Academy of Music

126 E. 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

Unfavorite 16 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 100 of 189 comments

somoman
somoman on February 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Hey Ed

No, the asterisks were nothing more than reminders to myself that I had to return to those listings for one reason or another. I have a slightly more thorough and accurate list that I failed to post, and I will post it within the week.

As for the Band, it didn’t occur to me during the making of the list that this was the Band’s final tour (which of course it was). So I never questioned the dates. The dates are far earlier than the Thanksiving show at Winterland, but then again, a year long tour for the Band was hardly beyond their scope of capability. Looks like a little research is in order. As for the Band playing at the Palladium, I saw the 1971 New Year’s eve show with Bob Dylan. That was fun.

By the way, I picked up Last Waltz about a year ago on Ebay. It was as good as the first time I saw it, and it gave me chills all over again. The back story of how the last show became an event is briliantly told by Scorcese as part of the DVD extras. As an aside I’ve got to say that Van Morrison, who could be aweful (moody) on any given night, gave the performance of a lifetime.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 11, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Apologies to StePHen for mispelling not only his real name, but his CT handle of Somoman! D'oh!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Hey Steven (sonoman)… What do the asterisks indicate on your list? At first I thought the one next to The Band’s 1976 appearance might have been to indicate the premier show under the newly christened Palladium moniker (which it was), but then I saw other shows asterisked further down the list.

Also… My memory may be faulty, but I thought that the gig by The Bank in ‘76 might have been much later in the year than March. I seem to recall that the show at their Palladium was a part of a farewell run leading up to the famous Last Waltz concert out at Winterland in San Francisco that Thanksgiving. When The Band appeared on Saturday Night Live that same week, the upcoming farewell concert was mentioned by the show’s guest host. Perhaps I’ve just mistakenly assumed that the SNL appearance was the same week of the Palladium gig. You sure that didn’t happen more like September or October of '76?

house
house on February 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm

the academy was where i was introduced to live shows….electric hot tuna in ‘73…loud…the bathroom was like an opium den…i remember grabbing some dealers stash out front at a lou reed show and fighting with him…a car burning in the street after the late show….remember when hot tuna broke up—-it was jorma and bob steeler—-nobody else…awesome….went out for breakfast and came back in. jeff beck…johnny winter….kinks…muddy waters…great place !!!!

LuisV
LuisV on February 11, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Attached below is a review of The Palladium discoteque which opened in the academy of Music in 1985. It’s an amazing article that describes the state of the theater before the conversion and a proper critique.

AN APPRAISAL; THE PALLADIUM: AN ARCHITECTURALLY DRAMATIC NEW DISCOTHEQUE

By PAUL GOLDBERGER
Published: May 20, 1985
Arata Isozaki is at once a great eminence of Japanese architecture and a source of some of its freshest thinking. And all sides of Mr. Isozaki are visible in the Palladium, the expansive new discotheque on East 14th Street that opened last week.

It is Mr. Isozaki’s first

American design to reach completion, and one of the most remarkable pieces of interior architecture in New York.

It is rare that a celebrated architect designs a discotheque at all, let alone decides to let this kind of project serve as his debut in a country in which he is beginning to achieve a major reputation. It is rather as if Philip Johnson were to go to Japan to design not a skyscraper, but a geisha house.

But if the match of architect and building project seems strange at first, the results at the Palladium bear out the wisdom of this unusual marriage. This is a spectacular interior, full of light and movement and genuine spatial drama.

Contrast With Studio 54

Yet it could not be further from the flashing lights and glitter of a place like Studio 54, the discotheque created by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, the impresarios who are also behind the conception of the Palladium, at 126 East 14th Street. This is actually a discotheque deserving to be considered in serious architectural terms.

Mr. Rubell and Mr. Schrager are nothing if not pulse-takers of the moment, and they have correctly divined that architecture has a chic in the 1980’s that it did not have in the 70’s.

They also knew that Mr. Isozaki’s architecture, which imbues simple geometric forms with a kind of primal energy, has been getting more and more attention in architectural circles, and that he had been chosen to design the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. This is certain to be one of the most talked-about museums in the country when it is finished next year.

Structure Within a Shell

What more natural match, then, than themselves and Mr. Isozaki to create the discotheque that would be for this decade what Studio 54 was for the last? It could almost be dismissed as a cynical exploitation of architecture’s current trendiness – if the results were not so truly excellent.

