Wednesday, 8 September 2010

New York, New York

An Extended Footnote

Someone recently remarked that the Beyond the Guildhall piece featured in ST:ART fails to recognize the contribution of a number of New York bands to the history of new wave music. 

Well first of all the feature isn't a history of new wave music - it's a partial history of events leading up to and surrounding one particular night in 1979. Secondly there are many UK bands who made equally important contributions but were also omitted so it's not a case of seeking to deny the US connection and claiming punk rock as an exclusively British, or even English, phenomenon.

However I'm happy to set the record straight in terms of the overall picture. So thanks to the Ramones and the legendary Richard Hell who  both trod the boards (and braved the gob) at the Victoria Hall in the 70s.

Here's to Television (whose timeless Marquee Moon sounds wonderful on my mp3) and  the late, great Johnny Thunders  (the "lost 1977 mix" of L.A.M.F must surely be the definitive version).

Give it up for Talking Heads and Patti Smith who  straggled the boundaries between music and art and in Fear of Music and Horses both produced enduring monuments to the era. And let's not forget Blondie without whom Madonna wouldn't have found it quite so easy to conquer the world and transform herself into a Warhol portrait.

Have I left anyone out? Probably but that's a failure of memory and not a reflection on merit. So one more time let's raise our glasses to the above mentioned pioneers and acknowledge that, in the words of the Ramones, New York City really has it all (Oh Yeah).


  1. What about "Suicide" ? Phenomenal!

  2. You're right Neale their first album is a classic. Frankie Teardrop - what more can I say?