The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55436 Message #861597
Posted By: Art Thieme
08-Jan-03 - 11:52 AM
Thread Name: Washington Square Memories
Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
1964---Hit New York intending to be the next Van Ronk. Hung in Washington Square every Sunday I was there. Rode Statten Island Ferry for .05 --- left my guitar with Jose who sold hot dogs there on the boat. (We were trusting souls back then 'cause those were much cooler times.) Went to Central Park during the day & pretended to sunbathe but actually slept for 5 or 6 hours. Went back to the ferry, got my guitar, cleaned up in the john going over and back. Did a gig at Cafe Wha and passed the hat until closing time. Went to Horn and Hardardt automat with change I'd made that night for a meal. Walked the streets until sun-up. Got a standing-room-only ticket to see Richard Burton do Hamlet on Broadway---Lunt Fontayne Theater. The day of that show I traded that ticket for a just-returned third-row-center seat. Sat with the tuxedos and evening gowns after sleeping in the park for two weeks. Hung in Washington Square and soaked my feet in the fountain. Swapped music. Then back to sleep in Cen. Pk.-----back to the ferry----back to Cafe Wha. (Gaslight wouldn't even let me audition.) Repeat over and over for 3 weeks or so. Then a Grayhound Bus through the Blue Ridge to the Grand Ol' Opry and followed Hank Snow (my vocal hero then) from Nashville to his gig at the Illinois State Fair. Finally to Chicago and got a gig as assistant mgr. of the Old Town Folklore Center. That lasted from summer '64 through early '67---when Carol and I were married.
Just had our thirty-sixth anniversary on 1/3/2003. Carol gave me a DVD of Richard Burton doing a rehersal of that Hamlet. R.B. had ordered all the copies of that less than perfect film destroyed-----but one copy survived the purge. That is now available. I'd waited, patiently, for almost forty years for someone to find a copy, litigate it, and make it available.
This thread brought it all back. Thanks.