Unknown Anderson Theater

Unknown Anderson Theater



Unknown Anderson Theater


Plant based Mexican food

Unknown Anderson Theater

 


I wonder how often diners enjoying some plant based Mexican cuisine al fresco at Bar Verde at  look across the street and notice the curtain cartouche atop 66 Second Avenue across the street?  And if they notice it, do they think it’s simply an architectural flourish or that it signifies something more?


For those of us who love live rock and roll, it’s more.


When it comes to the “best” of something, we are often age-myopic, that is, we narrow potential candidates to own personal or generational memories.


Ask a Boomer, “What was the best NYC rock venue?” and the Fillmore East will be at or near the top selection. While there are many other venues that had great music, Bill Graham’s venue had a cachet  that set it apart.


Ironically, for all its historic weight, the Fillmore East provided its musical paradise only over only 3 years, 3 months, and 20 nights.

Unknown Anderson Theater

Neil Louison and Sandy Pearlman

Neil Louison and Sandy Pearlman attended Stony Brook University on Long Island about an hour and a half away from New York City.  Louison and Pearlman organized some concerts at Stony Brook. Pearlman also managed Soft White Underbelly, a Stony Brook-based band that he’d eventually re-name Blue Oyster Cult.


Unknown Anderson Theater

Crawdaddy magazine

Unknown Anderson Theater

After he graduated from Stony Brooke in 1966, Pearlman wrote for Paul William’s Crawdaddy magazine [a journal that John Rockwell said in a NY Times article was ” “the first magazine to take rock and roll seriously.”] Pearlman and the magazine decided that a concert venue would be a great idea.


The first location they looked at was the Village Theater at 105 Second Avenue.  The venue was originally built as a Yiddish theater in 1925-26 .


The deal quickly fell through, but they soon found another old theater just two blocks away. It had opened in 1926 as the Public Theatre and “had focused on Jewish acts including Yiddish Vaudeville as well as the showing of Yiddish films.” (from Cinema Treasures)


The theater had been renamed the Anderson Theater by 1968 and though smaller than the 105 Second Avenue location, 66 Second Avenue looked fine.

Unknown Anderson Theater

February 2, 1968

And so on February 2, 1968 the Anderson Theater opened for rock shows with Country Joe and the Fish, Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band and–no surprise here–Pearlman’s Soft White Underbelly.


Some of the names associated with the Anderson are very familiar to Boomer rock enthusiasts. A light show by Joshua White (Joshua Light Show site) .  John Morris helped organize and the following year was a big part of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Chip Monck was also associated–another Woodstock MC.


Unknown Anderson Theater

Hells Angels Little Rascals

On one hand the inexperience of the managers gave the enterprise an Our Gang feel, but given the financial stakes it also could turn ugly at times. John Morris remembers “catching a Yale lock that had been thrown across the hall just before it hit my wife… It was a zoo.”


Yet the acts that were part of the Anderson’s short lifespan are well-known. Big Brother and the Holding Company’s first NYC appearance was at the Anderson on February 17 with BB King.


On March 6, the theater hosted a benefit concert for war resisters.


The Yardbirds played on March 30.


Unknown Anderson Theater

Enter Bill Graham

Bill Graham was already successfully presenting rock concerts in San Francisco. He attended the Big Brother concert at the Anderson and thought that New York could be a good spot, too. And what specific spot was Graham looking at?

The Village Theater, 105 Second Avenue.

Unknown Anderson Theater

March 8, 1968

And so on March 8, 1968 Graham’s Fillmore East opened and it’s amazing historic run began.


And Graham invited many of those people working at the Anderson to become part of it. They did.


The Anderson Theater slowly faded away given the Fillmore competition, Graham’s expertise and determined style, as well as the inexperienced Anderson crew.

Some of the other shows were:

  •  March 6, 1968, the theater hosted a benefit concert for war resisters featuring Country Joe and the Fish and the Fugs.
  • Eric Burdon and the Animals, March 1968

    Unknown Anderson Theater


  • November 23, 1970: Traffic, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Grateful Dead

  • The Cockettes in November 1971
  • Captain Beefheart, January 15, 1972
Unknown Anderson Theater

CBGB Theater

By the late 1970s, the Anderson Theater was empty.


Hilly Kristan had opened his famed CGBG venue at 315 Bowery on December 10, 1973.  Four ears later, he decided to open a second venue nearby. Nearby by ( 3/10ths of a mile) was, what else, the Anderson Theater.


And so the Anderson Theater, renamed the CGBG Theater, opened on December 27, 1977 “with Talking Heads headlining, supported by the Shirts and the Tuff Darts. The next night it was the Dictators, the Dead Boys, and the Luna Band (formerly Orchestra Luna). Then Patti Smithheadlined December 29, 30, and New Year’s Eve. (20thcpunkarchives article)


The attempt was a short-lived one. According to Roman Kozak’s This Ain’t No Disco: The Story of CBGB: After the Patti Smith dates the Theater closed. The place was briefly used as a rock and roll flea market and there was a show with the Jam the following March” [March 31, 1978]


Punk had arrived at the Anderson, but not for long. 


Today only the aforementioned curtain cartouche indicates that the building was ever something other than apartments with a first floor commercial space.


Unknown Anderson Theater

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman’s life with music did not end with the Anderson Theater. He continued to be a part of Blue Oyster Cult and it’s success as well as being the Black Sabbath’s manager from 1979-1983.


He founded Alpha & Omega Recording in San Francisco and was a pioneer of digital music as a vice president of Goodnoise Corporation, later eMusic.


He was a professor at McGill University in Montreal and then at the University of Toronto.


He died on July 26, 2016 (NY Times obituary)


Unknown Anderson Theater

 

 

 

 

Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Happy birthday

Buffy Sainte-Marie was born on February 20, 1941 on the Piapot Cree First Nation reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. 


If you are familiar with her, then you are certainly familiar with her most famous song, Universal Soldier which Vanguard Records  originally released on Sainte-Marie’s debut album It’s My Way! in 1964.



Neither the album nor the song were successful until Donovan covered Universal Soldier on a UK EP.  That success led to a US single release of his cover which had enough success that Sainte-Marie finally got a bit of the spotlight.


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Early musician


Although born in Canada, after the untimely deaths of both parents, relatives Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie, who lived in Massachusetts adopted her. They nicknamed her Buffy.


In a 2015 Vogue interview, Sainte-Marie said that, “As a little kid when I was three, I discovered a piano and I found out it made noise and I was fascinated and taught myself how to do what I wanted to do on it. I could play fake Beethoven, and do other things with strange chords that other people didn’t use but that I liked. I banged on pots and pans, I’d play with rubber bands, I’d blow on grass, I played the mouth bow.”


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Education


Sainte-Marie attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In a 2009 Democracy Now interview, she told Amy Goodman that while there, “…I started playing songs for the girls in my dorm and my housemother Theresa de Kerpely, who was from Europe. She really encouraged me, and she encouraged me to listen to people like Edith Piaf, Carmen Amaya, the flamenco dancer-singer, people from other countries. So, from the start of playing for other people, I was absorbing and reflecting, I think, a very wide world culture. International students at the university were a big influence on me.”


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Greenwich Village


Like so many other thoughtful singers of that time, Sainte-Marie went to Greenwich Village, but because of its New York location, “…she [would] go up to Akwesasne, the Mohawk reservation…. And it kind of became the paradigm of my life. I wasn’t intentionally trying to become a bridge for anything, but I did see that people in the cities, they wanted to know. “


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie


In 1965 Vanguard released Many a Mile, her second album. Her song “Until It’s Time for Your To Go.”  It became her most commercially successful single because so many have covered it including Elvis,  Cher, Bobby Darrin, Andy Williams, Glen Cam;bell, Jim Nabors, Nancy Sinatra, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Willie Nelson, Barbara Streisand, and a “few” others including Neil Diamond. 



Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Not mainstream


Despite that commercial success, Buffy Sainte-Marie was no pop star. Her aim was and continues to be more than 50 years later: raise awareness of necessary social changes, particularly the area of Native Americans.


In 1966 her third album,  Little Wheel Spin and Spin,  featured her
“My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying.”


Now that your big eyes have finally opened,

Now that you’re wondering how must they feel,

Meaning them that you’ve chased across America’s movie screens.

Now that you’re wondering how can it be real

That the ones you’ve called colorful, noble and proud

In your school propaganda

They starve in their splendor?

You’ve asked for my comment I simply will render:

My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.

Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Actor


According to the director Leo Penn, before she agreed to be a part of an episode of the popular TV show The Virginian she insisted “the studio cast Native actors for all the Indian parts (‘No Indians, no Buffy’). She also advocated that the writers bring complexity to her own role. She told them, ‘[I’m] not interested in playing Pocahontas.'”



Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Nihewan Foundation


In 1969 She founded the Nihewan Foundation which “is a small private non-profit foundation dedicated improving the education of and about Native American people and cultures. 


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Sesame Street


In 1976 she became a part of Sesame Street and in a TV first was shown explaining breastfeeding to Big Bird while nursing her son Cody.



Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Oscar


She left Sesame Street in 1981 and in 1982 co-wrote  “Up Where We Belong,” the theme song to the film An Officer and a Gentleman, with Will Jennings. The song won an Best Song Oscar. 


Sainte-Marie donated the Oscar to the Smithsonian as it was the first time that a Native American had won one.



Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

20th into the 21st Century


Buffy Sainte-Marie has never stood still and has always expanded her artistic panorama far beyond that of music. A 2016 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article listed 75 Things You Need To Know…about her.


And her own site lists the dozens of awards and honorary degrees others have given to her recognizing her lifetime of peace, love, and activism.


On November 10, 2017 she released her latest album, Medicine Songs. She described the album as, “…a collection of front line songs about unity and resistance — some brand new and some classics — and I want to put them to work. These are songs I’ve been writing for over fifty years, and what troubles people today are still the same damn issues from 30-40-50 years ago: war, oppression, inequity, violence, rankism of all kinds, the pecking order, bullying, racketeering and systemic greed. Some of these songs come from the other side of that: positivity, common sense, romance, equity and enthusiasm for life.”


Many happy returns Buffy


Activist Beverly Buffy Sainte Marie

Native American Activist John Trudell

Native American Activist John Trudell

Remembering, recognizing, and appreciating

John Trudell

Native American Activist John Trudell

February 15, 1946 — December 8, 2015

I recently watched the documentary RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World. It is about the mostly unknown but impressive role of Native Americans in popular music history. (movie site).


While watching this worthwhile film, I kept thinking, well there’s another person I should include a piece about at my site.


And as a self-described music buff, I am embarrassed to say that several of the musicians featured I hardly knew. (Not to pop my bubble completely, though, I was happy that I did have records of a few.)


John Trudell was one of those featured whom I’d not known.


Native American Activist John Trudell

Early life


Trudell was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up on and around the nearby Santee Sioux reservation. His father was a Santee, his mother’s tribal roots were in Mexico.. She died when he was 6.


He left high school and, as Native Americans had done since the first European wars on Native American land, Trudell volunteered to join the US military. He served in the US Navy from 1963 to 1967.


While there ,  as Native Americans in the military had experienced since those colonial times, he saw the dominant white society’s bias against minorities like Blacks, women, and, of course, Native Americans.


Native American Activist John Trudell

Alcatraz Island

Native American Activist John Trudell
Hopi men from Oraibi, Arizona sent to Alcatraz, 1895. Photograph by Isaiah W. Taber. (Credit Mennonite Library and Archives Bethel College, North Newton, KS)

The island and its use as a prison was a symbol of the US government’s deliberate and ongoing exclusion of Native Americans from becoming self realized within the dominant white society.


