Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Mike Porco, Bob Dylan, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, Oct 23, 1975
The Dean of Folk City, MIKE PORCO, was born this date 98 years ago. When he came to America as an 18 year old kid from Italy, becoming one of the most important figures involved in reviving American Folk and Blues music was the farthest thing from his mind. But that's just what happened.

As owner of Gerde's Folk City, he hired nearly every established Folk, Roots and Blues star to come through Greenwich Village in the 60s and 70s. Of course, he hired many up and coming stars who would later go on to become household names.

So many would-be stars cut their teeth at Gerde's and so many other recording artists from a wide array of genres landed work at Folk City. Thousands of Folk City's patrons have witnessed some of the most historic shows the Village has ever seen.

It was this date in 1975 when Bob Dylan, arguably at the height of his storied career, brought his entourage back "home" where it all began. The location was different in 1961 for Dylan's first gig opening up for John Lee Hooker. Gerde's was on 4th and Mercer. By 1975, Folk City was at 130 West 3rd. One thing was the same: Mike Porco still had a stage full of stars playing every week.

On October 23rd 1975, there happened to be a triple bill of musicians playing. Dylan and company got wind that it was Mike Porco's birthday so they decided, 'what better place' to kick off the Rolling Thunder Revue. On top of that, they could all pay respects to Mike on his birthday. Dylan waited and listened and spent time at Gerde's for hours before it was his turn to play. The party, as you can imagine, went into the wee hours of the morning. To this day, all in attendance STILL share fond memories of "the time Dylan came back.".

THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, the world famous Gaslight Cafe on MacDougal St will, again, host a birthday tribute to Mike Porco. Recording artist and SALLY SPRING and her husband TED LYONS will headline the main event. The incomparable FRANK CHRISTIAN will open in what is shaping up to be one of the more memorable shows in the FRIENDS OF MIKE PORCO series live at the Gaslight.

The night will start out with stories and tales from the life and times of Mike Porco and Gerde's. A few of Mike's musician friends will stop in to play a song or two and then the wonderful show starts at 7pm.

Come down and join us for the first annual Mike Porco Tribute at the Gaslight!
For advance tickets: