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The Stilettos I kind of remember.

 

Their singer was a woman named Deborah Harry. (And their guitarist was a guy named Chris Stein.)

 

 

Right. I was thinking it involved Tish and Snooky, but looks like I'm wrong about that. Blondie were more glam than punk, if anything. Parallel Lines was produced by Mike Chapman (as I'm sure you know).

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But the point is, everybody thought that The Ramones were a continuation of that scene. We didn't see them as some whole new thing. They were just doing what the Dolls did -- but even more minimalisticly.

 

Reverse view from the UK. The Ramones album came out of nowhere, and sounded very, very radical indeed. We'd heard nothing like that. The Ramones played in the UK in 1976, supporting the Flamin' Groovies at The Roundhouse. Blondie and the Talking Heads played their first UK gigs in 1977. We knew about CBGBs (and there was that live at CBGBs compilation), so from our point of view those bands, Television, Tuff Darts, and others were part of The Ramones' scene, although for some reason not playing as hard and fast as The Ramones.

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Blondie were more glam than punk, if anything. Parallel Lines was produced by Mike Chapman (as I'm sure you know).

And my very belabored point is that NYC Punk was a direct outgrowth of Glam/Glitter. It certainly surprised none of us to see Mike Chapman producing Blondie -- but we would have been equally unsurprised to see him producing The Ramones.

 

Note also how much production work Richard Gottehrer (of the first wave of garage/punk rock) did for the NYC Punk scene.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that, to me, NYC punk was an extension of this tradition of ironic recreations/manipulations of '60s pop/rock, whereas LA, DC, and almost everywhere else punk was inspired by British punk (which, as far as I'm concerned, had almost nothing in common with NYC punk).

 

This is why you can't overlook what one might call "the scene." Whatever the musical differences, New York and London "punk" musicians played at each others' clubs, hung out together, were photographed together, and certainly shared strong visual elements. With rock and pop, image is almost as important as music. Johnny Thunders and Bryan James may have had quite different musical backgrounds and interests--but they looked like twins.

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But the point is, everybody thought that The Ramones were a continuation of that scene. We didn't see them as some whole new thing. They were just doing what the Dolls did -- but even more minimalisticly.

Reverse view from the UK. The Ramones album came out of nowhere, and sounded very, very radical indeed. We'd heard nothing like that. The Ramones played in the UK in 1976, supporting the Flamin' Groovies at The Roundhouse. Blondie and the Talking Heads played their first UK gigs in 1977. We knew about CBGBs (and there was that live at CBGBs compilation), so from our point of view those bands, Television, Tuff Darts, and others were part of The Ramones' scene, although for some reason not playing as hard and fast as The Ramones.

 

1. Wasn't it a live at Max's compilation? (Trivial point, but I'd raise it if we were in a bar instead of on a message board.)

 

2. To be clear, I'm not saying that at some point we didn't realize it was a new scene, and The Ramones were widely viewed as its cynosures. (In the summer of 1975 or '76, CBGB's had a famous music festival that put that club, these bands, and this scene, on the map. See James Wolcott's famous "A Certain Tendency . . . ." essay in the Voice -- which for some reason doesn't appear to be available anywhere, online or in print.) But, again, many of the bands had been playing around previously, and this new scene wasn't viewed as being a "break" with the past, but rather the next thing after Glitter had died down, continuing from it rather than replacing it. (And I'll repeat your observation that in NYC and America Glitter was an "underground" phenomenon.)

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You had me believing it was Max's, until I looked at the track listing.

 

Wayne/Jayne and Cherry Vanilla really worked hard at breaking the UK, but we never really loved them.

 

Factoid: I was at Talking Heads' first UK gig. At Eric's in Liverpool, I believe.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that, to me, NYC punk was an extension of this tradition of ironic recreations/manipulations of '60s pop/rock, whereas LA, DC, and almost everywhere else punk was inspired by British punk (which, as far as I'm concerned, had almost nothing in common with NYC punk).

 

This is why you can't overlook what one might call "the scene." Whatever the musical differences, New York and London "punk" musicians played at each others' clubs, hung out together, were photographed together, and certainly shared strong visual elements. With rock and pop, image is almost as important as music. Johnny Thunders and Bryan James may have had quite different musical backgrounds and interests--but they looked like twins.

 

 

It's funny you should say this. Because -- while I can't claim to speak for the entire NYC scene on this point -- my friends and I came to think of the Hearbreakers as being Johnny Thunders's adaptation of the London style. In fact, we almost came to think of the Heartbreakers as more a London band than a New York band. They certainly spent enough time there.

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Boo hoo, I always believed I'd seen Talking Heads' first UK set, but now the Internet has all the information in the world it looks like they played the Rock Garden, a basement in Covent Garden, a few days previously.

 

(Of course, I should just say I saw them there. Maybe I did.)

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