• Behind the doors of 98 Bowery

    98 Bowery is the web project of Marc Miller and the best way to tell you about what he does is to let him say it. Below is Marc's mission statement and an assortment of images that can be found on his amazing site.

    Telling stories with pictures, with ephemera and with a few carefully chosen words is what I enjoy doing best. Over the years I have been lucky to create many visual narratives during a varied career as an artist, journalist, curator, art historian and publisher. "View from the Top Floor" brings together some of these stories in a chronicle of my life and the creative world I experienced during the twenty years I lived in the top floor loft at 98 Bowery.

    The Bowery from 1969 to 1989 was a low-rent refuge for artists and free spirits willing to tolerate the alcoholics and homeless men who lived on the street. These pages show this vie de bohème as remembered through pictures accumulated at the time. "View from the Top Floor" has no hard and fast rules. It is autobiography and art history. It is a stage for my friends and me. While it does not strive to be complete or objective, it unavoidably takes its place in the bigger world, tracking in part the greater story of art and music in the 1970s and 1980s, an era when culture strove to be more real and expressive, and the East Village and Lower East Side emerged as one of the world's most potent creative centers.

    - Marc H. Miller








    Categories: art, Music, punk, No Wave
  • Body Map

    Body Map was and English clothing label started by Stevie Stewart and David Holah which was popular with the Blitz Kid scene and Michael Clark. According to The Independent:

    "Stewart and Holah took London by storm in 1982, and the hype surrounding their label continued in the first half of the decade. Collections such as their 1985 Barbie Takes a Trip Around Nature's Cosmic Curves shocked American buyers. The show featured trippy lights, models dressing at the side of the catwalk, and shiny swimwear that looked like rubber; it proved to be about nine years before its time. Another show, Family, showed models of all ages, shapes and sizes, with Stewart and Holah's mothers walking down the catwalk alongside singer Helen Terry.

    The label was also among the first to exploit London's thriving clubland culture and design specifically for young people. The B- Basic range was one of the original diffusion lines, taking designs from the main collection and producing them in simpler fabrics to make them more affordable to a younger market. For about five years, Body Map was It."

    ....then Vamoosh!








    Categories: punk, New Wave, Fashion
  • CENtIWEED is glooooooooooomy

    ||| Centiweed ^^^^ DOOM |v|V|v| GLooM ^^^tttttt^^^ COOL t|t ASS ^^^V^^^ BLoG



















    Categories: Fashion, punk, Goth
  • Good Movie | Jubilee by Derek Jarman

    Director: Derek Jarman
    Starring Toyah Willcox, Adam Ant, The Slits, Siouxie & The Banshees, Wayne Country, Nell Campbell
    England, 1977
    Score by: Brain Eno

    A pointless yet genius film by the brilliant Derek Jarman featuring butt loads of punk icons and Malcolm McLaren proteges. Queen Elizabeth I is transported forward through time and arrives in 70's punk England. Vivienne Westwood hated it.

    Categories: Good Movies, punk, Movies
  • Interview with Marc H. Miller | Artist, Writer, & Curator


    In 1968 Marc H. Miller moved to New York from California and spent the next two decades perched above the Bowery on the top floor of an artist occupied loft building.  As a conceptual artist and columnist for the seminal underground newspaper, The East Village Eye, Marc immersed himself in the vie de boheme of the flourishing downtown art and music scene. 

    A little over a year ago, Marc set up the web project 98 Bowery, a work in progress that shares a unique perspective of a lifestyle, that for over 20 years, drove a spike straight through the heart of New York’s counterculture.   The stories on the site are told through a curated selection of archival photographs, ephemera, audio recordings and original artwork that enthusiastically capture the rebellious and playful spirit of one of the most respected and influential creative periods in New York’s history.

    Recently, Marc added an online version of ABC No Rio Dinero:  The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery, a 200-page book that “provides a contemporaneous, grass-roots account of artists, groups, and ideas at the onset of the art boom of the 1980s.”

    The book, originally published in 1985, focuses on the first 5 years of the LES gallery and interactive community-based space, as well as the broader collective art scene that were pioneered by groups like COLAB and Fashion/Moda.



    RINY: When and why did you first come to the Bowery?

    MM: I moved to New York in 1968 to get a graduate degree in art history at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts.  The Institute was located in the Doris Duke mansion” at 78th St and Fifth Avenue and most of the students who went there lived uptown.  It was a formal, old fashion place dominated by aged German professors and quaint rituals like Friday afternoon teas.  I was a “hippie” from California; definitely more “downtown” by inclination and finances.  My first apartment was in a run-down tenement building on Thompson Street in the Village that cost $64 a month.  It was a tiny, cramped studio where visitors from California who were accustomed to much more spacious interiors, were always knocking things over.  When my girl-friend from California, Carla Dee Ellis, moved to New York, we definitely had to find larger quarters.  Fate was kind.  An artist friend had just leased the top floor loft at 98 Bowery, but when delays in legalizing the space kept preventing him from moving in, he lost patience and returned to the west coast.  The Bowery was New York’s skid row dominated by alcoholics and homeless men sleeping on the street.  It was an intimidating place and because of that the rent was cheap: 2000 sq. ft for $175.  Carla was a painter and the space was the attraction. But we soon discovered that the loft would also be our entry into a community of artists and bohemians who lived almost invisibly on the upper floors of the Bowery’s commercial buildings.  Carla returned to California in a few years but I stayed at 98 Bowery for the next twenty.  My life as an artist, curator and writer would be intertwined with people from the building and the neighborhood.

    RINY: What was the downtown scene like at this point?

    MM: When I first came to New York in 1968, the art scene as it had developed in the 1960s was peaking and ready to go through a major transition.  The baby boomers and the counter-culture were knocking at the door, breaking down distinctions between high and low art, and demanding their time in the spotlight.  Downtown was a big party with artists, musicians, writers, dancers, performers and scenesters all intermixed.  98 Bowery was mostly young visual artists who had just come to New York.  Next door at 96 Bowery there were jazz musicians and a young actress who performed in “Hair’ and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  I knew art historians and critics through the Institute.  When Carla began modeling, our circle expanded to include fashion photographers. There was little distinction between business networking and social networking.  Galleries had just started relocating to Soho.  Openings took place on Saturdays.  You could always learn the location of downtown parties at the bar on the corner of Broome and West Broadway.  




    The looming giant of the scene was Andy Warhol.  But there was also the Fluxus group that staged large outdoor avant-garde festivals each year and initiated a constant stream of extreme art, music and performance events.  The art world was small and seemed accessible but in truth it was very tight and closed.  Only a few galleries like OK Harris were truly open to young artists.  What I witnessed over the years was the development of an alternative art scene: young artists banding together doing their own thing and establishing their own venues and outlets.  Many of these artists were part of the artist group “Colab.” By the 1990s this new generation had taken over. 





    RINY:  You recently set up the website 98bowery.com.  What enticed you to re-visit your work and the Bowery scene after all these years?

    MM:  Life moves on.  In 1989 I got married, left the Bowery for Park Slope and had two kids.   Then a couple of years ago, I was in the process of moving again and confronted all the boxes from the 20 years I lived on the Bowery.  The website literally came to me all at once. I knew exactly what I wanted to put on it and how it should be structured.  The next day I registered the domain name 98bowery.com.  It got going a few months later when I met a young web designer, Haoyan of America.



