The birth of punk rock in New York”


originally published: 06/29/2022

(NEW YORK, NY) — Joe’s Pub will host Nightclub: the birth of punk rock in New York, a documentary premiering in New York and opening to the public on Wednesday, July 20 at 9:30 p.m. The film premiered at the Dock of the Bay Film Festival in San Sebastián, Spain on May 5, 2022, where it won the Judges’ Special Mention award and will be released worldwide on November 25.

Nightclub is the first documentary on the famous New York nightclub Max’s Kansas City (1965-1981) which had an indelible impact on the world of music, fashion, art, culture and creation of the New York punk rock scene. As legend Alice Cooper says: “A million ideas have been thrown around there”, referencing the famous back room of Max’s Kansas City where Andy Warhol held court with artists, actors/actresses, assorted criminals and various musicians including the New York Dolls, the Stooges and the hugely influential Velvet Underground. Max’s was also an early haven for the city’s LGBTQ+ crowd, including Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis, and was chaired by trans DJ Wayne/Jayne County.

“We are delighted to host the Nightclubbing and Sid screenings this summer,” said Joe’s Pub Manager Alex Knowlton. “There’s a strong line that connects Max’s Kansas City to much of the art that graces our scene, from the artists themselves to their influences to their impact. Max’s was a place where artists could share ideas, inspiring each other, letting go, and being fully themselves.This spirit inspires our team at Joe’s Pub, and we can’t wait to summon Max’s Kansas City to our bedroom on July 20th.

The film features unique archival footage and exclusive interviews with Alice Cooper, Jayne County, Billy Idol, Lenny Kaye, Steve Stevens, Elliott Murphy, Sylvain Sylvain, Penny Arcade, Alan Vega, HR, Dr. Know, Harley Flanagan, Bob Gruen, Jay Jay French, Jesse Malin, Peter Crowley, Jimi LaLumia, Neon Leon, Leee Black Childers, Marty Thau, Ruby Lynn Reyner, Frank Infante, Jimmy Zero, Cynthia Ross, Peter Jordan, Donna Destri, Sonny Vincent, Mickey Leigh , Phyllis Stein, Phil Caivano, Denise Mercedes, Nick Marden, John Holmstrom, Louis X. Erlanger, Steven Blush, plus exclusive live performance footage from Wayne/Jayne County & The Fast, Elliot Murphy, Johnny Thunders & The Senders , The Heartbreakers, The Testors , Bad Brains, Ruby & The Rednecks, The Stooges, Dead Boys and others.

Filmmaker Danny Garcia proclaims, “This story of the birth of THE coolest nightclub that helped bring Punk Rock to life in New York is told by the people who were there. It’s very authentic.”

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Producer Mike Schnapp adds, “I’m personally thrilled to see the mostly untold story of Max’s Kansas City and its importance in promoting New York’s punk rock scene being unleashed around the world.”

Over the years the club’s clientele included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Joan Baez, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Janis Joplin and many more. others. It was also at Max’s that David Bowie first met Iggy Pop – who ended up bloodied and taken to hospital (by Alice Cooper) after a particularly spirited performance. This is where Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious played his last gigs, backed by members of the New York Dolls and The Clash. It was there that Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen were signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis; where Bob Marley and the Wailers played their first American shows; where Debbie Harry was a waitress; where young Beastie Boys first fought for their right to party; where Madonna first got a taste of the city’s nightclub scene.

JOE’S PUB, a Public Theater program, was named for Public Theater founder Joseph Papp. Since opening in 1998, Joe’s Pub has played a vital role in The Public’s mission to support artists at all stages of their careers with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performances every night, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. In addition to one-night-only concerts and multi-night engagements, Joe’s Pub hosts the annual Habibi Festival, which features artists representing contemporary and traditional music from the SWANA (South West Asia/North Africa) region. , and The Vanguard Award & Residency, a year-long exhibition series that celebrates the career and community of a prolific and influential artist, including Nona Hendryx, Judy Collins, Laurie Anderson and Barbara Maier Gustern. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents more than 700 shows featuring artists from around the world and welcomes more than 100,000 spectators each year. Beyond public performances, Joe’s Pub also runs artist development programs like New York Voices, a commissioning program that helps musicians develop new performance projects, and Joe’s Pub Working Group, a development cohort and collaboration led by artists. Current artists commissioned include Daniel J. Watts and Nick Blaemire, Liza Paul and Bahia Watson, Sunny Jain, Vuyo Sotashe and Chris Pattishall, and treya lam. Joe’s Pub is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Diana J. Carleton