Patti Smith Mural – East Village, NYC

A new Patti Smith mural is now on display in NYC, located directly outside Julie’s Vintage clothing shop in the East Village, at the corner of 2nd Street and 1st Avenue. The mural was designed and painted by graphic designer HUETEK (real name Eric Martinez), and depicts a bold, black-and-white portrait of Patti with the word “PUNK” emblazoned along the side. You can view Eric Martinez working on the mural via his Instagram account.



History Is Made At Night

David Godlis’s, History Is Made At Night, includes 119 of his iconic black-and-white images from nights on the Bowery at CBGB between 1974 and 1979, shot with his handheld Leica and TRI-X film.


Godlis was front and center during the heyday of the New York Punk scene, capturing the likes of the Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Television, and the Talking Heads.

He snapped one of my favorite photographs of Patti Smith backdropped by the street light in The Bowery, outside CBGB in 1976.


New York Rock: From the Rise of The Velvet Underground to the Fall of CBGB by Steven Blush

As a city that represents endless possibilities, New York has been the setting for the dawning of new movements, styles, and genres. In the 20th century, the birth of Rock represented a connection between art forms and the city’s socioeconomic, racial, and sexual variants. New York Rock breaks down the rock scene’s half-century connection to New York and analyses its distinct subculture through the prism of influences, crosscurrents, and psychoactive distractions. Over 1,500 musicians, clubs, and labels held roles in the making of New York Rock, and it’s their contributions that created this iconic art form. A compilation of first hand narratives about each genre of rock, from Punk New Wave and Glitter Rock to New York Hardcore and Indie rock, New York Rock is the ultimate illustrated account of Rock’s role in New York City.

Hey Policeman My Boot Goes In Your Face

I love this send up with Fred Armisen as Ian Rubbish. What a great English working class accent he possesses to embellish his punk rock character. Ian Rubbish began as an SNL character and is one of my personal favorites.


The Clash: The Last Gang in Town
A Short Documentary about The Clash by Ian Rubbish (Fred Armisen)

You’ll laugh when you see Mick Jones and Paul Simonon laughing as Rubbish mentions their song “White Riot,” only to explain, “We had a song called ‘White Riot As Well.'”

Compare and contrast this Funny or Die video with The Clash Audio Ammunition Series on YouTube by Google Play.


A Band Called Death

“This is the Ramones, but two years earlier.” — Questlove of The Roots on Death

What an exciting moment this independent film unveils for music fans everywhere. The first black punk band, Death. Who knew? They had to emanate from Detroit, no question about that 😉

“A Band Called Death” is a story of the burgeoning punk rock scene, of the exploding DIY energy in the 1970s, but it is also a sweet and touching family story. The filmmakers keep it simple, using floating black-and-white photos of the brothers jamming with their instruments, or, hauntingly, walking through a covered bridge in Vermont. Home movies of the boys playing in an upstairs room at their parents’ house shiver with the excitement of their raw energy and self-belief.

It comes full circle that fellow Detroiter’s Jack White and Ben Blackwell  via Third Man Records have released the 45 r.p.m. recording, RockFire Funk Express, “People Save The World”. The “history before history” before they became Death, recorded at United Sound Studio in 1973.



Boom Box Set and more from The Clash on September 9th

We never let go of that teenage angst, it lives deep inside the male psyche 😉  The Clash embody raw tension with the best of them. The Clash has been hard at work remastering their recordings and packaging up two forthcoming compilations for their fans.

First there will be a box set designed by Paul Simonon to replicate an 80’s boom box. I made a steady habit out of carrying my large Sony AM/FM radio all over the place 1969-1971. It was a predecessor to the boom box craze that hit in the 80’s.

Here is a picture of what comes with The Clash Sound System when you preorder it directly from The Clash Store (Live Nation). You will save $40 versus buying from amazon. Secondly, you are entitled to some exclusive extras. If you are an autograph collector like me you will receive extra with your $169 order (plus shipping/tax)…

  • 3 Exclusive Screen Savers for immediate digital download.
  • Exclusive Canvas Patch: Re-creation of an early Clash SEW ON CANVAS SCREENPRINT approx 18cm x 12 cm – 7 x 5 inches. Printed with Joe’s signature. Paul, Mick and Topper will autograph each piece of canvas. (CLSBN001)

As part of the 12 vinyl CDs you will get,

The Clash Hits Back which features 33 of the band’s iconic tracks, across a 2-CD set. The tracklisting is sequenced from the band’s legendary Brixton Fairdeal show in 1982 and contains the best studio recordings of the full set, plus 8 additional iconic tracks. It comes with the original setlist, handwritten by Joe Strummer which he would tape to the back of his Telecaster before each gig.