    MM: The impulse for the site is partly rooted in my competitive spirit and desire to tell the story of these years from my perspective.  Mostly though, I’m motivated by a love for the things on the site.  I really enjoy revisiting the images and stories.   I had a pretty good run from 1969 to 1989.  As an artist and curator I was close to the scene and knew some very talented people.  There’s a lot on the site.  It resurrects forgotten talents like Mike Malloy whose ant killing machine got me started as an artist.  I get to share memories about well-known people like poet laureate Billy Collins, who often visited 98 Bowery in the early 1970s. It also allows me to put my own art back out there.  I’ve found that conceptual art often works better online then as wall pieces.  There’s a large audience on the web for the projective drawing pieces where people drew genitalia, pictures of Jesus, and “Unforgettable Moments” (a collaboration with Bettie Ringma).  


    Poetry by Billy Collins



    MM:  I still get a big kick from the “paparazzi self-portraits” that I did with Bettie Ringma and Curt Hoppe.  What started as a game of getting snapshots with celebrities developed into elaborate multi-media productions with Curt making large photo-realist paintings after the photos and Paul Tschinkel videotaping the celebrities autographing the paintings.  I laugh every time I see the tape “Bettie meets Congresswoman Bella Abzug.”  Bella was an outspoken, no bullshit, New York politician. She was flattered by our attention but saw right away that there was humor there.  The tape is very tight.  Bettie got her women celebrity; and Curt got to act out a bit.  Paul caught all the action, keeping the camera going and zooming in on details just like he did taping rock concerts. 







    RINY: You’ve also been putting up online versions of some of the publications and catalogues you produced back in the late 1970s and 80s...

    MM:  The first publication that I put online was the catalogue for the Punk Art Show at the Washington Project for the Arts in DC that Bettie and I organized for Alice Denney in 1978.  That show and a related one-night, multi-media, performance event at the School of Visual Arts in New York that took place a few months later had real impact at the time. They were the first shows that brought together the many visual artists who were part of the scene at CBGB during the period when the club was at its creative height.  The catalogue contains interviews and preserves a moment that affected much that happened in art over the following decade. Almost all these artists still have an art world presence: some in galleries and museums; some in commercial art fields.  I think a thousand catalogues were originally printed.  Now nearly that many people are viewing the online version every week. 




    RINY: Recently you posted an online version of ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery that you co-edited with Alan Moore back in 1985.  For those of us who don’t know ABC No Rio, can you explain what it is and tell us a little bit about the book?


    MM:  Alan Moore use to live at 98 Bowery and was one of the founders of Collaborative Projects Inc, an innovation group of artist known as “Colab.”  Alan was one of the contributors to the Colab publication X Magazine which was part of the Punk Art show in Washington DC.  He was also one of the leaders of the “Real Estate Show,” an aggressive, political exhibition that took place in an abandoned, city-owned building that artists broke into on New Year’s Eve 1980.  ABC No Rio was the unplanned progeny of the Real Estate show.  In order to quell the demonstrations that erupted after the police shut down the show, the city offered the artists temporary use of a nearby building and that building became ABC No Rio.  The book tells the story of the early years of the gallery as well as the broader story of the socially-committed art scene that it was a part of in the 1980s.  There are sections on Colab, the South Bronx gallery Fashion-Moda, Group Material and the Time Square Show.  Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness, and Tim Rollins are some of the featured artists.

    Nobody thought that No Rio would survive, but amazingly it is still going today 30 years later without ever compromising its radical agenda.  The gallery is located at 156 Rivington Street and is about to begin the construction of a new facility having recently received $1.6 million in city funds and a totally unexplained anonymous donation of $1 million!  It’s sort of an ironic fairy tale: the little art space that could. 






    RINY:  What music do you listen to? 

    MM:  I always have music on and I listen to everything. I get excited about new things and then bored.  My taste is constantly changing.  Recently a friend has been taking me to a lot of New Music concerts at places like Le Poisson Rouge.  To be honest much of it is hard to take but every once in a while something is interesting.  A few months back I saw Charles Spearin’s “Happiness Project.”  He tape-recorded people talking about happiness and then composed music that imitated the cadence and pitch.  It’s a bit like will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” after Obama’s speech, but more extreme.



