Sunday, September 09, 2007

Remembering the Main Point, 1964 - 1981


WXPN Most Memorable Musical Moment #5

Begining in 1964, The Main Point in Bryn Mawr provided the Philadelphia area with one of its most enjoyable venues for live music. Although it started as a folk based coffeehouse, all styles of music were presented over the years. Financial problems continually plagued the Main Point, and in spite of frequent benefit shows by artists who loved the place as much as the audience, the club finally closed in 1981. The following brief history is contained in an obituary of Jeanette O. Campbell, one of the founders and owners of the Main Point who died on October 22, 2006, written by Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer Sally A. Downey as reprinted on the Save Ardmore Coalition website.

Jeanette Orndoff Campbell, 89, former owner of the Main Point, a music hall in Bryn Mawr where young talents including Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor were introduced to local audiences, died of complications from hip surgery Oct. 22 at Stapeley, a retirement residence in Germantown.

Mrs. Campbell booked acts, baked gingerbread and brownies, made the coffee and cider, and offered bed and board to performers at the Main Point from its opening night in a 1964 blizzard until it closed in 1981. By then, the club was operating in the red, and musicians, grateful that Mrs. Campbell had given them a chance, raised money to pay her bills at benefit concerts, her granddaughter, Heather Fowler, said.

"My life began at 46, when my husband and I got the idea that the Main Line needed a place for nice folk music after we were at the Philadelphia Folk Festival," she told a reporter in 1975. "It was a really spiritual awakening for me. So we pooled our money with four other couples and opened the Main Point."

After the other couples gave up their interests and she and her husband, William Campbell, divorced, Mrs. Campbell said, the Main Point became her "entire life."

Riding the crest of the acoustic music boom, the club welcomed then-obscure artists like Joni Mitchell and Arlo Guthrie. Bruce Springsteen sang "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City," "Hey Santa Ana," "Secret to the Blues," and "New York City Serenade" at the Main Point as the opening act on Jan. 3, 1973. He returned to the club several times as a headliner.

I'm not entirely certain why there are no photos in my archive from the Main Point, since I have shots of many of the Main Point artists playing other venues during the same time period. My best guess is that the Main Point may have had a no camera policy. Considering all the amazing performances that took place there, it's sad that the photographic legacy is almost non-existent. Except for the menu reproduced below, all of the photos and graphics included here come from a 1974 publication called The Main Point 10 Years On... A Special 10th Anniversary Publication.


Photo by Steve Weitzman

Steve Goodman played the Main Point numerous times, but I'm going to guess that the above photo was taken in January 1972, based on the artist list below. According to the anniversary publication, Steve Goodman (far right) after completing his set invited John Prine (center) up to the stage for the encore, and they sang a twenty minute set of Hank Williams tunes. After leaving the stage, they obliged the thundering ovation from the audience with another encore and brought out the opening act (far left) Trevor Veitch and Andy Kulberg. "When the extra mikes were set and everyone situated, Trevor leaned into the mike and announced, "Will you please welcome Bonnie Raitt!" (center). More Hank Williams tunes followed and the performance concluded with a rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken".


Photo by Ross Watson

The staff of the Main Point assembled on the sidewalk outside for their group photo.




This drawing by blues/folk singer-songwriter Ellen McIlwaine ("Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die") shows the audience and and the stage of the Main Point. The wooden chairs were grouped together in rows with a shelf attached to the back that served as the table for the next seat behind. The stage is to the right in this drawing, where you see the microphone stand.



The 10th Anniversary publication included this nearly complete listing of all the artists who performed at the Main Point during its first ten years of existence. Click on the lists above and below to enlarge and read the listings, the wealth of musical talent that graced the Main Point stage is extraordinary.



Reading back over the first ten years of shows I realize that my personal history with this venue only really just scratched the surface. Sure, I saw many of the traditional folk artists that gave the Main Point it's original idenity; Eric Anderson, Tom Rush, Dave Van Ronk. The opener for the December 1970 Dave Van Ronk show was Jonathan Edwards, who who quickly became a regular and a club favorite. I may have seen him there three times before he released his first album, including memorable co-billings with Bill Withers (September, 1971) and Alex Taylor (June, 1971). Alex was somewhat of a regular at the Main Point also, performing there numerous times.

In the wake of James Taylor's huge 1970 success, James' musically inclined siblings all got recording contracts and all appeared at the Main Point. After James, Livingston has had the most sustained career success and he too was a regular performer at the Main Point and I enjoyed seeing him there many times. Alex passed away in 1993 leaving us five albums including two excellent efforts for Capricorn from 1971 and 1972 that have both been reissued on CD. I can't find Kate Taylor in the Main Point listings, but I know I saw her there around the time of her first album Sister Kate in 1971. But for my junior drivers license (which is what you got in PA from age 16 until turning 18 and which carried a midnight curfew) I might have seen all four of the Taylors. I was in line on the fourth of July 1970 for tickets to that night's James Taylor show (opening act, Manhattan Transfer). By the time I reached the front of the line the early show had sold out and I regrettably passed on buying tickets to the late show.

Emmitt Rhodes played the Main Point in early 1971, drawing from his self titled debut album which he wrote, sang, played all the instruments, engineered, and recorded at home, a record that met or exceeded most of the expectations that fans held for Paul McCartney's similarly produced first solo album. In July of 1972 the Strawbs rocked the house with a full band, over from England to play songs from their then new release Grave New World with its FM radio hit "Benedictus". When I went by the Main Point a few days before the show to buy tickets I was treated to a few songs by Chi Coltrane who was playing at the time, offering a very high voltage performance characterized by her top twenty hit "Thunder and Lightning".

In 1969 and 1970 I twice went to the Main Point to see the American Dream, a local Philadelphia band that made one classic album produced by Todd Rundgren in 1970 that included the very radio friendly "I Ain't Searchin' Anymore" and the novelty tune "Frankford El". Philly local trivia: Nick Jameson, the guitarist of the American Dream went on to become an actor, appearing in the latest two seasons of 24 as the Russian President Yuri Suvarov. It was mentioned above that the Main Point opened amidst a blizzard in 1964. I have fond memories of another show there that took place despite a blizzard in early 1978 when Bruce Cockburn took the stage and performed for about twenty or twenty-five hardy souls who made it to the Main Point despite maybe a foot of snow that had just fallen.



This menu is from April, 1971 and is also clickable for a larger view. The food at the Main Point was always as enjoyable as the music, which was a testament to the work of Jeanette Campbell. The baked beans and bread, the brownies, and the hot cider with cookies were especially memorable, and check out the prices.


The photo above is not credited, but the long lines down the sidewalk on Lancaster Avenue were a familiar sight during the Main Point's era. Unlike its successor, The Point, the Main Point was only open for shows, seats were not reserved, and the audience would queue up long in advance of the opening of the doors. Click on the above page from the 10th Anniversary Publication to enlarge and read some of comments from both customers and artists about the Main Point.

Live radio concerts, mostly on WMMR were an occasional treat. One such broadcast, the 2/5/75 Bruce Springsteen show was recently posted by another XPN Guest Blogger for your listening pleasure. Some broadcasts, such as that one by Springsteen have been widely bootlegged, others now reside only in radio station archives and maybe a few listeners' tape collections. Springsteen was broadcast from the Main Point multiple times, including another classic show from 10/31/73, also on WMMR.

Jackson Browne is another artist who was broadcast multiple times, including an acoustic duet show with David Lindley on 9/07/75 that was part of a string of shows to benefit the Main Point during one of it's many periods of financial difficulty. The beauty of the music that these two artists performed together in the duet acoustic format is hard to put into words. Mid-set, Jackson left the stage for a short set of David Lindley fiddle tunes, during which he bummed a cigarette from me. Incidentally an old friend of mine recalls seeing Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen on the same bill in the early seventies at a nearby show at the Villanova Fieldhouse. They've shared the same stage many times in later years doing benefit concerts for various political and social causes.

WIOQ broadcast an artist named Moon Martin (now there's an obscure one) from the Main Point in 1978. George Thorogood and Jesse Colin Young also had broadcasts from there. One of the most memorable radio concerts from the Main Point was a 6/20/76 show by Warren Zevon carried on WMMR during which he personalized "Werewolves of London" to include lines like "Werewolves of Bryn Mawr" and "Werewolves of greater Philly".

