New York home to rock's greatest, the best and the worst of all worlds lie under its roof.

Printed in Eye Magazine May 1968Article written by Lillian Roxon Illustration by Michael Foreman

Rock & Roll Years

The 1960s ushered in the Hotel Albert’s last hurrah. It was a trip. No doubt there was sex and drugs. Certainly there was rock’n’roll. The hotel provided a gritty, grimy, grungy home away from home for musicians–and a basement in which to jam and rehearse “among the pools of water and cockroaches.” Its guests read like a pantheon of ‘60s rock: Paul Butterfield formed the Blues Band here; Steve Gillette wrote the Sunshine Company’s hit, Back on the Street Again, here; the Lovin’ Spoonful wrote Do You Believe In Magic here; The Mamas & The Papa’s penned California Dreamin’; Canned Heat jammed with Cream; the Mothers of Invention stayed here, so did Muddy Waters, the Byrds, Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and so many more.

The Hotel Albert’s distinction, journalist Lillian Roxon, ‘the mother of rock,’ wrote, “is not that it has housed some of the most influential rock personalities of our time (after all, so has Holiday Inn), but that it has affected them so deeply (in a way no impersonal Holiday Inn could ever hope to) that American popular music would probably never have been what it is today without it.”