The Palladium has been built within the shell of the old Academy of Music, a movie palace of faded grandeur that has presided, like a glum but self-assured dowager, since 1926 over the block of 14th Street east of Union Square.

The old theater had never been sliced into smaller parts, like so many great movie houses of its era, but neither had it been well cared for. By the time the owners of the Palladium took it over, it had fallen into a state of deep, almost sordid, dinginess.

But the theater’s ornate architecture was essentially intact, and that set the theme for the design. The Academy of Music’s original architecture was not gutted, and neither was it cleaned up to any substantial degree. Instead, it was allowed to remain, rich and crumbling, as a background for a structure Mr. Isozaki designed to be set within it.

Mr. Isozaki’s new structure is set at what was the loge level of the old theater; the orchestra level and the old stage have been entirely covered up with new construction.

The new structure is a great grid of horizontal and vertical pieces mounting up for several stories, with a proscenium-like arch leaping across their middle. Within it is the main dance floor; behind it, most of the original mezzanine and balcony remain, permitting visitors to climb up and look down on the activity within the Isozaki structure.

The old auditorium is so vast that it can contain this foreign object, as big as a building, without seeming to blink an eye. Indeed, making this unusual juxtaposition work is the central point of Mr. Isozaki’s design – he is setting up an architectural dialogue in which an old container and a new thing contained within it are completely different, yet each maintains its integrity.

The Romance of Decay

The old movie palace is mysterious and ornate, seeming to hold within it the romance of generations; it has been left in its crumbling state to enhance this romantic, slightly eerie quality.

Mr. Isozaki’s insertion is crisp, hard and direct, revealing all. It is not hard to see that Mr. Isozaki is not merely juxtaposing two kinds of architecture, or old objects and new – he is really using each portion of this building as part of a much broader metaphor, exploring softness and hardness, decay and renewal, warmth and coolness, even mystery and revelation.

If all of this suggests that the Palladium is as solemn as a church, it is not so at all – it is in fact quite exuberant, with spectacular lighting effects, a fine palette of colors and altogether remarkable works of art.

The consortium of artists enlisted to participate in this venture is as much of the moment as the architect. It includes Francesco Clemente, who has painted a set of somewhat melancholy, but nicely colored, frescoes over a portion of the vaulted ceiling in one of the old theater’s vestibules; Kenny Scharf, who has turned the lower lounge into an almost magical arrray of decorations, comic-book icons, fake fur and mirrors and toys that suggest a perverse version of a Warner LeRoy restaurant, and Keith Haring, who has designed a huge graffiti mural for the rear wall of the stage.

But most startling of all may be the use of video screens as part of the art and architecture.

This is not the first time video has become part of a discotheque, of course, but it is surely the first time two huge banks of 25 television monitors each have been set within huge frames that are raised and lowered, like pieces of a stage set. The frames are designed in the shape of a Rolls-Royce grille, which may or may not be a comment on the leanings of the discotheque crowd in the 1980’s.

But whatever it means, the visual power of this array of television sets is undeniable – particularly given the use of advanced video technology that permits an image either to be seen in small size on each screen or in vast size, with all the monitors joined together to make an immense image that is as large as the one seen on a movie screen.

All of this goes on within Mr. Iso-zaki’s gridded structure, the inside of which is filled with softly glowing lights and is, in effect, the focus of all activity. But there are subsidiary spaces as well in the Palladium, including a ‘'back room’‘ that carries the metaphor of the building one step farther.

The back room has been made even dingier than it was when Mr. Rubell and Mr. Schrager found it, and instead of the ornament of the main theater, there is an exposed steel girder cutting across it; inside, in deliberate contrast, is elegant furniture and tuxedoed waiters.

A Single Classical Column

That is a bit coy. But the architectural sequence Mr. Isozaki devised for the entrance to the whole place is anything but. The exterior and the outer vestibule have been left in their raw state, making a startling contrast within the doors to a white lobby, in which a single classical column, enclosed by new walls, stands high up straight ahead.

Beyond this stark entrance, deliberately neutral, the space opens up to a vast lobby, 120 feet long with undulating green walls and green columns on a purple and turquoise carpet, with a low ceiling to create a sense of compression. The colors here, as elsewhere, were selected with the help of Andree Putman, the gifted Parisian interior designer who collaborated with Mr. Isozaki on numerous details of the Palladium design.

