Friday, February 27, 2015


The Sounds Of New York City
Rock - Punk - Industrial - New Wave - Gothic and more

the New York City Underworld Rock Live Music Scenes.
The evolution of Max's Kansas City, CBGB, Cat Club and Limelight from the 1980s until today.

by multi-award winning producer/director
Wolfgang Busch

Coming in 2018
Our History - Our Story - Our Legacy
a labor of love production



Our Music - Our Experience - Our Memorable Moments

New York City went from a thriving economy & live music scenes, with many opportunities, collaborations and D.I.Y.
and a bottle of Heineken at the Limelight was $4

economic crisis, the death of the live music scenes as we knew them, the loss of opportunities, clubs were forced to close down by city agencies, real estate developers and greedy Landlords; 
and a draft beer in a plastic cup is now $9.

The Bands, Musicians, DJ's, Booking Agents, Promoters, I
ndustry Professionals and 
the people behind the scenes who created the scenes and made it all exciting and happen.

Larry Mitchell







please check back for updates

New York New Rock archive links from the 1980s and 1990s, including music from original demo cassettes with art work and more than 600 live performances and interviews.

Original Demo Cassettes On Soundcloud



Rest in piece F.L. 

Wolfgang Busch, New York New Rock TV
best known for his interview with GWAR.

Today WAre


The Sounds Of New York City

During the 80s and 90s, NYC had a thriving live music economy and a new club was opening up on a regular basis. Some clubs lasted only one night, a few weeks, others a few months like Beowulf, The Grand, Zone dk, Hot Rod, Spo-Dee-O-Dee and the Marquee.

Musicians, bands and music supporters from around the globe came to New York City to follow their musical and creative dreams. Some came to New York looking for a challenge, because they plateaued within their local scenes and they felt the need to grow as a musician and to further their careers. It was a time, where it didn't matter if they made any money performing live, broke even or made a few bucks. NYC was a cultural melting pot where they can meet, network, record, create and work together to reach their goals. 

During the 80s and 90s, we were going out to clubs and parties 7 days a week and you were always meeting people in the scene who were involved in a cool project or they worked for a record company, magazine, publisher or something creative. It was an environment they have created that made the live music scene so exciting and you wanted to go out every night to be a part of it.

One of the local musicians that changed the musical landscape in New York City is Phoebe Legere, a multi instrumentalist, performance artist, painter, a classical trained pianist with a four octave vocal range with cult status from the east village. Phoebe didn't become a household name, because it wasn't about becoming a famous rock star and selling out, it was and still is for many musicians like her to work hard to make a living, to follow your dreams and to express yourself through music and performance art. 

On the other hand, glam punk rocker Neon Leon from the Jersey Shore for example had to leave New York City to find success and fame in Europe, because he could't find in this country. 

The local heroes and headliners Broomhellda from the Bronx, Larry Mitchell and Skin & Bones were treated like rock stars in the club scene by their fans, promoters, booking agents and club owners. 

Some bands were blessed and signed that first time $250,000 recording contract such as Gods Child and they got booked for those special private record company VIP events like the band Carboy. 

They became the industry’s sweethearts for a moment and they experienced what it is like to be a rock star for a moment. During the record company signing process, the stretch Limo was picking them up and they were given free airline tickets to meet the record company executives’ and music industry icons on the west coast.

Their definition of success is to make a living playing music and to write and perform music like it was meant to be. They lived in the moment expressing themselves without borders and filters. They had the artistic freedom without having to compromise how they dressed, what their sexuality was and what they wanted to do artistically.

When Tommy Gunn proposed a Wednesday “Glam” night at the Cat Club, he was told that it would never work. But that didn’t stop him from trying and he proved to his bosses that they were all wrong. Tommy created one of the most influential and successful hair metal nights in New York City at the Cat Club on 13th street and Broadway. Skin & Bones was a "Bands" band that packed and headlined the Cat Club many times. The word was, they were just as good as Guns and Roses. Tommy Gunn’s Wednesday nights provided Lovemaker and Larry Mitchell with the opportunity to build their fan base and many bands got signed to a record label right after they played the Cat Club stage.

