Saturday, May 14, 2011

Show #57 May 14, 2011

Dedicated to Christabelle...

Christabelle- Sorrows Love Too Late
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend- The Ramones Ramones
Effigy- Urge Overkill Rock & Roll Submarine
Nobody Told Me- The Sweat No More Running
Ward- Visqueen Message To Garcia
Unkind- Sloan The Double Cross
Devotion- Hilly Michaels Calling All Girls
Things You Do- Fast Cars Coming, Ready or Not!
^One Way Or Another- Blondie Parallel Lines
Buried Alive- The Lyres AHS 1005
My Before and After- Cotton Mather Kontiki
Sad Song- The Cars Move Like This
Mad About That Girl- The Infidels Mad About That Girl
It Was Alright- Pezband Pezband
*Personality Crisis- New York Dolls New York Dolls
*Ask The Angels- Patti Smith Radio Ethiopia
*Venus- Television Marquee Moon
*Max's Kansas City 1976- Wayne County & The Back Street Boys Max's Kansas City: New York New Wave
Claire's Ninth- Ben Folds & Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue
She Do Rock- The Wild Giraffes Right Now
New Mistake- Jellyfish Spilt Milk
Quit This Town- Eddie And The Hot Rods The End Of The Beginning
Like A Good Girl Should- Leeson & Vale Shake Some Action 8 (UK & Ireland)
House Of Girls- The Golden Horde The Golden Horde
>Sweet Jane- The Velvet Underground Loaded
I've Got You- The Vipers I've Got You 7"
Weekend- The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!

^Power Pop Peak: #24 Billboard Hot 100 6/2/79

*SacroSet: Mid 70's Downtown NYC Rock & Roll

>Power Pop Prototype: 1970

I suppose each generation of rock & roll fans has its own hallowed ground/era. For Glam Rockers you've got London 1974, for Deadheads it's Haight-Ashbury 1967, for Grunge fans it's Seattle 1991, for Thrash Metal Fans it's Southern California 1981, for nearly everyone else its Liverpool 1963... For me though, it is hard to top downtown New York City in 1976. Check out these lyrics to "Max's Kansas City 1976" and tell me if it doesn't sound like the coolest place on earth:

Take a tip from me and get ready for the big parade
It's the place to be every night's a happy hol-i-day

The kids are jumpin' everybody's doing loop de loop
Just a-makin' the rounds like a speed freak in a telephone booth

The downstairs is packed and the groupies are all dressed up
Upstairs the New York Dolls are kickin' it out, lookin' tough
-you got a personality crisis baby

Down at Max's (Max's Kansas City)

All the boys are (Max's Kansas City)

All the girls are (Max's Kansas City)

All the stars are (Max's Kansas City)
Down at Max's

I see Patti Smith she's the Stag-o-lee of rock & roll

She threw a 7 and 11 and she always knows which cards to hold

And I see Lou Reed and Iggy Pop they're just gettin' higher and higher
Give those boys one more drink and they're gonna set the place on fire

-go get 'em boys

The downstairs is packed and the groupies are all dressed up

Upstairs the New York Dolls are kickin' it out, lookin' tough

-bad girl, I'm just looking for a kiss

Down at Max's....

Blondie's all in a buzz she's on the cover of the New York Rocker

Dee Dee Ramone strips his bass to the bone he's a Blitzkreig Bopper

The Heartbreakers are gonna give you a taste of going steady with Pirate Love

And you better watch it because my Backstreet Boys are gonna rip you apart- rip 'em up boys

The downstairs is packed and the groupies are all dressed up

Upstairs the New York Dolls are kickin' it out, lookin' tough

-trash, pick it up, you know where, that's right

Down at Max's....

Now I ain't talkin' about San Francisco

And I ain't talkin' about Los Angeles

And I ain't talkin' about Detroit city

I'm talkin' about New York City, down at Max's Kansas City, baby

Q: Hey man what's happening, uh, where you goin' tonight?
A: Well I think I'm gonna go down to Max's and check out a couple of those rock & roll bands.

Q: Oh yeah? Who's playing there these days?

A: Well, there's, uh, The Heartbreakers, Cherry Vanilla and Her Staten Island Band, Wayne County & The Backstreet Boys, The Fast, Pere Ubu, John Collins, Harry Toledo, Suicide, The Ramones, Blondie, The Dolls, Television, Talking Heads, August, Fuse, Mong, The Poppees, The Marbles, The Planets, The Miamis, Just Water, Tuff Darts, Day Old Bread, Richard Hell, Lance Loud & The Mumps, Another Pretty Face and Mink Deville and (whew!) and oh yeah, oh yeah they got this new group that everybody's talking about called the Psychotic Frogs. But w-w-w-w-w-wait just a minute- there's just one more thing I forgot to tell you. You better not forget to bring your masquerade mask and your ego trip because you're gonna need it when you go down to Max's Kansas City, baby- that's right!

Max's Kansas City at 217 Park Avenue South was already in its second incarnation when Wayne County wrote the song above. Opening in December of 1965, Max's quickly became a scene hotspot frequented by poets and artists, most notably Andy Warhol and his entourage from The Factory. This included The Velvet Underground who recorded a live album there in 1970 on which writer/singer Jim Carroll, who was holding the microphone for the recording, can be heard ordering drinks and trying to score drugs between songs. Despite becoming a respected live music venue, featuring shows by Aerosmith, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Bruce Springsteen, Max's fell out of favor with the hip crowd and closed in December of 1974.

When the club re-opened in 1975 the new owner planned to make it a disco but music booker Peter Crowley quickly established Max's Kansas City as the rock & roll mecca in New York. One notable exception to the list of bands at the end of Wayne County's "Max's Kansas City 1976" is an all-time favorite of mine- The Dictators. That's because of a legendary feud between Wayne County and Dictators lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba. The story goes that in March of 1976 a drunken Manitoba was heckling County from the audience at a CBGB's show. According to the Dictators' camp, Manitoba then stepped up onto the corner of the stage on his way to the men's room (which I later verified is down a narrow, easily blocked corridor beside the stage). County, on the other hand, says he was defending himself from Manitoba's drunken bum rushing the stage. What isn't in dispute is that Manitoba called County a "homo" and County hit him with the business end of a microphone stand. Handsome Dick was rushed to the hospital, ending up with sixteen stitches and a broken collar bone. Assault charges were brought but later thrown out of court.

Peter Crowley, who was Wayne County's manager at the time, banned The Dictators from Max's Kansas City and supposedly tried to get other NYC club owners to do the same. The Dictators ended up having a very successful run at CBGB's later that year though, further dividing the scene into Max's and CBGB's factions. Music critic and Dictators fan Lester Bangs stirred the pot even more by ranting about the "faggot mafia" and its attempts to blacklist The Dictators in an article for Punk magazine that fortunately never went to print, but a lot of people seemed to hear about.

The good news is that if you manage to beat the rock & roll odds and stay alive, there is hope for reconciliation. Here's a picture of Handsome Dick Manitoba and Jayne County (with surgery, Wayne became Jayne in 1979 or so) who recorded a duet of The Rivieras "California Sun," which they performed on Jayne's birthday in 2002. Max's is long gone, and so is CBGB's for that matter, but Dick & Jayne are still going strong and for that I am very thankful.

Click the links below to download this week's show (Right click and "Save Target As")

Hour 1

Hour 2

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