Cheers to Keith Richards for getting fantastic reviews for his new memoir, Life. Never knew he could write, but I also never thought Keith was Keef (at least not since he kicked his habit).
Anyone who has doubts, should check out Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll! The 1987 film documents the effort by Richards, to stage a tribute concert for/with his idol, Chuck Berry. Berry is nothing if not a proud man, and of course he once famously punched Richards in the face. Here it’s remarkable they didn’t pick up right where that left off.
In this great scene, Berry wants to show who’s boss, and puts Richards through the ringer — making him repeat the slur on “Carol”, over and over again.
I love how Richards says that “such a great sound came off the needle”, and moves his hand, as if it shot him through with lightning. There’s also a great shot of Johnny Johnson, Berry’s original pianist, who seems quite familiar with Berry’s modus operandi.
“You think I don’t take diversity seriously? Only a fool doesn’t. Diversity is the engine that drives this country.
We are an immigrant nation. The first generation works their fingers to the bone, making things; the next generation goes to college and innovates new ideas; the third generation…snowboards and takes improv classes.”
Crain’s had a good piece on how bit-by-bit, store-by-store, the old West Village around Bleecker Street is getting ‘cup-caked’.
While I’m not happy about it, these things go in cycles. The rents will get too high, and the crowds will move on.
Then inevitably, like dandelions or London planes rising through the cracks in the sidewalk, the place will become livable again. In the meantime, it’s just somewhere one knows to avoid (and since the neighborhood abuts the Meatpacking District, you don’t have to play hop-scotch to avoid the douchery.
As part of Jane Jacob’s first battle with Robert Moses, cars were banned in Washington Square Park in1958, but buses continued to use it as a turn-around for about a year more.
So, presuming the shots were contemporaneous... my best guess is late summer 1959 or the spring of 1960. That would also jibe with the garb of the two guys seen lounging by the fountain. There’s still a touch of beatnik about them.
Some other things notable in a city that was much more Julius Knipl, than Duane Reade.
1:28 — St. Mark’s Baths. Later to be the epicenter of the HIV contagion in New York.