HBO’s upcoming series Vinyl will be exploring New York’s music scene in the seventies and a big part of that scene was the downtown clubs. One of the most happening of those clubs was Max’s Kansas City, which broke bands like the New York Dolls. The Max’s Kansas City Project is putting on its tribute concert to the iconic Velvet Underground and Lou Reed tonight 8pm at The Cutting Room, 44 E 32nd Street between Park and Lex, and Denny Daniel’s The Museum of Interesting Things is hastily preparing an assortment of rare goodies.
Max’s Kansas city was “the center of the universe in the late 60’s and 70’s for all segments of the arts, a home away from home for Everybody who was Anybody, from Warhol and his Superstars to William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Abbie Hoffman, Truman Capote, Betsey Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg to name a few,” according to the Max’s Kansas City Project’s press release.
The Museum of Interesting Things is a “traveling interactive demonstration/exhibition of antiques and inventions that goes to schools and events and inspires kids and adults to be curious and to tinker,” according to their press. Denny Daniel was the songwriter, guitarist and singer for the band Sofia Run, which was very popular among the dark wave crowd in the 90s.
Denny took a quick break from packing the traveling museum’s bag of tricks to intimately shout some exclusive details about what’s in it.
How did you get this gig?
I actually helped shooting some of the interviews for the documentary on Max’s for my film career. I interviewed Betsey Johnson. I also did a gig with them at the Howl Festival many years ago and a few other Museum of Interesting gigs with them and they came to the Museum’s Secret Speakeasy in SoHo.
Are you going to be watching HBO’s Vinyl?
I do not get HBO, sadly.
What’s your background with Max’s Kansas City?
I went there as a kid. My cousin is nearly 10 years older and had a new wave and rock band then and played there many times. He took me there though I was like 9 years old or less. No one carded in NYC then and I guess I may have behaved like I was older…maybe even like a 13 year old [laughs]. Then my friends got to play there so I have many pics from there.
When did you discover Lou Reed?
Being a big Beatles fan and collecting piles of vinyl records (that is all there was then!) I heard about the VU and fell in love with the mystique and then the songs. I heard about them by 9 and got LP’s around 13 years old.
Where can we see Reed’s influence on your music?
The experimentalism of Lou and the vocal style of Nico really influenced my guitar work and the production of Sofia Run and my vocal style.
What sorts of stuff does the Museum of interesting things have on Reed & Max’s?
I have some of the classic LP’s of course and bootleg stuff as well as the original Banana Peel record un-peeled! I am showing for this gig the History of music player items. Player devices that would have been around then and before.
Max’s does wonderful things and there are many famous performers on stage for this! I am so honored to do this. We will have our history of music exhibit there of course.
The Max’s Kansas City Project was established in 2001 by Yvonne R. Sewall. It embraces Mickey Ruskin’s (the creator of Max’s Kansas City and a staunch supporter of the arts) philosophy of helping artists in need by providing emergency relief and resources for individuals in the arts in crisis, and has in development FEARLESS YOUTH, a teen empowerment through the arts program featuring and interactive virtual club dedicated to supporting teens in developing their uniqueness through the creative arts with a focus on substance abuse and suicide prevention.
The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed Tribute Concert will present a Max’s All Star Band featuring musicians from Lou Reed’s various bands including Mike Rathke (guitar), Ellard-James “Moose Boles (bass), Michael Suchorsky (drums), Kevin Hearn (keyboards) Marty Fogel (sax). Other special talent includes Garland Jeffreys, Marshall Crenshaw, Lenny Kaye, Jenni Muldaur, Richard Barone, Bebe Buell, Connor Kennedy, Sylvia Reed, Donna Destri, Will Hermes, Kimberly Hill (formerly lead singer with the Black Eyed Peas), poet Anne Waldman, Angela McCluskey, Paul Cantelon, and The Cadillacs, a Lou Reed tribute band featuring Andrew Kowalczyk on vocals. Cadillacs musicians: Chieli Minucci, Brian Kelly, Pete Best & Clint Bahr. “Surprise Guests” can be anticipated, which was always a tradition at Max’s. Special unannounced guests drummers include Tony ‘Thunder Smith, and Sesu Coleman, singer Joe Hurley and musical director, singer/songwriter Tim Moore.
Perennial Max’s ‘master of ceremonies’ Jimi LaLumia and Sylvia Reed will emcee the show.