As far back as  1895, the government had imprisoned Hopi leaders there for their refusal to send their children to white schools to become culturally white and have their Hopi culture eradicated.


On March 8, 1964 a group of Sioux demonstrators affiliated with a San Francisco organization known as Indians of All Tribes (IAT) occupied Alcatraz Island for four hours.


Native American Activist John Trudell

Out of the Navy


After the military, he became an activist and joined the Indians of All Tribes Occupation of Alcatraz Island (ACT).


September 29, 1969, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a plan to turn the Federal prison site of Alcatraz Island into a monument to the US space program. 


10 days later, on October 9,  the American Indian Center in San Francisco burned down. It had been a meeting place that served 30,000 Indian people with social programs. The loss of the center focuses Indian attention on taking over Alcatraz for use as a new facility. 


After an overnight takeover of Alcatraz on November 9 a permanent takeover occurred on November 20. Seventy-nine Native-Americans seized control. The Indians of All Tribes claimed that the island belonged to Native Americans under the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, which provided for the return of all abandoned federal property to Native-Americans.


Native American Activist John Trudell

Radio Free Alcatraz


John Trudell ran a radio station called Radio Free Alcatraz from the occupation.



The occupation lasted until June 11, 1970. Although the occupation itself did not reach its goal of returning the island to the Native Americans, the successful occupation did help foster Native American activism which John Trudell would be a part of for the rest of his life.


Native American Activist John Trudell

A life of activism


As a part of the American Indian Movement (AIM) he joined the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties event when, the week before election day, caravans pulled into Washington, D.C., to present federal policymakers with solutions to the myriad problems in Native America. Within 24 hours, the group took over took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building and held it for six days.


He was part of the 1973 Liberation/Occupation of Wounded Knee village by AIM as well as becoming the national spokesperson for AIM, a position that he held until 1979.


On February 12,  1979 a fire burned down his home on the Shoshone Palute reservation in Nevada. The fire killed his wife Tina, three children, and Tina’s mother.  The fire was ruled an accident.


Native American Activist John Trudell

Spoken wordNative American Activist John Trudell


In his grief, Trudell began writing and publishing poetry. It became his greatest strength and, to the US government, a threat.


The FBI investigated him.  From Newtopian magazine:  “there is a quote from an FBI memo that says as much about our dysfunctional government as it does about John Trudell: “He is extremely eloquent…therefore extremely dangerous.” John is a great poet, not just because of his eloquence, not only because of his personal history (much of the tragedy of which the FBI caused), but because of the depth of his philosophy and consciousness.”


Trailer to a the Trudell documentary:


Native American Activist John Trudell

Music

Native American Activist John Trudell


Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis  contacted Trudell and offered to put his poetry to music. They recorded three albums: AKA Graffiti Man was released in 1986,  followed by But This Isn’t El Salvador and Heart Jump Bouquet, both in 1987.


Bob Dylan said that “AKA GRAFITTI MAN [was] the best album of 1986. Only people like Lou Reed and John Doe can dream about doing work like this.”



He continued to release albums even after the untimely death of Davis in  1988 (AllMusic discography).


He continued to release poetry and as a spokesman of the American Indian.


Native American Activist John Trudell


In 2008,  Fulcrum Publishing released Lines from a Mined Mind: The Words of John Trudella collection of 25 years of poetry, lyrics and essays.


His site has a 12 minute video history about him. It’s a great summary.



Native American Activist John Trudell

Walked


The Indian Country media site reportedJohn Trudell, noted activist, poet and Native thinker, walked on December 8, 2015,  after a lengthy bout with cancer. His family included some of his last messages to Indian country in a press release. Among them: “I want people to remember me as they remember me.”


Native American Activist John Trudell

 

What's so funny about peace, love, and activism?