Manny’s Music Just An Iconic New York Memory

August 29, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Manny’s Music, like other New York Institution’s: CBGB’s, Big Nick’s Burger Joint and so many more, disappeared from the NYC landscape in 2009. 

Manny’s Music was the place to go in New York City for over 70 years if you were a musician or just a wannabe.  You never knew who you would bump into when you walked in those doors.  Everywhere in Manny’s, was music or musicians especially the fabled walls.  It was kid friendly too.

manny's music, iconic new york

Manny’s Music days before the end

Manny’s was like a music museum, but a museum where you could touch everything, well almost everything.

The storied collection of 8×10 autographed photos ranged from rock pioneer Buddy Holly and the Crickets, the Doors, Benny Goodman, and Pearl Jam.  Anyone who was anyone in music stopped by.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be honored to have a collection as deep and rich in music history as the one that graced the walls of Manny’s Music.

Manny’s was a Toy store for music was is understatement.

When you first walked into the store, you saw a beat up guitar in a plexi-glass case.  According to the info, Jimi Hendrix and others used to play it when they’d stop by for something.  If you looked behind one of the registers, you would see a copy of a receipt that Jimi signed. 

Manny’s was a must stop for the up and coming and music royalty.

My friend David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, made it a must stop on every trip to New York.  We meet after and he’d be talking about the new pedal or toy he bought. 

When my son was 10 we were in the city,a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and namesake for a beat was making an appearance.  

Bo Diddley would be in the back room speaking.  Zack and I sat on the floor with about 20 people. Zack sat right in front of Bo. Bo talked and told stories.  He was very funny. He told many color stores and when he’d get to a part that would be questionable for the only kid in the room, he’d laugh and nod at Zack and say you know.  Zack got to talk to him after and Bo signed something for him. 

You just never knew who would be there.

Keith Moon in training

Besides all the guitars, Manny’s Music drum room was huge.  It is there, years ago I spent 2 hours with my sons beating the skins on extremely expensive kits and never did we hear one thing from the staff. They still talk about how much fun it was there. Kid friendly to max.

Gentrification struck in 2008.

It was announced that Manny’s Music space, prime retail in the heart of the Rockefeller Center area, would be taken over by music chain Sam Ash. I happen to be in the city a week before  the end.  I got a last look at a true legend and pick up a few iconic t shirts.

Yankee Stadium, Manny’s Music, CBGB’s- as the city reclaims itself from it decades of despair; the prettification process is ripping the soul out as its price.

For Manny’s Music, all we have left is the memories and thousands of 8×10’s


Here are 2 sites to check out Manny’s

This is a book all about Manny’s called the Wall Of Fame


Category: Music

Leave a Reply