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There must be 50 ways to shoot Paul Simon on a NYC fire escape.
February 19, 2012 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out.

(Right now it's all album covers, but — perhaps inspired by Jeremiah Moss's epic quest to find the NYC site that inspired Nighthawks at the Diner (previously) — Egan promises the site's scope will eventually include movies, TV shows, and paintings.)
posted by Joey Bagels (17 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whoa. That Kids Are Alright cover was shot a few blocks from me. I'm gonna walk over there tonight with the dog, sit on those steps and have a cold one. Anyone care to join?
posted by stargell at 8:17 AM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great post! I think the painting is just called "Nighthawks", though...this is a mistake I frequently make, myself. Damn you, Tom Waits.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:18 AM on February 19, 2012


That's pretty awesome, and really well done.
posted by ericost at 8:18 AM on February 19, 2012


Yeah, I've obviously internalized the Tom Waits so that every time I read a reference to Nighthawks I just assume the writer is abbreviating the full title. Mea culpa.
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:21 AM on February 19, 2012


The Neil Young one is great! The original photographer & the art director end up emailing with more info.
posted by ericthegardener at 8:26 AM on February 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's brilliant.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:35 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


There must be 50 ways to shoot Paul Simon on a NYC fire escape.

...and me without my pistol!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:06 AM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm completely blown away that After the Gold Rush was shot on that corner of Sullivan and 3rd. I walked by that corner every morning for three years. That is just so awesome.
posted by saladin at 9:11 AM on February 19, 2012


I used to have this map of famous rock spots in NYC, it included items like "Dressed to Kill" (KISS) shot on this corner, and I remember going to those locations and then just shrugging entirely because who the heck could pick out the actual image location from a busy crowded Manhattan corner. I think someone over 80 saw us and asked if they could help us; not much you can say at that point. Anyway this resource is pretty impressive.
posted by stevil at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2012


There must be 50 ways to shoot Paul Simon on a NYC fire escape.

"He would have finished him off then and there, but pity stayed his hand. ‘It's a pity I've run out of bullets,’ he thought."
posted by Nomyte at 10:10 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this! Great post!
posted by marimeko at 10:19 AM on February 19, 2012


Extra Credit:
The Doors Strange Days
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti

Hopefully solved soon:
James Gang Live
posted by hal9k at 11:36 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's give this guy a copy of the Zapruder film and see what happens.
posted by cmoj at 11:44 AM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


"James Buchanan High School" from Welcome Back Kotter. Which is actually New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:09 PM on February 19, 2012


There must be 50 ways to shoot Paul Simon on a NYC fire escape.

Release some lead, Jed. Pop off a cap, Hap...
posted by bpm140 at 5:40 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are nuts. He's accessing decades of personal familiarity with the New York City streetscape, adding Bing and Google streetview and aerial maps, topped off with a jigger of what must be a photographic memory for window placement and rooflines. I just get the sense that there's maybe one person on earth who could--or would want to--do this blog, and Bob Egan's that person. Wow.
posted by Scram at 11:14 PM on February 19, 2012


Not Bob Egan the former member of Wilco, I'm assuming?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:08 PM on February 21, 2012


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