I don’t have a lot of hope that we’re going to be able to succinctly pinpoint the exact location in this particular photo quiz, but in response to this post from yesterday, I regular reader named NoOriginalArt (I have no idea what her name means) made this observation about the Gillen photo of the Disco Headquarters…
But is it possible this was Bleecker Bob's on MacDougal, before it was cleaned up and made presentable to hipster vinyl hunters? The place used to be a warren of cardboard boxes and milk crates; I once tripped on a case of Emerson, Lake and Palmer records and almost ended up face down in the dust.
While it seems entirely unlikely that Bleecker Bob’s would have ever hung a sign in its window that said “Disco Headquarters” (that particular genre of music was never really their specialty), perhaps Bob Plotnick might have put that sign in his window as a joke? Could be. Here’s a shot of Bob out in front of that original MacDougal incarnation of the shop.
And here’s a shot of Billy Idol exiting same at some point, presumably, in the late `70s (he still looks of the Generation X era in this shot).
Bleecker Bob’s later moved south a few blocks, settling on West Third street, where it remained for many years until its untimely demise in 2013. That space later became a middling Asian bistro (which I wrote laboriously about here).
The original Bleecker Bob’s space, meanwhile, has seemingly been a host of different ventures since Bob held court there. It was a cool rock t-shirt joint in the early 90’s, if memory serves (I recall almost buying a Jane’s Addiction shirt there). I want to say it was a barber shop for a while as well. Its most recent incarnation was a crepe or dumpling place that has since gone belly-up. Here’s that spot this morning.
You can also get a glimpse of it in this long-form video by the late and largely unlamented NYC band, The Metromen (which I first spoke of here).
Could Paul Gillen’s shot be of the MacDougal iteration of Bleecker Bob’s?
We may never know for sure.