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Marquee Moon (33 1/3 #83) (Paperback)
Two kids in their early twenties walk down the Bowery on a spring afternoon, just as the proprietor of a club hangs an awning with the new name for his venue. The place will be called CBGB & OMFUG which, he tells them, stands for "Country Bluegrass and Blues & Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers." That's exactly the sort of stuff they play, they lie, somehow managing to get a gig out of him. After the first show their band, Television, lands a regular string of Sundays. By the end of the year a scene has developed that includes Tom Verlaine's new love interest, a poet-turned rock chanteuse named Patti Smith. American punk rock is born. Bryan Waterman peels back the layers of this origin myth and, assembling a rich historical archive, situates Marquee Moon in a broader cultural history of SoHo and the East Village. As Waterman traces the downtown scene's influences, public image, and reputation via a range of print, film, and audio recordings we come to recognize the real historical surprises that the documentary evidence still has to yield and come to a new appreciation of this quintessential album of the New York City night.
About the Author
Bryan Waterman teaches American literature and culture at New York University. His previous books include, with Cyrus R. K. Patell, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York City.