Ultimately the fact that the Main Point did not serve alchohol most likely was a primary factor in the financial problems that ultimately led to it's demise. Ironically, years later, the lack of liquor license (and resistance to expansion) would also result in the closing of The Point, a more than worthy successor to the Main Point that operated a few doors down the street from 1998 to 2005. Considering the rich history of the Main Point, there are many more legends and stories than could be told here. Here's a fascinating memory posted by another listener to the XPN memorable moment archive; I had never heard before that Blind Faith played the Main Point, I'm wondering if they used the club for practice and a non-publicized performance. Here's another great XPN listener memory of Springsteen at the Main Point in 1973. And here's one more XPN listener memory of George Thorogood that popped up with the random moment generator (below). If you wish to add your own memories of the Main Point, please do so by adding a comment to this blog.

Here's a nifty link to XPN's 885 Most Memorable Musical Moments site that will bring up a random moment from the archive of submissions. Voting begins September 17th, the countdown playback will be in October.
View one of the 885 Most Memorable Musical Moments at random!

50 comments:

Charlie said...

Wow, what a great recollection of such a great place! Of everybody you mentioned it is mind blowing that Browne, Raitt, Taylor, and The Boss all played here. They are the four that I would have loved to have seen at The Main Point.

If only venues like The Main Point and The Point could could survive in this music world of today. Thanks for posting this!!!

Anonymous said...

Having experienced acts (because of the intimacy of the place, experienced is the correct word) such as Chris Smither, Tom Rush, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Brmoberg, The Buddy Guy Blues Band, The Stone Ponies, Bonnie Raitt, Livingston Taylor, The Velvet Underground, Harry Chapin and more at "The Point," the place will always be alive for me. What a wonderful passel of memories!

Polly Turner said...

It's great to read this accounting ... and to experience the Point come alive again. I worked for four years at the Main Point from around 1972 to 1975 (was one of the kids in that staff photo above), and saw most of the acts appearing in that time, usually several shows for each. The staff always had the best seats in the house once they finished dispensing all the hot honeyed lemonade and gingerbread and whipped cream, in our spot up on the radiator cover just opposite the stage and probably not more than 20 feet from the performers. I'll never forget Steve the light man's incredible light show he did for Bruce Springsteen's performances, all cued precisely to the nuances of the music. In that little club Bruce, Clarence Clemons et al. put on a show worthy of a stadium; and not long after the band landed the covers of both Time and Newsweek at once, I understand the band invited Steve to do the lights in stadiums for real.

That night when Steve Goodman invited John Prine, Bonnie Raitt and others up on the stage (shown in photo) was a keeper. If I recall rightly it was a relatively slow evening, cold and wet, with the house probably not much more than half full if that, but when those folks came up on the stage, one after another, it was like the sun came out. An amazing high for everyone, including the performers. Just by himself Steve Goodman was like sunshine each time he performed there. He's gone now, but check out the video of him at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xBxZGQ1dJk - playing "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request."

Hall and Oates put together a huge sound with their voices alone - unbelievable. When Billy Joel played at the Point he was a relative unknown, but every time I hear him on the radio it all comes back: his voice, dark lyrics, piano, the wooden floors, painted tables, and the sight and smell of the brownies and pretzels, etc., all piled high atop the globs, mochas and teas on our trays. Often during a show the sirens of a fire truck would start wailing down Lancaster Avenue, giving the performers pause and a reason to joke.

The magical moments from four years of shows are far to numerous to mention; many of them happened back stage or at the coin-op pool table downstairs during or after shows. Things like lighting a match to John Prine's cigarette in a dark corner as the opening act played; exchanging words with Bruce on that night he and the band had the flu; seeing Lily Tomlin huddled in a nook in the original tiny kitchen, getting herself in character before walking on; smiling at Tom Waits as he sat shyly on the kitchen floor, leaning against the wall and just hanging out; playing second base to Steve Goodman's short stop in an afternoon softball game; joining Robert Palmer and a Philly DJ at the Villanova Howard Johnson's after the show; sitting smack between Tom Rush and Trevor Veitch in the basement as they played together and Tom sang the most beautiful rendition of "Urge for Going" I ever heard; chatting with Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong) as I wiped down tables after the audience was gone. One thing I'll never forget was Emmet (Robbie) Robinson in his role as emcee - a class act, and in many ways, the soul of the Point. Before I worked there I remember sitting in the front row next to my girlfriend right at the feet of Lou Reed with the Velvet Underground. After I stopped working there, I kept going to shows for free ... and met my husband there.

