The musical evolution from the 1980s until today.
Once Upon A Time New York City Was A Music Capitol Of The World
It went from a thriving economy & live music scenes with many opportunities, collaborations and D.I.Y.
and a cup of beer is $15 in 2018.
Original Demo Cassettes On Soundcloud
Wolfgang Busch, New York New Rock TV
best known for his interview with GWAR.
Today We Are
NYC was a cultural melting pot where they can meet, network, record their music and they had the total freedom to express themselves musically, sexually and through fashion. Together as a band they wanted to reach their goals or as an individuals and sometimes they worked together as an artistic collective, just like a real community and family.
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, Public Access TV, DJ's, College or Community Radio or something creative.
Together they created an organic and very flourishing live music scene that was so exciting that you wanted to go out every night to be a part of it.
The local heroes and headliners Sunshine Blind, Adam Bomb, Smashed Gladys, Broomhellda
Some bands were blessed and signed that first time $250,000 recording contract such as Gods Child. Carboy got booked for those special private record company VIP events but they didn't get the touring support or they got shelved by the record company because the A&R person who signed them to the label was either fired or left the company. A very common reality at the time.
They were the industry’s sweethearts for a "moment" and they actually got to experienced what it is like to be a rock star for a moment when the stretch Limo picked them up and they were given free airline tickets to meet the record company executives’ and music industry icons on the west coast, living the ROCK STAR DREAM.
When a local band was rising to the top and became a local favorite, they became local celebrities at the Cat Club, Limelight and China Club and the not so clean red carpet was laid out for them. They never paid for admission including their 15 friends, got the drinks and drugs for free and they hang out at the VIP rooms with the superstars.
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, and they were ready to hit the road again…. Than the financial crisis happened in 2008…. Hearts were broken, friendships dissolved, the band broke up and the marriage with the guitarist and husband Eric ended in a divorce. This also happened to the band Carboy after MCA records shelved their CD.
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
Some are now 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, Dorian Grey and Needulhead.
As the scenes and the music evolved over the past three decades, the New York City live music scenes has evolved for many musicians from only playing original music back in the day to cover music today with very little interest and opportunities to play original music. From playing large venues like Limelight, Cat Club, Danceteris, China Club, The Bank and Batcave it evolved back to what it used to be to much smaller clubs like Berlin and Bowery Electric. Gigs today are more like a one stop concert, where you play in front of your own fans, because the clubs don’t have their own scene anymore like it used to be in the 80s and 90s.
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
Everybody contributing and appearing in the rockumentary feels very passionate and supportive about this project. 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.
The purpose of this project is 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 sharing their stories and highlight moments about a time and place in music history, that will never happen again in this shape or form as we knew it.
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
Mobile Video Link
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 a grass-root 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, Don Hill, 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
York City and nightlife culture, dance culture and gay
rights, including How Do I Look (2006) about the Harlem Ballroom
community, which received best documentary and two 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" for 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.
About the Director:
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.
Juan A. Fonseca, Michelle & Dorothy Burrus, Kayhan Irani,
Phoebe Legere, vocals on the Limelight animation and Mick Oakleaf for audio engineering
Gaye Carleton, publicity
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