Posts Tagged ‘East Village 1970s’

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

January 16, 2012

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.”

Two rookie cops shot in cold blood on Avenue B

January 19, 2011

Of course Avenue B was a much rougher stretch of the East Village in the 1970s and 1980s than it is today.

So rough, in fact, that a violent revolutionary group targeted police officers there.

That’s what happened at about 11 p.m. on January 27, 1972, when patrolmen Rocco Laurie (left) and Gregory Foster (right) were walking their usual beat.

Suddenly, at 11th Street and Avenue B, a group of men ambushed the rookies, shooting each in the back several times and leaving them for dead in the snow.

A group calling themselves the Black Liberation Army took responsibility. An offshoot of the Black Panthers, the BLA released a statement claiming that the murders were retaliation for the Attica prison riot.

“The BLA viewed black ghettos as sovereign territory, the police as invaders, and themselves as the armed resistance,” wrote Andrew Roth in Infamous Manhattan. “To this group, Foster (black) and Laurie (white) were but foot soldiers of an enemy army.”

It was the latest in a war the BLA had been waging on the NYPD. In May 1971, two cops were wounded when their car was fired at on the Upper West Side.

Two days after that, officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini were assassinated while patrolling a housing project in Inwood.

Eventually the NYPD tracked down the BLA members responsible for the Avenue B murders and brought them to trial in 1974. According to the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, all but one of the killers have been brought to justice.