Saturday, February 07, 2009

My Past, In Paperback

You know you're getting old when someone writes a book about The Scene that played an important part in your misspent youth--and your kid gives it to you as a present. The Boy Wonder, who's really into neo/proto/post punk music (he loves The Cramps, just like his daddy the Ex did), gave me a copy of NO WAVE by Marc Masters for my birthday in November.

I'm finally getting around to reading NO WAVE now, though of course I leafed through the book when I first unwrapped it. Was BW ever surprised when on one page I showed him a reproduction of a flyer with one of the Ex's bands listed at the top, and on another page a photo of the Ex himself in a poster for a well-known (between Max's Kansas City and Barnabas Rex) underground movie.

Once upon a time in 1979 I thought I wanted to be a music promoter, and I hung out with (or very near) a lot of the people featured in Masters's book. Looking at these 30-eek!-year-old photos is eerie; I remember many of them so well. How skinny everyone was then! ( was I.)

I gave up on being a music promoter once I discovered that it was barely a step up from fight promoter. "These people don't read!" I remember exclaiming in disgust. Not to mention that club owners had to give a cut to the Mob in order to stay in business. Friends of mine shut down their Alphabet City bôite rather than pay protection money, then (ironically) fled to rural Italy for a year.

But I still have fond memories--and the Boy Wonder.


Eric Riback said...

Sorry to note that Lux Interior passed away the other day. I'd never heard the name.

As you know I somehow missed the protopunk/punk era having been into what is now unfortunately called classic rock during my college days, and then having worked at a radio station in Maine in the late 70s that played J. Geils, et al but not even Talking Heads.

lucyp said...

This sounds like the '80s version of Laurie Colwin's Goodbye Without Leaving