Sunday, January 30, 2011

1.30.61: Dylan shows up at Gerdes to play Hoot- Turned Away

Fifty years ago today, 19 year old Robert Zimmerman strode over to Gerdes' Folk City on 4th and Mercer to partake in the famous and ever-exciting Monday Night Hootennany. Since mid-1960, Gerdes' was the home of Greenwich Village's first open mic. It was a place where "dreamers came to dream," as David Massengill put it; A place known as "headquarters" by Carolyn Hester; A place called "the Mecca" by Richie Havens; A place that a grown up Bob Dylan would call in his autobiography Chronicles "the preeminent Folk Club in America."

But not this night. Young Bobby just looked to damn young to be allowed on stage. 

"Get out of here you punk kid," Mike didn't say to him. 

No. It was probably more like this: "How 'bout you come-a back next week with-a something that proves-a how old you are."

Which he did. And then he played the Hoot again the next Monday. And then several Mondays after that until soon enough, the likes of Dave Van Ronk, his wife Terri Thal, Folk City booking agent Charlie Rothschild and a host of others "sternly suggested" that Mike book the Kid. Which he did....

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