All in one November night, I chatted with Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, Walter Lure, and Clem Burke. It all started on Nov. 15th with an evening at the Gramercy Theater to witness my old friend Ian Svenonius, (singer of Chain and the Gang) interview Johnny Marr of the Smiths. The talented strummer whose music comforted countless numbers of morose teenagers gave us a glimpse into those first moments creating magic with Morrissey. He had varied influences, even writing licks to a song that were based on disco legends Chic and David Bowie’s, “Rebel Rebel.” Nile Rogers from Chic was in the building to congratulate Johnny on his new book, Set The Boy Free, which was given out free with entry. My friend Denise and I chatted with Johnny after the show and even though there was a line of people waiting to get their albums signed, he was attentive and seemed genuinely curious about our lives. I told him we were on our way to the Heartbreakers gig at Bowery Electric. Johnny asked me to do him a favor and tell Walter Lure that he’s a huge fan.
New Yorker’s gathered together on 57th Street to witness a discussion with Iggy Pop and Jim Jarmusch hosted by the New York Times one month ago. I was lucky enough to find a single seat right up front. I bought a ticket to see Iggy Pop play last year but I was up in the nosebleed seats… too far away to witness the many fine lines and expressive eyes of the talented rule breaker himself.
Iggy, born James Osterberg, shuffled on to the stage as he’s been suffering from major back problems. Once seated, he reminisced on his job as a stock boy at Discount Records, the local college record store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His duties included selling, stocking, taping up the returns, and grabbing coffee for his fellow employees who called him by his nickname “Iguana.” The Stooges played junior highs and high schools for free in the beginning. Can you imagine being twelve years old and experiencing a sweaty, half-naked Iggy gyrating while you eat your bologna sandwich in the quad? Talk about being introduced to sex on a sonic level…
That thrill of being a teen and driving towards the bright lights of the city to bear witness to a crazy punk band stays with you forever. Chris Parcellin understood that feeling; he grew up with bands like the Real Kids, the Modern Lovers, the Lyres, and the Neighborhoods— all bands that exploded onto the scene in the mid-to-late 70’s. He cherished the times he escaped his town of Malden for the bright lights of Boston where he and his friends jumped around to songs like “All Kindsa Girls.” These punks were creating catchy garage music amongst urban destruction, and Parcellin wanted to give back to these bands by creating a documentary about them. Boys From Nowhere includes commentary from Jonathan Richman, Dennis Leary, and record producers, Andy Paley and Bruce Dickinson, amongst others. This energetic documentary travels back to a time and a place that deserves more recognition.
I dare you not to smile while watching these funky cats boogie down the party line. The 70’s kids are my favorite as far as moves go, but the hair and outfits in the 80’s clips are also priceless. Check out Soul Train regular, Rosie Perez, giving her best Rhythm Nation sass in the last video.
Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)
The incredulous John Lydon has really done something tons of people are too scared to try their whole lives– face their fears. He jumped onstage as a young man knowing he may fail. He wasn’t a trained musician, just a lower class thug with a penchant for enlisting shock and horror on the conservatives and shaking up the ABBA loving population.
All of this news about Interpol’s tour bus being stuck in the Buffalo snow for days, conjured up memories of hanging with the band in L.A. twelve years ago.
Their debut album, ‘Turn On The Bright Lights‘, had just been released with astounding critical acclaim. For example, Pitchfork named it the best album of 2002, and they were cruising down to Los Angeles after playing shows in San Francisco. My best friend had jumped on their tour bus because she was fucking the bass player, Carlos, at the time. She called me up and asked if I wanted to meet them at the Continental Hyatt House (a.k.a The Riot House), that evening.