Sunday, the morning of the Grammys, I was staying at the NY Marriott Marquee right in the heart of Times Square.
I woke early around 7 am and took a casual stroll on Broadway.
I love Times Square when it’s deserted.
I wound up on the corner of 49th and Bway.
A very famous corner especially for music mavens like you and I.
1619 Broadway at 49th Street is the building where musical dreams were turned into hits at the mythical Brill Building.
Just to think of what came out of that place and the song writers and song pluggers like Lieber and Stoller, Goffin and King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil not to mention the hey day of Tin Pan Alley.
Way, way back in the EyeGo early days I took a job at the Brill Building working in one of those old lofts up on I can’t remember what floor.
This place specialized in making copies of sheet music and scores for Broadway shows.
I’m not talking Xerox copies.
You remember those old mimeograph machines from elementary school. The one’s that used alcohol solution to make the copies.
You could catch a mini buzz off that stuff.
Well the one’s at this place were mimeograph machines on steroids that were able to make very long copies of very larger scores.
The place had no ventilation and everybody smoked. Mostly men in aprons with sad tired looks on their faces.
One night after a long shift and inhaling those fumes all day I stumbled out into the old Times Sq with the Camel sign, glaring car horns and blazing neon lights. It was a bad trip. I only lasted a couple of weeks. One time Yusef Lateef came in for some copy work. And one time I got on the elevator with Lieber & Stoller.
So ended my brief, but spectacular time at the Brill Building.
Sadly another landmark on 49th & Bway Colony Records is gone now too.
My 49th and Bway journey continued across the street on the South East Corner.
That was the site of the first psychedelic night club in NYC The Cheetah Club.
This is the first time I saw Jimi Hendrix in 1966 playing with Carl Holmes and the Commanders.