Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
Yeah, I know -- there are already way too many books about CBGB out there, but hang on a second.
For a start, photographer David Godlis is a goddamn legend. Secondly, I found his ruminations on night-shooting by available light (influenced by pioneering Hungarian photographer Brassai) to be really pretty interesting.
Hey again, all. Just a very quick one. I'm currently deeply ensconced in familial matters (see previous post) and taking care of a dizzying amount of logistics, but I spotted this whilst quickly perusing the `Net, and thought it was something worth sharing here.
I'm a member, on Facebook, of a group called Manhattan Before 1990 -- which is pretty self-explanatory in terms of the subject matter of the discussion. Essentially, members post their favorite pictures and ephemera of the city from ages past (much like I do here). This morning, a fellow member named Ruben posted the following picture, prefaced with the accompanying information:
Marilyn Monroe Wasn' t The Only Beauty That Sam Shaw Photographed On The Streets Of New York. (Sam Shaw - Lee Remick, The Bowery, New York City, 1960.)
Indeed, few could argue that Lee Remick wasn't an entirely fabulous babe, as this picture handily demonstrates. But can anyone name the street she's giving it some serious smolder on? Weigh in.
Meanwhile, the second I spotted this, my head immediately filled with the strains of this favorite from the old Go-Betweens. Crank it.
As I mentioned with great, rude aplomb on this post from 2012, I've never given the slightest crap about Billy Joel. Yes, I realize he's NYC to the bone and all that (witness local classic rock radio's tireless insistence on wheeling out "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me," "Captain Jack" and -- god help us all -- "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" at every conceivable opportunity), but seriously -- enough already. I mean, I don't wish the man ill or anything (well, not really), but I've just never really enjoyed his music (see also Springsteen, but that's a hellfire-tempting post for another day).
In any case, a comrade of mine on the NYC-blogging front, the disarmingly astute Bob Egan of PopSpots, apparently is quite a fan of Mr. Joel's. Good sport that he is, Egan overlooks my fandom for bands he probably can't stand like SWANS, the Cro-Mags and the Plasmatics, and regularly shares information with me.
Back on that earlier post, I linked back to a typically sprawling post of Bob's which pinpointed several key album cover locations from Billy Joel. Even if you (rightly) don't think much of the Piano Man, it makes for fascinating reading.
Anyway, there is one specific spot I pass by on a semi-regular basis that I did know had a special relevance to hapless Billy Joel fans like dear Bob. When I was out on that afore-cited marathon trek around Lower Manhattan a couple of weeks back with my intrepid little kindernauts, we passed through SoHo and by a specifc stoop on Mercer Street between Houston and Prince. To walk by it now, you'd probably never give it a second thought. But to someone with a head swimming with utterly useless rock-dork trivia, I couldn't resist paying some cheeky homage to the former Mr. Christie Brinkley.
The other day, you may remember, I posted the vintage photograph above by one Charles Steiner of a gaggle of punks holding court at the bar of former Bowery haunt Great Gildersleeves circa 1983, and asked if anyone could name the players involved.
As I mentioned, the gent in the "I GOT SHIT FOR BRAINS" shirt is inarguably the great Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, and I postulated that the dude on the far left is tough-guy character actor Clancy Brown (although I could be mistaken). A reader named G, meanwhile, recently wrote in with more. G writes...
I believe red-bandana guy is the late Bobby Snots, singer from the Whorelords.
Blue-bandana guy, I don't know, but the girls look familiar.
I'd head the name Whorelords before, most recently as read about in the exhaustively detailed Misfits biography, "This Music Leaves Stains" (if you're a fan of Messrs. Danzig, Only, Doyle, Steele et al., it's a total must-read), but I'd never heard them before. A quick Google search turned up the video below, seemingly tailored to inducing vertigo and/or nausea (hit "play" to find out what I mean).
The guy at the mic does indeed resemble red-bandana guy. See what you think.
I've been spending a lot of solo dad time with my kids in the past several weeks. A couple of weeks back, I took them out for one of our signature Bataan Death Marches around Manhattan, wherein we circumnavigated the lower portion of the island, with me snapping seemingly incongruous pictures along the way. After a zig-zagging through the Financial District and into Chinatown, we found ourselves walking north up Ludlow Street.
Being a devout fan of the Velvet Underground, I couldn't help but pose my little two on the fabled steps of the band's former L.E.S. headquarters. In my version, the subjects are drinking chocolate milk. Beyond that, it's pretty faithful.
You'll have to forgive me, people. As I mentioned in my hiatus-breaking post, I am indeed back, but it might be a little while before I re-find my sea legs, so to speak. There's a lot happening on the home front, and I'm just not myself these days. I'm afraid I've lost a bit of my mojo. So, anyway, bear with me.
I do have a lengthier post in the works, though. In doing research for same, I did a Google image search and came up with the photograph below, which came embedded on this article about Greenwich Village history. The photo in question was evidently snapped by one Charles Steiner circa 1983 inside the late Bowery joint Great Gildersleeves (a since-vanished venue I wrote about back on this post).
