If I’m being honest, I was never a huge fan of D Generation. I mean, I certainly wanted to like them. After all, they featured Jesse Malin, former singer from proto-NYHC band Heart Attack (a band I’d grown to appreciate thanks to the New York Thrash compilation) and Howie Pyro, resident NYC punk who’s played with Joey Ramone, Glen Danzig and even Genesis P_Orridge. That all said, however, their awkward, kinda cartoony fusion of New York punk and, well, glam metal left a bit to to be desired. Like I said, I wanted to like them, but the songs just weren’t there. In that respect they were simply more of a D Sappointment (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Anyway, my initial impetus for putting this post together was to ruminate on D Gen’s video(s) for “No Way Out’ (there are two versions, as I understand, as they released the song twice; first on their dead-on-arrival 1994 debut LP and then two years later on No Lunch, which was produced by the Cars’ Ric Ocasek). I was going to do that, as both videos were shot in NYC — surprise. One version shows the interior of what, by that point, was Coney Island High on St. Marks Place. Before officially opening as said music venue, Malin and Pyro hosted parties in that same space as GREENDOORNYC. I was lucky enough to attend a couple of those, and they were indeed the stuff of legend.
Anyway, you can see those vids here and here, and also worth a check-out is are these two clips of D Generation hanging out at long-since-closed East Houston bar Den of Thieves (which later became Idlewild and then White Rabbit) with Gilbert Gottfried and the odd cameo from members of Clowns for Progress.
D Generation ultimately called it quits (although they reunited for a couple of shows in 2011, I believe). Since dissolving the band, Malin has changed course and followed a more singer/songwriter/troubadour vein, albeit still with an endearingly stubborn, punky edge. Doubtlessly as romanced by the NYC of old as I am, you can catch various videos of his new outfit he St. Marks Social, all over YouTube. “The Archer” is a nice one.
While Coney Island High was forced out of business several years back due to quality of life issues (there was a big Village Voice cover story about it, if memory serves), Malin now owns and operates both Niagara on Avenue A (formerly King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and, prior to that, hardcore mainstay A7….now with a plaque commemorating same) and the Black & White Bar on 10th between Third and Fourth Avenues.
Anyway, blah blah blah… in the midst of looking around for all this stuff, I came across the photographs below, shot by Josh Cheuse, a storied rock shutterbug who has taken some amazing shots of The Clash, the Beastie Boys, Madonna and many more. His work is pretty astounding. See more here.
In case you don’t recognize it, here’s Jesse Malin perusing the wares at Subterranean Records on Cornelia Street. Looks like a cool spot, right? Well, don’t bother looking for it now. Subterranean sadly closed up shop in 2008 (I sloppily documented its demise over a few posts). These photos also evoke another great shot that was taken of Patti Smith here several years back.
Anyway, here’s whats Jesse sounds like more recently…