News & Politics

Fifth Avenue Record Store Hassle: Cops vs Beatniks!


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

June 16, 1960, Vol. V, No. 34

Police Met Beat, Forced Retreat

Beats met police in the window of a Fifth Avenue record store early last week starting a legal hassle which may well end up in the State Supreme Court.

The “way out” contingent, including Ringo Angel, Peter Lane, Big Mike Calloway, and other figures well-known in Beatdom, were to spend all of last week in the window of the Record Hunter, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The idea was to paint, improvise poetry, and in general give publicity to two LP Beat records recently taped in Village coffee houses.

Things started out well enough. Large crowds gathered to watch. People went in to buy the records. And then, entered the villain. The august Fifth Avenue Association got wind of the unorthodox goings-on and protested. Police Lieutenant John McQuade responded by serving a summons for violation of a code which makes live window demonstrations a misdemeanor. The beats beat it.

Talat Halman, the store’s vice-president who arranged the demonstration, later pointed out to The Voice that department stores in that vicinity have presented such live displays for years. He stated all stores should be allowed or denied permission to produce them, on an equal basis…

“I was very impressed by these young people,” he said. “They acted in a really fine manner. I hope to have them back soon, when we get things straightened out.”

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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