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 The Who: The Kids Are Alright - album cover location of the 1979 documentary soundtrack.

The album cover. (Cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

The site of the album cover photo location. 116th Street and Morningside Drive, Morningside Heights, New York City. The site is part of the Carl Schurz Monument.

Superimposing the album over over the present day monument...

(Cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

...and now blended, past and present.

(Cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

The album is the "original motion picture soundtrack" to the 1979 documentary of the same name direced by Jeff Stein. The soundtrack and film are both currently available in several forms via many online stores.

LOCATION OF THE PHOTO: The photo was taken in the Carl Schurz Monument at 116th Street and Morningside Drive. The memorial is located just east of Columbia University in northern Manhattan, north of Central Park, and west of Harlem.

The group was lying, backs against the wall, to the left of the main statue of Carl Schurz.

The monument rests on a ledge high above Morningside Park...

...Behind it you can see a panorama of Harlem.

To the left you can how steep the drop is.

You can find the site on Google Maps with Street View or Bing's "Bird's Eye View" maps by searching for "116th Street and Morningside Drive, New York City."

(photo: Google Street View; cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

The cover photograph was taken by the noted photographer Art Kane. According to online sources, Kane, knowing that Entwhistle and Daltry were known for wearing jackets made from flags, decided to use that as a theme, and had the Who pose in two sewn-together Union Jacks.

After taking some studio shots, the photographer took them uptown and had them pose at the Carl Schurz monument, pretending to sleep, perhaps to juxtapose their reputation as a high-energy stage act.

Another popular outtake from the session, which features two children looking at the Who can be found on Art Kane's website (along with other of his famous photographs) or by Googling "The Kids Are Alright The Who" in Google Images. The outtake was also featured on the back of a foreign release of the album (see below).

(back cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

It has also been written that the photo of the Who asleep was might also have been a allusion to a photo by the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who had taken a celebrated picture of a vagrant asleep at another memorial - Trafalgar Square in London. In the photo the man is asleep in newspapers while above him a crowd is watching the Coronation of King George VI. (you can see this photo at Google images by searching for "cartier-bresson trafalgar").

How to visit the location.

It was not too hard for me to track down this PopSpot, as it has been written about on the Internet. The location is rather out of the way for most Manhattanites, and I had never been there myself. So, I'll show you how to find the site if you want to go there. I would take the subway, as there isn't any "magic bus" that gets you right there.

To get to the site, you take the #1 train from Times Square. It take about 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan.

The subway station that you get off at is circled on this map of Manhattan that I photographed off the wall of the subway station. The stop is the Broadway and 116th Street stop on the #1 train.

The 116th Street stop is also called the "Columbia University" stop.

When you get upstairs, you'll see the gates of Columbia University.

As you walk through Columbia, you'll pass Low Memorial Library which was in the background in several Ghostbusters movies.

Continue east on 116th to the Carl Schurz Monument (circled).

Our sleepy stars were photographed in the circled area.

(cover photo by Art Kane; album released by Polydor/UK;MCA/USA in 1979)

Carl Schurz, according to Wikipedia, was "a German revolutionary, American statesman, and Union Army General in the American Civil War...His wife was instrumental in establishing the American kindergarden system...and he is famous for saying,"My country, right or wrong."

You can read more at Wikipedia (which left out that he is most famous among the rock 'n roll crowd for having a Who album photographed in one of his namesake parks.) Here he is up close:

We'll end on three shots of the site from different angles to give you the feeling that you're walking around it, maybe listening to "Won't Get Fooled Again" on your headphones."


Homer meets the Who. (Thanks to the reader who sent this in. I lost your email.)