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    GASLIGHT CAFÉ


    116 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York, NY


    Ralph Rinzler, Bob Dylan, and John Herald,
    Gaslight Café, 1961 (John Cohen).


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    The Gaslight was originally a 'basket house', where performers were paid the proceeds of a passed-around basket. Opened in 1958 by John Mitchell..., the dark, steamy, subterranean Gaslight had showcased beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso but became a folk club when Sam Hood took over. Dylan premiered "Masters of War" and many other songs here...

    John Bauldie, Positively 4th Street Revisited, Q, No. 104, May 1995, p. 56.



    LEN CHANDLER:
    I was the only singer at the Gaslight for a long time, and then it started going from a poet scene to a music scene around 1960.

    The Gaslight was weird then because there were air shafts up to the apartments and the windows of the Gaslight would open into the air shafts, so when people would applaud, the neighbors would get disturbed and call the police. So then the audience couldn't applaud; they had to snap their fingers instead.

    Kristin Baggelaar & Donald Milton, The Folk Music Encyclopedia, London, 1977, p. 65.


    The Creators Of The Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase...Len Chandler And John Braheny:

    In the early 70's, LEN CHANDLER and JOHN BRAHENY created what was to become the LOS ANGELES SONGWRITER"S SHOWCASE (LASS). This entity became the focal point for songwriters throughout the western half of the United States and helped propel many great writers to stardom. Listen as John and Jeanie speak with the LASS founders and discover where they came from and how they forged an organization which has never been duplicated to this day. A "must hear" for aspiring songwriters of today.


    TOM PAXTON:
    The two big clubs were Folk City and the Gaslight. They were almost interchangeable. There were two minor differences. The Gaslight had no booze, but it was in a better location. So what each lost in one, it made up in the other...

    There was a hide-out room above the Gaslight where we could hang out. Once Dylan was banging out this long poem on Wavy Gravy's typewriter. He showed me the poem and I asked, "Is this a song?" He said, "No, it's a poem." I said, "All this work and you're not going to add a melody?" He did. It was "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall."

    Robbie Woliver, Hoot! -- A 25-Year History of the Greenwich Village Music Scene, New York, 1986, pp. 119-120.


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