Animation- Lorenzo Perez, Music- Man Parrish, Vocals- Phoebe Legere, 
Concept Wolfgang Busch for Art From The Heart Films.

Adam Bomb proclaimed himself as one of the hardest working rock and roll guitarist. Adam wrote the heavy metal anthem “I Want My Heavy Metal” released on Geffen records and he was signed to Leber and Krebs management. Today Adam is an independent artist living the Rock and Roll lifestyle to the fullest and is still rocking and touring hard. Adam received the red carpet rock star treatment at the Limelight, played the club as often as he wanted AND got the free drink tickets. To receive this status, you had to work hard for it and earn it. 

After a local band was rising to the top and became a local favorite, you became a local celebrity at the Cat Club, Limelight and China Club. You never paid for admission, drinks and drugs and you had access to the VIP section. 

Adam Bomb called the Limelight his second home, because his wife Claire O’Conner (rest in peace), was the right hand to Limelight’s owner Peter Gatian. Adam was talking to Claire and together they convinced Peter to start a rock night at the Limelight. At first they brought in Tommy Gunn from the Cat Club to run the night, unfortunately Tommy didn't agree with some of the politics and the Limelight and they brought in Pamela Britt and Nicki Camp, who used to design the invitations for Limelight. Together they started the Rock & Roll Church on Sunday nights, which became one of the best new rock music venue’s of all times during the late 80's for local acts like the biker band Cycle Sluts From Hell, Blitzspeer, Smashed Glady's and Adam Bomb.

Local Industrial bands organized themselves such as Virus 23, Fractured Cylinder and Mosaic Kisses and goth bands Caroline Bokeman from Sunshine Blind, Bryin Dall from Loretta’s Doll, Mark Walsh from The New Creatures, Myke Hideous, Lisa Hammer from Requiem In White and the vampire goth band Jerico to create a new industrial/goth scene. This collective process opened up the opportunity to reach larger audiences, gave them more exposure and they got the recognition they earned and deserved. As their momentum and fan base was building and growing, the Limelight started “Communion” on Tuesday nights, produced by DJ Tony Fletcher and promoter/booking agent Neville Wells during the early 90’s, catering to the Industrial and Goth scene and the “Alternative” music, featuring also the early Techno music. Chumley Twist was a regular DJ and VJ and Darryl Hell did special Industrial DJ appearances.

On Friday nights at the Limelight, Wolfgang Busch, founder of New York New Rock TV was booking mostly up and coming bands to bring them up to the next level and those bands that didn't fit the Sunday Metal or Tuesday Goth/Industrial format like the world music band Crimes Of Passion, synth pop rock artist FL Bangbop & The Blue Wazoo, rock band Cha Cha Fernandez & the Slumlords, glam band Sweet Revenge and established artists Phoebe Legere, Larry Mitchell and from England Jon Dunmore. 

During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Limelight had three nights a week of live music on a regular basis and was one of the most popular venues for local acts to perform and to socialize. 

The Limelight was a place were you could live your Rock & Roll dreams and fantasies, from having sex and doing drugs in the bathroom and back-rooms, to meeting your favorite rock star in the Library VIP room. When a local band was selling out the Limelight and was a headliner, you received the full VIP rock star and red carpet treatment. Competition was tough though.

The nature of the music industry with all its glamor, glitz and fabulousness was also for many bands and musicians a bitter sweet and devastating experience. While only a very few bands got that $500,000 mayor label investment deal, others experienced exploitation, disrespect, discrimination and their record or CD never say the day of light

During the early and mid 80s, Black and Hispanic rockers were told by club owners, if you wanted to play my club than you can play R&B or Salsa music, but no rock and roll. On Staten Island, the club owners didn't want original music until they learned that bands packed the clubs like funk/rock band Bam Bam. As a result of it Tom Taaffe from Bam Bam co-founded the Staten Island Rock Coalition and they changed the live music scene on Staten Island into a thriving economy, where bands were playing original music. 

In a man's dominated entertainment industry environment, the stereotypes against female musicians during the mid 80s was that they don’t know how to play an instrument and how to carry a tune. If they didn't sing in the perfect pitch such as Sally from the band Smashed Gladys, they had to do a retake, while it was more acceptable for the male singer to get away with it. 

Having to face those realities in New York City, there was a strong need for grass-root musician’s movements to address those stereotype issues and there was a need to create a space and place where they could educate themselves about the music business in a safe and supportive environment. It became imperative for them to learn how to survive and exist within the corporate music industry environment, that has corrupted the entire music community. By taken over the music industry with their money, it was up to them to decide who is going to be the next rock star and what is going to be the next music trend. 

As a result of it, during the mid 80's and early 90's, it gave birth to music organizations such as the Staten Island Rock Coalition co-founder Tom Taaffe, Christian Musicians United founder Sal Baldino, the Rock R&B Committee founded by the Local 802 the Musicians Union and the Women in Music co-founder Anita Daly and the Black Rock Coalition co-founder Vernon Reid, celebrating their 30th anniversary.

While this grass-root movement flourished during the late 80’s, during the early 90’s, it was happening in the Gay community. Tom McCormick and Michael Mitchell founded GLAMA, the Gay Lesbian American Music Awards. They met at OutMusic, an organization for LGBT singer songwriters providing open mics, networking and socializing for the local LGBT musicians. Tom McCormick and Michael Mitchell took grass-root organizing to another level. They put their blood sweat and tears into GLAMA and they worked with all the mayor and indie labels and artists to honor LGBT artists and their supporters like Ani DeFranco and Bob Mould. Unfortunately they couldn't maintain the GLAMA awards due to lack of financial support and sponsorship.

Within the LGBT local singer songwriting scene, Robert Urban a multi instrumentalist, producer and engineer, recorded many LGBT artists and produced many showcases, including the first Tran-sexual Rock concert. Zecca who had his claim to fame with his band Get Wet in the 70’s was producing and managing Marco from Cha Cha Fernandez and the Slumlords and Michael T became known as a performer and events producer at the legendary Pyramid. Members from the LGBT community were very influential in the early punk movement such as Wayne County and Miss Guy, the lead singer for the Toilet Boys. Before the AIDS epidemic in the early 80’s, NYC was also a musical melting pot for all genders and they played a large role in the overall development of the music scene in NYC. A highlight moment was the SqueezBox party at Don Hill’s on Friday nights.

The natural progression of the grass-root organizing turned into filing 501 (c) 3 not for profit organizations and they have become an important infrastructure and cultural vehicle to educate its members, friends, the industry and the community at large. They have been making a difference in musician’s life for over three decades and they continue to grow and flourish.

The mid 80’s and early 90’s also gave birth to many Public Access Music TV shows, because the government provided the community with free Public Access TV programming, including free video production and post production facilities. This started a whole new trend for individuals to become public access tv producers, hosts, directors, camera operators and editors. Let’s not forget the early access to video effects for the producers for the first time during the early 90’s, which gave the music video’s and interviews a psychedelic look and was used way to much in the beginning.

The early shows were Louis Perego’s International Music Video, John Culkin’s Citirock, Wolfgang Busch’s New York New Rock TV, Jason Starr’s Rock Underground, Tucci Live, The Jon Hammond Show, Uncle Floyed, U68, Dick Craig’s – Not Just Rock & Roll, Underground Railroad, Videowave, Chumley Twist’s Big Video Dynamite, and Howie Zappa’s Rebel TV. This incredible opportunity was a new level of exposing and promoting many of the local talents on Manhattan TV. Each show was reaching a weekly audience of 250,000 households. It became another outlet for musicians to build their fan base, showcases and for the band Skimax from the Bronx, Adam Bomb and TV producers Howie Zappa and Wolfgang Busch, they became local celebrities. Because of the TV exposure, bands were offered contracts like Planet Virtue from Long Island and Public Access TV became a very influential vehicle for the local bands and record companies.

With all the opportunities NYC had to offer, why haven't we heard of the many bands we are talking about. There are many reasons. For example the Goth band Sunshine Blind had everything going for them and everybody said you are going to be the next big star. They had a record, publishing and management deal and a “You Can’t Stop Me“ …. attitude … BUT… as we all know “Shit Happens”… 9/11 happened when they were just about to hit the road to promote the record… After such a set back, Lisa Hammer and the band Sunshine Blind got back up and started all over again and how life can be, again they were ready to hit the road again…. Than the financial crisis happened…. Hearts were broken, friendships dissolved, the band broke up and the marriage with husband Eric ended in a divorce.

Other very common stories why bands didn't become a household name was that the A&R guy who signed the band to the label was fired or moved to another label; the record company was sold or ran out of money and filed for bankruptcy and the Record or CD got shelved, or they loved the band and the music, but they already had a Gun’s and Roses on their roster and they passed on the band Skin & Bones.

A very few musicians became independently successful like Larry Mitchell and Phoebe Legere, some toured with big stars like Alex Alexander, because they either had a good sense of business, worked hard or had natural talents. They say, the only thing I know is how to play music and be creative. 

Others got involved in mixing live sound at clubs and became also producers and engineers like Freddie Katz from the band The Gift and Craig Randall from the band Buzzby. Steve Bondy was building the sound system for the Limelight and hired Sonny Waysack to run the sound board. Steve Remote started out doing live recordings at Max’s Kansas City and became a multi Grammy and Tech award winner. 

Some are playing in a cover or tribute band for fun or teach music like Bruce Mack the executive director for 10 years for the Black Rock Coalition and Arty Blaurock from the band Sweet Revenge and Dorian Grey.

Many musicians left New York City, because they couldn't find work anymore during the end of the 90's, Fred Schreck from Shoot The Doctor and The Ancients band moved to Nashville, Michael Ferentino from the band Dog and Noli Novak from Gluegun moved to Florida, Bryin Dall from Loretta’s Doll moved to Denver, Kraig Tayler and Leo Canneto from the band Virus 23 & Jon Dunmore moved to Los Angeles and Linda Moore and Howie Zappa to Las Vegas.

Because many musicians can’t make a buck playing original music in NYC anymore, they moved on to play in a cover or tribute band to have fun and make decent money. It is also a lot less stress and pressure than playing in an original band with little or no income. 

As the scenes and the music evolved over the past three decades, the New York City's live music scenes has evolved. If you play original music today, the clubs are much smaller now and those gigs are a one stop concert where you play in front of your own fans, because the clubs don’t have their own scene and large audience anymore like it used to be in the 80s and 90s.

The Sounds Of New York City
Everybody contributing and appearing in the rockumentary feels very passionate about this project and they are looking forward to give back to the community what was once taught to them and they are ready to pass on the Rock ‘n Roll torch to the next generation.

This labor of love production is produced by humanitarian award winning director and executive producer Wolfgang Busch, founder of New York New Rock TV and Art From The Heart Films.

The purpose of this project is also to record our oral and performance history and build an archive of the people who created and were part of the New York City underground live music scene during the 80's and 90s. They experienced the music evolution first hand and are shareing their stories and highlight moments about a time and place in music history, that will never happen again.

Proceeds from the documentary go towards art in education programs such as lectures, workshops and seminars, to bring back a thriving Rock/Music scene that New York City once was. 

And who knows we may build a Music Community Center and a Health Clinic for musicians!

The Sounds Of New York City
Forever In Our Hearts

is dedicated to

Hilly Kristal from CBGB's, Don Hill, Steve Mach from Skin n Bones, Drew Bernstein, Joey & Dee Dee Ramone, Dean Johnson, Claire O'Conner from Limelight, Klaus Nomi, Genghis, Jamey Heath, Johnny Thunder, Bobby Chouinard,Jack Pavlik from East Coast Rocker & Sweet Convulsions, Stiv Bators, Arthur Kane, Linda Lust, DJ Reese,Marco aka Cha Cha Fernandez & The Slumlords, F.L. Lombardo, Theri Kennedy from Sanctuary

Hilly Kristal from CBGB's

 Don Hill

Claire O'Conner, music by Adam Bomb
Mobile Video Link


Rest In Piece Brothers and Sisters
Please submit the names of the loved ones we lost along the way.
They will always be remembered.

 About the Director: 
Wolfgang Busch was at the center of that history since 1985. He started out as an organizer, seminar and showcase producer at the largest Musician’s Union in the United States, the Local 802, which was funding the Rock R&B Committee with a membership of 1200 musicians. For 15 years, Wolfgang contributed to the NYC live music scene as a night club promoter, host and booking agent for the legendary Limelight, Palladium, Danceteria and China Club. He is a community activist and the founder, producer & director of New York New Rock TV, producing over 300 television shows for Manhattan Neighborhood Network, featuring interviews and performances by Nina Hagen, Gwar, Hilly Kristal (CBGB), Phoebe Legere, Larry Mitchell, Darryl Hell, the Black Rock Coalition, Women in Music and many others.

His video archive of local bands includes about 700 bands performing live at various clubs in Manhattan, original demo cassettes with art work, CD's, records, band T-shirts, band photo’s, gig flyer's, fanzines and newsletters are a treasure trove of historical records from that era.
            Wolfgang Busch has previously produced documentary films on New York City and San Francisco nightlife culture, dance culture and gay rights, including How Do I Look (2006) about the Harlem Ballroom community, which received best documentary and humanitarian awards; A True Lesson in Humanity (2007) about people with disabilities in the performing arts and Flow Affair (2011) about the flagging and fanning LGBT flow arts community. He received 40 awards, certificates and honors, including the "Keeping The Dream Alive" Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award for "How Do I Look" and his community activism. His company, Art From The Heart Films, received Best LGBT Company in 2015 for making a difference in the community. Mr. Busch is published in the “Award Winning Men” book and was inducted into the LGBT Hall of Fame. Today he is one of the most honored and recognized individual in the LGBT community for his dedication and achievements.

Charles Gilmore, Noli Novak, Mark Walsh, Melissa Mermaid,
Juan A. Fonseca, Michelle & Dorothy Burrus, Kayhan Irani,
Art By Davey, Art From The Heart Films, PASS Grant

Darryl Hell, administration, producer, video production and consultant

Tom Taaffe, administration, producer, consultant

Jordyn Thiessen, administration and consultant

Richard Jannaccio, administrationconsultant

Man Parrish, composing and mixing the audio track to the Limelight animation

Phoebe Legere
, vocals on the Limelight animation and Mick Oakleaf for audio engineering

Jon Dunmore, Keep The Dream Alive song, composing, vocals, producing and recording

Jerico DeAngelo, Keep The Dream Alive song, lyrics

Eric Scealf, The Unsatisfied segment producer

Simon Walsh, Burning Bush segment producer

Lenny Mitchel, consultant, Planet Virtue segment producer

Freddie Katz, producer and host of the “Rock Clubs Walking Tour”, consultant

Richard DieguezLegal
Gaye Carleton, publicity

3D Animations,
Lorenzo Perez, Danijel Radenkovic, Rudhie Kurniawan, Chandon Roy, Kunal Sharma

on-line promotion
Sal Sirchia, Mark Walsh, Fernando Carpaneda, Alina Oswald, Kevin Omni Burrus, Thom Jack, Noli Novak, Richard Jannaccio, Melissa Mermaid, John Demarco, Father JuneBug Ultra-Omni, Maria Esteves.

special thanks

Jerry Adams, Ming Tan, New York New Rock, S6K, Carpazine Underground Art Magazine, Darryl Hell, Tom Taaffe

The Sounds Of New York City

The Sounds Of New York City
check back for updates ....
if you would like to be considered in the "The Sounds Of New York City" rockumentary,
please contact us
Email Us:                                                       Website:              


Copyright © 2017, Art From The Heart Films, All rights reserved.


For further information, contact:
Wolfgang Busch
Art from the Heart Films
28-15 47th StreetAstoriaNY 11103

Ph: 718-623-2926