The place was a piece of art not just because of the performers but also because of the staff who made it happen, and it will always live on as long as those who experienced it remain alive. Thanks for this opportunity to relive these moments!

William Kates said...

Thank you Polly for an awesome personal history. There was something magical about the place that went way beyond your average music venue. Thanks again for sharing. - Bill

shastacc said...

OMG Polly! I remember the night Cheech and Chong were there. I had never laughed so hard and I have never laughed that hard again!

I spent a lot of time there with Wire & Wood before we all moved to LA. Probably sat on that radiator cover with you once or twice. Or maybe partied downstairs at the end of the night.

I remember that Halloween night that Bruce played to a half packed house. Can you imagine that today?

Those were rockin' times. The place unique and the talent was the best, show after show.

Thanks Bill for the trip down Memory Lane.

Anonymous said...

Polly you captured the essence and the soul of the Main Point. Haiving worked there along side you from 72-79, it shaped my life, my marriage, my family and my life-long friends. I hope some day to re-connect with you.
Vince Raimondo

milo said...

I have a review of a Rory Gallagher concert at the Point from September 1974 but your concert list only goes to April '74. Do you have additional listings for the last half of '74?

William Kates said...

Milo - The listing here is from a publication that the Main Point produced to celebrate their anniversary. I haven't run across any additional documentation, but if any readers have listings to add, I'd be glad to post them here, as well as that Rory Gallagher review if you'd like to send it. My email is wkates@hotmail.com. Thanks for reading and commenting.

John said...

viewing this site brought back vivid memories of some of the finest musical experiences of my life. I remember Buddy Guy playing with a ratty little amp propped up on a chair in front of a house mike, Doc Watson performing with John Pilla, who gave guitar lessons at a music store in Ardmore. I have an album jacket autographed by Stan Rogers at a concert at the Main Point.
What a great venue and outstanding performers.

Maria said...

I saw Jim Croce (opening act) and Randy Newman at the Main Point. One of the best concert nights in my life.

Russell Woessner said...

Hey Maria,

I was at that Randy Newman/Jim Croce show too! I loved the Main Point. Saw lots of performers there from Janis Ian to the Boys of the Lough to Charles Mingus. Can't beat that diversity. I even recorded John Fahey at the Main Point for WXPN. Fahey barely looked up at me when I asked him to sign the release. It was an amazing concert. The first tune that Fahey played lasted almost 30 minutes. I thought I was going to run out of tape! Boy, I wish I had a copy of that tape now. I have a few radio concerts from the Main Point but there are many that I missed. If anybody has any (especially that Fahey tape), I'd be happy to trade. russellwoessner@verizon.net

Ernie Henderson said...

I worked there with Polly & Vince. What a wonderful place and what wonderful people.

My (ex) wife introduced Commander Cody to his wife there. He's still married to her.

It ought to be a movie.

Anonymous said...

I was cleaning out my basement just the other day and I came across the 10th Anniversary issue of The Main Point. As I started looking through the pages the memories of performances of The Boss, Livingston Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and one group that was never mentioned Aztec-Two Step,thisw started to make me think of the fond memories I have of this place . I learned to really love music at this venue. Finding the 10th Anniversary issue made me realize what an impact The Main Point had on me, that through all the years and all my moves, The Main Point was a memory that I never wanted to let go. Thank you all.

malteseowner said...

I remember seeing Leonard Cohen a couple of times, sitting at kid's wooden school desks, the stage only a few feet away. Wow, what memories this place has. Also saw Tom Rush, Harry Chapin and a couple of others there. Wish I had gone more often. I do remember coming into the front, purchasing baked goods then going into the large room through a curtain, right? how many did the room hold...couldn't have been 100 could it? Lorraine.

Carol Baggott Forte said...

As an aspiring opera singer in 1970, I knew Jeanette Campbell and her daughter Susan as they lived upstairs from me on Merion Ave. in Bryn Mawr. I spent 2 summers managing the kitchen at the Main Point and loved every minute there. Met George Carlin, Chris Christopherson, Muddy Waters, James Taylor and sister Kate as well as other major up and coming talents of the day. It was a wonderful place and experience. I made friendships there that have lasted me 40 yrs. Bless you Jeanette and Susan. RIP both.

