1. What rock legend wrote a famous song at a bar in between sets of a show in Westchester?
On August 8, 1970, between a matinee and evening performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, Janis Joplin stopped at a nearby bar called Vashen’s with Bob Neuwirth (a Dylan crony and Edie Sedgwick’s onetime love interest), Geraldine Page, and Rip Torn. It was there that she wrote the iconic “Mercedes-Benz,” adding substantially to the only words she could remember of a tune by Beat poet Michael McClure.
2. What rock-music icon(s) performed two songs for the first time at a concert in Westchester County. (Hint: It was a now-legendary tour.)
On February 5, 1966, on his watershed 1965-66 world tour, when he “went electric” with The Band (then still known as The Hawks), Dylan performed “Visions of Johanna” (released that spring on Blonde on Blonde) for the very first time at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. At the same show, Dylan gave his first performance of “Tell Me, Momma,” which he performed for the remainder of the tour but never recorded.
3. Which Westchester town produced not one but two Beatles wives?
Both Linda (Eastman) McCartney and Yoko Ono grew up in Scarsdale. McCartney, who grew up on Dolma Road and attended Scarsdale High School, was the daughter of entertainment attorney Lee Eastman. Ono and her parents emigrated from Japan when she was a child; her father was a wealthy banker.
4. What artist or band staged rehearsals at the Capitol Theatre for one of the most elaborate tours of its era?
After announcing his “last show” (which turned out to be the last show of his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust), David Bowie changed character once again and began rehearsals for his extravagant (each set cost about $275,000 — astronomically expensive at the time) Diamond Dogs tour. In June 1974, he kicked off dress rehearsals in Port Chester before heading to Montreal for the first show of the tour.
5. What rock legend’s Westchester home was the site of a mysterious suicide?
In July 1979, a 17-year-old Connecticut boy was found dead in Keith Richards’ bed in the South Salem home Richards shared with his longtime partner, Anita Pallenberg. The boy, who had been living in Richards’ home, was allegedly playing Russian roulette with a stolen .38-caliber Smith & Wesson in front of Pallenberg, who was charged with possession of stolen property and held briefly at police headquarters in Lewisboro.
6. What famous actor’s brother is a Westchester resident who’s married to a member of a 1990s pop trio who is the sister of a 1970s TV star and the daughter of a 1960s songwriter who was also one of the organiz- ers of the Monterey Pop Festival?
In 1995, Alec Baldwin’s brother Billy Baldwin is married to singer Chynna Phillips, who is a member of pop trio Wilson Phillips and daughter of The Mamas & the Papas’ John & Michelle Phillips. Baldwin & Phillips have been longtime residents of Bedford Corners.