Former Location –
This is the club where Andy Warhol discovered The Velvet Underground. It was also a haven for the “beatnik” culture of the 50’s. It was one of the leading places for New York avante garde artists to hang out, share music and poetry and generally feel free to be themselves.
The Velvet Underground Discography
1967 – The Velvet Underground & Nico
1968 – White Light/White Heat
1969 – The Velvet Underground
1970 – Loaded
1972 – Live at Max’s Kansas City
1973 – Squeeze
106 W 3rd St
New York NY 10012
I played there in the summer of 1964 as a solo and, bakup gutarist behind a black friend, Eddie leftwich from Harlem. We had to follow Richie Havens (Damn then, great now). I’ve always remembered his huge flatpick and fantastic strumming techniques.
P.s. The manager also hired me to paint the upper front of the building that summer. Alas ‘the good ole days.”
It was a “Beatnik” club
In summer of 1962, my girlfriend worked there as a waitress. They were aiming for a “real beatnik” theme, apparently aiming to pull in the bridge-and-tunnel crowd. Waitresses had to wear black leotard tights. Seems to me that many of the acts were guys wearing berets, reading terrible poetry while someone played on a bongo drum. There was also some rock and roll, and folk music. Once my girlfriend got me a job, painting a house for the club’s owner, a few blocks away on St. Marks Place. A fire broke out while we were painting, which put an end to the days work, and we had to go back to the club that evening to pick up our pay in cash after they had collected enough money from the admission charges, which was a couple of bucks as I recall. Most of the other painting crew was pretty sketchy — guess I was too, at the time.
I was a member of the OUTCASTS who played next door at the Village Music Hall
I played there the same month as “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”came out.
My band, “The Gremlins” played there 6 months before Lou Reed’s first gig there. OUr bass player was Steve Cumberland who’s first band was with Max Weinberg back in the 8th grade. We were just teens at the time. Pat Suriano changed his name to Pat Brown and joined the “1910 Fruitgum Company” who had 3 hits in the top 10. Marc Gale was the drummer.
I was in the band “Piece of Mind” whihc was the house band 1968-1969. The club was said to have been the former stable of Aaron Burr, who shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Still had the wodden loft which looked very much like the hayloft of a barn.
Dark inside with thin wodden tables, no more than 12″ in width with a 3″ sort of back splash. The tables ran from the bare brick walls to a center isle, like church pews, with individual chairs. No alcohol was served; coffee, tea, hot apple cider, ice cream. Both the crowd and the bands were often underage (I was about 17). The owner professed a belief that the place was haunted.
There is a posting showing that it is now a grocery store and stating it was on the corner. It was not. It was mid block where there now apearst to be housing for NYU.
Great place in a very exciting an creative time n the village. James Taylor played up the block at the Night Owl with his group Flying machine. You hade the Cafe Wha, The Village Gaslight and of course the Bitter End among the clubs promoting creative music.
Was manager there when opened.
I was hired at the Bizarre as a dishwasher the day it opened. Two weeks after it opened, the manager quit and I was promoted to his position. The owner Rick Allmen was a true maniac and a genius. The day I became manager, two young guys came in at midday dressed to kill. They told me to get rid of the cigarette machine by night as they were bringing in their own. That was my first meeting with the local mafia with whom we had a very cordial relationship from that day on. Rick and I invented the hot apple cider drink with a cinnamon stick. It was copied by all the other coffee shops in the Village. Guests would ask us where we go such delicious cider. We told them we imported it from overseas but could not divulge the supplier. We got it from a dealer in New Jersey. lol. Plenty more stories if anyone cares to hear them…
I played there with my first band, the “Whatnots” 1965, my first professional public appearance and I was scared. I sang the Stones ” The last time” , the Kinks ” tired of waiting” and a couple of others. It was a great experience and so, so, so long ago.
I played there with my band “829” in 1969. Mostly blues and rock (Wake Me Shake Me, Baby It’s You, Season of the Witch, For What It’s Worth, Get Together, etc.) and a few originals. I think we played 5 or 6 sets a night!
I painted the mural on the back wall when I was fifteen years old and still in high school 1954-55