Saturday, April 1, 2017

Revisit Max’s Kansas City circa 1976

Max's Kansas City 1976 & Beyond
Originally located at 213 Park Avenue South in Manhattan, the legendary Max’s Kansas City was opened by owner Mickey Ruskin in December 1965. The restaurant and nightclub quickly became the NYC watering hole for the glitterati and from the late ‘60s through its initial closing in 1974, Max’s was the place to be seen for musicians, poets, and artists. The Velvet Underground were regular performers at Max’s and, during the early ‘70s, the club dove headfirst into the glam-rock scene, booking artists like David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the New York Dolls, and Lou Reed. But other legends like Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, and Aerosmith all delivered major performances on the Max’s stage.

After closing in December 1974, the club reopened a few months later with new management, including music director Peter Crowley. With an eye towards on the city’s burgeoning punk scene, Max’s Kansas City – along with the equally notorious CBGBs club – provided a stage for NYC’s homegrown sonic terrorists to hone their chops in the middle of the decade. Featuring a punk and alternative bands, Max’s II enjoyed a six-year run, the club closing in 1981. In 1976, Crowley compiled a studio album of artists best known for their association with the club, Max’s Kansas City 1976 featuring a tracklist that included Wayne County, the Fast, Cherry Vanilla, and the first recording by the duo of Alan Vega and Martin Rev a/k/a Suicide.

On May 5th, 2017 Jungle Records, distributed by the good folks at MVD Audio, will reissue that aforementioned album as Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond as both a two-disc CD and vinyl LP. The set has been expanded to 40 tracks on the CD set and 25 tracks on vinyl, with new historical notes provided by writer and musician (and original Max’s patron) Jimi LaLumia, including biographies of the artists in a 20 page booklet. The expanded set allows for a greater representation of the artists who performed at Max’s, and along with the original tracks by Wayne County (whose “Max’s Kansas City” was the club’s unofficial theme song) and the others, you’ll find music by Philip Rambow, the New York Dolls, the Stilettos, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, Nico, Sid Vicious, and Gang War (Wayne Kramer and Johnny Thunders) as well as additional tracks from Suicide, the Fast, and Wayne (later Jayne) County.

Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond is an entertaining document of an exciting and influential era for rock music, where a whole new breed of artists shook up the status quo and broke down the barriers of what rock ‘n’ roll could accomplish. The new expanded tracklist for Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond is shown below along with a link to purchase this important relic of punk rock history.

Buy the CD from Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond

Disc One

1. Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys – “Max’s Kansas City”
2. The Fast – “Boys Will Be Boys”
3. Harry Toledo – “Knots”
4. Cherry Vanilla and her Staten Island Band – “Shake Your Ashes”
5. Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys – “Cream In My Jeans”
6. The Fast – “Wow Pow Bash Crash”
7. Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys – “Flip Your Wig”
8. John Collins Band – “The Man In Me”
9. Suicide – “Rocket U.S.A.”
10. The Fast – “Kids Just Wanna Dance”
11. Philip Rambow – “Night Out”
12. Suicide – “Ghost Rider”
13. New York Dolls – “Bad Girl”
14. The Stilettos – “Pink Stilettos”
15. The Knots – “Heartbreaker”
16. The Senders – “6th Street”
17. Jimi Lalumia & the Psychotic Frogs – “Death To Disco”
18. The Brats – “First Rock Star on the Moon”
19. The Offs – “You Fascinate Me”
20. The Terrorists – “Riis Park”
21. Roland Alphonso & the Terrorists – “Sax Skandal”

Disc Two
1. Von LMO – “This Is Pop Rock”
2. Fast Floyd & the Famous Firebirds – “Frogs Legs”
3. Cellmates – “Everybody Wants”
4. Science – “Twisco”
5. BMTs – “Clothes & Alchohol”
6. Keiran Liscoe & the Attitude – “Hello St. Vincents”
7. Jayne County – “Max’s Kansas City, Parts 1 & 2”
8. Freddy Frogs – “Days On Earth”
9. Joy Ryder – “Johnny Was A Fireman”
10. Sea Monster – “Halloween In Detroit”
11. Ruby & the Rednecks – “Ruby From The Wrong Side of Town”
12. Joey Kelly Allstars – “Amanda”
13. Philippe Marcade – “All Quite Wasted”
14. Jayne County – “Max’s Kansas City (reprise)”
15. Iggy Pop – “Rock Action” [live]
16. Nico – “Saeta” [live]
17. Gang War – “These Boots Are Made For Walking” [live]
18. Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers – “M.I.A.” [live]
19. Sid Vicious & the Idols – “Take A Chance” [live]

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