    MM:  When I first arrived in New York in the late 1960s, I got to see Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore East, Sun Ra at Slugs, and the Stooges and MC5 at a theater in Staten Island.  In the early 1970s I spent a lot of time in Washington DC and was into Al Green and Barry White.  In the late 1970s I was at CBGB three or four times a week.  I bought singles by the Ramones, Richard Hell and Talking Heads at Bleecker Bob’s Record Store; and was a big fan of the groups connected to the art scene like Suicide and the Contortions.  In the 1980’s I taught at St. John’s University and had a desk next to a music professor who taught a course in movie soundtracks.  Suddenly that was all I was listening to.  I especially liked Italian soundtrack composers like Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota.  In the 90s I was frequently down south and listened to Country radio.  I love songs with good stories like LeAnn Womack’s “20 Years and Two Husbands Ago” and Toby Keith’s “Not as Good as I Once Was.”  Four Cd’s that I’m currently thinking about since I recently lost them when I left them in a rental car during a trip to Arizona are “The Best of Fela Kuti,” “Reggeaton Hits  1985,”  “Yo Yo Ma Brazil,” and the soundtrack “Run Lola Run.” I play a lot of African music like the soundtrack for “Tsotsi” and the compilation “Kwaito: South African Hip Hop.”  Recently I started using Hypem.com which gives you access to all sorts of music for free.  Anyone can check out exactly what I’ve been listening to here.




    RINY:  Who are some of the artists who inspire you?

    MM: I like art that not only reflects reality but can actually grab hold of it and mold it.  I love the way Andy Warhol started out as a star-struck kid and ultimately was able to bring all the stars to the Factory through his art, films and his magazine Interview.  Hugh Hefner did the same thing starting out as a cartoonist and then fulfilling his fantasies by creatively expressing them in Playboy.  I’m not necessarily a big fan of Shepard Fairey but I do admire the way his Obama portrait got interjected into the campaign. 


    MM: More generally I admire illustrators who have a distinctive style and are able to channel their own life and passions through commercial assignments.  One of the best is David Stone Martin, who is best known as a pioneer of record cover design in the 1940s.  What really intrigues me about him is how his full career reads like a personal diary and a record of American culture from the 1930s to the 1970.  His art covers the Depression, Roosevelt’s New Deal, World War II, leftist politics, bohemian New York, the McCarthy era, and suburban culture.  I’ve always been fascinated by his affair with the jazz great Mary Lou Williams whom he met at the nightclub Cafe Society in the 1940s.  She was the one who got him started designing record albums.  Their affair was short-lived but they stayed close their entire lives.  He did some amazing covers for her in the 1960s when she was zealously promoting jazz as a spiritual force.
    (NOTE:  You can get images at ephemerapress.com




    RINY:  What does New York really need now?

    MM: New York already has everything.  You just have to know what you want.  Having witnessed some things over the years I can relay some words of wisdom.  I remember interviewing photographer Marcia Resnick for the Punk Art catalogue and she talked about two seemingly contradictory impulses that were then in play: the anarchistic and the fascistic.  Creativity needs both these impulses.  Anarchism breaks things down and shuffles up the way we think. Fascism prioritizes things and imposes order.  You need rules in order to break them and create new things.


    For more on Marc and his projects visit 98Bowery.com

  • Jeremy Dean | Artist, Designer & Hardcore Enthusiast







    Jeremy Dean is an artist and designer based in Philadelphia. He designs the hardcore / skate looking fonts you've been looking at above. You might be thinking....hmmmm.... I've seen these before and you have. He worked as the art director for Urban Outfitters, so yeah, if you've been in there, you've seen this look a whole bunch. He also did some work for House Industries - a cool little design boutique I bought these blocks from.



    He runs the hardcore blog THE HARDCORE ARCHEOLOGIST and below are some images from that.










  • Michael Clark Dance Company

    Michale Clark is a Scottish born, London based dancer and choreographer known for (amongst alot of other things) incorporating punk music into his work. He has collaborated with the likes of Leigh Bowery, The Fall, Laibach, Wire & Igor Stravinsky.  If these videos don't get you into dance, nothing probably will.



