New York is an influential state and city, with millions of tourists flocking there year after year so that they can experience the Big Apple. This is because New York is known for and famous for a variety of things such as its iconic Statue of Liberty, exciting Broadway performances, and exclusive shops. The state and city have captivated people all over the globe, and it’s showing no signs of lessening its grip and influence on the rest of the world.
What about New York and the music scene, however? New York and music go hand-in-hand, with some of the biggest bands and musical performances coming from this high-rise city. In 2021, New York is still influencing the music scene.
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie (1980) By Allan Tannenbaum (All Photos of the Photos By Gail)
Do you like Punk Rock? I sure do. The true spirit of Punk really thrived in cities like London (where it was born), Los Angeles and New York back in the mid-70 to early 80s, before it became a commercial product and fashion statement that was appropriated by Midwest mall kids, and completely lost its teeth. Kill me. Fortunately, all of that great music still exits, and we can also travel back in time to the early days of the mosh pit with amazing photographs of the iconic musicians and style-makers who embodied the Punk credo. The place to see and live through those photos is the Morrison Hotel Gallery.
As the definitive home of Fine Art Rock Photography, Morrison Hotels Gallery has just launched its latest collection, CBGB: The Age of Punk, and it is pretty sweet. I attended the opening reception here in Manhattan on May 17th, and the place was packed wall-to-wall with many of the legendary photographers who shot these photos, such as Bob Gruen, as well as a New York icons Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. All of the photos in this post were shot while I maneuvered around a drunken, sweaty horde, so I chose to crop most them and you will just have to guess what they look like all framed and nice. Punk Rock!
New York Dolls (1974) By Bob Gruen
Here’s the Gallery’s Official Blurb about the Collection:
Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock and CB’s became one of the quintessential locations to perform. Bands had the freedom to experiment and bring their own artistry and social commentary, no matter how depraved and raucous, to audiences hungry for new art, music and freedom of speech.
Chris Stein Being Interviewed at the Opening Reception
Contrary to what the series title would have you believe, not all of the photos were taken at CBGB, or even in New York.
Glenn Danzig of The Misfits, a Band that Got Its Start Playing CBGB
Joan Jett on Stage with The Runaways By Lynn Goldsmith
Patti (1978) By Allan Tannenbaum
As you might expect, there a ton of great shots of Patti Smith, both on stage with PSG, and off stage. She was so photogenic.
Patti and Robert in NYC (1969) By Norman Seef
Here she is with her boyfriend at the time, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. So hot.
Patti in NYC (1976) by Frank Stefanko
Patti Smith Portrait. Breathtaking.
Sex Pistols in Europe (1977) by Bob Gruen
The first wave British punks get their due as well. I got this shot on the wall behind the open gallery door!
Sid Vicious (1978) By Ebet Roberts
The Clash in NYC (1981) By Bob Gruen
Joe Strummer of The Clash (RIP) looking like a Movie Star.
The Ramones in NYC (1975) By Bob Gruen
And, of course, the Ramones are well- represented, as they should be.
There’s no telling how long this exhibit will be on public view in the gallery, but you can always view the full collection at This Link should you wish to make a purchase. All orders are filled on-demand up the run limit of that series.
Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street, 2nd Floor in SoHo, NYC.
French American Power Duo DTCV sound like Debbie Harry fronting Wire. If that sentence doesn’t give you a stiffy, then you are dead inside and cannot be helped. Comprised of Guylaine Vivarat (AKA Vivarock, a native of a small village in the French alps), who writes, sings and plays guitar/ bass and keyboards on the majority of the band’s songs, and Guitarist James Greer (AKA Fiat Lux) who (according to their intriguing Bio) “adds his own mostly lit-and-cinema inspired influences,” DTCV makes a significant aural impression with a deep cache of well-integrated influences that just take to long to talk about. For the single, “Radio Drive,” visual effects-drenched clips that switch between live performance shots, driving at high speed through a tunnel, and hanging out in a fancy hotel bathroom tell you all you need to know about a band that apparently has their shit together on every level.
The band’s latest offering, Uptime! (Unsatisfied Records) was released on April 7th, 2015, so you can own it right now via all of the usual channels. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!
Debbie Harry Photographed By Chris Stein (All Event Photos By Gail)
The Morrison Hotel Gallery, in conjunction with the Dream Downtown Hotel is currently presenting a collection of fine art photographs by legendary Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. A student of NYC’s School Of Visual Arts, Chris started taking photographs in 1968. In 1973, he met and began working with Debbie Harry and together they founded the band Blondie. Chris was always taking pictures in the environment that surrounded Blondie and, lucky to be on the inside, was able to mingle with many pioneers of the new wave and punk music scenes.
Stein’s photos of Deborah Harry helped establish her as an international icon. This exhibit, celebrating Blondie’s 40th year as a band, focuses exclusively on his photos of Debbie; some that will be familiar and others that we are seeing for the first time.
Last Friday, the Dream Downtown Hotel hosted a fun party to kick off the exhibit the night before its official opening on Saturday, May 10th, and what fun time it was! Here are some photos of the evening.
This awesome DJ warmed up the room with an incredible set of classic punk and new wave that included bands like The Clash, X-Ray Spex and The Buzzcocks. As his song selections advanced through the years, at one point he played The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” followed by The Charlatans’ “The Only One I Know” and Blur’s “There’s No Other Way,” at which point my head exploded.
There was an open bar for at least part of the evening, which served a very potent Texas Cherry Limeade.
My friend Jamie and I toast to a fun evening!
The Rational Animal charity organization had a Booth where they sold raffle tickets to win a guitar, with proceeds going to help Animals. They also gave away these cute and yummy dog cookies (Clarification: Cookies shaped like Dogs, not Cookies for Dogs) which Jamie and I played with before eating. The frosting had a bit of orange zest in it – very tasty!
Here are some more pictures of Debbie.
Debbie on The Bridge
Debbie in the Subway
Debbie at the Airport, she looks amazing!
The light wasn’t great in the space, but you work with what you have.
Debbie in Her Underwear
Chris Stein is releasing a book of photography later this year and you’ll be able to own it and have these photos (and others) of Debbie all to yourself.
I’m not sure how long Blondie 4(0) Ever will be on exhibit, so you’ll have to investigate further on your own to find out. Here is where you need to go:
The Dream Hotel Downtown is Located at 355 West 16th St, Just East of 9th Ave, New York, NY.
The Out 100 Awards is an annual awards show put on by Out Magazine, which honors LGBTQ people who have fought to make a positive impact in the year. This year’s event took place at Terminal 5 concert venue and was produced by BMF Media (who also brought you the Lady Gaga ArtPop Pop Up Store and Gallery) recently featured on The Worley Gig!
In the photo above, you can see BMF co-founders Bruce Star and Brian Feit with Blondie’s Debbie Harry, who performed at the event, and Mariah Carey, who accepted an award on behalf of her good friend, Producer Lee Daniels who couldn’t attend that evening. I just love Debbie’s taste level (looks at those colors!) and great style, which is always spot on. She looks fantastic!
Miss Guy has been an icon of the NYC downtown music scene forever: not only as the dynamic lead singer of the awesome NYC Rock Band Toilet Boys, but also as possibly the best authentically Rock & Roll/First Wave Punk Rock club DJ on the circuit. In Miss Guy’s new video for “Tonight” (the second single off of his new EP God Save New York, which features guest appearances by Debbie Harry of Blondie) the Bowie/Blondie influences abound! Enjoy!
This fun Debbie Harry Bobblehead by Drastic Plastic — inspired by Debbie’s iconic white dress and styling on the cover of Blondie’s 1978 album, Parallel Lines — is now available for pre-order, with shipments scheduled for late October, 2013!
Sold by Aggronautix and limited to 1000 Units, this seven-inch high doll is hand numbered and highly collectible at a sale price of just $24.95. Click This Link to reserve yours!