Monday, May 24, 2010

A Trip to Queens

Sept 7th, 1979

Well, we attempted to go to Max's to see the Heartbreakers but we didn't make it. First Regina's car broke down and we were stuck on the turnpike for so long. This really creepy guy stopped to help us and was smoking a joint right on the turnpike while trying to help us. Anyway - we got towed to a gas station and then we got a ride back to Mary Ann's house and took her car into NY instead. So we picked up Howie and drove him home and I do not think he knew how to get to his house by car in Queens. We kept following the subway lines and went through some really scary areas. Anyway - we finally found his apartment and stayed there until about 6am. We met his father which was kind of weird. We had so much fun there.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Down at Max's....

Sept 6th, 1979

We went to see the Heartbreakers at Max's. It was a really strange night. Supposedly Brad quit the Blessed. I do not know what is wrong with him. Billy was there and I did not talk to him too much at Max's but we drove him home and sat outside his apartment building in Mary Ann's car talking for almost 3 hours. Richard Hell was also at Max's. Howie Pyro was also there and was super funny. The car broke down going home and it took us forever to get the Mary Ann's house but we made it.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Inteview with John Holstrom

Interview with John Holstrom - PUNK Magazine.

1.How did Punk Magazine get its start?
This is a pretty well-worn story. But from my POV, I had a yen to start a magazine since Harvey Kurtzman had recommended me for an Editor-in-Chief job in 1974, and I had an idea for a rock 'n' roll comics/'zine for years. So when Ged Dunn dropped out of school and agreed move to NYC to fund it (after we worked together in Cheshire over the summer), I began serious work on it. It wasn't as slapdash as "Please Kill Me" describes it. I had a vision for a new magazine--an idea for an 'anti-formula" of sorts--based on reading Creem, European comics, and the old underground comics and newspapers. A certain person makes it sound as if nothing came together until he suggested a name for it. No matter what the name was going to be, I had a lot of ideas. I wanted to start a lot of trouble and knew how to.

2.How did you get into the Punk Rock scene?
I started going to rock 'n' roll shows at 15, went to all kinds of stuff, mostly arena rock, several rock festivals, saw the Dolls open for Mott The Hoople in '74 and started going to smaller clubs. For a few months I worked at the old Fillmore East drawing posters and working for the Pig Light Show. The highlight was drawing the countdown and "Happy New Year" graphics for a New Year's Eve show that starred Ike & Tina Turner. Once PUNK mag came out we got in for free, so I went out more often. It was like my job all of a sudden.

3. What are you best memories from the late 70's?
What were the late 1970s? From 1978 on it was pretty dismal. The Sex Pistols tour was great! Misfits at Irving Plaza in '79... The early days at the Mudd Club. The rise of "kid bands" like The Blessed and The Stimulators. The Pirates (w/o Johnny Kidd) at Hurrah, The Damned at Hurrah, Clash at The Palladium, the Ramones all over the place... Watching Blondie make it bigger than big--HUGE... Working on "DOA: A Right of Passage."
1975-1977 were the best years: Dead Boys/Damned at CBGB, all Ramones shows, early Blondie, Mostly though, hanging out at CBGB and Max's and meeting lots of interesting people. Difficult to describe it all in a paragraph. I need a book!

4. What do you consider to have caused the decline of the music scene in the late 70's?
I think the inevitable tendency for the music industry to shovel dirt on the new trend as soon as they sense it's not on the cutting edge anymore and to lavish attention on whatever they see as the next trend. In this case, in 1978-79, even though a lot of punk rock was still happening, it was "dead" to everyone else. The English press was the worst, I remember reading reviews of great punk bands like Stiff Little Fingers in 1978 but they were such trendies that they described the fact that punk was still around as if it was the Night of the Living Dead.

No one in "the business" wanted to hear about a great punk band like The Misfits, even though they had a very strong following. Especially, no record companies wanted anything to do with punk rock after the whole Sid & Nancy thing.

But there's also the fact that a band spends four or five years on their first couple of albums and then have to produce more and more while they're on the road and dealing with more and more bull while they become more and more successful. It's a formula that forces the music industry to kill its young. Thankfully the music industry is dying!

5. What kind of music do you listen to today?
Mostly old stuff, from every decade. I still go to shows once in a while--usually the Trash Bar in Brooklyn.

Were you in a band that played the NYC scene in the late 70's or did you hang out? Let me know if you would be interested in doing an interview for my blog. email me at