Dec 22, 2013

Richard Boch remembers the No Wave era

"The End" by Pat Place
Richard Boch, 1979
Friend Richard Boch, who currently is working on a memoir of his time as the door man of the Mudd Club, wrote a nice article for the Poughkeepsie Journal about the late 70's in downtown NYC. Some of his art, along with pieces by Bob Bert, Pat Place, and photos by Godlis & Marcia Resnick, are currently on display at Ai Earthling Gallery in Woodstock, NY, entitled No Wave Heroes through January 12.

New York City, 1978 — the streets were dark but the noise was deafening. I was out every night, far from the sidelines where I once stood, and moving toward the heart of what was happening.

When CBGB, the birthplace of punk, ushered in the sea change a few years earlier, I cheered as Patti Smith and the Ramones — radical and on fire — came out swinging. Boundaries undefined, they opened the door for no wave’s primal scream. Lydia Lunch grabbed a microphone and her band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, let loose a disjointed urban mashup of sound; James Chance and the Contortions — saxophone and vocals wailing away, Pat Place’s guitar tearing right through the middle. Arto Lindsay’s band DNA was a pounding, frenzied scream and cry. Boris Policeband followed up with a sonic assault on violin and transistor radio, taking pride in his ability to clear the room.

In the spring of 1978 musician and superman Brian Eno stepped in and tried to produce and define the no wave sound before the next fire started. A few months later, Steve Mass opened the Mudd Club on White Street and gave everyone a place to call home. Continued here.

"Cookie Mueller" by Bob Bert, 1985

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