Anonymous said...

I'm 82 now, and sometimes my memory fails me. I've been to the mainpoint several times and thought that it was the place where I saw two guys ( I don't recall their names) sing "Peaceale kingdom," a song about Edward Hicks, the Quaker Preacher and America's primative painter from Newtown PA. Am I correct?
Charles.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the exact address of the Main Point? and/or the name of the bars across the street?

I remember seeing Janis Ian there in the mid-70's. It was indeed a wonderful venue.

bernardo said...

So good to read about all the great concerts - in hindsight I regret missing so many great legends but at the time I was a poor VU English major. But....some of the ones that stick out in my mind were Joni Mitchell with Chris Smithers as warm up, James Taylor, Tim Harden (who played two songs and walked off the stage), The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manhattan Transfer, Tom Rush, and the John Mayall Blues Band. The opening acts were often fantastic and truly inspiring. I hung out there from about '66 to '71 and it was a priviledge to hear such budding musicians. The ones I missed - Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Velvet Underground, Cat Stevens (cancelled)and many others who are now legends but were then unknowns. James Taylor sat down with an old Gribson an played a new song he had just written called "Fire and Rain".......

Jane A Gordon said...

Wow- that photo of Steve Goodman, John Prine and Bonnie Raitt brought memories flooding back. I worked briefly at The Main Point until they realized I was only 14 years old. That night, at 15, I was sitting in the front row.

Jane

Polly said...

Just ran across this video tribute to Jeanette Campbell and the Main Point, uploaded to YouTube last year. Awesome ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk9ErlBpX3M

CK said...

I attended the Main Point's concerts many times, seeing Tom Paxton, McCaslin and Ringer, Bill Staines, Doc Watson, Loudon Wainwright, Jackson Browne, Eric Andersen, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Dave Van Ronk, and others. I played there once too, as the opening act for Home Cooking, a local bluegrass band. The place was an integral part of my musical education. Thanks for the information and for stirring up some memories.

Anonymous said...

I worked as a cashier/announcer at the club in its last days. The club sat no more than 200 if I recall. I remember paying the take of the night - about $15 to a 10 member jazz band. Also, I remember being one of 10 people to see Townes Van Zandt. I was embarassed for him. I loved the people I saw and miss the club.

Anonymous said...

I saw Martin Mull (And His Travelling Furniture), with Tom Waits as the opener. We did the 2nd show (9:30?), and stood in the cold on the sidewalk for at least an hour, probably longer. Mull comes out, thanks us for being such loyal fans to stand in the cold for him, while he - the star - gets to stay inside. Then the staff came out and passed out free coffee.

Ilona E said...

I grew up in Drexel Hill and going to the Main Point was a big date! At the time we really didn't know how important many of these artists would become. I was always amazed looking back that so many top performers had played at the Main Point. We, who went there, we luckier than we realized.

Donna said...

I was trying to tell a young niece about the Point, now I can just send her this link! Thanks so much. And John, were you there the night Buddy Guy played right on out the door to Lancaster Avenue?

Marty said...

I hope someone can help me. I took my future wife on our first date to the Main Point in either late Novemeber or December of 1973.
We saw a group called "If" and the second act was Bonnie Raitt. If anyone could tell me the date. We have been married over 33 years and in 2013 will be the forthy year we been together...thanks.

Tom 7/1/12 said...

Grew up in Havertown, hung out at Medley Music, worked at Saccetti's, jammed at the Coffee House. My world at the time was music, and The Main Point was ground zero. I told my 4 children, who all play, about the acts, the venue, and the great people and they passed it off as geezer talk, until I showed them this site. They simply could not believe that the boss, Browne, Taylor, et al, played in a place no bigger than our house. And that the acts LOVED it! A special time and place. My best memory, eating gourmet burgers at H.A. Winston's with David Byrne and walking down the street to see him with Talking Heads. Amazing

Polly Turner said...