A grand double staircase, the sleekest, most high-tech element in the place, climbs upward from here to the level of the discotheque itself.

Its floor, and the floor of a huge landing, are made up of 2,400 round lights set in round glass block. To walk up it is to walk on light, and it is a magical feeling – the stair contains within it both the hardness of the new Isozaki structure and, thanks to the light, the softness of the old theater, merging them all into a unified whole.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm

My only memory of the Academy of Music as a rock palace is an unpleasant one. During the 1980 NYC conclave of Theatre Historical Society of America, we were granted permission to view the interior. When the THS group arrived, the band known as Judas Priest was starting to rehearse on stage, playing at a sound level that promised to blast off the roof. We persevered, but after a few minutes, the band’s manager came over and ordered us to leave, claiming that we were distracting the musicians. He also threatened to sue anyone who’d taken photos that included Judas Priest. Those were the days before digital cameras, so he wanted people to turn over their rolls of film so that he could destroy them. Nobody did. We just left, many of us vowing to boycott Judas Priest for the rest of our lives and beyond.

somoman
somoman on February 11, 2008 at 10:12 am

1964
Beach Boys 2/13/64
Rolling Stones 10/24/64

1965
Hermans Hermits 6/12/65
Dave Clark 5 6/18/65
Kinks Moody Blues 6/19/65
Rolling Stones 11/6/65
1970
Rhinorcerus 10/31/70
Big Mama Thorton 11/16/70
1971
Allman Brothers 8/15/71
Black Sabbath 10/22/71
King Crimson 11/23 11/24/71
*Alice Cooper 12/1/71 Wet Willie
Mountain 12/13 12/15/71
The Band 12/28 12/29 12/30 12/31/71
1972
J.Geils Band 2/18/72 Billy Joel
Yes Sabbath 2/19 2/21 2/23/72
Grateful Dead 3/22, 3/23, 3/25, 3/26, 3/27, 3/28
Allman 4/16/72
Lindisfarne 8/5/72
Ten Years After 10/1/72 Ramatam
Byrds 10/6/72 Commander Cody Henry Gross
Quicksilver 10/13/72 Wishbone Ash Boz Scaggs
John Mayall 10/20/72
Steve Miller Band 10/21/72 Malo
Hot Tuna 10/27 10/28/72
Santana 10/30/72
Procol Harum 11/8/72 Steeleye Span
Buddy Miles 11/11/72 Rory Gallagher
West Bruce & Lange 11/17/72
New Riders 11/22, 11/23, 11/24
Savoy Brown 11/24 11/25/72 Atomic Rooster
Canned Heat 12/2/72 Spirit
Uriah Heep 12/15 12/16/72 White Trash
Fleetwood Mac 12/23/72 McKendree Spring

1973
Yes 2/23/72
King Crimson 4/28/73
Black Oak 1/31/74
Fleetwood Mac 3/30/73
New Riders 11/23 & 11/24 /73
Hawkwind 11/?/73
King Crimson 9/22/07
Quicksilver 10/19/73
Hot Tuna 11/10/73
Lou Reed 11/21/73
Iggy & Stooges 12/31/73 Kiss, BOC
1974
Fleetwood Mac 1/26/74 Kiss Argent Redbone
Black Oak 1/31/74 Jo Jo Gunne
New York Dolls 2/15/74 Kiss Elliot Murphy
John Mayall 2/16/74 Brownsville Station
Soft Machine 3/23/74 Renaissance / Coryell
Jefferson Starship 4/2 4/3/74
Poco 4/5/74 James Cotton
Genesis 4/4 4/6 4/8/74
New Riders 4/13 & 4/14
Quicksilver Messenger 5/4/74
Jefferson Starship 7/7/76
Nektar 9/28/74
Fleetwood Mac 10/5/74
Golden Earring 10/26/74
Gentle Giant 11/1 & 11/3/74 Focus
Wishbone Ash 11/22/74
New Riders 11/27 11/29/ 11/30/74
Genesis 12/6, 12/7/75

