The Bitter End calls itself “the oldest rock and roll club in New York City.” Since 1961, the classic red brick stage in the heart of Greenwich Village has hosted Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond, Gavin DeGraw, Woody Allen, Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Billy Crystal, Tommy James, Norah Jones, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield and thousands more.
Including Madelyn Spera.
The Westporter has already played there twice, during Saturday open mic sessions. The first was last year, as a Bedford Middle School 8th grader. Now a Staples High School freshman, she performed again last month. It was a fundraiser to support music and art in underfunded schools.
Surrounded by School of Rock-type bands, Madelyn stood out as an acoustic guitarist. She also plays piano.
Madelyn’s route to the Bitter End began in Westport. She started playing at Sweet Frog — the now-shuttered frozen yogurt shop next to Fresh Market.
Her repertoire includes ’80s pop songs, and originals. She wrote one of those songs — “Underneath It All” — about an issue she cares deeply about: positive body image.
Before she headed to the Bitter End, Madelyn knew little about the iconic club. But she looked it up online.
She learned that her idol Taylor Swift had played there. That was good enough for Madelyn.
The first time, she was nervous. But one of her songs made an audience member cry. She knew she belonged.
Bitter End bookers agreed. Madelyn will play there again, in late winter.
Taylor Swift, eat your heart out.
(Can’t wait until then to see Madelyn Spera? She’s part of the Bjorn ensemble in Staples Players’ upcoming production of “Mamma Mia!” Click here for information.)