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Al Neil

Al Neil

Former location, The Cellar, 222 E. Broadway

  • Author: Britt S. Baker
  • Date Posted: Aug 1, 2014
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is on lamppost on the on the south side of Broadway just east of Watson St.

Al Neil

Photo credit: Michael de Courcy / The Intermedia Catalogue


Location: Plaque is on lamppost on the on the south side of Broadway just east of Watson St.

This was the location of The Cellar, founded in 1956, as Vancouver’s foremost jazz venue, where be-bop legend Al Neil fronted the house band, meeting and playing with some of North America’s top jazz musicians. His best-known book, Changes (1975), recalls four years as a musician, artist and junkie on the mean streets of town from 1958 to 1962.

I get the elements I am responsible for giving back life to around me.

From West Coast Lokas: a statement by Al Neil
Venerated as “one of Vancouver’s bona fide underground warriors, a man with a following and a hermit’s mystique,” Vancouver-born Al Neil has been the subject of a documentary film by David Rimmer, a book by music critic Alex Varty and a one-man show at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1972. Neil grew up near Main & Broadway and never got over his horrific WW II memories of landing on Normandy Beach at age twenty. Although “the ceaseless nagging of invisible ghosts” led him to drug addiction, he endured, giving infrequent but memorable performances at the Western Front.

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Venerated as “one of Vancouver’s bona fide underground warriors, a man with a following and a hermit’s mystique,” Vancouver-born Al Neil has been the subject of a documentary film by David Rimmer, a book by music critic Alex Varty and a one-man show at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1972. Neil grew up near Main & Broadway and never got over his horrific WW II memories of landing on Normandy Beach at age twenty. Although “the ceaseless nagging of invisible ghosts” led him to drug addiction, he endured, giving infrequent but memorable performances at the Western Front.

I get the elements I am responsible for giving back life to around me.

From West Coast Lokas: a statement by Al Neil

Borrow works by this author from the Library
Learn more about Al Neil at ABC Bookworld