Posts Tagged ‘East Village in the 1970s’

Album covers from the 1970s shot in New York

February 1, 2016

Sometimes it’s obvious an album cover was shot in New York City—like Physical Graffiti, Billy Joel’s Turnstiles, or that wonderful New York Dolls cover of the band decked out in front of Gem Spa in the East Village.

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Other times it’s not so easy to tell. Take the cover for the Who’s The Kids Are Alright, photographed in 1968 by Art Kane.

With the band wrapped in a Union Jack flag, you’d never know they were leaning against the base of the statue of German revolutionary and New York reformer Carl Schurz, located at Morningside Drive and 116th Street.

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Neil Young doesn’t come across as a New York kind of guy; he’s more California or Canada. But here he is walking past NYU’s law school building on Sullivan and West Third Streets on the cover of 1970’s After the Gold Rush, captured by Joel Bernstein.

The website popspotsnyc.com has some incredible photos and backstory on After the Gold Rush and other New York–centric albums.

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Foghat—does anyone remember Foghat? In any case, the English band shot the front of their 1975 LP Fool for the City in the middle of 11th Street between Second and Third Avenues in the East Village.

The block hasn’t changed much, and the back of St. Mark’s Church is recognizable. Off the Grid, the blog for the Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation, has a nice post covering the then and now.

Rock albums shot on New York streets must have been a thing in the 1960s and 1970s—like these here. Maybe it all started with The Freewheeling Bob Dylan on Jones Street?

East 14th Street: three centuries, three views

November 25, 2013

“By 1893, New York’s entertainment world had moved up to the Herald Square area, but East 14th Street, once the city’s operatic, musical, and theatrical center, still maintained a score of attractions,” states the caption to his photo published in New York Then and Now, from 1976.

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The view is of East 14th Street looking west toward Irving Place in 1893. At the right is Tammany Hall, with Tony Pastor’s vaudeville house on the ground floor—the venue that gave Lillian Russell and other Gilded Age celebrities their start.

The Academy of Music is next door. Once the city’s leading opera house and a favorite of Old New York money families, it would be upstaged by the new Metropolitan Opera and closed in 1887.

The photo has wonderful small details: a sign for oysters on the left, street lights that appear small by today’s standards in front of Tammany Hall, and a glimpse of the still-unfinished Lincoln Building at the corner of 14th Street and University Place.

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By 1974, the same view is very different. The Lincoln Building is finished, but Tammany Hall is gone—relocated to Union Square East. Does 14th Street looks like it’s been widened? Hard to tell.

Con Edison’s headquarters took over the site. The Irving Hotel, visible in the 1883 photo, is now a rooming house. A Horn & Hardart automat exists, as does a bar called Clancy’s.

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In 2013, Con Ed still looms large. The automat, Clancy’s, Irving Hotel, and other small businesses are gone, replaced by luxury residence Zeckendorf Towers in 1988.

When rock album covers featured New York City

April 30, 2011

Remember album art—and hey, remember albums?

Back in the rock LP’s heyday, images of the city made it on many a front and back cover.

The New York locations for the cover art on The Doors’ Strange Days and The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan have gotten plenty of exposure.

But some cover shots and images deserves a second look.

Simon and Garfunkel’s first album was shot in the 53rd Street subway station. (Vintage trash can at left.)

When it came out in 1964 on the heels of Beatlemania, it bombed . . . then became a hit after a re-release two years later.

Art Garfunkel has said that they took hundreds of shots on the platform before finally getting the right one.

Gem Spa is still on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, as it was when the New York Dolls posed there for the back of their 1973 first LP.

Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic cover was photographed in 1974 just inside Central Park off of Fifth Avenue.

That’s a real pretzel vendor working a snowy city day there, selling his “pretzles” at bargain-basement prices.

“Huge punk selection” at Trash and Vaudeville

May 20, 2010

Skinny ties, black jeans, beatle boots, and other punk/new wave must-haves were up for grabs at Trash and Vaudeville, which has occupied the same St. Mark’s Place address since 1975.

An Ephemeral reader clipped this cool vintage ad out of a March 1980 issue of Trouser Press, a New York-based music magazine. Check out back issues from the 1970s and 1980s.