Monday, April 25, 2011

U-G-L-Y, I ain't got no alibi

I found a couple other nice little NYC rock and roll tidbits in Ugly Things # 31, in an article about the 40 Fingers--the New Jersey garage band best known for sharing a bill with the Myddle Class and the Velvet Underground at Summit High School.


UT author Anthony Allen Begnal:  Did you notice any difference in the gigs you were getting once Al [Aronowitz] took you on?
40 Fingers member Wayne Masiello: Once Al started managing us there was a noticeable difference in the gigs we played. We began playing in Manhattan in popular clubs like Scott Muni's Rolling Stone Discotheque, at 304 E. 48th Street.  This was a crazy time for us.  You have to realize we were only 13!  I remember being on stage and the inspector from the Alcoholic Beverages Commission walked in.  We were whisked off stage by Al and brought to a coffee house around the corner where we waited for the inspector to leave and then brought back to finish our set.

Begnal:  Did you guys play much outside of New Jersey? I seem to remember a story about you playing Max's Kansas City in Manhattan.  How was that?
Masiello:  Shortly after the 1965 concert [Summit High show], Al told us he'd booked us in a new club in Manhattan. When we arrived there was a big sign that read "Max's Kansas City" and in the window near the door was a cardboard sign that read "Grand Opening."  We entered the building and were taken to the second floor where there was a large room for us to set up in.  We began to play to a nearly empty room since everyone was still downstairs on the first floor.  Within minutes the crowd began to pour upstairs and people started dancing.  By the time we were halfway into our first set, the room had become so crowded that the people dancing were making the floor bounce.  We were asked to stop playing for a while to keep the floor from collapsing.  During our break it was hard to meet all of the people in the room because it was so crowded.  There were several well-known musicians and celebrities there but the only person I met was Barry "Eve of Destruction" McGuire.  Al once again made us a part of rock and roll history.

This means they could very well have been the first band to ever play at Max's--though I would assume they were just meant to be entertainment for the grand opening of the restaurant, not the inaugural act for the "Upstairs at Max's" venue, the full conception of which was still a few years away.  At any rate, seeing this passage finally motivated me to devour the text in the recent Max's book, just one of many tomes indefinitely stacked in my dauntingly high "to read" pile.   

No comments: