Okay, pencils down, everyone.
The solution of this quiz (which started here) has been a long time coming. You knew he was going to get it anyway, but Bob Egan of PopSpots has done it again. Herewith the great man on his detective work:
This is how we figured out the exact spot.
To my astonishment, my hunch about the Johnny Thunders spot being taken on 53rd turned out to be accurate. I sent the picture to a PopSpots correspondent names Anne Raso, a music writer, and asked her is there was anything to tie Johnny Thunders to 53rd Street. She Facebooked some friends, and one, a punk designer named Natasha, said that Norma Kamali lived on 53rd street and had her first store there in the early 70’s and that Norma also sublet her apartment in the building to Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain. This checked out on the internet. And the address of the Norma Kamali store turned out to be the basement of #229, so I am figuring she lived upstairs.
So that would place Johnny Thunders at 229 East 53rd. But what about the half-arc railings? Could we get proof of that? Anne remembered Thunders getting in a limo in the film "ALL DOLLED UP" by Bob Gruen the photographer. She tracked the film down online, and sure enough, in the film, Johnny Thunders, wearing the same white jacket and square black buttons, exits a building that matched up to the original photo. And the curved railing on the front steps matched up too. With the following pictures you can see the all the clues that match up and how I’m 99.99% sure that was the photo location. As final proof , there was a sign next to 229 East 53rd in the movie that says “A Step Ahead”, perhaps a shoe store. I looked for that in the 1973 phone directory at the NYPL to see if it said 231 East 53rd, but could not find it. When I get that address, I will be 100% sure.
Here's Bob's crazy meticulous photo research. Click on each to enlarge: