In the late 50’s early 60’s my dad would occasionally take me to the space he lived in before I was born. It was a giant loft space they called The Garret and it was over the Woolworth’s at the corner of Debaliviere and Delmar.
He had lived there with Bob Koester whose record store “Delmar Records” was just downstairs and Paul Schueltz. Paul was a painter and bassist. They rented it from a painter named Bill Fett.
The Garret was filled with half finished canvases, washtub and stand up basses, World War II audio equipment, and a thousand empty or mostly empty Falstaff and Stag bottles. My father was famous for leaving the last inch and a half of beer at the bottom of his bottle. I don’t believe there was even a separate space in the loft for a toilet.
Paul was a prolific painter and I still have quite a few of his canvases, including a portrait of my father.
There was quite a scene on Debaliviere in those days. The other end of the strip from Delmar at Pershing was the famous “Stardust”, a burlesque club that featured Evelyn West and her $50,000.00 treasure chest insured by Lloyd’s of London. I always wondered if they were insured against gravity.
Although Nick Jakovac’s bar on
Koester moved his store to
Iggy Pop mentioned living in Koester’s basement in his autobiography “I Need More”.
When I was 20 Tracy Wynkoop and I stayed with him for a few days. He took us to really hard core Blues clubs on the south side. We listened to the funniest stand up comedy recordings I’ve ever heard in his studio. They were from the 50s and too blue to ever be released. He also showed us movies in a private theater setup he had in his home.
Years later, after I married, I took my wife and a couple of friends of hers that live in
There will be more on this I hope. So much for keeping my entries short.