Rockers Exhibit Flier from Sao Paolo Brazil
For winter weather-imposed shut-ins like me, who practically haven’t left the house in six months, last night provided a fantastic entrée into spring, when legendary Rock Photographer Bob Gruen brought his Rockers exhibit to the Morrison Hotel Gallery(formerly CBGB’s Gallery). Let me tell you, it was quite the scene-making opportunity I’ve been craving.
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Amid Bob’s career retrospective of classic photos, featuring hundreds of Rock icons from Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Led Zeppelin to the Clash, The Sex Pistols and Iggy, I spotted Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Clem Burke (Blondie Drummer), Bebe Buell (notorious ‘70s rock groupie and mother of actress Liv Tyler), Danny Fields, Martin Rev (Suicide), Bernadette Peters, Steve Blush (author, American Hardcore), Handsome Dick Manitoba (The Dictators), Randy Jones (the Cowboy from The Village People) and NYC’s favorite rocker-slash-nightclub proprietor, the inimitable Jesse Malin. It’s sad that most of the Ramones are dead now because they would have felt right at home: Bob took some amazing pictures of them that so perfectly capture the energy of that period in music. Good times. I read today that members of the original New York Dolls showed up at some point (how many of them are even still alive?) along with the ubiquitous Debbie Harry, who I also missed. But honestly, it was so elbow-to-elbow crowded that you could hardly see the person standing next to you. On a side note: My “Fuck Protools” T-shirt was a big hit with the crowd.
On the way back uptown we also made a pit stop into the recently-opened John Varvatos’ Men’s Clothing Boutique and Trip Down Memory Lane located in the space formerly inhabited by CBGB’s. I’m not one of those people who got too overly sentimental about CB’s closing, but you gotta hand it to Varvatos, whose Rock & Roll Heart has inspired him to create a loving tribute to the vibe we lost forever when that club shut its doors last year. The place is jaw-droppingly gorgeous while maintaining a gutter-to-the-good life vibe. You can even shop for vintage vinyl albums, coffee table books crammed with Mick Rock’s scintilating photos of Queen and – for all you audiophiles out there – ‘70s-era stereo equipment while you shop for your $85 studded leather belts and $500 pullover sweaters. Fuckin’ A. It’s way worth a visit even if, like me, you don’t plan on even touching your wallet while you’re there!