1975
Alvin Lee 1/18/75 Gentle Giant
Joe Walsh 2/1/75
Entwhistle’s Ox 3/8/75
Robin Trower 4/18/75
Jefferson Starship 5/12/75
Eagles 5/16/75 Dan Fogelberg
Gentle Giant 9/28/75
Gentle Giant 10/11/75
Hot Tuna 11/22/75

1976
*the Band 3/17/76
Jeff Beck 10/18/76
Springsteen 10/28-11/4/76
Neil Young Crazy Horse 11/18 11/19 11/20/76
Lou Reed 11/13/76
Zappa 12/27 12/28
Foghat 12/11/76 Rush
Hot Tuna 11/26, 11/27/76
Patti Smith 12/31/76 John Cale Television
Dave Mason 10/17 10/18/76
Charlie Danials Band 10/31/76 Earl Scruggs Revue

1977
Bob Seger 3/6/77 Rush
Grateful Dead 4/29 4/30 5/1 5/3 5/4/77
Angel 4/16/77
Dictators 8/24/77 AC/DC
Todd Rundren 5/7 5/8/77
Foghat 10/30/77
Thin Lizzy 10/22/77
Gary Wright 4/1/77 Manfred Mann
Ramones 10/6/77 Iggy Pop
Be Bop Deluxe 10/26/77 Styx
David Bowie 3/18/77 Blondie Iggy Pop
Journey 4/9/77 Starcsstle
Santana 3/5/77 Al Dimiola
Foghat 10/30/77
Rush 11/12/77 UFO Cheap Trick
Zappa 10/28 10/29 10/30 10/31/77
Jerry Garcia Band 11/27/77
Hot Tuna 11/26/77
Procol Harem 5/15/77
Poco 5/14/77
1978
Todd Rundgren 3/18/78
Dicky Betts 3/17/78
Springsteen 9/15 9/16 /17/78
Rush 11/12/77 UFO Cheap Trick
Van Halen 3/25/1978 & 3/28/78 & 4/28/78 Journey Montrose
Rainbow 8/24/78 AC/DC
Patti Smith 5/20 5/21/78
Thin Lizzy 9/29, 10/1/78 BOC
Ramones 1/7/78 Runaways
Cheap Trick 9/22/78 Cars
Angel 3/10/78 Judas Priest
Elvis Costello 5/6/78
Rolling Stones 6/19/78 Peter Tosh
Blondie 11/12/78 Fripp Mitch Ryder
Santana 2/9 2/10/1978
*Blondie 3/11/78 Robert Gordon Link Wrey
Zappa 10/27 10/28 10/29 10/30 10/31/78
Parliament Funkadelic 11/5/78
REO, UFO, Molly Hatchet 9/28/78
Kinks 6/2/78

So here’s a first look at my list. As you can see there are significant gaps in the schedule, particularly in certian years. There are also a lot of “negotiable dates” with regard to shows that did or didn’t happen. I was told by a gentleman that placed the print advertising for Academy, that there was a significant discrepancy between the print ads and the actual dates of the shows. No one’s fault just the rescheduling nature of the business.

All input welcome.

Emails to me directly as

Peace out

Stephen

Ziggy
Ziggy on February 11, 2008 at 7:47 am

Well, the first paragraph is wrong also. The original “Academy of Music” was not the first home for the Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Opera company was actually started by wealthy people who were unable to get boxes at the Academy, so they started their own rival opera house.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 11, 2008 at 6:03 am

The second paragraph of the introduction is inaccurate and ludicrous. The 14th Street/Union Square entertainment district was mainstream, and not part of the Jewish/Yiddish showbiz of the Lower East Side.

tdrewke
tdrewke on February 10, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Hi, I’m Thom Drewke. I was the second “Technical Director” (read: non-Union rock ‘n roll house electrician and resident techie) in the 1970s for Howard Stein, at the Academy of Music. My predecessor was Mike Zasuly. Howard had made a deal with (I think) United Artists, a deal with the Teamsters, and a deal with the IATSE stagehand’s union, in order to be able to produce rock shows there, but for some reason no one from any of those unions really wanted to work with the long-haired hippy freaks who arrived with sound systems, lighting systems (both small by today’s standards) and bizarre special effects like confetti canons. So it was pretty much my problem, to get these visiting crazies hooked up to whatever power we could. Some bands required a rental generator to be parked outside backstage on 13th street.

