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.
This image of the late Joey Ramone wearing a pair of Boxing Gloves was created to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Ramones debuting at CBGB. The mural went up on September 3rd, 2015 but it took me a few weeks to get around to seeing it for the first time, in early October, which is when I took this photo while (literally) standing in the middle of the street between idling cars that were waiting for the light to change at the corner of Bleecker and the Bowery — directly across from the former location of the legendary music venue, which is now a John Varvatos Clothing Boutique. The mural was painted by Solus and John CRASH Matos, who you might remember from This Post.
Update: As of August 24th, 2017 The Joey Ramone Mural has been Replaced by a Mural of Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
Pictured: Johnny Ramone’s Personally-Owned and Stage-Used 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 Guitar
Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Guitar will be featured at a live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction this month. The personally-owned and used red 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 guitar is signed on the body in black felt tip, “Best always, Johnny Ramone, 5/22/90.”
The six-string guitar features several modifications Ramone made to make the guitar fit his sound and style, the most significant being the replacement of the tremolo system with a stop bar tailpiece and installation of a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, as well as a tortoiseshell pickguard. Included in the sale, is the original hardshell case.
This is a rare instrument in its own right, and the only red guitar or Ventures Model 1 that Ramone owned; it was in his possession for at least seven years, from circa 1982–83 until he sold it in 1990; the first photographic evidence of Ramone playing the guitar comes from a show at the Eagle’s Hippodrome in Seattle on May 5, 1983. Johnny most often used this guitar for TV appearances and it can be seen up-close during a 1988 performance on MTV.
In 1990, Ramone sold this guitar to friend and former Ramones band driver Gene Frawley, signing and dating it on the occasion. A subsequent owner later personally confirmed the ownership details with Ramone, who acknowledged that he owned and used the guitar throughout the 1980s before selling it to Frawley.
“This is one of just nine Mosrite guitars owned by Ramone known to exist — an exceedingly rare and historically important piece of music history,” says Bobby Livingston, Exec VP at RR Auction.
Johnny Ramone was a founding member of the seminal punk band that broke onto the New York music scene in 1974. Johnny was known for his fast, high-energy guitar playing. His style almost exclusively consisted of rapid down strokes and bar chord shapes. This unique playing style and buzz saw-like sound of Johnny’s guitar parts was highly influential on many early punk rock guitarists and keeps him listed on numerous top lists of the greatest guitar players. Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home on September 15, 2004 at the age of 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
The Johnny Ramone guitar will be part of a special live auction event, featuring nearly 150 items, that will take place on January 22nd, 2015 at RR Auction’s Boston Gallery, but Online Bidding begins January 15th, More details can be found online at RR Auction Dot Com.
Original Ramones Drummer and the last surviving member of the band’s original line up, Tommy Ramone (Real Name: Thomas Erdelyi) passed away on Friday, July 11th, 2014 after a battle with cancer. He was 62 years old. Tommy played drums on the first three Ramones albums and later became a successful producer. The Guardian‘s Music Blog has a lovely first person remembrance of Tommy and The Ramones at This Link. Rest In Peace.
Together Again: Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee and Johnny (Image Source)
Was it easier to be a teenager in the ’50s, ’60s or even ’70s? I was a teenager during one of those decades and I’d say yes, yes it was easier. And you know why? Because life was just way fucking simpler. Back then, my worst problems were waiting for the latest Queen or Who album to be released so I could get a ride to the record store and buy it before any of my friends, coping with “Busy Signals” when making a phone call in the time before Call Waiting existed and dealing with my stupid parents. Teenagers today probably still have that last problem, but their lives are also infinitely complicated by needing to have the latest technological gadget that fits in your hand, which spawns endless problems in and of itself. Hand to God, you could not pay me to be a teenager in 2014. Ugh.
In this Black and White video for the garage rock rave up, “Teenager,” rock trio The Rich Hands lament about another universal issue — but one that is especially overwhelming to the teenage mind and body – falling in love. Interspersed with live action performance shots from this very fun band, you’ll see vintage (my guess, late 50s?) footage of teenagers dancing, going to movies, tailgating, dressing up for some kind of formal party and, in general, having fun without the obsessive need to look at their smart phones every 15 seconds. If there was any doubt that the featured footage is authentic, I am pretty sure I recognize a young Dick York (the original Darren on Bewitched) at the 18 second mark.
Recommended if you dig the music of The Ramones and Elvis Presley, The Rich Hands‘ new record, Out of My Head, is out May 6th on Burger and Fountain Records. Enjoy!
Well known on the NYC rock scene as the guitarist and primary songwriter behind retro garage-pop quartet The Friggs, Palmyra Delran is a bit of a local music icon. While The Friggs never broke commercially, they opened for legendary bands such as The Ramones and Cheap Trick, earning a devote regional following as well as solid professional props for being an “all-girl” band that could rock as hard as any group of guys. In her second solo venture, Delran stays close to the layered pop sound she helped to hone in The Friggs, while continuing to demonstrate innovation with regard to arrangements and intriguing personal storytelling in songs that draw the listener into her very relatable world.
If Palmyra Delran isn’t the coolest chick on the block, I don’t know who is. Seamlessly blending the guitar rock grit of Joan Jett with the pop sensibilities and subtle humor of Blondie, You Are What You Absorb will feel instantly familiar to fans of the classic Girl Groups, Sixties Psychedelia, Surf Rock and the very best of the early eighties New Wave movement. There’s not a lot of timeless music being made today, but the twelve memorable tracks on You Are What You Absorb certainly qualify as such, being packed with lyrical hooks sharp enough to draw blood and retro musical flourishes, such as sitar and organ, that establish Palmyra’s reverential connection to the past while bringing her music into the present.
A favorite track among many is the single “Shy Boy” – an endearing love song to a reluctant wallflower that will melt the coldest heart. I also dig the way that the propulsive drumbeat and furious guitar outtro of “Lies For You” dig deep to fondly recall the Nick Lowe-penned Elvis Costello classic, “(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love & Understanding.” Bringing other unexpected influences the forefront, Delran’s expert guitar playing on “Never to Be Back Again,” especially, recalls Jeff Beck’s distinctive riffage on The Yardbird’s “Heart Full of Soul,” and I don’t think there is much higher praise to give than that. Palmyra also shows her stylistic versatility on “The Turtle,” which successfully flirts with sixties lounge jazz.
Although it’s still pretty chilly on the East coast, as New York fights hard to break into spring, you need to grab a copy of You Are What You Absorb right away, so you can get ready to take it to the beach with you, add it to Party Mixes and slap it on the car stereo for long drives with the car top down as these songs become the soundtrack to your Best Summer Ever.
Palmyra Delran’s You Are What You Absorb is out now and available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon.com and wherever quality rock is procured.
View the acclaimed video for “You’re My Brian Jones” Below: