Following Bob’s Footsteps
From: Boojum Bebo
This past week Nancy had a conference at NYU so I went along for the ride. We stayed in Greenwich Village, so I decided to try and find some of Bob Dylan’s old haunts (Bob would be a great member of the Boojum Buddies). With the aid of the Web, finding these spots was quite easy.
It’s said that when Bob arrived at Greenwich Village/Washington Square he felt right at home
Musicians are still quite common here – even some playing jug band music –
We stayed at the Washington Square Hotel. It was once known as the Hotel Earle. The hotel claims that Bob and Joan Baez stayed there in Room 305. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Peter LaFarge were among some other folksingers to call it home. Next time, Nancy and I will request room 305…
Bob frequently played at the Cafe Wha? (115 MacDougal Street) which is still there and is pretty funky – the club clearly capitalizes on the Dylan (and Hendrix) connection.
Bob also played at The Gaslight Cafe and The Kettle of Fish (116 MacDougal Street). It’s said that he premiered Masters of War here. No longer here, it’s a tattoo parlor. Is there something poetic about this? I have never heard if Bob has any tats…
The Commons was the club where, according to legend, Bob wrote Blowin’ in the Wind – it’s now The Fat Black Pussycat
Another legend is that Bob wrote Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall in the basement of The Village Gate. The club is gone, but the marquee has been restored and replaced
It appears that many of the Bob-related landmarks became victims of NYU expansion. For example, Gerde’s Folk City (71 West 4th Street) is no longer there having been replaced by huge university buildings.
I saved the best for last, this is Jones Street walking towards 4th Street – supposedly it is the location of the photo of Bob and Suze Rotolo that appears on the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album. I was humming Positively 4th Street here and surely some of the locals thought me to be a deranged old fart wandering aimlessly.
As Bob wrote, “wait only for my boot heels / To be wanderin’. / I’m ready to go anywhere” – a good motto for the Boojum Buddies.