Max's Kansas City (hardcover edition)
Before legends like Blondie, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen played to crowds of thousands, they played in Mickey Ruskin's dingy living room on Park Ave South in Manhattan, also known as Max's Kansas City. At no other time in history has there been such an important collision of art, music and fashion than Max's in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. During its heyday, Max's was the place where you could stare at Andy Warhol, argue sculpture with John Chamberlain, piss off William S. Burroughs, and get a record deal from Clive Davis just by showing up on a Tuesday night. If Warhol held court in the back room, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg and Larry Rivers took over the front room and often paid their bartabs with original art. Max's upstairs was home to the iconoclastic New York music scene with performances by Max's house band The Velvet Underground, the irreverent New York Dolls, and undiscovered musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and Billy Joel. Other performers included Madonna, Iggy Pop and the Ramones. Even Debbie Harry worked there as a waitress.