On February 19th, 1986, The Lyres played at Folk City! In 1986, the Boston-area garage rock band released their second album, Lyres Lyres, on Ace of Hearts. Led by Jeff Conolly, the band remained active throughout the 1980s. Folk City was a legendary venue in Manhattan’s West Village, hosting many great acts during the 1980s, including Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, the Replacements, 10,000 Maniacs, and many others!
On February 15th, 1986, Johnny Thunders played at Irving Plaza! In 1985, the former member of the New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers released Que Sera Sera, a collection of new songs with his then band The Black Cats, and "Crawfish", a duet with former Snatch vocalist Patti Palladin. According to my research, this tour was originally scheduled for late 1985, but was rescheduled to start on February 13th, 1986 in Philadelphia. I haven’t listened to the tape the whole way through yet, but Thunders is apparently joined by James Brown's horn section towards the end of the show.
Blame It On Mom
Little Bit Of Whore
Too Much Junkie Bizness
I Can Tell
14th St. Beat
I Only Wrote This Song For You
You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Bright Lights Big City
Help Me (Conclusion)
Give Her A Great Big Kiss
In The Midnight Hour
Don't You Just Know It
Don't Mess With Cupid
Hoochie Coochie Man
On February 9th, 1991, Gumball played at CBGB’s! Gumball originally formed in 1990 with Don Fleming on lead vocals and guitar, Eric Vermillion on bass, and Jay Spiegel on drums. The fall of 1990 found Gumball in the studio, and their first release came out shortly thereafter on the Paperhouse/Sire label in England. The release was a 12 inch EP with the songs "All the Time"/"Yellow Pants"/"Gettysburg". Shortly after their formation, Gumball signed with NYC's Caroline Records. They recorded and released the album Special Kiss in 1991 and subsequently toured with Mudhoney, and Sonic Youth
On February 1st, 1987, Henry Rollins appeared on KCR Radio. The former Black Flag frontman performed some of his spoken word poetry live on the air and also answered some questions.
On January 31st, 1987, Pussy Galore played at Maxwell’s in support of The Leaving Trains. That’s right! One of the very first tapes posted as part of The Mckenzie Tapes collection was a rousing performance by The Leaving Trains at Maxwell’s on January 31st, 1987. Guess what? It was the very same gig! It was a memorable performance, and one of my personal favorites, as Dave also documented the night with several original photos. Now, exactly one year later, you can enjoy this January 31st, 1987 Maxwell’s gig in its entirety, as this fantastic recording of Pussy Galore’s opening set is now seeing the light of day!
Later in 1987, Pussy Galore would release their second LP, Right Now!, on Caroline Records. In 1986, the band released an entire cover album of The Rolling Stones’ “Exile On Main Street” on limited edition cassette.
On January 13th, 1978, the Sex Pistols appeared on KSAN Radio! In 1978, the Sex Pistols hopped across the pond for what would be their first and only U.S. tour. The very next night, the group performed their last show of their original run at the Winterland in San Francisco. This much-hyped, sold-out swansong was simulcast over KSAN-FM radio. The evening kicked off with sets by two of San Francisco's finest of the era, the Avengers and the Nuns (which included Alejandro Escovedo).
On December 31st, 1988, Red Kross played at Maxwell’s! The Los Angeles group rang in 1989 in style by playing an extended set that featured some fun covers!
On December 31st, 1984, Hüsker Dü played at Maxwell’s! The band had reason to celebrate on the New Year’s Eve, as they wrapped up quite the successful year. In July of that year, the trio from Minneapolis released what many consider to be their magnum opus, the epic Zen Arcade. The record is considered a concept album that tells the story of a young boy who runs away from an unfulfilling home life, only to find the world outside is even worse. The tape includes about 85% of the band’s set - it cuts off midway through their cover of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.” Hoboken legends Gut Bank opened the show, but sadly their set is not included on the tape.
What Do I Want?
From The Gut
Everything Falls Apart
What's Going On?
Data Control/Reoccurring Dreams/Helter Skelter/Jam
Never Talking To You Again
Hate Paper Doll
Divide And Conquer
Pink Turns To Blue
Eight Miles High
On December 29th, 1979, Patti Smith played at CBGB’s! The legendary punk poet celebrated her 33rd birthday a day early with a raucous performance. In 1979, Smith released the Todd Rundgren produced “Wave” with the Patti Smith Group. The record is a standout in her discography and contains classics such as “Frederic,” “Dancing Barefoot,” and “"So You Want to Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star).” Happy Birthday, Patti Smith!
On December 26th, 1986, Bad Brains played at The Ritz! The band wrapped up a pretty successful year with this performance, as in 1986, they signed with SST Records and released their third studio album, I Against I. This record expanded on the band's hardcore punk and reggae sound by introducing a heavy metal/funk hybrid elements. Despite the group’s success, vocalist H.R. and his brother Earl quit Bad Brains in 1987.
On December 23rd, 1988, John Cale played at Maxwell’s! This show marks the beginning of a comeback for the former Velvet Underground member, as after releasing his 11th studio album, Artificial Intelligence, in 1985, Cale took a break from recording and performing. Shortly after this performance, Cale released the Brian Eno-produced album, Words for the Dying, in 1989.
This tape contains about 50 minutes of his set. Unfortunately, the tape recorder died mid-set. It's 50 high quality sounding minutes, though. Enjoy!
On December 22nd, 1990, Otis Ball played at Maxwell’s! Originally based in the midwest, Otis relocated to Hoboken in 1988 after signing with Bar None Records. According to his biography on the Bar None website, the label originally discovered him through They Might Be Giants.
The Giants had received a tape from him and sent it to our offices immediately, with a note asking, "what do you make of this?" We didn't know what to make of it but we were intrigued, so we asked for more. He sent us a video tape of an all-woman band that he was playing bass with at the time. We signed him soon afterward.
Otis played a 20 minute set opening for The Spin Doctors and Carnival Life. Dave Mckenzie took a few original photos of Otis performing, which I believe are from this performance.
On December 20th, 1990, Sound of Skin played at Maxwell’s! Tell me about this band, I couldn’t find anything about them on the internet.
On December 18th, 1989, Living Colour played at CBGB’s. A year prior, the band released their commercially successful debut album, Vivid, which scored a number of hits, including the well-known “Cult of Personality.” , This song won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Award. After disbanding in 1995,vLiving Colour reunited in late 2000.
Here’s a fun clip that was tacked on to the end of a Die Kreuzen tape. In December 1985, Joey Ramone appeared on The Howard Stern show. The two look-a-likes talked about groupies, road stories, and of course, the Ramones. The exact date is not explicitly mentioned, but I was able to figure out that this interview occurred in 1985, as Joey mentions that the Ramones were scheduled to play at a venue called The World on New Year's Eve. The internet tells me that said show occurred on December 31st, 1985!
On December 14th, 1990, Helmet played at CBGB’s! This show occurred early on in the band’s career, as the band had only formed a year prior and released their debut album, Strap It On, in March 1990 on Amphetamine Reptile Records. The band achieved some moderate commercial success with their 1992 major label debut with Interscope Records, Meantime. Once the group signed this deal, Interscope reissued Strap It On in November 1991. Critics considered the album innovative for its explosive, propulsive, and often staccato riff style which greatly exploited Drop D tuning.
Helmet actually opened for the Melvins on this night. You can find footage of the Melvins’ complete set on Youtube. So, you basically have everything you need to re-create the experience of attending this show! Do it!!!
On December 13th, 1985, Alex Chilton played at Irving Plaza. His set included a few songs that would appear on his 1987 solo album, High Priest, such as “Nobody’s Fool.” Bar None Records is about to release another Chilton record entitled Songs From Robin Hood Lane. It’s a collection of cover from the “Great American Songbook.” Chilton, who passed away in 2010, recorded a handful of these songs back in the ’90s. Songs From Robin Hood Lane will be available in February 2019!
On December 10th, 1994, The Blues Explosion played at Tramps! Led by Jon Spencer, the mid-1990s were a pivotal time for the group, as they first signed with Matador Records in 1993 to release their third album, Extra Width. In 1994, the band released Orange, perhaps their most well-known and beloved record, again, on Matador Records. By 1996, the band began collaborating with legendary blues guitarist, R.L. Burnside. Burnside recorded a collaborative record with the Blues Explosion entitled A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey in June 1996.
On December 9th, 1994, Hole played at Berkeley Community Theater! Earlier in the year, the band released their critically acclaimed second album, Live Through This. To commemorate the holiday season, the band covered “We Three Kings” early on in their set. The performance was broadcast on Live 105 for an event called Green Christmas. Courtney Love also took the Christmas tree that was on the stage with her at the end of the group's set.
We Three Kings
Asking for It
Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran Cover)
He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss) (The Crystals Cover)
Best Sunday Dress
On December 9th, 1988, Tiny Lights played at Maxwell’s! This show occurred a little less than a year prior to the first Tiny Lights tape in The Mckenzie Tapes archive. Prior to this show, the band released their second album Hazel's Wreath on Gaia Records.