Live Nation, the owners of the music club that sits at 15th Street and Irving Place have finally come to their senses. They are restoring the name Irving Plaza to the club that they renamed: the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza in 2007. That's as catchy as the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim.
According to the NY Times, Kevin Morrow who is president of Live Nation's NY division said, “Since I’ve been here I haven’t had anyone say to me, ‘What a great idea that was,’ ” he said, referring to the Fillmore name. “Almost everybody I talk to in the New York music scene, one of their first experiences was at Irving Plaza. And I’m really excited to be able to bring back to the New York music scene what people have overwhelmingly desired.”
The Fillmore East was originally south of Irving Plaza at 2nd Ave and 6th Street. Both venues shared a tradition of housing Yiddish theater. The original Fillmore was only open for a few years, closing in 1971.
I have spent many a nights at Irving seeing a wide swath of wonderful shows: John Hiatt (this year), Radiohead, Los Lobos, INXS, The Ramones and on many many occasions David Johansen. I was a student at Fordham University in the late 70's/early 80's and used to D train it into Manhattan to see shows all the time. David let me in on the back staircase secret which allowed me to get into the club for free. Never remembering my name, David always referred to me as Fordham. He must have taken pity on a music loving college student. The first time he turned me on to the stairs was during his soundcheck. He said have a seat and put me at big table with Deborah Harry sitting directly opposite me. There are about 5 of us in the venue at that point, besides the band. Oh the rock gods were circling my head that night. Don't bother trying to find this stairwell. It's not accessible anymore.