Anderson Theater

“Unlike the former Fillmore East two blocks north, there is no plaque at 66 Second Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets to honor the Anderson Theater. The forgotten Anderson kicked off with a series of rock concerts sponsored by Crawdaddy magazine on February 2, 1968 with Country Joe and the Fish, Jim Kweskin and Soft White Underbelly, predecessor to Blue Oyster Cult. Notable bands followed in the months ahead: the Yardbirds, Traffic, Procol Harum, Moby Grape and Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin. Big Brother’s Feb. 17 show introduced Joplin to many New York rock fans. Cinema Treasures notes that the venue opened in 1926 as the Public Theatre and presented Yiddish vaudeville shows and films. After a few years as the Antillas, a Spanish language cinema, it became the Anderson in 1957. The hall, named after theatrical agent Phyllis Anderson, offered Yiddish plays through the 1960s. Two Stony Brook University students, Neil Louison and Sandy Pearlman, came up with the idea to present rock concerts at the Anderson. The pair had produced rock shows at the college and Crawdaddy asked them to do the same in the East Village. The Village Theater, which would become the Fillmore East, was Louison and Pearlman’s first choice, but the deal fell through. Backed with financing by a shady bar owner, Tony Lech, the Anderson hosted a few months of concerts until Bill Graham opened the Fillmore East in March 1968. Most of the Anderson staff were quickly hired by Graham and the Anderson closed soon after. …”
Bedford + Bowery: The Anderson Theater, Forgotten Forerunner of the Fillmore East
Bedford + Bowery: The Fillmore East, ‘Church of Rock N Roll,’ Recalled By Those Who Helped Open It 50 Years Ago
Still hangin’ out on Second Avenue

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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