The Rock Mummies, wrote his name on the wall before he was asked to leave by the store owners!