“Yes, the building that Joni and her photographer, Joel, visited in 1976 is still standing. One room at the old shop address, 580 Bay St.., 2nd Fl., was where my original partner, Hap Kuffner, lived. We had rented a four-room space, a one story walk-up. It had a kitchen, a living room–which was the main showroom–a workshop room and, in the fourth room, Hap’s digs. It was a good place to start a new business. We were there for only 4 years, 5 months. Joni visited at around the 4 years, 2 months point. The entrance was the first door on the side of the building on Union Place. It overlooked Bay Street from the front windows, Union Place from the kitchen. When one walked upstairs from the street, the wallpaper had those large velour flowers with the flat spaces between the petals. For all I know it might still have that wallpaper. Some customers used to whistle “The House of the Rising Sun” as they came up. Stephen Stills and Graham Nash came up that stairway, so did Dave Van Ronk. It is across the street from a freestanding Citibank branch and when we occupied that space, we were upstairs from a Household Finance office. Our customers used to kid us that they could visit, walk downstairs to either institution, get a loan and then come back upstairs to make their purchase. I don’t think, though, that this actually ever happened.”
The location is about a third of a mile south of the Staten Island ferry terminal, where Joni apparently landed after boarding in lower Manhattan.
There is also a train station a block away that people could take
from the ferry terminal, if they didn't feel like walking.
"Big boat chuggin' back with a belly full of cars...")
but passengers now ride for free (the biggest bargain in New York City)!
actually went there intending to buy a mandolin that day,
but she actually bought two items:
the Gibson Mandocello (described above), which is a
large instrument–the size of a standard guitar–and
a 1913 Martin 000-28 Herringbone guitar.
1913 Martin 000-28 Herringbone that Joni purchased in 1976)
(Joni, with her Mandocello;
photo ©1976 by Stan Jay).
(Just a small sample of acoustic guitars at
(Stan Jay, President of Mandolin Brothers.)
(Mandolin Brothers' current location:
629 Forrest Avenue, Staten Island, NY.
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All photos © 2007 by Ken Bausert
unless otherwise noted.
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