We had one hell of a time the night they recorded Lou Reed’s “Rock'n Roll Animal.”

I ultimately left for greener pastures at John Scher’s Capitol Theatre in “beautiful downtown Passaic New Jersey.” But I remember my time at the Academy fondly.

How is that list coming along, of all the bands that played there at the Academy in the 70s?

Thom Drewke
NBC Universal

KenRoe
KenRoe on February 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Jerry, Thanks for posting the photo of the City Theatre, it is not the Academy of Music though. It is the City Theatre, located just along the street at number 114 E. 14th Street. The City Theatre has its own page /theaters/1326/

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on February 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Here’s the 1938 pic….

View link

Jerry K

jflundy
jflundy on February 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm

At some time in the late 1930’s this theater received a new moderne facade, vertical and marquee. It may have been leased by another entity prior to this make over, perhaps Warner (after theater was black for a while, something that happened in other periods with this theater… I recall it being closed for a period in 1950 )but this will take more research to establish. It was called the City Theater. In 1938 it was playing a double feature, “ Port of Seven Seas” with Wallace Beery and Frank Morgan and “Richman Poor Girl” with Lew Ayres, Maureen O'Sullivan and Robert Young. This was an all MGM bill. I have seen a copy of a photo showing this, with Luchow’s restaurant next door to it confirming it is indeed the Academy of Music building.

SPearce
SPearce on January 10, 2008 at 4:02 pm

The Daily Worker was a proper newspaper publication, and actually covered a pretty full cross section of news, movies, plays, book reviews, and radio station listings (but not social news). I am not sure if it was a daily or something else. It is listed as Friday’s edition, Vol. XXIII, No. 112. However, far and away the hard news in this newspaper related to organized Labor and potential strikes (including by movie theater personnel) and government news, politics and Veterans; I think that was what the Daily Worker really was about.

Whatever any individual’s politics may have been, IMO – organized Labor’s membership probably picked up this newspaper and read it (5 cents).

There are some large ads for a Madison Square Garden Rally, featuring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and many others, for example, plus another big rally. That was the flavor of the times. (By today’s standards this little edition is chock o' block with news.)

To reply to one of your comments, I vaguely remember seeing or hearing that a witch hunt had been initiated around the time of the beginning of WWII in the U.S., but was quickly ended because the U.S. became allies with the Soviets. There is an article headlined: “Movie Unions Hit Witchhunt” and a participant is George Marshall; having to do with acting on abolition of the Wood Rankin Comm. on Un-American Activities. So witchhunting was in the air. And much more.

The movie and theater ads were proper for their time, sometimes 2 cols, sometimes 1 col.

Some clearly appear as if they came out of the studio package, or were professionally developed, with critics comments scattered across them. Some had graphics that would have been interchangeable perhaps with what one would see in movie posters.

I look at every detail to see what can be culled to flesh out my understanding of the culture of the setting at the time. One thing I noted, for example, was the ad for the Paramount – the film was “The Blue Dahlia” directed by George Marshall (mentioned above)(I also vaguely think I have come across an exacting review of this film as to hidden political meanings, real or imagined, but don’t remember the details.) On the bill with it is the Duke Ellington stage show. I also know that at this time the Black or “Negro” Labor Workers were in the process of starting their own “Black” or “Negro” Labor Union. So, there is background to be studied, I would think, for the history of the Paramount Theater or whomever scheduling this combined product and/or marketing it in the Daily Worker. What might be interesting for a graduate student one day might be to compare the ads on any given day between a daily NYC newspaper of the time, and, say, the Daily Worker, or a Harlem newspaper…something like that. Maybe they can do that easily online at NYPL.

Though I am not qualified to discuss these NYC movie houses in depth, from what I have heard in my life (coming from attending movie theaters during some of their heyday and noting at the time I was in the presence of unseen minds that had committed to treating me as a patron very beautifully and with generosity), and subsequently visiting, and studying some the theaters and the basis of their development and design, I fully expected to find the Roxy at 7th & 50th Streets in the CT index, but didn’t, and don’t know why. Incidentally, it was showing “The Dark Corner” plus on stage George Jessel, Merry Macs, and (extra) Rosario & Antonio.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm

In 1946, the Academy of Music was operated by Skouras Theatres, which probably placed the ad…I confess to never actually seeing editions of the Daily Worker. It’s not a primary source for anyone doing theatre research. Are these real ads, with art work and such, or are they merely lines of type listing what was playing at those theatres?

