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

Barry Goldberg and Mike Bloomfield (plus general comment)

From “Goldberg: ‘60s Survivor Still Rockin’ the Blues,” Los Angeles Times:

In 1965, when [guitarist Mike] Bloomfield, then a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, went to play at the Newport Folk Festival, he invited Goldberg along. It was there that Goldberg met Bob Dylan, beginning an association that would last through the years....

After Newport, Goldberg went to New York, where he and half the musicians in the city lived at the famed Albert Hotel. “It was such an incredible time,” Goldberg said. “There was this whole musical renaissance happening. I remember going into the Cafe au Go Go when Hendrix was in this group called Jimmy James & the Blue Flames. Even then, everybody knew how amazing he was.”

From “World’s Greatest Rock Organist,” Los Angeles Times:

Next, Goldberg had a gig at the Cafe Au GoGo backing John Hammond with a young guitarist named Jimmy Jones on guitar. The guitarist later changed his name to Jimi Hendrix. “Then Michael came up and said, ‘How’d you like to start a perfect band?’ “The perfect band was the Electric Flag and they began recruiting members. One of the first was Buddy Miles, a dynamic drummer and singer whom Goldberg had seen backing singer Wilson Pickett. He and Bloomfield invited him to their room in the Albert Hotel and talked to him about the proposed band. During the conversation he dozed off and they amused themselves for the rest of the evening by dropping cookies into the open mouth of this huge, slumbering creature.

From Michael Bloomfield: If You Love These Blues:

Paul was a despot, as far as the money was concerned. And I remember when Paul’s despotism as far as the money stopped. We went to Electra one day. We were sitting around the hotel - we always stayed at these rotten hotels, the Albert Hotel and stuff - we were sitting around thinking, and I said, “Paul, y’know, I bet we have some money at Elektra from the Bugter album.

Our original thought on the drummer was Billy Mundi from the Mothers of Invention. And then we walked into this theater, and the whole theater was rocking to this massive drum beat. We were just mesmerized. It was Buddy Miles, who was Wilson Pickett’s drummer. So after he got off the stage, Michael and I went up to him and starting talking to him. We invited him back to our room at the Albert Hotel for further conversation.

We bought a box of Oreo cookies, and we kept giving Buddy Oreo cookies and telling him about all the beautiful young girls in San Francisco. Our plan was that he could be the star of San Francisco and have anything he wanted - which is basically what happened. And Buddy said, “Okay, count me in.” He left Pickett, and Pickett was pissed off. We heard that he was looking for us for a long time, for stealing his drummer.

Mike [Bloomfield] and I were in New York, at the Albert Hotel. We were doing sessions with Mitch Ryder. And Mike said to me, “Will you help me get a band together? I want an American music band - everything in American music from Stax to Phil Spector to Motown.” And, of course, blues. He wanted to cover the whole spectrum of American music. I thought it was a great concept.

From Lillian Roxon’s article in Eye:

Mike Boomfield thinks it’s an excellent hotel, the friendliest and nicest in town. “I don’t stay there anymore because it’s too dirty,” he says, but he is ready, at the drop of a hat, to recommend it as an absolutely essential part of the experience of living.