Monday, August 11, 2014

SNEAK PEEK of GERDE'S documentary August 22nd

The crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo will be over in a couple of days. If you want a $100 t-shirt, that's what I will give you. 

However, if YOU or SOMEONE you know wants to put their foot in the door and help me take Positively Porco to the finish line in style, NOW is the time!

Yes, I'm making it easy for someone to get an Executive Producer credit. All they have to do is join the club (and foot the bill). The door is open.  

My quest at the moment is to bring in professionals to make Positively Porco a world class film. I've been doing it all myself: The filming, the transcribing, the editing, the thinking…not that I want a pat on the back, I want a team!

With the right people, the sky is the limit. Wide theatrical release and world-wide unit distribution is the goal. Anything less will SUCK! Why bother? Do not connect me with producers who do not produce or people who are 'yeller about their mustard.' The meek shall inherit shit.

It's not your ordinary documentary. Yes, it will educate the world in the ways of the Porco clan, and yes it will educate Folk enthusiasts all about Gerde's, but the inspiring message will make you cheer. Musicians have a place in this world. Always have. Always will. The 'less' famous are all part of the whole. Someone watching this will one day change the world with a song.

Positively Porco is about Family with a capital 'F.' There's no secret handshake. No swearing in. No dress code. Dig?


For those of you lucky enough to be within 100 miles of Ashokan, New York, you're invited to see a DIRECTOR'S CUT of Positively Porco on Friday, August 22nd at THE SUMMER HOOT.

I'll be there showing a clip entitled ''THE FIFTH PEG: Izzy Young brings music to Gerde's Restaurant.''

I'm the 11:15 act. The entire lineup is right here.
I'm honored to say that a couple of Mike Porco's friends will be performing that weekend. David Bromberg and John Cohen will be featured along with my friends and hosts Mike+Ruthy, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Robert Sarazin Blake, DB Leonard, Elizabeth Mitchell, Amy Helm and many others.

'The Hoot' series shows no signs of ever taking a hiatus. Here's another ground floor opportunity for you to experience a festival in its early years. Don't think twice!

Buy tickets. Stay the weekend. Folk yourself silly. It's beyond music.

AND you will get to witness a Positively Porco clip in a form NEVER to be seen again! Parts of it will have to be cut to make room for the rest of the greatest #Folkumentary you may ever see. 

Here are some images from the 'chunky-style' video about the origins of FOLK CITY

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I'm sure it's true of any city.
There's always something to do.
But in New York, there just appears to be more to do 
than in some other flea bitten towns, like Cincinnati.
Everyone should exercise their choice to do whatever they want to do.
This is what we did this weekend:
First, it was a grand time at the old ball game on Saturday.
I treated my Angelina to her first Yankee Game. They won. 
Then Sunday was a Metropolitan Museum outing.
Several Picasos. Several.
Then Monday was the finale of Seegerfest spent in back of
Summerstage with the washed and the unwashed. 
(I was unwashed)
And the sweaty. And free beer.
And Steve Earle and Harry Belefonte.
Remember to reduce and reuse.
And today, we bought some music to the noisiest street in the entire world.
It was stellar because it was fun.
Part of what we shot today will make it into the Folkumentary on
What does Mermaid Avenue have to do with Gerde's? 
Many thanks to Vince Martin, Dominic Chianese and Dom's buddies who made today's experience

What's baseball gotta do with Folk? What's it to ya?
One of thousands of hits

What a doll

The Earle of West Village

Not Derek Jeter


Singing and smiling


This street is your street, this street is my street

Thursday, July 17, 2014



At this juncture, it seems that Folk and Blues music is having another one of those revival thingies. The same musicians who led the last one are leading this one too. People should see a bandwagon when they see one. Will they ever learn? 

The seasons change and there's yet another huge music festival or event or museum feature or documentary or Folkumentary about the 'Village scene in those days.' Yup. 

I'm part of the problem, not the solution. I'm making a film and I didn't have to quit film school to do it. Why didn't I figure this out years ago?

