Getting to the point
Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

Here We Are Now
-Patrick Rapa

The Hangman
James Lewes is documenting a very perishable part of the local rock scene.
-Patrick Rapa

Where They Were Then
From Studio to salon to saloon, old-heads recall the scene they can¹t exactly remember.
-A.D. Amorosi

Punk Calling
Diary of a man in a local band (or two) in the early 䢔s.
-179Frank Blank² Moriarty

Those were the frickin¹ days
Rolling stone¹s david fricke remembers the main point
-Patrick Rapa

The Lowdown
Peaks, valleys and what finally put a fork in The Low Road.
-Lori Hill

Deep Thoughts with The Low Road

Tearing Down The House DJ
The life, music, modeling, drugs, death and rebirth of Narayan.
-Sean O¹Neal

October 17-23, 2002

cover story

Getting to the point

CLOSING TIME: Tom Waits hangs out in the lobby of The Main Point.
CLOSING TIME: Tom Waits hangs out in the lobby of The Main Point.

the bryn mawr club knows where it¹s going, and where it¹s been.

Whatever happened to that old Main Point crowd? Is it really true that The Point is a reincarnation of its legendary forefather?

For a mission like this, the first call, of course, is to Gene Shay, keeper of all folk-musical knowledge in the Delaware Valley. If he doesn’t have the answer, he knows who does.Shay had references for almost everybody you could think of who was part of The Main Point during its extended run, from 1964 to 1981. In the early days, he’d frequently hang out there, as it was a short drive from his home. He even MC’d the first show. As the reminiscences piled up, he tosses out the fact that there had been several Main Point reunions, organized by Jeannette Campbell, its owner. Is Campbell still with us? Not only is she still alive, assures Shay, but she’s quite lively as well. He gave me her number.

A soft voice answered the phone, and it was Campbell, pleading for a chance to speak a bit later, since she was having a reading session. When we spoke again, she apologized and reminded me that she is legally blind. All the years she ran the club, she worked with this impediment. No big deal to her, though. As she states, “I lived for The Main Point.”In ’64, she recalls, folk music was her world and she thought there would be an audience for a family club. Ask the folks who would line up outside the club in the rain or the snow if that wasn’t the case. It was a small place, just 150 seats at first, so multiple shows were the rule. All the greats played there. Larry Goldfarb, whose Tin Angel is teetering on the edge of its 10th anniversary, recalls going to The Main Point when he first moved to Philly in ’68. “I saw Bonnie Raitt as an opening act there at least five times! James Taylor, David Bromberg, Jackson Browne -- all as they were launching their careers.” Anybody who was a name in acoustic music during that era had to play The Main Point. The club was so well-loved among artists that when there was a bit of financial difficulty, Tom Rush, Joni Mitchell, Dave Van Ronk and Tom Waits all volunteered to perform in a benefit concert and straightened it right out. Word is there’s also a documentary being filmed about the old club’s golden era as you read this. Campbell still loves her folk music. She couldn’t find a retirement center she could afford near Philadelphia and notes sadly that at age 85, she doesn’t get out to concerts as much as she’d like to. Other Main Point personalities who are still kicking include Emmet (formerly known as “Robbie”) Robinson. He put in 10 years as the operations manager. Since then he has gone on to found King Street Recording Company (“professional audio for anything you can think of”) and a line of entertaining business seminars. He has a regular column in Smart Business Now and is known for his book, How to Prosper in Business Regardless of the Economy. During his days at The Main Point, he was an MC who could also serve as an supporting act. “My proudest moment was opening for John Denver in 1969.”

(Rolling Stone editor David Fricke ran The Main Point’s publicity off and on from the fall of ’74 through the spring of ’76. See below.)

Larry Ahearn handled the talent booking for umpteen years. He went to work for Electric Factory, then moved to California for most of the ’80s. “People who would recognize me out there didn’t know me from E.F. or the Bijou. They remembered me from The Main Point.” Ahearn returned to Philly and was a founding partner in New Park Entertainment. He has high praise for The Point as it is today. “It takes a lot of love to operate a listening room.” He goes on to say that both the original and the new club have been critical to developing new artists.

Rich Kardon, owner of The Point, talks about its genesis: “When I started out, I had no intention of reviving The Main Point. I’d been inspired by MTV Unplugged and VH-1 Storytellers. Not just their content, but how they presented it -- comfy, living-room settings. I didn’t go out to clubs anymore, but thought, hey, if I did, this would be the kind I’d go to.” The idea percolated for two years, while Kardon looked for the perfect spot. One day he was driving down Lancaster Pike and his head snapped around. “Space Available” is what the sign said, and Rich couldn’t believe his luck; it was right next door to the old original Main Point.

“The place was perfect! Where the counter had been was where the stage should go, where the bike mechanics shop was is now the kitchen.” It did seem like fate.While the original plan was to make The Point homey, it was not necessarily to make it the family-oriented, no-booze establishment that was essential to Campbell’s dream. But the landlord expressed a strong preference for leaving liquor out of the equation. So now the strongest thing served is the excellent Point blend coffee and all ages can and do enjoy the same music together.

-- Respond to this article in our Forums -- click to jump there

Quick and entertaining New York City local news, events, food, arts, sports and more.

Bariloche Home for sale. For sale $1,200,000 USD located in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. Built in 3 levels with in-ground heated swimming pool 45'x18' & six bedrooms suites overlooking Lake Moreno in Bariloche. Por Venta en Bariloche. Hidden Mickey Hidden Mickeys Disney secrets

contact us

My City Paper

Website powered by cmsbot

My City Paper • ,
Copyright © 2019 My City Paper :: New York City News, Food, Sports and Events.
Website design, managed and hosted by DEP Design,, a New York interactive agency