Thursday, February 13, 2014

Those Places Thursday (February 13, 2014) --The Fillmore East

The Fillmore East was a legendary music concert venue in Manhattan from March 1968 to June 1971. It was a theater that sat about 2,700 people and served as the east coast sibling to the San Francisco music venue of rock promoter Bill Graham known as the Fillmore Auditorium (later "Fillmore West"). The Manhattan venue was originally (1925 - 26) a Yiddish theater called the Commodore Theater and later became the Loews Commodore movie theater when Loews Inc. took it over.  It had fallen into serious disrepair when Bill Graham acquired the building in 1967.

Graham turned the former movie theater into a premier venue for rock & roll acts and it became known as "The Church of Rock and Roll." For the three years of its existence, Fillmore East showcased almost all of the famous rock acts of the time.  The Grateful Dead were regulars and groups such the The Beach Boys, the Allman Brothers Band, Crosby Still Nash and Young, Led Zeppelin, The Byrds, Sha Na Na, and numerous others played there. There is a long list of rock albums that had some or all of their songs recorded live at Fillmore East.

I was an undergraduate and graduate student at Rutgers in New Brunswick, New Jersey for much of the 1970s and since Manhattan was a short train or bus ride from New Brunswick, I attended several rock concerts in New York over the years. I went to shows at Fillmore East on at least two occasions that I can recall.

The first time I went to Fillmore East was in October, 1970.  John Mayall, It's A Beautiful Day, and Flock played as shown in the program pages immediately below.

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Photographs of the Fillmore East program for October 9 - 10 , 1970 from the original program in the collection of the author.

For more information about Fillmore East and a photo gallery, see the website of the Fillmore East Preservation Society at  and the Wikipedia entry at

For more information about John Mayall, see

For more information about It's A Beautiful Day, see's_a_Beautiful_Day

For more information about Flock, see 
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. I was a recent college graduate living on E7th St and would go to the Filmore for the almost free concerts Wednesday afternoons. I was at the Chambers brothers concert new Years Eve 1969...worked i a private psych hospital, and would get calls from my friends who may have been freaking out on acid to come and rescue them at the Filmore, with my stockpile of thorazine and Tim Leary knowledge to talk them calm.