Oct 30, 2010

Party week: Mick Rock, Bob Gruen, Mudd Club/Club 57

Storefront window display for the Mick Rock exhibit, 313 Bowery by me.

This past week saw several events I wanted to note here.

Tuesday evening, Morrison Hotel Gallery's Bowery location hosted a blowout opening for photographer Mick Rock. As is usual for MHG, the photography is peerless, and the party was a huge success. It was so crowded, I'd go back during normal business hours to have another look, the main problem being that the show closes today. Boo to that! See most, if not all, of the images included in the show here.

My favorite shot from Mick Rock's show: The Stooges, 1972 by Mick Rock

Mick Rock and Jimmy Fallon by John Espinosa

John Espinosa and Godlis outside 313 Bowery by me

The Mick Rock party being so crowded, it was really a matter of taking a deep breath, diving in, making the rounds, and seeing what you could see between hello's to the many familiar folks in the room. This took about 20 minutes. Following this, a bunch of us made our way south a few blocks to Bob Gruen's traditional birthday party at the R-Bar. In a very loose, and relaxed atmosphere we spent the rest of night. Seen on the scene: Debbie Harry, Jim Jarmusch, Stephanie Chernikowski, Godlis, Marcia Resnick, John Espinosa, Richard Lloyd, Vivien Goldman, and Amos Poe.

Marcia Resnick & Bob Gruen by John Espinosa

Jim Jarmusch, Stephanie Chernikowski, Sara Driver by John Espinosa

Amos Poe, Debbie Harry, Unidentified by Daisy

Mudd Club/Club 57 crowd at the Delancey Lounge by Randy H.

Thursday night saw a hotly anticipated event at the Delancey Lounge - the Mudd Club-Club 57-New Wave Vaudeville reunion party. FOB© Randy Haecker was kind enough to file a report:

Since I was a teenager living in South Texas in ’78-’82, I never went to the Mudd Club. But I was certainly aware of its existence because I was the odd duck who had subscriptions to Trouser Press, The East Village Eye and The Village Voice. The Mudd Club was also burned into my mind through lyrics by Talking Heads (“This ain’t the Mudd Club, or CBGB, I ain’t got time for that now”) and Nina Hagen (“Roxy! Mudd Club! Danceteria! The newest club is opening up”).

Six months ago, when my friend Tim Broun told me he was booking a Mudd Club reunion gig*, I knew I had to attend. I might not have been there during its original run, but I certainly own every vinyl record affiliated with that scene, along with hundreds ofCDs, magazines, posters, buttons and music DVDs.

Since the original venue at 77 White Street in downtown Manhattan wasn’t available, the Mudd Club reunion was booked for the Delancey Lounge, a roomy 3-floor club on the Lower East Side, near the Williamsburg Bridge . In addition to celebrating the Mudd Club, this party also paid tribute to the closely-related Club 57 and New Wave Vaudeville clubs/events from the same time period. For the history of the original Mudd Club click here.

Largely publicized via Facebook, this event had sold out weeks in advance. I arrived at 7:30 in anticipation of the doors opening at 8:00, and was surprised to find only five people in line. While outside I made the acquaintance of Linda Lou, a woman who had lived right around the corner from the original Mudd Club, and she showed off her laminated original membership card for the club.

Sic F*cks by Randy H.

Once inside, the first person I noticed was Michael Musto, the longtime gossip columnist for the VV who had fueled my New Wave fire with his coverage of the NYC scene for US Weekly magazine in the late ‘70s. The deejays, including Anita Sarko, Mark Kamins and DJ Mojo, kept things hopping with music by Bowie, Bauhaus, The Cramps, The Slits (R.I.P. Ari Up), Mo-Dettes, Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft and the Delta 5, among others. Throughout the night I spotted Ann Magnuson, party planner Tessie Chua, Delphine Blue, Phoebe Legere, Robert Vickers (Go-Betweens, Colours), musician/restaurateur Kai Eric, photographer (and fellow South Texan) John Espinosa, and party planner Bonnie Datt, among others. Since I wasn’t part of that original scene, I’m a fairly poor source for reporting on who did and who didn’t show up. I suggest checking out the Mudd Club page on Facebook here.

As mentioned previously, the Delancey is a 3-story club (rooftop deck upstairs, ground floor bar/dancefloor, performance space in the basement), so it was interesting to see the split in the Mudd Club tribes. The vast majority of the folks who obviously dressed up for the event (wearing Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, Fiorucci) were on the rooftop patio, imbibing with gusto and being interviewed for a documentary that was filmed to mark the occasion. It was obvious we were still very much in Mike Bloomberg’s New York because I didn’t detect a single cigarette, and I heard many people griping about the “No Smoking” signs on the open air, rooftop patio. Few of the fashionable patrons on the rooftop deigned to descend the two levels to the live music performances in the basement. The basement was filled with aging rockers, mostly dressed in black and wearing heavy eye makeup. So it was on the ground-level floor where the two tribes passed one another, occasionally mingling for short conversation.

Bush Tetras by Randy H.

The biggest draw for me were the live performances, and I’m glad I got there early to catch the opening set from SIC F*CKS. A staple on the early NYC punk scene, SIC F*CKS is famously known as the band which features Tish & Snooky, a loveable pair of gals who opened the punk cosmetics store Manic Panic in 1977 (it’s still around!, http://www.manicpanic.com/). Next up was WALTER STEDDING, an avant-garde violinist who hosted the cable access tv show, “TV Party,” with Glenn O’Brien in the early ‘80s. Everybody was giving Walter hugs, and he obviously remains a much-loved figure on the scene. BUSH TETRAS (named for a woman’s love triangle) blew the doors off next with sharp-edged punk classics “Too Many Creeps,” “Can’t Be Funky (If You Haven’t Got a Soul),” “Things That Go Boom In The Night,” “Cowboys In Africa,” and John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey,” among others. COMATEENS stripped things down to an even more skeletal sound of guitar/bass/keyboards/drum machine as original members Lyn Byrd and Nick West played a short set which included “The Munsters Theme,” “Ghosts,” “Cool Chick” and David Bowie’s “TVC 15.” As the midnight hour came and went, I cut out halfway through 3 TEENS KILL 4, a combo featuring artist David Wojnarowicz.

According to the advance flyer, RICHARD LLOYD, ANIMAL X, TINA PEEL, MARILYN and others were scheduled to keep the party going ‘til the wee hours of the morn.
See more of Randy's photos from the night here.

Besides all of the great live music Randy mentioned, there were DJ sets by Walter Durkacz, Anita Sarko, Mark Kamens, Ivan Ivan, and others. And there was eye candy provided in the way of photos of video by the likes of Allan Tannenbaum, Kate Simon, Robert Carrithers, Merrill Aldighieri, and many others. The buzz following this event has been pretty loud to my ears. Apparently, the hit musical act of the night was the Bush Tetras with one friend telling me "if they were as good back then as they were last night, they would have been huge!"

Watch a nice 15 minute video of some of the proceedings at the Mudd party here. Special thanks to Randy Haecker, Daisy, John Espinosa for their contributions.

Comateens by Randy H.

*I was personally involved with this event until late August. Creative differences unfortunately led to my split from working on it.

1 comment:

NYCDreamin said...

So much going on...great report. Thanks as always for helping me keep up on all the cool shit I'm missing.

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