The film I'm doing is about Mike Porco and Gerde's. Mike was The Dean of Folk City. Gerde's was New York's Center of Folk Music. Fact.

Perhaps Gerde's is best described as the 'Living Room of the 1960's.'
or the 'Home of Dreamers.'
And Mike was perhaps the father to a star constellation. Your call.

Thanks for being me. Cuz my story is told in first person in the non-fiction sorta way. What I've got will knock your socks up and down, kid. Because of Mike's past good graces, it's a hit parade. To save you trouble, I'll pat myself on the back FOR you.

My role, as Izzy Young said, is to press 'record.' I've taken his advice. But I've jumped in with both feet. Oops.


It's been one summer since Pete and Toshi Seeger left us for pastures of plenty. Many of Mike Porco's friends will be passing through NYC this weekend for concerts and in true Folk form, all the shows are free. They're part of Seegerfest. A tribute. Folk music has an enormous walk-up crowd. It could be millions. Probably not, but it will be well attended.

Next year's event

Even without the physical presence of past organizers, the Seegers, the oral language and propagation of acoustic Folk music around the world has never slowed. It's probably larger than Pete Seeger himself could have imagined. Everyone, especially the musicians, become an equal part of it. Music needs listeners. Entertainers need a reason.

And my film needs more film! So I'm building a Field of Dreams and hoping that ''they'' will come.

I'm staging a shoot. The shoot will be on Mermaid Avenue. And it might just be me playing guitar at 2810. I hope not. Cuz my singing is off. I don't play banjo or twelve-string. But I'm going anyway. And I won't be alone. And I'll get to see Coney Island for the first time. And I'll get to have a wild subway ride back to Manhattan. And I'll get  to tell lies and stories about my day. What fun! I've invited several musicians. Need sunshine and not a box of rain.

Vince Martin and I scoped the scene Two thumbs up

And by the way, I've started a crowd fund site. Not my idea. But I've still got sh*t to unload. T-shirts, hats and my guitar. Some lucky duck already bought that guitar. (What a bargain!)

I don't even have a good forgery to offer someone else. But I have autographed photos of Israel Young. And 300,000 executive q-tips. And a cameo of your own for sale. Don't delay! Act now!


The Mermaid Avenue shoot will cost a total of two dollar and fifty cent. I don't need to hire Scorsese to make this film …unless he wants in. Like a Soho walk up, ground floor is the best real estate.


Saturday, July 12, 2014


THE definition of 'family' may vary person to person. Friends can be referred to as being 'like family.' Cats and dogs get included in family photos. So it should be no big stretch to learn that nearly all the musicians who were hired by Mike Porco were treated like family at Folk City

In turn, many of the folks that Mike encountered during his lifetime also considered him as part of their extended family. 

My grandfather has been described in several books as 'Bob Dylan's surrogate father' and even His Bobness himself called Mike 'the Sicilian father (he) never had.' Porco was from Calabria, not Sicily, but Dylan got his point across. All is forgiven. 

Blood is thicker than the mud. I've undertaken the exciting task to tell the wonderful tale of this Italian immigrant's unlikely inclusion into the annals of Folk music history. He owned New York City's first Folk music cabaret and was the father to a thousand musicians and wayfaring strangers who sought refuge in the friendly confines of Gerde's Folk City.

His good karma has made its way into the modern day over two decades after his death. Because of his selfless effort, my task of making the definitive documentary film on Gerde's and Mike has been made a lot easier. Several fabulous personalities from the past have been gracious with their time and memories for my film

Eric Andersen was the latest celebrity to pour it out about Mike and Gerde's. Others are still slated to be included. Only room enough left for the closest of Mike's friends. It will astound even the most staunch Revival historian. Folk City was, after all, THE Center of Folk Music in NYC.

