By: Jimi LaLumia

The Legendary 1960's/70's NYC nightclub that was called Max's Kansas City will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the NYC Rock Scene with an extended music festival in June,from the 7th to the 10th of that month, as the surviving bands and stars of that scene surface to celebrate the rites of rock n' roll. As a one time denizen of Max's myself, I have been asked, once again, to serve as "Ringmaster"/emcee by the inimitable Peter Crowley, who booked the club through the punk years, and welcomed bands like Devo and The B 52s to their first ever NYC gigs ,all of which took place at Max's before anywhere else. (I emcee'd a Max's Alumni reunion at the Delancey in the fall of 2010,which was a blast and a half.) The shows will take place at the hippest of all NYC night spots, Bowery Electric,on Bowery between Joey Ramone Place and 3rd.Steet, snugly downtown, where all the best cultural happenings have always originated from.A 'pass ticket' that will cover all of the days shows will be available, as well as individual admission for each particular event. It all sounds very exciting and hearkens back to the golden age of the NY Rock Scene,officially born 40 years ago, when Max's was still the Andy Warhol hangout, The New York Dolls, Eric Emerson & The Magic Tramps, Wayne County and Suicide were the new bands of the moment,and CBGB didn't even exist yet.It all goes back to Max's, where The Velvet Underground played and hung out,providing the DNA that led to glitter/glam, punk, and eventually, New wave.
Among the bands playing during the festival will be Ruby & The Rednecks,part of that early 1972 invasion and still 'on the money',as Ruby demonstrated at the 2010 Delancey show; The Planets, featuring the extraordinary guitar prowess of Binky Phillips, a NY legacy in his own right; The Brats, who rubbed shoulders with The New York Dolls and KISS back when all three bands had equal standing, with KISS actually trailing the other two: The Sic F**ks, a ground breaking band who 'killed' at the Delancey show and are a 'must see' this time around; and more recent dynamos that hold their own in the hierarchy, Sea Monster and The Nihilistics. This is only a sampling of the bands playing in June.
A monumental moment will be the return of Jayne County with her band The Electric Chairs, as Jayne was the key figure associated with Max's, and has stood the test of time through the Warhol years, the glitter/glam days when Miss County briefly dallied with the MainMan organization, and her brilliant years as a recording artist and top venue filler in the UK during punk, at which time Wayne County became Jayne County, a personal landmark for the artist and a ground breaking landmark in pop culture history.The Waldos will also play, featuring Walter Lure of The NY Heartbreakers, the most exciting and authentic band to emerge during punk, as Walter stood side by side with Heartbreakers frontman(and ex NY Doll) Johnny Thunders: Lure carries on the fine tradition, and when he played the Delancey show, he was joined by fellow ex-Breaker Billy Rath,for what we dubbed the"Half The Heartbreakers" show; will that happen again?..Who knows?
Will former Max's graduates show up during the festival? Anything is possible; Bruce Springsteen, who was signed at Max's in the early 70's after he played there a number of times, will be up and around promoting his current #1 album "The Wrecking Ball"; Aerosmith was also signed to Columbia Records at Max's, and Steven Tyler professes his love for those days in his current auto biography; and of course, Madonna will be touring her new album,and Peter Crowley booked her earliest rock shows(before she turned to dance) at Max's during the punk years; ex Max's girls Patti Smith, Debbie Harry and Cherry Vanilla could also stick their heads in the door if they so choose; this will be the historic event of 2012; it is not to be missed.