Sonic Youth is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981.
In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the “no wave art and music scene” in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their
interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound.
Sonic Youth served as a pivotal band in the rise of the alternative rock and indie rock movements.
NEW YORK’S ALRIGHT (IF YOU LIKE SAXOPHONES) by FEAR
Fear was formed in 1977 by vocalist/guitarist Lee Ving and bassist Derf Scratch while living in Los Angeles, California. They recruited guitarist Burt Good, and drummer Johnny Backbeat to fill out the original lineup. In 1977, Fear released the single “I Love Living in the City”. Shortly after this Good and Backbeat left the band and were replaced by Philo Cramer and Spit Stix.
Credited for helping to shape the sound and style of American hardcore punk, the band started out as part of the early California punk rock scene, and gained national prominence after an infamous 1981 performance on Saturday Night Live.
The band’s SNL appearance included a group of moshers, among them John Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat,Tesco Vee of The Meatmen, Harley Flanagan and John Joseph of The Cro-mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach. The shows director originally wanted to prevent the dancers from participating, so Belushi offered to be in the episode if the dancers were allowed to stay. The end result was the shortening of Fear’s appearance on TV. They started their second performance by saying, “It’s great to be in New Jersey,” drawing boos from SNL’s New York live audience. Fear played “Beef Bologna,” “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones,” and started to play “Let’s Have a War” when the audio and video of the telecast faded into commercial. During the performance the slamdancers left ripe pumpkin remains on the set and stage speakers.
Shortly after the 1981 Halloween SNL appearance, which resulted in $20,000 in damages, a New York Post article later reported the figure to be $500,000. This is believed to have originated from a phone call from the New York Post to Ving, in which Ving responded to the claim of causing $20,000 worth of damage by saying “Hold it, hold it! No way, pal. That’s a bald-faced lie! We caused $500,000 worth of damage, a cool half a million dollars worth of damage, ‘cause we’re professionals, and I counted the damage myself!”
Although Lee Ving is the only original remaining member, others were recruited and Fear still performs today.
The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1974, often cited as the first punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were actually related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. By a little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had all died.
Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. Recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles.
On March 18, 2002, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011 the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Dead Boys were an American punk rock band from Cleveland, Ohio. Among the first wave of early punk bands, the Dead Boys were initially active from 1976 to 1979, briefly reuniting in 1987, 2004 and 2005.
The Dead Boys evolved out of the band Rocket From The Tombs and were originally called Frankenstein. When the band members relocated to New York City in July 1976, they adopted the Dead Boys moniker which came from the RFTT song “Down In Flames”.
Moving to New York City at the encouragement of Joey Ramone, the Ramones’ lead singer, the Dead Boys quickly gained notoriety for their outrageous live performances. Lewd gestures and profanity were the norm. On more than one occasion, lead singer Stiv Bators slashed his stomach with his mic stand. They frequently played at the legendary rock club CBGB and in 1977 they released their debut album, Young, Loud and Snotty, produced by Genya Ravan. Their song “Sonic Reducer" is often regarded as one of the classics of the punk genre, with Allmusic calling it "one of punk’s great anthems."
The Dead Boys only have two official full length studio releases, however many labels have released rough material and outtakes in the years following their initial 1979 breakup.
Lou Reed (born on March 2, 1942) is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which spans several decades and crosses multiple genres. The Velvet Underground gained little mainstream attention during their career, but became one of the most influential bands of their era.
As the Velvet Underground’s main songwriter, Reed wrote about subjects of personal experience that rarely had been examined so openly in rock and roll, including a variety of sexual topics and drug culture.
After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1971. He had a hit the following year with “Walk on the Wild Side”, although for more than a decade he evaded the mainstream commercial success its chart status offered him.
Reed’s work as a solo artist has frustrated critics wishing for a return of The Velvet Underground. The most notable example is 1975’s infamous double LP of recorded feedback loops, Metal Machine Music, upon which Reed later commented: “No one is supposed to be able to do a thing like that and survive.” He is also responsible for the name and popularization of ostrich tuning.
By the late 1980s, however, he had garnered recognition by the music community as an elder statesman of rock.
On this day (APRIL 15) in 2001, Joey Ramone, singer of The Ramones, died at age 49 after losing a long battle with lymphatic cancer.
On November 30, 2003, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place.
Joey Ramone never sang on a Top 10 hit and his band never scored a platinum album. But that gangly guy in the leather jacket became a full-blooded rock and roll icon, even before his death on this day in 2001.
There is no name more synonymous with American punk rock than Joey Ramone.
Don’t Worry About Me is the only album released by Joey Ramone as a solo artist, although he previously had many releases with The Ramones as their lead singer. It was released posthumously in 2002, as he died in 2001. The album was produced by Daniel Rey, who also did most of the guitar work on the album. Rey had previously produced 3 of the Ramones’ albums, between 1987 and 1995.
The album includes two covers; “What a Wonderful World” originally performed by Louis Armstrong and “1969”, originally performed by The Stooges. “What a Wonderful World” was used for the ending credits of Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine.” The song was also used in the 2003 remake of “Freaky Friday” and appeared on that film’s soundtrack. Apple Inc. also used the song extensively in its launch of the original Final Cut Studio software package. The song also appeared in 2001’s Without A Paddle.
Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr. (July 15, 1952 - April 23, 1991), was an American proto-punk guitarist, singer and songwriter.
He came to prominence in the early ’70s as a member of The New York Dolls. He later played with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.
Many rumors surround Thunders’ death at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana in April 1991. He apparently died of drug-related causes, but it has been speculated that it was the result of foul play.
According to his autobiography, Dee Dee Ramone took a call in New York the next day from Stevie Klasson, Johnny’s rhythm guitar player. “They told me that Johnny had gotten mixed up with some bastards… who ripped him off for his methadone supply. They had given him LSD and then murdered him. He had gotten a pretty large supply of methadone in England, so he could travel and stay away from those creeps - the drug dealers, Thunders imitators, and losers like that.”
What is known for certain is that Johnny’s room was ransacked and most of his possessions were missing (passport, makeup, clothes). Rigor mortis had set in with his body positioned in an unnatural state, described by eyewitnesses as “like a pretzel”, underneath a coffee table. Friends and acquaintances acknowledge he had not been using heroin for some time, relying on his methadone prescriptions.
The police did not open a criminal investigation.
JOHNNY THUNDERS DAY is APRIL 23rd. Put on some NY Dolls or Heartbreakers in his memory and play it loud!