Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waiting on a Friend

Ed. Note: Okay, so I assume everyone knows this, but just in case...

When I first moved to the East Village I spent most of my time at Downtown Beirut (best jukebox ever) and St. Marks Bar & Grill. I had been here maybe six months when I found myself chatting about the mural on the back wall at St. Marks, and how the Rolling Stones had filmed their video for Waiting on a Friend on St. Marks Place and in the bar itself, and how the band actually played a set in the bar.  I tried to pretend it was old news, but I'm a terrible liar. 

"Wait, you did know that, right?"

Mick walks and Keith staggers into the bar at St. Marks and First Avenue, looking north along the east side of the avenue, screen grab from the Waiting on a Friend video (filmed July 21, 1981, according to the Rolling Stones database).

The same view today.  (Author, 2010)

Another screen grab, the whole band inside the bar.  Ron Wood opened his own short-lived club not far away, on East 4th (west of Second Avenue), in 1990.

While researching this post, I learned something I hadn't heard before.  The video was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, an early director of musical promo films (that came to be known as videos), whose credits include an extensive library of film, video, and television work, including the iconic video for the Beatles "Hey Jude."

A behind-the-scenes shot.  You can find more here.

There's plenty of other web content about this video shoot along St. Marks between First and A (as was the cover of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti album, which everyone knows already, of course, right?), so I'll just direct you to Google for more info.

Or visit EV Grieve for info on the recent fire at the Physical Graffiti buildings.


EV Grieve said...

What in God's name is Mick wearing anyway?

~evilsugar25 said...

hm for some reason I always thought it was International Bar they went into. obviously not :)

for lack of a better way to get this to you - you know the role the EV plays in The Godfather II, right? they transformed 6th st between A & B into the Little Italy in the flashback scenes. as late as the late 90s, you could still see vestiges of the set painting on a few of the windows. and you can still see the fake old ad painted onto the side of the "Grape & Grain" bldg on 6th between B & C, which is clearly visible in all the long shots East down 6th in the film. the DVD collection has an absolutely fascinating extra feature on this, with set designer Dean Tavoularis revisiting the block (late 90s) and talking about the filming there. they show a production diagram of the block, and mapped each building to what they transformed it into in the film (Abbandando Grocery, barber shop, etc).

7B is also in the film; it's where Pentangeli got garroted, and that intersection is shot from a jib showing Willy Cici getting shot in the street.

Aaaanyway, sorry to be so off-topic, but I'm obsessed with this since I live across from G&G and walk down this block every day. Thought you might dig into it a bit...

Anonymous said...

Mick is not looking north on 1st Ave in that picture. He is looking south since the bar was on the south east corner of 1st Av & St, marks Place.