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.”