SPearce
SPearce on January 9, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Thought I would post on the theater homesites that match up for some movie ads I have in a May 10, 1946 NYC edition of the (Communist) Daily Worker. Evidently this theater supported that paper, in its way.

Starts:
ACADEMY of Music 126 E. 14
Now through Wednesday
Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, George Brent
“TOMORROW IS FOREVER”

Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
‘DARK ALIBI’"

Under that is a general blurb:
“Patronize the Daily Worker Advertisers”

davesuarez
davesuarez on December 26, 2007 at 3:56 am

I saw a bunch of show’s there in the early 70’s including my first ever concert. I remember Chris Rea was the 3rd bill and Traffic doing John Barleycorn was the headliner. Santana showed up for the encore.
My favorite show there was headliner Procol Harum doing Broken Barricades. 2nd on bill was King Crimson doing In the Court of the Crimson King and 3rd on the bill was a little known band, Yes doing the Yes album. I think it was 1971. Good times.

Profjoe
Profjoe on October 25, 2007 at 10:33 am

PS.

My dad recalled seeing “Clayton, Jackson, and Durante” Jimmy Durante at the Academy. He was born in 1923 so for him to remember that they had to have still been doing vaudeville there in the 1930’s.

I can recall reading the faded sign on the facade of the building. It read, in part, “Best in Vaudeville and Screen Shows.”

If anyonone has any photos of the interiors I’d love to see them.

What a loss.

Profjoe
Profjoe on October 25, 2007 at 10:24 am

I can recall seeing “The Time Machine,” “My Fair Lady,” and later on, “Planet of the Apes,” and I think the last film I saw at the glorious Academy (as we used to call it) was “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The government of NYC has virtually sold itself to the real estate intdustry. You not only can’t get anything landmarked, you can’t even talk about it. Why? The newspapers and media are all part of it as they own large parcels of land in the city.

Consider in recent years we have lost (just in my neighborhood) Poe Townhouse (NYU, of course) the site of McGurk’s Saloon, Hadley Hall, The Church of All Nations, the Anderson Theater, the Commodore, and, of course, the Academy of Music, (which housed the famed and infamous “Julian’s Billiard Academy”).

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 16, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I saw a few shows here myself in the ‘80’s and really loved it. The place was poorly kept, however, as somoman suggests. The place was definitely decrepit – and that ancient dirt black hulk of a marquee was frightening – but I always thought the sound was great. I remember sitting up in the balcony and feeling like Jerry Garcia’s guitar notes where slicing straight through me all the way to the back wall!

jrobertclark
jrobertclark on October 16, 2007 at 7:49 pm

I saw the B-52s there after the Academy had become the Palladium nightclub. Must have been around 87 or 88. Place was packed to the rafters.

somoman
somoman on October 16, 2007 at 7:14 pm

I think most of you folks will appreciate this. I’m running a list of every rock show that happened at the Academy of Music from 1964 to 1979.

A few thoughts about this project. First I have to say that the Academy Of Music was one of the most repulsive theaters ever to host concerts. I had the good fortune of attending the Fillmore East in 1970 and 1971. If Bill Graham was anything he was obsessive. The Fillmore was no treat when Bill Graham acquired it. However when he was done with it, he turned it into a palacce, a neat and clean environment that was perfectly appropariate for the audience who patronized it.

The Academy was a disgusting pig sty on a good day. The sound was generally awful. The shows offered no production value of any consequence. The back of the orchesta was a holding area for the lost and wandering acid heads, beer guzzlers and sick people who often couldnt make it to the bathroom. And the floors, wherever you sat, were like Elmers glue. To its credit, you could always wander the orchestra after the show, sift through the garbage on the floor and put together a nice little stash.

Bill Graham' Fillmore East defined the wonderous and magical experience of concert going. Howard Stein reduced it to its crudest level of acceptability. Greg Allman said in an interview (and I paraphrase) “we tried the Academy, we tried Radio City, but when we went into the Beacon we felt like we were home. It smelled like the Fillmore”.

