Max’s Kansas City: 1976 – Peter Crowley Re-Issues the Pivotal Album

Max’s Kansas City: 1976 to be re-released as Max’s Kansas City: 1976 & Beyond –  Greatly expanded with unreleased tracks, rarities, detailed booklet and more

Max’s Kansas City, the legendary nightclub and restaurant located at 213 Park Avenue South in New York City was well-known as a key gathering spot for the NYC artistic community from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Max’s was originally opened by Mickey Ruskin, a graduate of Cornell Law, who also owned several other bars and restaurants, although none as popular as Max’s Kansas City.

During this time Max’s was a favorite hangout of Andy Warhol and the Factory crowd, and the Velvet Underground often played there. Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and the New York Dolls all frequented Max’s, as well as a young Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. Deborah Harry worked there as a waitress. The club was the center of the burgeoning NYC cultural and musical scene.

The original incarnation of Max’s closed in 1974, but was quickly reopened in 1975 by Tommy Dean Mills. Mills hired Peter Crowley as the music director, responsible for booking bands. Crowley helped usher in a new age at Max’s and the club is credited along with CBGBs, with being one of the birthplaces of punk. Bands that played under Crowley’s tenure at Max’s included: Suicide, Fast and Wayne County, the New York Dolls, the Stillettos, the Offs, the Senders, Philip Rambow, Iggy Pop, Knots, Roland Alphonso, Nico, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers and Sid Vicious.

In 1976, Crowley compiled and released the album Max’s Kansas City: 1976. Over 40 years later, Crowley is launching a re-issue of the album, called Max’s Kansas City: 1976 & Beyond, featuring the above bands and many more. To be released May 5th, the album includes 40 tracks on a double-CD and 25 tracks on a double-LP. It comes with a 40-page booklet with notes by Peter Crowley and Jimi LaLumia, and features a host of new tracks, including previously unreleased tracks and rarities.

The historic precedence of the original album has only become clearer over time, as the musicians and bands that played at Max’s Kansas City have become legendary for their influence on music and culture over the last four decades.

Max’s Kansas City closed in it’s original location in 1981. It was re-opened briefly in a location on West 52nd Street, then closed permanently. This expanded re-release is a great opportunity to re-visit that pivotal time. It’s available for pre-order now at MVD and on Amazon.

If you’re in NYC, you can join Crowley for a Max’s Kansas City ’76 LP Party he’s hosting for several nights at the Bowery Electric, starting on May 25th. Event details: