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PUNK - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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PUNK

Nightclubbing | Richard Hell and the Voidoids


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Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

voidoids-Richard Hell w_set list Richard Hell with set list.

You can’t talk about punk rock without talking about Richard Hell. Television, the band he founded in 1973 with then best friend Tom Verlaine, was one of the groups – along with Blondie and the Ramones – that laid the foundation for the downtown scene at CBGBs. Sex Pistols impresario Malcolm McLaren purportedly looked at a poster of Television in 1974, pointed at Richard and said, “I want to start a band that looks like him.”

With his chopped hair and ripped-up shirt, Hell looked like nobody else. And with his kinetic, jangly stage presence and slinky bass, he sounded like nobody else. “Richard had some charisma you can’t buy in a store and apply to yourself like a cream,” recalled Television guitarist, Richard Lloyd. ”He had ‘it,’ the inimitable ‘it,’ the mysterious ‘it.’ His loopy bass lines were cartoonish in their wonderment; he was fantastic.”

Not everyone in the band agreed and Richard left to join the Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders in 1975. But sharing stage and song time with Thunders seemed like a Television rerun for Hell: “I wanted to try something quicker, more strange than the stuff Johnny wanted,” he said. Read more…


Nightclubbing | Dead Kennedys


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Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library. Today, they look back on the N.Y.C. debut of the Dead Kennedys.

ngt-DK's JelloEmily Armstrong Jello Biafra

For die-hard NYC punks, the West Coast seemed a little daunting. It was so bright! But in the fall of 1979, we went to Los Angeles to be on a panel at an early MTV music video conference. We stayed at the Tropicana Hotel, which was the preferred accommodation for traveling rockers. Jim Morrison and Tom Waits had lived there – on this trip, it was Nina Hagen and The Slits hanging at the pool.

ngt-dead kennedys pat&paulEmily Armstrong Dead Kennedys luggage

After L.A., we headed up to San Francisco to do a Nightclubbing video screening at the Mabuhay Gardens. The club was right in the middle of San Francisco’s red-light district, and our hotel, the Sam Wong, was across the street from Carol Doda’s strip club. The only people who stayed at the Sam Wong were old Chinese men and punk rockers. We paid $21 for a threadbare room that overlooked Carol’s flashing neon breasts.

ngt tropicana

The next night, we caught The Offs and The Nuns at the club, and stayed up all night to catch a 6 a.m. flight home. At airport security, we met the Dead Kennedys as they headed east for their first N.Y.C. show. Airport security was nothing like it is today, but they did have a metal detector and they weren’t letting lead singer Jello Biafra off easy. He drew a crowd as he emptied his chains, rings, studded belt, boots, dog collar, and other metal into a plastic bin. We had found some new friends. Read more…


Stabbing Forces Cancellation of CBGB Show at Webster Hall [Updated]


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Webster HallRoey Ahram

Former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan was arrested after reportedly stabbing and biting current members of the band before their show at Webster Hall last night, law enforcement sources told The Post.

Bowery Boogie witnessed the incident and reported that “Harley Flannegan [sic], founding member of the Cro-Mags stumbled into the VIP lounge with a knife.” According to the site, security quickly mobilized and “it took no less than six beefy dudes to control the madness. Blood was everywhere, and bone protruded from his shin.” The site followed up its initial report with photos from the scene.

Sources told WABC that “a former member of the band” was taken into custody after “one of the victims had been slashed, and the other had been bitten. Sources say that the two injured men were members of the band that was performing on Friday night. Both victims are expected to be okay.”

Mr. Flanagan is a longtime East Villager who at one point lived in Allen Ginsberg’s building at 437 East 12th Street (the poet was a family friend and introduced a book that Mr. Flanagan wrote at the age of nine). He co-founded the Cro-Mags but is at odds with the current iteration of the band. He discussed his semi-professional dedication to mixed martial arts and his issues with former bandmates in Fight! magazine in 2009. “There were years during our beef where we said a lot of shit and I offered to fight it out and put it on video,” he said. In March of this year, he once again called out John “Bloodclot” Joseph McGowan, current Cro-Mags frontman and East Village tour guide.

“The dude is a fraud. He was back in the day and he still is,” Mr. Flanagan told Vista Fanzine, going on to say, “All I know is this, from here to eternity I will always be willing to EITHER one, gig together with all of those guys just strictly out of the love for the music & the Cro-Mags or if John EVER actually has the balls to back up all the shit he talks, to step up and I’ll beat his ass. Again…That is if he EVER has the balls to actually step up to the 100’s of times I’ve called him out, emailed him, called him, etc.”

It’s unknown whether Mr. McGowan was involved in the incident, and according to The Times, law enforcement officials have not yet identified the attacker in last night’s incident. The victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital and were in stable condition. “One was treated for a bite mark and a cut to the face and the other had cuts to his arm and stomach,” police sources told The Daily News.

Update | 9:03 a.m. The Post has now printed the names of the victims and reports that Mr. Flanagan was hit with two counts of second-degree assault and weapons charges. “William Berario, 45, was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek. Michael Couls, 33, — the band’s current bassist, who is known in the hardcore world as ‘The Gook’ — was cut on his arm and stomach.”