And despite the indigestion I get thinking about the Academy, I still feel the need to document the succesful run of shows tha went down there. There were Alan Freed shows that took place in the 50s, but they were not concerts as we know them. Sid Bernstein promoted the first true Rock N Roll shows at the Academy starting with the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones in 1964 and Hermans Hermits, the Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Moody Blues and the Stones again in 1966. But the theater did few more concerts till 1970 and 1971, when it competed (poorly) with The Fillmore. The Academy replaced the Fillmore in earnest starting in 1972.

So for the purpose of putting together a respectable and often intriguing list of shows, I’m starting with the Academy at 1964 and ending with the renamed Palladium in 1979. Many of you have rough memories of shows and ballpark ideas of when they occurred. I however needs dates, exact dates. I’ve documented about 200 shows so far but there are hundreds more that are yet to surface…..your help please. For those of you who would prefer to write to me directly I can be emailed at I will however continue to report my progress and post the master list right here.
Thanks all
Somoman

somoman
somoman on October 16, 2007 at 7:14 pm

I think most of you folks will appreciate this. I’m running a list of every rock show that happened at the Academy of Music from 1964 to 1979.

A few thoughts about this project. First I have to say that the Academy Of Music was one of the most repulsive theaters ever to host concerts. I had the good fortune of attending the Fillmore East in 1970 and 1971. If Bill Graham was anything he was obsessive. The Fillmore was no treat when Bill Graham acquired it. However when he was done with it, he turned it into a palacce, a neat and clean environment that was perfectly appropariate for the audience who patronized it.

The Academy was a disgusting pig sty on a good day. The sound was generally awful. The shows offered no production value of any consequence. The back of the orchesta was a holding area for the lost and wandering acid heads, beer guzzlers and sick people who often couldnt make it to the bathroom. And the floors, wherever you sat, were like Elmers glue. To its credit, you could always wander the orchestra after the show, sift through the garbage on the floor and put together a nice little stash.

Bill Graham' Fillmore East defined the wonderous and magical experience of concert going. Howard Stein reduced it to its crudest level of acceptability. Greg Allman said in an interview (and I paraphrase) “we tried the Academy, we tried Radio City, but when we went into the Beacon we felt like we were home. It smelled like the Fillmore”.

And despite the indigestion I get thinking about the Academy, I still feel the need to document the succesful run of shows tha went down there. There were Alan Freed shows that took place in the 50s, but they were not concerts as we know them. Sid Bernstein promoted the first true Rock N Roll shows at the Academy starting with the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones in 1964 and Hermans Hermits, the Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Moody Blues and the Stones again in 1966. But the theater did few more concerts till 1970 and 1971, when it competed (poorly) with The Fillmore. The Academy replaced the Fillmore in earnest starting in 1972.

So for the purpose of putting together a respectable and often intriguing list of shows, I’m starting with the Academy at 1964 and ending with the renamed Palladium in 1979. Many of you have rough memories of shows and ballpark ideas of when they occurred. I however needs dates, exact dates. I’ve documented about 200 shows so far but there are hundreds more that are yet to surface…..your help please. For those of you who would prefer to write to me directly I can be emailed at I will however continue to report my progress and post the master list right here.
Thanks all
Somoman

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 14, 2007 at 8:10 am

The Academy of Music closed in the autumn of 1975 and re-opened a year later as a concert hall called the Palladium, according to newspaper reports of the time. The Palladium’s first booking was for the rock group, The Band, on September 18th and 19th, 1976…In 1984-85, the Palladium was transformed into a discotheque by the famed Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who retained some of the decaying decor of Thomas Lamb’s original theatre. A long article by critic Paul Goldberger about the renovation can be found in the May 20th, 1985 issue of The New York Times…The demolition of the Palladium was first announced in December, 1996. I don’t know the date of the actual start of the process, but it took months due to the massiveness of the building.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 12, 2007 at 1:38 pm

The second paragraph of the introduction is claptrap. Fox’s 1926 Academy of Music had no role in the Jewish/Yiddish entertainment industry of the Lower East Side, which extended no further west than Second Avenue. The AOM was a mainstream movie/vaudeville theatre in the heart of the 14th Street/Union Square area, which even by 1926 was still one of the busiest shopping and entertainment districts in the city. People went there from all over Manhattan and other boroughs. The AOM did not fall into disrepair because people who supported Yiddish theatre migrated northward. What total rubbish!