My roommate Mark Cunningham, who is a musician too, who was in that band Mars, who was also on the No New York record.1 He was from Tenafly and I had an uncle that lived in Ridgewood, both in New Jersey, and so I came up here a lot during college, and I came into the city a lot, and I got a chance to see Miles Davis a bunch of times, I got a chance to see the Grand Union, the group of choreographers around Yvonne Rainer, I got a chance to see many things, many-many — I almost got in, we went to see the New York Dolls, and it was full, so we hung out in the lobby all night and I got a chance to get a taste of New York before I moved up here.2


So, we were around — at the dawn of the punk scene, so I think I saw Patti Smith’s second birthday concert. I saw The Ramones and all the — Television, all the first wave of CB’s bands, before I started to play. I heard a lot of salsa too. I regret never having gone to see Hector Lavoe, because I have become a huge Hector Lavoe fan over the last few years, and I could have seen him many times, but shortly after DNA started, Kip Hanrahan started to make records.3 He was one of the first guys to put together lot of disparate styles, and he would — you know he had some of us from the kind of CBGB’s scene, and he had a lot of the salsa percussionists, jazz, saxophone players, different singers, Jack Bruce was his main singer for a while.4


He was a really interesting guy who — he wanted to be a filmmaker, it didn’t work out, so he decided to make records the way one would make movies. And he would just sort of cast all these musicians and write these pretty abstract poetic lyrics, sometimes quite political actually. He was an Irish-Jewish guy from the Bronx who’d grown-up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood, and I got a chance to play with a lot of incredible musicians.

  1. Arthur Russell
  2. Where They Can Go And Dream
  3. Kip Hanrahan
  4. Lower East Side
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