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New York Rock: From the Rise of The Velvet Underground to the Fall of CBGB

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  20 reviews
As a city that represents endless possibilities, New York has been the setting for the dawning of new movements, styles, and genres. In the 20th century, the birth of Rock represented a connection between art forms and the city s socioeconomic, racial, and sexual variants. New York Rock breaks down the rock scene s half-century connection to New York and analyzes its disti ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Peter Landau
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading NEW YORK ROCK: FROM THE RISE OF THE VELVET UNDERGROUND TO THE FALL OF CBGB by Steven Blush was like watching my life pass before my eyes. I grew up in New York and music was my identity back when I still believed in such things as identity. I remember as a teenager listening to the Velvet Underground and a friend telling me that there were even more obscure bands that were just too niche to even bother with. But I was already bothered.

Then I went to art school in New York and was in one
...more
Marti
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
I'm not sure this book is intended to be read cover to cover, though that's what I did. Each chapter is devoted to a particular "scene." One section talks about the key nightclubs (The Mudd Club, A7, The Dive etc.) while another section lists all of the bands that comprise the scene and the people in them. The latter got a bit tedious -- like reading "the begats" -- but I had to skim through because I would inevitably come across a name I had completely forgotten about. (And one mention of Chad, ...more
Allan
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who loves the music history of NYC in the late 20th century, this book was right up my street, only dropping in my admiration due to its relentless cataloguing of countless bands in a repetitive style at the end of the section of each separate scene. Absolutely loved the narrative sections, put together as these books often are using direct quotes from the musicians and fans involved.
Kaitlin
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Saw this at my school library and thought it would be interesting to read

It was basically quotes from those who were around CBGB time and giving out what the experience was like back than. I don't know why but I was hoping for more but it was a good read though.
...more
Liz Estrada
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, all I can say is that my favorite part of this who's who of New York "Rock" was the beginning with The Velvet Underground, not just one of my favorite bands, but the most pivotal band to EVER come from NYC. Yes, many parts were tedious and quite boring reading more like a dictionary than book. I have heard of many of the bands mentioned, some which I liked and others hated and some I had never heard of. Also great talking about all the cool old venues, like Max's Kansas City. But for me a ...more
Robert Moss
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
New York Rock takes me back to the NYC venues I played 1981-83 (The Peppermint Lounge, the A7, CBGBs), the bands that came before, as well as when I lived there '85-91. Steve pulls together so much information. Reading his book even reminded me of bands I forgot, which made me enjoy it that much more. I recommend New York Rock to anyone who wants to know what the scene was like back before the City became too expensive and too tame. ...more
Jimmy Wilson
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is so badly riddled with errors, it should be classified as a work of fiction. I found around a dozen errors in the Velvet Underground section alone. Everything from timeline mistakes to listing 'Kill Your Sons' as a highlight of the White Light White Heat record (in fact, the song is not even VU - it is solo Lou Reed from the mid 70s) to showing a picture of Richard Williams and captioning that it is John Cale.

Cannot recommend this book to anyone. Beginners will be starting off with b
...more
Jeremy Hunter
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Steve Blush tells the story of half a century of the NYC rock scene starting with The Velvet Underground to the closing of CBGB's. Each chapter covers an aspect of the scene, for example 70s punk to 90s indie rockers. Peppered throughout the book are quotes from musicians, club owners and scenesters that were there. At times, the book became tedious because Blush rambles on about minor bands and their recording histories. An okay for rock fans, but I still prefer Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil. ...more
Bob Schnell
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
"New York Rock" by Steven Blush was written for someone like me. Though I was never a musician or part of the in-crowd of any given scene in NY, I was there. I started going to shows in NYC in 1981, when I was in college in NJ, and I worked in and around Manhattan from 1984-1995 so the majority of the book seemed like pages from my personal past. Since I worked in a record store I was privy to many bands and shows that weren't advertised in the Village Voice. I even got some new insights to musi ...more
Ray
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music-etc
I enjoyed this. Half the book is oral history, the other half provides brief overviews of the main phases of "underground" rock in NYC from the 60's to the present. Most exciting to me is the coverage of many obscure bands that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere before. That's especially good for knowing the basic info on obscure bands and indie labels. As someone in the book mentions, there is a current obsession among music people with the early CBGB's days. This book covers the subsequent deve ...more
Richard Kearney
May 14, 2022 rated it did not like it
There are lots of great books about rock'n'roll in New York City, but this book is not one of them. It's clear that Steven Blush carried out plenty of research and had no lack of material to write about, but what he delivers is an incoherent, jumbled mess that runs for 430 pages. The book is "organized" into a large collection of short chapters that follow a pretty consistent pattern: an opening quotation, brief narrative text that is largely superficial and banal, and a lot of brief quotations ...more
Gerry LaFemina
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I was excited about this book, but it reads like a lesser oral history, with capsule summaries of whatever bands Blush decides warranted a mention. More, he totally ignores the late 80s ska scene which filled places like The Cat Club, Trammps, SOB, and CBGB and surely grew out of the same 70s rock scene as anything else.
Jan
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
really fabulous and very detailed
Jarrett
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.9/5
Aaron Badgley
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great overview of New York City and its history, mainly from the 70's on.
Could not put it down, told by the people who were there.
Excellent!
...more
Jodi Gianakopoulos
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing resource.
Patrick
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This feels thrown together and never gets much below the surface of various NYC scenes (at times with a few errors tossed in).
David
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Most chapters are more like introductions to a scene or era. They cover the most important aspects but leave you wanting more. The book could be titled "A Beginners Intro to New York Rock." ...more
Holly Gleason
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Jan 07, 2018
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Alexander
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Kevin Burns
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May 13, 2019
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Coolbrother Kyle
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Oct 31, 2017
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Steven Blush is an American author, publisher and promoter.

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