“The best New York bands of the late ’70s”

That’s according to this early 1980s ad, offering a free cassette (cassette!) of the best 1970s downtown rock to anyone who forks over $12 for a year’s subscription to the East Village Eye.

Television and Patti Smith are at the top of the list, as well as lesser-known bands who haven’t been quite so mythologized, such as The Model Citizens and Theoretical Girls.

It was a very different East Village scene than the one we have today, explains Lisa Robinson in a 2002 Vanity Fair article, by way of Bryan Waterman’s 2011 book, Marquee Moon:

“No one talked—ever—about the stock market. No one went to the gym. Everyone smoked. Bands did two sets a night. Television jammed for hours at a time. Onstage (and off), Patti could talk like nobody’s business. . . . Patti Smith and Television and the Ramones and Talking Heads and Blondie were like our own little black-and-white 8mm movies that we thought would conquer the world.”

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17 Responses to ““The best New York bands of the late ’70s””

  1. lovelornpoets Says:

    This is great! Was watching a few classic Bush Tetras videos on YouTube the other day (Too Many Creeps, Things that Go Boom in the Night). NYC really had a great underground music scene until it got too expensive…

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I wonder if the city still nurtures the tension and creativity that leads to that kind of raw, gritty music and art.

  3. aspicco Says:

    I still have that cassette, but I bought it… didn’t subscribe to the Eye

  4. aspicco Says:

    I also have the Glenn Branca cassette too…

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    You must tell me who else is on it! Who ranks as the best 70s NYC rock, that is.

  6. Jim Says:

    Talking Heads were the greatest band of that era, David Byrne was and still is a genius!

  7. aspicco Says:

    The ROIR cassette was a gathering of singles that had never been on any album (at that point in time)… when it was released it has “All bands certified to be split up” on the cover… these were all known local bands at the time, but many of them fell by the wayside, or evolved into other things.

    Glenn Branca was in Theoretical Girls, and he became a solo composer. Lance Loud from the PBS documentary was in The Mumps. Kristen Hoffman from the same band formed a number of NYC locally-famous bands like The Ordinaires.

    I put * next to the songs I liked.

    A SIDE
    *Piss Factory – Patti Smith
    *Little Johnny Jewel – Television
    *I Belong To The Blank Generation – Richard Hell & The Voidoids
    It Was So Funny (That Song That They Heard) – The Erasers
    Animal Instincts – Model Citizens
    Disneyland – Come On
    *US Millie – Theoretical Girls

    SIDE B
    *Red Lights – The Marbles
    *Don’t Look – Nervus Rex
    *Ignorance is Bliss – U.S. Ape
    With The TV On – Invaders
    Scream and Scream Again – The Mumps
    *Let Me Take Your Foto – The Speedies
    *Past Tense – The Student Teachers

    Anything else you wanna know?

  8. aspicco Says:

    wait… I was wrong about Kristian Hoffman & The Ordinaires, but he does have a career on music… see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristian_Hoffman

  9. Upstate Ellen Says:

    I have the original 45 RPM singles of Don’t Look by Nervus Rex and Let Me Take Your Foto by the Speedies. OMG, I have to check out the Bush Tetras on YouTube… I remember seeing them at CBGB’s.

  10. aspicco Says:

    I saw the Bush Tetras three or four times… I adored them… but Laura Kennedy, their original bassist, died on November 14, 2011 after a long battle with liver disease. I saw them at Hurrah’s & The Peppermint Lounge & Roseland. They opened for The Gang of Four 2x, and they were the headliners once with ESG as the opening act.

  11. petey Says:

    speaking of local bands, i remember when the ramones used to advertise for gigs in the back pages of the voice.

  12. Brian Lewis Says:

    How about The NYC August Rock Band 1973-81?

  13. mark Says:

    One nite, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, invited the August Rock Band to his house upstate NY after seeing them at CBGB’s. A great time was had by all. One member of the band called his girlfreind, and when asked where he was said….”I’m in NY with some Hoople.”
    Haaaaaa….Ian Hunter and August Rock Band had a memorable night.Monty Python was also on the list……..

  14. Rhonda Says:

    I remember a rock band called August that used to play at Max’s. If it’s the same band, they were hot. Some nice boys in that band! I think I slept with one of them. LOL Those were the days

  15. Rollie Says:

    This is the band they’re talking about:

    http://www.facebook.com/nycAugustRockBand

    and this is their album:

    http://nycarb.bandcamp.com/album/better-days

  16. lostraxx Says:

    The NYC August Rock Band brand new music video for Track 4: Never Give It Up from Better Days their 2013 album. http://vimeo.com/69447479

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