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Vinyl, the Scorsese-Jagger production we’ve been looking forward to with bated coke-breath ever since it filmed in the East Village, finally hit HBO last night with an epic two-hour episode, and the critical reaction has been pretty much love it or hate it. Even if you’re with the East Village’s own Richard Hell in the latter camp, you’re probably going to watch at least another episode or two, just to bask/wallow in the ambience of the early-’70s New York City music scene. So here are some fun facts about the show that we’ve culled from around the net, and from our own archives.

  1. Among the Brooklyn indie musicians featured are Ra Ra Riot’s Wes Miles as Alice Cooper’s guitarist and former Drums skinman Connor Hanwick as Lou Reed (you get a glimpse of him in the episode-two preview below). Members of Beach Fossils also appear throughout as nihilist punk band The Nasty Bits. [Live Nation TV]
  2. Rest assured, Mick Jagger’s 30-year-old son James, an indie actor who was in a punk band called Turbogeist, had to go through “multiple rounds of intense auditions” before landing the part of Nasty Bits frontman. [Vanity Fair]
  3. Remember when Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo told us he was working on the show? The song played by the Nasty Bits is actually a Jack Ruby cover recorded by a supergroup that Ranaldo put together with bassist James McNew (Yo La Tengo), drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), and guitarists Alan Licht and Don Fleming. [Pitchfork]
  4. While filming, James Jagger would “identify with Richard Hell at times.” [W]
  5. Hell himself thought the show was “boring,” “innocuous trash.” He thinks it’s “all routine Scorsese shtick, but cheaper,” and the cocaine snorting doesn’t even look realistic. [Stereogum]
  6. That might be because Bobby Cannavale, who stars as record-exec-on-the-edge Richie Finestra, “never really did blow” before. [The Chronicle Herald]
  7. (The coke, by the way, was milk powder.) [Esquire]
  8. Here’s a list of all the other drugs that were done during the episode. [Complex]
  9. And here’s a list of all the songs that appeared. [Den of Geek]
  10. The collapse of the Mercer Art Center? That actually happened, though the New York Dolls weren’t playing there at the time. [Vulture]
  11. The outfit worn by Finestra’s funkadelic act, Hannibal, was based on Sly and the Family Stone. [The Cut]
  12. Among the real-life characters who’ll be played by actors are Hilly Kristal, Nico, Buddy Holly, Elvis (played by renowned Elvis impersonator Shawn Wayne Klush), and David Crosby. [IMDB]
  13. David Bowie will be played by this guy. [IMDB]
  14. East Village fixture Jesse Malin, backed by Yo La Tengo, will be the voice of Joey Ramone, and Andrew WK will be the voice of Alice Cooper. During a scene set in St. Mark’s nightclub the Dom, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes will sing the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” and “Run Run Run.” Other musical contributors include Iggy Pop, X’s John Doe, the Kills’ Alison Mosshart, and (yes) Charli XCX. [Pitchfork]
  15. There’s an episode coming up where Bruce Springsteen opens for Bob Marley at Max’s Kansas City. [Esquire
  16. The faux Max’s was right around the corner from the original Max’s. [B+B]
  17. Other filming locations included the actual inside of the Chelsea Hotel, and the Electric Lady Land and Avatar music studios. Other places had to be recreated; another building in Soho stood in for the Mercer Art Center and Nassau Coliseum served as Madison Square Garden. [DNAinfo]
  18. Warhol’s factory was reproduced in a studio “on the far edge of Park Slope, Brooklyn” and the Jane Hotel serves as The Oasis, the Plato’s Retreat-esque sex club where Andrew Dice Clay’s character, Buck Rogers, holds court. [NY Post]
  19. Rough Trade, you’ll recall, stood in as a Sam Goody. [B+B]
  20. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

    (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

  21. Rest assured, there was a CBGB set, and it’s said to be “convincing.” [Live Nation TV]
  22. East Village playwright Adam Rapp wrote for the show. [Medium]
  23. James Jagger isn’t the only rock-n-roll scion involved. Juno Temple, who stars as the benny-slinging sandwich girl, is the daughter of Julien Temple, who directed the Sex Pistols in The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. [LA Times]
  24. At some point, Ray Romano will get naked for a three-way. [Esquire]
  25. If that’s just too much to take but you want more tales of ’70s record-exec debauchery, delete HBO Go and read Howling at the Moon: The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess, by CBS Records CEO Walter Yetnikoff. [Billboard]
  26. Or just listen to these 20 albums that defined 1973. [Vulture]