“Every show was different. Joe would spend a lot of time composing the running order, considering dynamics, emotional impact and the key the songs were in. This record is based on Joe’s setlist from The Casbah Club UK Tour, Brixton Fairdeal, 10th July 1982”. -Mick, Paul & Topper.

No time like the present to start saving those pennies 😉

CBGB the Movie

CBGB, an upcoming film which focuses on the founding of the New York punk nightclub that helped launch the careers of such legendary acts as The Ramones, Blondie, Television and The Talking Heads (and many others).

Alan Rickman stars as club founder Hilly Kristal. Other actors signed on include Malin Akerman as Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, Kyle Gallner as Lou Reed and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop.

Stana Katic from Castle will play Genya Ravan, cool.

Television’s Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine as well as former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne are slated to make cameo appearances, though not as themselves.

The film is scheduled for a theatrical release later this year.

There is also a CBGB the Movie Facebook Page.

The Rewarding Influence of Richard Hell

Last month I wrote an extensive A-Z music journalist series. The tree of music journalism I planted continues to harvest fruit.

I commenced InterWeb reading this morning with Robert Christgau’s Barnes and Noble Review column Rock & Roll &. I was rewarded with a thought-provoking essay about Richard Hell’s new book, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.

The more I dug into Richard Hell, Television, his (s)exploits and writing prowess the more intrigued I became.

I have tried to find  copy of the book at my local Barnes & Noble Stores so I can give you a closer perspective but no luck thus far.

I add this book to my ever-increasing music book reading list.

There is a tie-in event with Richard Hell, Fashion and Punk that I also want to share with you. The exhibit takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art May 9-August 14, 2013.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. Featuring approximately one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols.

Focusing on the relationship between the punk concept of “do-it-yourself” and the couture concept of “made-to-measure,” the seven galleries will be organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style. Themes will include New York and London, which will tell punk’s origin story as a tale of two cities, followed by Clothes for Heroes and four manifestations of the D.I.Y. aesthetic—HardwareBricolageGraffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy.

Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques. – Description Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art 2013

A book, Punk: Chaos to Couture, by Andrew Bolton, with an introduction by Jon Savage, and prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), will accompany the exhibition. This publication will be illustrated with photographs of vintage punks and high fashion. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the $45 catalogue (hard cover only) will be distributed worldwide by Yale University Press.

Music Journalism A-Z – Lenny Kaye

Lenny-KayeLenny Kaye

Many people know Lenny Kaye as a guitarist and composer with the Patti Smith Group.  I have seen him play with Patti Smith four or five times in the past few years. I love his style and his gentle enthusiasm.

Lenny Kaye is lesser known but greatly respected as a music journalist. He has a powerful writing command  that makes him one of America’s leading music analysts and interpreters.

Lenny began by writing reviews for Jazz and Pop magazine. He later branched out to foundation rock magazines like FusionCrawdaddy and Rolling Stone. He next became the music editor for Cavalier, a gentlemen’s magazine.where he authored a monthly column until 1975.

He then decided to become a free-lance writer where he would a wrote for hire with a range of publications that included Melody Maker and CREEM. Again he served in an editor role for music monthly magazines like Rock Scene and Hit Parader through the seventies.

Lenny Kaye is the co-author of  the autobiography, Waylon, The Life Story of Waylon Jennings written with the late Waylon Jennings.

Lenny Kaye has written with an authoritative sense about several defining periods in the history of music.

One literature work that represents his history/analysis writing skills is You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon. This book  highlights the age of crooning in early 1930s New York City. The book centers on Russ Columbo, known as Bing Crosby’s rival. Lenny Kaye as a Columbo enthusiast offers the reader a scrapbook research title accompanied by many rare photographs and memorabilia from his own collection.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Nuggets about the first psychedelic era which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Lenny Kaye wrote the liner notes and helped assemble the collection with Jac Holzman of Elektra Records fame. I purchased that edition for Lenny Kaye to autograph for me someday in the future 😉


You can find monthly writing contributions from Lenny Kaye at e-Music where he writes for them today. Here are some of his 2012 writing efforts.

Delve into the catalog of Jamie Records and their associated labels, covering everything from Duane Eddy to the Fantastic Johnny C.
Visit Nico at her resting place and think of how she remains with us still and evermore.
Celebrate Johnny Cash and his walk o’ the line.
Muse on the life and art of Chet Baker, he of the mournful trumpet and romantic song.