St. Marks Is Dead?, I Don’t Think So…

My earlier blog post was about Jackson Browne’s song, “The Birds of St. Marks”. So in the spirit of continuity I write….

I recall the day, many years ago when I skipped high school in Connecticut with friends and headed into New York City by train.

We took the subway to Astor Place in the East Village. Next we headed to St. Marks Place the hippest street I have ever been on. I bought a black and white Jimi Hendrix poster at a head shop. I hung it on my bedroom wall.

These memories surfaced due to a forthcoming NYC history book, St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Streets by Ada Calhoun. (Thanks for that tweet, Will Hermes)

I wish I didn’t have to teach on Monday night, November 2nd or I would be attending Ada Calhoun’s book release party at Cooper Union.

Now I just have to figure out how to get an autographed copy of her book 😉

The Birds of St. Marks – Jackson Browne

There is something hauntingly romantic about the Jackson Browne song, “The Birds of St. Marks”.

“This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved the Byrds. She even said on a couple of occasions, ‘Oh, you can play something like Jim McGuinn?’”

Read more:

“The Birds of St. Marks” was originally written in 1967 when Jackson Browne was 18 and returning home to California after a brief stint living in New York where he was recording with Nico. A time of innocence and lost love. A time of youth.

Nico: Chelsea Girl

Three of Jackson Browne’s first songs were recorded on Nico’s solo album. He played electric guitar on her recording as suggested by Andy Warhol to create a modern sound.

  • These Days
  • Fairest of the Seasons
  • Somewhere There’s A Feather

St. Marks Place Landmarks – East Village, New York City

St. Marks Place was a vibrant community in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s still a happening scene today.

#13 – Home to Lenny Bruce in the mid-1960s.[14]

#19-#25 – The Dom, Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey turned The Dom into a nightclub in 1966, which served as a showcase for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s multimedia stage show for the Velvet Underground.

#19-#25 – Became The Electric Circus. Billy Joel filmed his video, “A Matter of Trust” (1986) inside The Electric Circus.

131 Second Avenue (corner St. Marks Place), Gem Spa – Home of the Egg Cream 😉

#96 & #98 – The Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti features a front and back cover design that depicts these two buildings, which feature carved faces. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are in front of same building in the Rolling Stones music video “Waiting on a Friend“.[14]

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