2. Andy Warhol almost bought the space
From 1965 to 1968, the space was known as the Village Theatre, hosting many legendary events comparable to Fillmore East’s. The theater opened with a performance by Donovan, and it was where Timothy Leary would lead weekly psychedelic lectures. The run-down Village Theatre hosted notable performances by jazz greats John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, Nina Simone, Frank Zappa, and even Allen Ginsberg.
When Leary departed the space, Andy Warhol considered taking it over. Warhol considered using the space to start his own religion and set up a new band, the Velvet Underground, which he managed. The rock band was fronted by Lou Reed, and they inspired and pioneered experimental, punk rock, and new wave music. They also served as the house band at Warhol’s art studio the Factory. Warhol eventually passed on the opportunity.