It’s not often you see Monty Python and John Lydon in the space of a week, but there was Britain’s other living legend at St. Vitus last night, chatting with Pitchfork’s Jenn Pelly about his new autobiography Anger Is an Energy. The book, out this week, tells how a childhood bout with meningitis shaped his personality (“I’m a shy, sensitive kind of fellow,” he insisted to the incredulous crowd at St. Vitus) and then goes on to recount his trailblazing and troublemaking with the Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd., and, of course, his later dalliances with reality tv (that time he showed off his “fried-egg breasts” in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!) and butter commercials (“the most anarchistic thing I’ve ever been presented with”).
No band is more identified with the East Village than the Ramones. The band’s performances at Hilly Kristal’s CBGB and other neighborhood venues defined punk rock forever. In 2003, the corner of the Bowery and Second Street near CBGB was officially named Joey Ramone Place. Over time, members of the group lived, drank and hung out in the East Village.
Despite their impact, the Ramones struggled for commercial success. Their debut album, Ramones, has been called the most influential punk record, but it was only this past June – 38 years after its release – that the LP went gold.
While reporting from remote locations for NY1, Roger Clark has sung Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and shredded on the air guitar for a solid minute of live television. For the past decade, viewers of his feature stories have come to know Clark as a loveable dork with rock star reveries. But he really does have a bit of musical street cred. Clark and co-worker Bunny Hirsch play monthly gigs as Perp Walk, a drum/bass duo with songs like “Tranny Man” and “Stench In My Kitchen.” They’re jamming tonight at Hank’s Saloon and then again in March at The Way Station, as part of a Lou Reed tribute.
Nothing is real but the girl, but what about this?
That’s right: there’s now a Debbie Harry bobblehead. Till now, we’ve had to settle for the Debbie Harry Barbie, which, as you can imagine, looks pretty much like any other Barbie (which has confused a lot of folks who’ve seen it displayed in our office alongside our Ramones collection).
This new doll — limited to
1,000 2,000 units — is made by Drastic Plastic, creators of the Iggy Pop bobblehead, and it’s being shipped Monday by Aggronautix, makers of “throbbleheads” in the likeness of East Village punk legends GG Allin and Handsome Dick Manitoba. The Debbie doll will set you back $24.95 and can be ordered here.
As excited as we were to celebrate Glenn Branca’s 65th birthday at the B+B Newsroom last week, we didn’t expect our discussion with the trailblazing composer to be as epic as, say, the time in 2001 that we were blown away by his 100-guitar symphony beneath the Twin Towers, and (more recently, in 2010) the debut of his 15th symphony at Le Poisson Rouge. How wrong we were: the master rolled into 155 Grand with a bottle of whiskey and, just like when New York spoke to him in 2004, immediately lit up a cig. We weren’t about to tell him to put it out.
As you may have read over at Rolling Stone, Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong — in what’s sure to be one of the highlights of the CBGB Festival — are screening some of their rare late-70s and early-80s concert footage at Bowery Electric tonight, between performances by Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, Syl Sylvain of the New York Dolls, and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. We were lucky enough to have the authors of our weekly Nightclubbing column into the B+B Newsroom last Friday, along with Richard Boch, who’s working on a memoir of his time manning the door of the Mudd Club, and Pat Irwin, the guitarist for the Raybeats, 8 Eyed Spy and the B-52s, who spoke about his recently unearthed collaboration with Philip Glass.
Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.