At first glance, I was immediately able to identify Dead Boys guitarist and Flaming Pablum favorite Cheetah Chrome (he with the distinctive, bug-eyed stare and "I GOT SHIT FOR BRAINS" t-shirt), but who are the other figures?
I'm speculating, but the guy to Cheetah's right on the far-left hand side of the picture (with the light blue bandana around his head) looks disarmingly like actor Clancy Brown (who played the fearsome Kurgan in "Highlander," Captain Hadley in "The Shawshank Redemption" and bully Viking Lofgren in "Bad Boys."). Kinda looks like him, right?
But who the guy with the red bandana flippin' the subtle bird is, or the ladies in leather on the right? No clues. Any ideas?
And, should you need reminding, here's Cheetah Chrome just a block or so down from where the above photo was taken. Dead Boys at CBGBG in `77...
I've had a lot of free time with the kids lately. By this point in the proceedings, my little ones are used to being trooped around the city and asked to pose inexplicably in front of seemingly incidental landmarks (usually music-related). They're incredibly good sports about it. In any case, while we were traipsing around Central Park earlier this week (in the sweltering heat), I was struck by another locale. I raised my camera (well, my iPhone) accordingly. Here's the story.
I discussed Tom Verlaine's Dreamtime album in greater depth back on this ancient post from 2006. It became a big favorite of mine after first hearing my friend Warwick play "Always" on our college radio station, Denison University's WDUB 91.1 FM in Granville, Ohio. As I said back on that earlier post, it bore all the signature trappings of Verlaine's work with Television, but had a bit more propulsive kick to it.
In any case, the back cover of Dreamtime features a striking shot of midtown Manhattan from a vespetine vantage point inside the rambling wilds of Central Park. Being a native New Yorker myself, Verlaine's decision to adorn the record with such a suitably dreamy depiction of my hometown only made me love the record all the more. Here's that back cover....
Well, on Monday afternoon, after an obligatory visit to Central Park's carousel (itself a storied landmark, cited in touchstones like J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" and David Mamet's "The Spanish Prisoner," to name but two), my kids and I strolled east. Just before the bridge over The Pond (just to the the southwest of the Central Park Zoo), I looked up and there it was (more or less).
33 years after the release of Dreamtime, here are my kids in (more or less) the same spot.
Anyway, back in August, I put up a sprawling post that collected various images of since-vanished and/or forgotten record stores around New York City, and Hertzberg himself weighed in, citing an obscure shop called Record City. Said shop made a cameo appearance in the 1981 film "The Fan," starring Lauren Bacall and a very youthful Michael Biehn (prior to his turns in "The Terminator" and "Aliens"). The film is about a creepy stalker in New York CITY who gets fixated with Lauren Bacall, but ends up getting stabbed as a result (it's a bit more complicated than that, if I'm being honest). In any case, during the course of proceedings, Biehn's character is depicted working in a happenin'-looking shop called Record City. If you don't feel like suffering through "The Fan," you can actually see it in the afore-cited 25-minute video from Mr. Hertzberg.
So here's my question: Does anyone out there remember Record City? Where was it? When did close? What was it like? Weigh in, won't you?
This is a still from the trailer of a film John Lydon did with Harvey Keitel and an Italian director in 1983. Initially dubbed "Corrupt," the film has also been released as "The Order of Death" (after a track on Lydon's own This is What You Want, This is What You Get) and "Copkiller." I've never actually seen the whole thing, but by most accounts, it's not a good film. If you like, you can watch it here.
In any case, the scene of Johnny in the cab can be seen in the trailer. Can anyone name the address? I thought it might be in front of the NYU dorm on University Place between East 8th and Waverly (which Rick Rubin used as Def Jam's initial headquarters), but I think that's actually not correct.
the pic on the cd cover looks like University Place and 10th st.
...by which he means 28 East 10th, the building Alec Baldwin lives in.
As much as I relish the idea of Iron Maiden strolling down University Place, that didn't seem right to me. Plus, ... I had a hunch.
I keep meaning to finish my proper post about it, by the Gramercy Park Hotel over at the bottom end of Lexington Avenue at East 21st Street hasn't always been a plush destination. Long before celebrated hotelier Ian Schrager refurbished the place, the Gramercy Park Hotel was a study in witheringly elegant decrepitude. In the 1980's, moreover, it was arguably the rock n' roll hotel for stars either rising or dimming. If you were a new band swinging into New York City to play Irving Plaza or the Palladium or any number of now long-since-closed downtown venues, there was a more-than-likely chance they'd have put you up at the Gramercy. From the Psychedelic Furs and the Stranglers through Motorhead and The Clash .... droves of amazing bands stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel in the 1980s,
As such, I figured....being that Maiden were booked to play at Palladium just across the park and down Irving Place at the Palladium at the time, it would have made perfect sense for them to have stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel as well.
So, upon walking back from dropping Oliver off at school this morning, I took a stroll by the Gramercy to see if my hunch was correct. Sure enough it was.
On the cover of the bootleg, Iron Maiden are pictured hanging out on the northwest corner of East 21st Street and Lex. The stately building behind them is One Lexington Avenue. Here is that very corner today...which, incidentally, is just the other end of the same block this original photo was taken.