Bob Egan, a 59 year-old New Yorker, spends his time searching for locations depicted in artwork on record album covers. For instance, the wall behind Billy Joel on his “52nd Street” album, or Bob Dylan‘s stoop on “Highway 61 Revisited.” So far, Egan has concluded that the Who almost positively napped near a monument in Morningside Heights and that Bruce Springsteen leaned on 10th Avenue.
Though Egan’s music tastes are classic, his methods for finding these locations are contemporary. He begins by zooming in on the digital image of the album and looking for tell-tale details in the photo, like house numbers on garbage cans or unusual architectural features. he then references Google Maps before heading out on his searches. This process is meticulous and successful. Egan has located the subway station shown on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Wednesday Morning, 3 AM” (Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street), the block where Tony chased Maria on the front of the “West Side Story” soundtrack (West 56th Street and Ninth Avenue) and about two dozen other landmarks.
Egan told The Wall Street Journal that, “Every one has a eureka moment. All of a sudden, it all comes together.” Egan catalogs his successes on the website PopSpotsNYC.com.