The Bitter End

Established in 1961, The Bitter End is the oldest rock and roll club in New York City. The classic red brick stage backdrop and intimate vibe make this historic venue as iconic as its many headliners. For over 50 years, our audiences have been blown away by legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond, Gavin DeGraw, Woody
Allen, Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Billy Crystal, Tommy James, Norah Jones, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and thousands more.

Bitter End Legends

We all played at The Bitter End…

Ace Trucking Company

Woody Allen

Peter Allen

Mose Allison

Luther Allison


Tori Amos

Harry Anderson

Maxine Andrews

Joan Armatrading

Joan Baez

Sandra Bernhard

Burlap To Cashmere

Stephen Bishop

Ronee Blakley

Blues Traveler

Elayne Boosler

Oscar Brand

Brewer & Shipley

David Brenner

David Bromberg

Jonatha Brooke

Albert Brooks

Jackson Browne

Glen Burtnick

George Carlin

Vanessa Carlton

Dick Cavett

Chamber Brothers

Harry Chapin

Tracy Chapman

Charles & Eddie

Cheech & Chong

Merry Clayton

Judy Collins

Shawn Colvin

Chick Corea

Larry Coryell

Bill Cosby

James Cotton

The Critters

Jim Croce

David Crosby

Billy Crystal

Lacy J. Dalton

Charlie Daniels

Miles Davis

Jim Dawson

Gavin DeGraw

John Denver

Neil Diamond

Bo Diddley


Bob Dylan

Yvonne Elliman

Cass Elliot

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Joe Ely

Everley Brothers

From Good Homes

Mimi Farina

Jose Feliciano

The First Edition

Steve Forbert

Jeffrey Gaines

Gordon Gaines

Stan Getz

Andy Gibb

G.Love & Special Sauce

Steve Goodman

Stephane Grappelli

Arlo Guthrie

Bill Haley

Hall & Oates

Tim Hardin

John Hartford

Donny Hathaway

Richie Havens

Gil Scott Heron

Jake Holmes

Robert Hunter

Janis Ian

Don Imus

Indigo Girls

Isley Brothers

Etta James

Tommy James

Garland Jeffreys

Norah Jones

Billy Joel

Dr. John

Doug Kershaw

Morgana King

Robert Klein

Leo Kottke

Kris Kristofferson

Patti La Belle

Steve Landesberg

Nil Lara

Los Lonely Boys

Jay Leno

Les Paul

Gordon Lightfoot

Lady Gaga

Little Feat

Lisa Loeb

Taj Mahal

Melissa Manchester

Chuck Mangione

Hugh Masekela

Curtis Mayfeild


Sarah McLachlan

Rod McKuen

Don McLean

Bette Midler

Joni Mitchell

Ingrid Michaelson

Van Morrison

Maria Muldaur

Martin Mull

Shawn Mullins

Anne Murray

Mohammed Ali

Johnny Nash

Rick Nelson

Mickey Newberry

Randy Newman

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Phil Ochs


Pat Paulson

Tom Paxton

Peter,Paul,& Mary

The Persuasions

Freddie Prinz

Richard Pryor

Jean Luc Ponty

Billy Preston

Dori Previn

John Prine

Kenny Rankin

Helen Reddy

Joan Rivers

Kenny Rogers

Linda Ronstadt

Rusted Root

Rita Rudner

Rubber Cow & Chicken

Otis Rush

Soupy Sales

Sam & Dave

Mongo Santamaria

Esther Satterfield

The Searchers

John Sebastian

Pete Seeger

Carly Simon

Patti Smith

Spin Doctors

Staple Singers

David Steinberg

Jonathan Stewart

Curtis Stigers

Taylor Swift

James Taylor

Livingston Taylor

Rip Taylor

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee

George Thorogood

Lily Tomlin

The Tarriers

Mary Travers

The Triplets

Kenny Vance & The Planotones

Wendy Wall

Jerry Jeff Walker

Joe Walsh

Jimmy Webb

Eric Weisberg

Tony Joe White

Josh White

Jane Kelly Williams

Paul Williams

Flip Wilson

Bill Withers

Stevie Wonder

Steven Wright

Neil Young

Henny Youngman

In Memoriam

Paul Colby (1918 – 2014)

It is with a heavy heart The Bitter End would like to announce the loss of our colonel, Paul Colby, who passed away February 13, 2014 at the age of 96. In his 70 plus years in the business , Paul has touched the hearts of countless musicians and patrons and helped to launch many great careers in the music industry. Paul was sharp , witty and happy until the end. Paul will never be forgotten as his legacy will live on Bleecker Street. The name says it all: PAUL COLBY’S THE BITTER END

Kenny Gorka (1947 – 2015)

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, we lost an icon in the music industry. Kenny Gorka passed away at the age of 68. He was one of the last of his kind, influencing thousands of musicians, most of them in the infancy stages of performing. He guided many that went on to huge stardom, in addition to countless others who just enjoyed playing music. Starting in the business as a singer and bass player, Kenny found early success in the 1960’s in a band called The Critters. He played this club numerous times. In the early 1970s after producing music up north, Kenny had his first run working at the Bitter End with Paul Colby. After a few years, he went on to work on the upper east side at Home. It was there, that he made numerous musical friends and met his lovely wife of 39 years, Lisa. After a few years, he went on to numerous odd jobs before coming back in the mid 1980’s to book The Bitter End, until his passing last night. Kenny’s amazing ear for music helped keep the Bitter End a musical institution. From the outpour on social media, Kenny apparently was loved by many. Many great musicians credit him with their first gig in nyc, and influencing them from the way they sounded, to the way they looked, often planting seeds that grew into successful musical careers and important life lessons. Kenny genuinely loved music . He spent his life making it, and then shaping an industry from the bottom up. Those he touched through his work and play will always remember him as one of the great ones. His love for music was only matched by his love for his wife and daughter and his close friends (you can probably throw in a few cars over the years as well). Rest in Peace my Friend.

Fred Weintraub (1928 – 2017)

In 1961, former adman and inveterate showman, Fred Weintraub, chipped away crumbling plaster in the small, dingy, Bleecker Street venue he had acquired to reveal a red brick wall that would become the archetypal backdrop to over half a century of music and comedy. He called his new club the Bitter End, where Fred nurtured and promoted the emerging talent of the day. Peter Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, Neil Diamond, Richie Pryor, and Joan Rivers are just a few of the young performers who went on to have legendary careers in music and comedy. Fred owned and managed the Bitter End for a decade before turning over operations and, eventually, ownership to Paul Colby in order to pursue his career as a legendary movie executive and producer (Woodstock, Enter the Dragon). Though he passed away in March of 2017, Fred’s spirit of unbridled enthusiasm and dedication to young talent still reverberates.

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