A number of Main Point shows can be found in audio form on YouTube:

Jackson Browne at the Main Point, Sept. 7, 1975 — "Song for Adam": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drDIDzGHoV0
AND "Hasten Down the Wind": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuRy9fw5yZ0

Warren Zevon performs "Werewolves of Bryn Mawr" ("Werewolves of London) live at the Main Point, 1976. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6b2XTSMkAk

Snipz plays the Main Point, 1979 (Super 8 recording) — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC32sd9ObmQ

If you do a search on YouTube with these key words — "springsteen" "main point" — you'll find a whole bunch of videos that contain audio mainly from two live shows at the Main Point with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. One was on Feb. 5, 1975 (a benefit concert for the Point — I was there!), the other was on April 24, 1973. Both were broadcast on WMMR FM. The one of "Incident on 57th Street" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRl9Vy3ymA8&feature=related even has the familiar sound of a siren on Lancaster Ave. at the tail end of the song.

"Walking the Dog" is from an Oct. 31, 1973, late show with Springsteen at the Main Point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0AcR2zrA7k

Joyce said...

What a trip down memory lane! The music and atmosphere were great.I still remember Larry Ahearn telling me that red heads would take over the world! A real special place and time.

Anonymous said...

ecreme16I remember my first wife dragging me out to see some guy named Bruce something ...I sat first row to his left...never forget that show...saw him every time after that until he got real big...The Main Point was the best....saw so many great people there.

Roy Gattinella said...

Nice re-cap...Main Point memories last forever! One of my favorites was David Sancious (Springsteen's keyboard player) who killed it on keys and then strapped on a 12-string electric guitar and blew the roof off the joint. Barry Miles & Silverlight, Martin Mull, Bonnie, Chris Smither...so many. Miss that place.

Jack Hickey said...

Played there for a Sunday Hootenanny with my old band "Solomon Kane"...after playing the last chord, heard DEAD SILENCE for 2 seconds...then one guy yelled, "YEAH!!" and we got a resounding applause! Spent the next few seconds waiting for my heart to re-start!!! *grin*
Can't say enough about the place....the owners, staff, sound engineer,...all the folks there were INCREDIBLE PEOPLE!! Miss "The Point" very much!!

lAmy bacheler said...

I remember seeing Jimmy Page at the Main Point, he was producing a group called Pretty Things who performed there. He may have gotten up and performed with them a little.

Amy

Anonymous said...

Wow the memories. I remember standing ourside in the freezing cold waiting in line to get in through the gift shop. Seeing the acts there in such an intimate setting was awesome,acts like John Prine, Bruce, Jonathan Edwards to name a few. Loved the ginger bread!!! Thanks for posting. Once a in a lifetime experiences.

Anonymous said...

In addition to all the legends, this was a great place to give a start to locals. Who can forget Steve Goodman sharing the stage with local legends like Ken Ulansey or Sweet Stavin Chain -- and Danny Starobin z"l strutting his stuff and wailing outrageously. Or the freezing rain, ice, snow outside -- before they would open the doors and let us into the warmth. Or Garnett and Stan Rogers blowing us away? Thanks for the great memories,

Anonymous said...

Im HUGE ZEVON fan along with many of the other legends that played at the main point.. Im 32--- both my parents were regular patrons in the 70's and growing up all i heard about was how fantastic a venue the main point was..ahoooooooo wherewolves of port richmond

Anonymous said...

found this site after Lou Reed died. Saw him in 1973, with the amazing twin-guitar attack of the “Rock and Roll Animal” LP lineup, in the Main Point, a coffeehouse near Philly. The crack band filled the tiny stage, the RnR was transformative and incredibly LOUD! Lou fell off the front of the stage, as he sang like a fiend with his eyes squeezed shut. He got back up and ripped it! I still practice "Sweet Jane" on my Telecaster, at night with the lights out. RIP and thanks, Lou.

Also saw James Taylor's first, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, John Cale, Leonard Cohen, and maybe 30 more, including Bruce at least 5 times (listening to his Main Point concert listed above- thx!)... What a place, eh guys?? Thakns for the memories.... James.

LBrooke said...

Don't forget that The Main Point was more than just a "folk club." It also hosted many jazz-rock fusion pioneers whom I saw during the early/mid-1970s including Chick Corea's Return to Forever; Larry Coryell's 11th House, and The Tony Williams Lifetime. These full-electric bands with titanic dummers were ear-bleedingly loud; my tinnitus today (at 57 yrs old) was probably inititated at TMP during that period. Also caught the amazing Rasaan Roland Kirk's acoustic jazz band there in spring 1974--what a show!

d.steele said...

Glory Days! That they where!God Bless you miss Campbell.Me and Chuck(wioq) Best stage manager job we ever had! Thanks to all! d.steele

Anonymous said...

The good old days at the Main Point..having grown up in King of Prussia, I was able to see Michael Cooney, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Dave VanRonk, Eric Anderson a md Steve Gillette numerous times. it was a great venue of a type that doesn't exist today. great memories.

John Coleman -Gilson said...

Just one correction: One of the live broadcasts from 1976 was not Warren Zevon but actually it was Jackson Browne and David Lindley, who performed for a whole week, as part of a fund raising effort for the Point. Jackson was working on producing Zevon's first album, which is why he included the WZ song. Had the show on tape but has long since been lost in the shuffle. I loved the Main Point, from the first act I saw there (Melanie, back in Aug/1969, right after she appeared at Woodstock) and even had the honor of performing there myself (as a member of Home Cookin', in Jan/1978). One of the most magical venues I have ever experienced. I thank you for that wonderful trip down memory lane. It was nice remembering all the shows, that I had seen there, over the years.

Anonymous said...

A monument!

Eileen K. said...

What fond memories! I grew up in King of Prussia and would take the P & W trolly to Bryn Mawr and walk a block or 2 to The Main Point and try to be the first in line to get a front row seat.I was a huge Don McClean fan and would see the 8:00 show, exit, then stand in line for the 10:00 show. I think tickets were a whopping $3.00. One night, David Buskin opened for Don mcClean and he blew me away. David went on to be a popular performer at the Philly Folk Fest along with his side kick Robin Batteau. One snowy night in February I saw Jimmy Buffet with my sister. It was a very small crowd and he invited everyone back to his hotel room at the St.Davids Inn to party. My sister really wanted to go but I chickened out. Oh how I wish we would have went!

Nick Mariotti said...

Just thinking about the Point led me to this blog and the wonderful memories of some great musical times. Scrolling down through the comments I find my former bandmate John Coleman-Gilson just above. Playing the Point that night as part of Home Cookin' (it was February 1, 1978) was a great thrill and an honor as the Point was a legendary venue. What a thrill it was to play on the same stage as had so many great artists. John, I still have the 4-track master of that show recorded by Lane Massey on my Teac as he ran our sound and I have CD copies of it. Got to send you one!

Nick Mariotti said...

Enjoyed reminiscing the Point and the many great shows and acts who performed there. Scrolling through the comments I see my former bandmate John Coleman-Gilson just above. What a thrill and honor it was to play the Point that night as part of Home Cookin'! (It was February 1, 1978) John, I still have the 4-track master of that show night recorded by Lane Massey on my Teac reel to reel as he ran our sound. Got to send you a CD of it!

Bill said...

Very cool postings. We saw Rick Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker there in 69-70.

prrbill said...

There were times in hindsight that I wish I had snuck a small recorder in with me as some of those 'lost' performances were absolutely priceless. Luckily, some people who worked there have also posted which adds to the richness of your page. And there are those YouTube files. :)

dmsullivan57 said...

Does anyone remember the benefit concert for the Main Point that was held at a downtown Philly theatre in about 1979? Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits and a whole bunch more showed up to bail the place out. My buddy Jerry and I were working at the Main Point at the time. We showed up at Mrs. Campbell's the day of the show to run an errand for her and she gave us front row center seats for the benefit. What a show!

Katie Blake said...

Walking into the Main Point was like entering a different country – like stepping off Lancaster Pike into the “Embassy of Real Music” where we all had diplomatic immunity from "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” and got to listen to music that made us think and rant and laugh and believe that we really could change the world. When it was packed, you could feel the performers listening and adapting their work to match the mood and soul of the audience, and the audience responding right back, until it almost felt like we were creating this music together. It made you want to stand up and scream - “THIS is music.”

none said...

Cheech & Chong opening for Bonnie Raitt and being 15 feet from Clarance Clemens and the boss were the best. The ice cream sundays with walnuts and caramel are also worth mentioning.