What I need is YOU to make your closest friends and family aware of me and my project. I don't want to entertain tire kickers. I need professionals to put serious backing behind this film to bring it to audiences around the world. It's not just about Gerde's and Mike. There's more to it than that. It's about one family and their commitment to the 'scene' and the advancement of their art. 

This crowd source site is not about giving out t-shirts to a thousand people. It only takes one person to turn the key. In the meantime, the making of this Folkumentary rages on. Be a part of it. Pass it on.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Gerde's Folk's memories

The title makes hardly any sense, but what the hey. It's cyber space. Corrections…bah!

An update on the progress being made for those who those care.

Thanks to gracious folks who know a bandwagon when they see one, POSITIVELY PORCO will sweep all other Gerde's documentaries out of the water and stand in its place. Actually, there are no other Gerde's docs. So at least POSITIVELY PORCO will be first. Not only THAT, but this near finished film will feature many of the living treasures telling the story in first-person. Dig

It's fucking awesome, I must say. I'm partial. But I'm currently distilling the best memories of the finest moments from music history into a 100 minute film.

But if you know someone who wants to make it a mini series, operators are standing by.

Until that eventuality, I've dipped into the 'crowd sourcing' web for a wild fling.

I've already sold my treasured guitar to hire seasoned veterans to help me make the film. It was a steal at 5k. But hey…I needed a new one anyway. Maybe an electric bass instead… drifting.

Take me up on a previous offer and take my 100 bucks for initiating one print media article featuring the GERDE'S FOLK CITY DOCUMENTARY.

And here's a video blog if you're into that sorta thing.

and here's another clip I like.

See ya down the road. Spoke at length with Larry Campbell last Sunday. Heading to Clearwater at Croton Point this weekend. Interviewing Eric Andersen Monday. Going to the Bitter End, Paul Colby tribute Monday night. It's a wild time, someone has to do it.

Mike Porco outside Folk City

Marlon Cherry, Bob Porco

Oscar Isaac and 'Mike Porco, M.D'

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Rod MacDonald watches POSITIVELY PORCO
YES, friends, My grandfather's world renown Folk Music stadium - Gerde's Folk City - opened for business under the name Folk City for the first time exactly 54 years ago. For just 5 months prior to that, it was called THE FIFTH PEG. It was the brain child of three complete strangers: Mike Porco, Tom Prendergast and Israel Goodman Young. Actually, Mike had nothing to do with making his restaurant into a Folk cabaret, but we're glad he kept it open when Izzy handed the idea to Mike Porco in late May 1960.
It's just one topic in the upcoming documentary being made about Gerde's Folk City and its illustrious owner, Mike Porco. 
The documentary is called POSITIVELY PORCO.
It's nearing completion. If you have any interest in the music spawned in the restaurant, you will want to see it. Basically, the American singer/songwriter genre has its roots planted at Gerde's. 
All music lovers should know. Your mother should know. And somewhere in Cincinnati, there's a kid waiting for the school bus, listening to ''his parents music'' on his headphones, and he hears the 60s in his head. HE SHOULD KNOW.
Reach him with some press for me, please. I'll give you dollars and doughnuts for publicity and HEADLINES talking UP this film.

Here are some pictures from my most recent week of action. I'm busy. Dig?
Executive Producers with large pockets should know. Operators are standing by.


These people saw the first sneak peak of
Positively Porco. You missed it.

An astounding time was had learning and listening with THE NEW WORLD SINGERS.
Yes, Bob Cohen, Delores Dixon and Happy Traum gave 60 people a rare performance from a set once touring the nation 60 years ago. Legendary. I loved it... Realized I have a thing for older black women after meeting Delores. Don't tell her. 



a fixture on Macdougal Street…once a fixture at Folk City

AND don't forget, music lovers, that POSITIVELY PORCO has a trailer. You should share it with the Cincinnati Kid and your parents. More sneak peaks will be offered for the public in coming weeks. One will be at MIKE AND RUTHY'S SUMMER HOOT in August. NYC show announced soon. Press. Publicity. Word of mouth. pass it on.