As I passed the Electric Chair and the neighboring tattoo shop, I noticed Paul Bolton up on a ladder putting some finishing touches to the fresh paint at the front of the old thoroughfare, that breeze way that took you from Newport to the Apple Tree parking lot.
But no more. It is now – or will be – the lavish entryway for Electric Ladyland – the new music and art center – and music venue that Paul and Lynne Bolton, owners of the Electric Chair, will be opening on June 1st. During Farmers’ Market days, Paul and Lynne allow local artists to show their wares in the thoroughfare. Meanwhile, Lynne is painting portraits of famous musicians and artists along the walls in this new entryway.
Inside the art and music center itself, there is a music stage, and nearly wall to wall handsome and rich Indian style carpets, built-in benches along two walls with pillows, and comfortable standing space for about a hundred patrons. The center will be open to all ages, and they’ll occasionally have art exhibits in there as well, Lynne Bolton told me while graciously giving me the guided tour.
The Electric Ladyland is a byproduct, Lynne told me , of the Electric Music School that she and Paul run for kids. They have 35 music students, ages 7 to 18, and 7 teachers – all of them working musicians. She showed me the studios for the students, hidden in the back rooms of the labyrinth behind their busy hair salon. More black and white portraits of famous artists lined the walls of this back area – more of Lynne’s work.
By the looks of it, Electric Ladyland will be ready to be opened in less than a month from now. This new attraction and venue promises to bring new life to this middle sector of the 4900 block of Newport. Everything Paul and Lynne touch seems to be successful, and this new venture may some day be a famous venue.
Check out the following gallery of shots I took in the entryway, the new venue, and the music school. Remember to click on the images for a larger version.