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2 MacDougal Street

MacDougal Street

MacDougal Street
In the 1950s and 1960s, MacDougal Street here was the epicenter of the folk music scene of Greenwich village, especially right here in what use to be the folk music center in this building. They use to sell records, books, and guitar strings. And right at the back of the store was Bob Dylan himself bashing away on his typewriter in the early days. Now, Lizzy Young, the larger than life owner of the store, organized Dylan's first real show in Carnegie Chapter House. But although they gave it a good bit of marketing, they only managed to sell 53 tickets at $2 apiece. In 1959, Manny Roth converted the basement of this place here into a coffee house, and he spent his last $100 on a truckload of broken marble pieces, which he laid out on the floor himself. Then he painted the whole place black to look like a cave. The he started to lay on a whole range of eclectic acts like folk singers and beat poets and also comedy acts like Richard Pryor and Woody Allen. In 1958, John Mitchell converted the cellar down there to The Gaslight Cafe. It became the premier place if you were a comedy act or a folk singer. And by no means, it was a fancy place. There was even a leaky pipe above the stage, but it was the place that Bob Dylan wanted to get into. And when he finally got on the performance roster there, he started earning $60 a week, managed to afford an apartment, and it was his first real step to fame and fortune. It was in Cafe Wha? here that Jimi Hendrix was discovered. He was on stage one night giving it his all, and in the audience was Chas Chandler of The Animals. Chandler got so excited he spilled his drink all over himself. And before you know it, Chandler had Hendrix whisked off to England to start a new life and career.
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2 Washington Square Park

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