The New York City music scene exploded during this period; many good bands evolved, including the New York Dolls.
As time went on and we played Max's on a steady basis, a music scene was evolving. We played various Andy Warhol gigs and showcased artists such as Geri Miller, dancer and Warhol Superstar; along with Jackie Curtis, of Vain Victory, an off-Broadway play, etc.
As time evolved, around 1972, Young Blood began a fashion design career with then girlfriend, Natasha, and opened a boutique on St. Marks Place in the East Village.
He was replaced by Kevin Reese on guitar, and the addition of Wayne Harley-Harley on bass - two seasoned musicians from the NYC area. About that time, we had lost some equipment in a fire upstairs at Max's & needed a new club to play.
We helped open a revamped off-Broadway theater called, Mercer Arts Center, in the West Village. We soon became the house band at the MAC, and the Dolls got their start opening for the Tramps. Ironically, we helped open it, developed a huge music scene there, and was rehearsing when it collapsed. We started in the "Kitchen," an art and video room along with jazz keys and piano musical director, Michael Tschudin, and his jazz group called, Cynara, and also The Midnight Opera Company; then the "Blue Room," prior to the plays, doing cabaret along with Michael Tschudin; then rocked out in the "Oscar Wilde Room" in the wee hours...
The following is an excerpt from:
The Downtown Diaries 1971-73
by Jim Carroll
By 1972, the New York Dolls secured a Tuesday night gig in the "Oscar Wilde Room," and the scene started to expand. Johnny Thunders quotes in Rolling Stone magazine, "They didn't want us at the Mercer Arts Center until they counted the bar receipts." If the New York Dolls were a reflection of their audience, then the Mercer Arts Center was a reflection of New York's music scene. Elda Gentile, an original member of the Stillettos, a precursor to Blondie, recounts how the Mercer Arts Center fell apart - literally, "A band called the Magic Tramps which featured Blondie's Chris Stein on guitar, was practicing when the walls fell down." Gentile said, "the band left practice & their equipment & ran. They could see across Broadway. They ran for their lives."
A History of Punk
by A.S. Van Dorston
The New York Dolls started playing at the Mercer Arts Center in 1972. Their audience started with a cast of misfits, etc, where they would perform with the Magic Tramps - fronted by Warhol Superstar, Eric Emerson...
Keep Reading ...