55 Died

a story of the 1990s, disappearing in Greenwich Village

55 Died

Blues Hall of Fame (blueshalloffame.com)

1990s died when ownership of 55 Bar changed, the interesting mural on the south wall gone, and the old and worn wooden tables and chairs, were replaced by newer renditions of such, the likes one finds in more sterile newer environments.


promotion of Women in Limbo (footnote 1.)

Also, The Knitting Factory on Houston, closed, and went to Varick,  in Tribeca, no long the place for creative genius and experimental sounds.

“In September 2003, John Zorn curated a month of music at Tonic in New York to celebrate his 50th birthday.”-FLUX magazine, July 26, 2013: John Zorn at 60 – One of those real ‘I was there’ concerts. (footnote 2.)

John Zorn had an alternative, called Tonic, on Norfolk, lower East Side, and viewed Elliot Sharp there, a decade ago. Experimental sounds still have their spots providing that Zorn maintains Stone, on Avenue C, though for vintage interiors 55 Bar has changed, and gone another way, for good.

wikipedia (footnote 3.)

55 Died

55 Jazz Bar, 55 Christopher Street, across from Sheridan Square, is a bar I  began frequenting in 1988, and had become a destination for me and my  friends, and even visitors from afar, who came to town.

55 Jazz Bar underwent an ownership change around 2000 or shortly after, and soon the venue’s cozy and rustic dingy dark feel changed.

Gone was the original mural painted directly on the premises wall long before I began visiting the bar, and extended for a good part of the south wall. This original mural depicting in surreal cartoon characterization what C. Wright Mills termed The Power Elite.  The free offers of endless pop corn from their pop corn machine was an added feature, of course, along with the jazz.  Along with the mural gone too was the waitress that seemed as permanent as the mural, the returning jazz musicians, and the pop corn,  always a pleasant welcoming local friend to the many visitors, who passed away of illness, god rest her soul.

55 Jazz is still there, steps down from the street, in a more standardized interior, with little character of its own, though the jazz, beer and trickle of visitors remains.

The Knitting Factory was a place on East Houston, were I would go, and introduced several people to, to listen to music I encountered when investigating experimental jazz and other forms of music on the so called edge of creativity, back in High School. I found Elliot Sharp and his band Carbon often performed there, and that was what initially led me to the spot, that eventually moved to Tribeca and no longer was the venue for cutting edge creative artists.

wikipedia (footnote 4.)

Time Out Magazine‘s current description of the current 55 Bar, the venue that once held its exhibited nostalgia by way of preservationhttp://www.timeout.com/newyork/bars/55-bar  


  1. http://www.womeninlimbo.com/womeninlimbo.com/Welcome.html
  2. http://www.fluxmagazine.com/index.php/music/john-zorn/
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonic_%28music_venue%29
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knitting_Factory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s