    Video Sources: Bloody Volcano & Eraserhead 1982

    Wiki and his seriously dope, official

    You may also like our videos on Ann Liv Young & Noemie LaFrance

  • Momus & Shinro Ohtake

    I've been a fan of the Momus blog, Imomus pretty much since he started blogging. It's always entertaining, especially when he's in Japan, where he happens to be at the moment.  In this particular post he talks about the artist & photographer, Shinro Ohtake, who spent a lot of time documenting the British punk scene circa 1977 for his book UK 77. I need this book.  Below are some quips from Momus, some photos from the book and some additional artwork.



    "In a series of massive picture books filled with photographs, drawings and scrap memorabilia (but particularly UK 77) Ohtake has documented seventies London better, to my mind, than any British artist or photographer.

    It's not that Ohtake -- aged 22 in 1977, he'd just graduated from Musashino Art University -- avoids the punk rock cliches that now pass for cultural history of the late 70s in the UK. His photos show us that Bozz Scaggs. Elkie Brooks, Elton John and The Enid featured on UK posters in 1977 rather more than The Damned and The Sex Pistols did, but he has plenty of shots of punk rockers, and clippings from the snarky music press and listings magazines. It's rather that Ohtake shows the entire context; views out of the window, tickets from gigs, confectionery wrappers, books of matches with adverts on them.

    What comes as a shock is how much of the UK in 1977 was stuck in the 1960s; there are silly little Hillman Imp cars, and ridiculous child-molester hairstyles in the barber windows, trickledown domestications from the wilder shores of 1960s subculture. It's all pretty grim and muddy, but it does show you where punk's disgust came from. And it's telling that it takes a Japanese photographer -- a sort of impartial Martian in this weird and depressing landscape -- to document the UK properly. Sitting in gm ten gallery flipping through Ohtake's back pages, I was completely transported back to the era, with exactly the right combination of repulsion and nostalgia, shudder and swoon."

    Continue @ Imomus

    Additional work









  • Patches I'm Depending on you Son

















    Hundreds more @ Endless Blockades

    Categories: Fashion, Jackets, punk, Metal, Bikers
















    There's a new (well new to us) blog that we're following. It's called Skum and it's a cool ass blog.

  • Songs of the Day

    Barry Brown & Little John - Sensemilia



    The Cultural Decay - Brave New World



    Girls At Our Best - Fast Boyfriends



    999 - Homocide


    Eden Kane - Boys Cry



    Phuture - Rise From Your Grave

  • Songs of the Day


    The Necessaries | Detroit Tonight | An Arthur Russel band featuring Ernie Brooks from The Modern Lovers. Bluesy Rock, not quite as good as solo Arthur or any of his other various side projects. This song is probably the most pop friendly on the album









  • The Look Has Got It Down: The Post Hippe Stylngs of Fashion Labels: Swanky Modes & City Lights


    Styled by the influential Caroline Baker and shot by Helmut Newton, the sassy, sexy spread underlines both labels’ disavowal of the prevailing post-hippie mood in favour of retro/kitsch designs and use of synthetic materials.

    Swanky Modes was set up in 1972 by Willie Walters, latterly Central Saint Martins fashion course director, and her sister Mel, wife of pop producer Clive Langer, who also both lived above the premises in Camden Town.

    Co-owner Judy Dewsbery was a major design force at the company, while other designers included Racheal Fleming and Sue Foulston, who went on to collaborate with Jasper Conran when he launched his fashion career from the notorious house in Regents Park which provided shelter for members of The Clash and their designer Alex Michon.

    For the first few years Swanky designs were available via mail order and from outlets such as Kensington shops Che Guevara.

    Then, in the mid-70s as their vision rode the zeitgeist, the retail outlet opened on the ground floor of 201 Royal College Street, which was shared for a while with Jane Norris’ long-forgotten label Ace Notions.

