If you’re a music fan in Greater Nippertown, you’re undoubtedly aware that Bob Dylan performed at Caffe Lena very early in his musical career when he was just another unknown folksinger scrappin’ for gigs. It’s the stuff of legend around here…
The venerable Saratoga Springs coffeehouse Caffe Lena is celebrating its 56th anniversary this weekend (with a big concert at Skidmore College on Saturday). And it just so happens that the Caffe’s most acclaimed alum is celebrating his 75th birthday just three days later (that would be Tuesday, May 24), so Caffe Lena is hosting a Dylan tribute concert tonight (Friday, May 20).
Sheer coincidence? Or was there something more to the brief intersection of Bob Dylan and Caffe Lena in January, 1962?
In Stephen Petrus and Ronald D. Cohen’s book “Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival” – published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name that was presented at the Museum on the City of New York last year – Terri Thal, the wife and manager of Dave Van Ronk, recalls the adventure of booking Bob Dylan into Caffe Lena: