Halloween at Philharmonic Hall 50 Years Later
The energy was high at Philharmonic Hall, outside and in. The hall was only two years old and Bob Dylan was the first non-classical musician to perform there.
After 50 years, it might be the concert and the weekend of music I remember best. It was Halloween and a Saturday and until that day Halloween meant costumes and going for blocks trick or treating. And Halloween on a Friday or Saturday meant an extra long night of trick or treating. But not this time. Bob Dylan was at Philharmonic Hall, my second Bob Dylan concert. My parents had sent away for tickets for my brother, our friend Jim and I at the enormous cost of 12 bucks. I’d been a teenager for 3 ½ months and my step-mom probably wasn’t enamored of the prospect of us going to a then still new concert hall wearing jeans and a sports jacket. In those days you dressed up for concerts. But I don’t think they put up too much of a fuss and sometime that afternoon we took the bus to New York, 20 miles away. We walked up 8th Avenue from Port Authority Terminal to 49th Street, and our first stop, Sam Goody’s, which called itself “The World’s Largest Record Store.” (In the next decade in another city, I’d work at Sam Goody’s, but that’s another story.) Records! The very idea of records sent a big light bulb or maybe more accurately fireworks off in my brain. (And even now there are times it still does.) Sam Goody’s was a full catalog store which meant they had every record in print. My brother and I raced through the racks pulling out all the records we wanted. We had enough money for one apiece. We created quite a comical spectacle laying out about 20 records on top of the browsers, and then narrowing it down to two. After that, walked to Lincoln Center and Philharmonic Hall..