    The address became one of the hubs for like-minded trendsetters; Malcolm McLaren’s friend Fred Vermorel recalls the first time he met the Sex Pistols was at a party above Swanky Modes (the label’s designers had appeared at a London fashion forum at the ICA along with McLaren, Vivienne Westwood, Miss Mouse and Howie a couple of years previously).

    Such was it’s drawing power, that, in 1980, the label was the subject of a BBC2 Arena documentary about the launch of a new collection.In 1993, however, Swanky Modes finally shut up shop. Still, up until the early Noughties, there was a single display mannequin bearing a glam dress in the bow window, through which passers-by could gaze into the vacated premises (subsequently annexed by the expansion of the pub next door).

    The saucily playful and fetishistic Swanky ethic appealed to many a siren, from Bette Bright of Langer’s 70s glam/cabaret group Deaf School (she also lived above the shop with her other half, Suggs of Madness) to Siouxsie Sue.

    In his punk memoir, Bromley Contingent member Bertie “Berlin” Marshall clearly recalls Siouxsie wearing a Swanky Fifties-style polka dot “Betty Boop” dress on their first visit to legendary Poland Street hangout Louise’s.


    City Lights Studio was an equally pioneering proposition - as detailed in Chapter 16 of  THE LOOK, following the closure of Mr Freedom owner Tommy Roberts scored a fashion first by opening his new store in Covent Garden, then a flourishing fruit and flower market.

    City Lights was established in a disused banana warehouse at 54 Shorts Gardens a full half-a-decade ahead of the pack of media and fashion businesses which began to flood into the area following the shift of the market south of the river to Vauxhall in the late 70s.

    Roberts also veered away from the pop-art themes of his previous outlet and created a muted feel with dim lighting, dark colours, hard surfaces and thick chains. The floor was polished black and sprinkled with gold. Bones and skulls were displayed in a medicine cabinet and the gloomy strains of Schoenberg filled the air.

    “It was all so heavy nobody understood it!” cackles Roberts, who commissioned clear plastic sandals so that the wearer appeared to be walking on air.


    Belts were supplied by Claude Montana and a pair of City Lights glittering Boston creepers - possibly designed by Mackay’s friend and regular Roberts collaborator Pamla Motown - were worn by Andy Mackay on the inner sleeve of Roxy Music’s 1973 album For Your Pleasure.

    Although City Lights only lasted a couple of years it had a significant impact on the first wave of Japanese designers then making their mark in the west, while the most enduring design was the box-jacketed suit worn by David Bowie on the back cover of 1973’s Pin-Ups and the front cover of the following year’s’s David Live.

    “Bowie just wore it and wore it,” says Tommy.”We had to have that suit copied in his size about 50 times he loved it so much.”

    Everything sourced from THE LOOK

    Categories: Fashion, Menswear, punk, Glam
  • The Violent Aesthetic of William Boone | Artist














    William Boone is a good artist. Visit him here

    Categories: art, Artists, punk, Hardcore
  • Wet Magazine Covers





    Wet was an avant-garde Los Angeles-based magazine that revolved around the idea of "gourmet bathing" and later evolved to "gourmet bathing and beyond." Its publisher and creator was Leonard Koren, an architecture school graduate. The magazine covered cultural issues and was known for its innovative use of graphic art.

    Over the years, Wet began to reflect a broader expanse of stories, capturing a kind of smart, artsy Los Angeles attitude that was emerging at the same time as punk, but had its own distinct aesthetic. Wet lasted 34 issues, spanning the years 1976 to 1981.






    You can read the entire July / August 1981 Issue here and the entire December 81 Issue here. Covers were sourced here.

  • Woodshop Films is just great

    Woodshop Films is a Philadelphia based production company.  They make lots of web shows. Mein Haus is one of them. In these shows they go to interesting people's houses and document them. 

     Here they go to Lord Whimsy's House


    Here they visit a punk house