New York: the must-see places of Vinyl

The adventures of a music producer in New York during the 1970s can only give a set of hallucinatory landscapes of the Big Apple. Scratch!

American Century Records

American Century Records offices really were in this superb art deco building completed in 1930.  It’s here that the label gave birth to many stars and there was a time when American youth music was nicknamed “Brill Building Pop”.  Still today several music publishers have their offices here.

Hoyt-Schermerhorn station

To get to America Century Records offices, Jamie Vine (Juno temple) goes via this subway station where Martin Scorsese shot the clip BAD with Michael Jackson.  She exchanges her bag with an identical one belonging to a dealer.

Max's Kansas City

Between 1965 and 1981, this discotheque became a gathering spot for musicians, poets, artists and politicians.  Two attempts to get it going again, Max II and Max III, didn’t work out.  But the idea of Max still survives on internet with events and a foundation to foster young talent.  In the series the spot is visible several times, especially when Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) tries to get in and gets messed up at the entrance with Andy Warhol, whose Factory was just next door; or when Devon Finestra (Olivia Wilde) photographs John Lennon here.

CBGB & OMFUG

In the series, it’s still only a biker bar where Richie secretly meets FBI agents.  The owner tells him in the last episode that he’s going to change the name and the look of his bar so as to give concerts.  The CBGB (Country, Blue Grass and Blues) became famous after 1973 thanks to punk rock and later, after 1980, it became the place for hardcore punk.  Many groups have performed here: the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, Blondie…The club closed after a concert by Patti Smith in 2006. A high-end stylist, John Varvatos, moved in in 2007.  The graffiti has been conserved and the engraving “CBGB 73” is visible in the concrete on the outside.

Kool Herc’s building

When his chauffeur drives into this street due to a detour, Richie Finestra hears some music he doesn’t know.  For good reason, the music is coming from DJ Kool Herc’s building, the creator of hip-hop. When he asks for more information, someone first tries to sell him drugs.  Recognizing him, Lester Grimes (Ato Essandoh) tells him he’s got no business around here.

Cyclone

Episode 6 is called the Cyclone , the name of the legendary wooden roller coaster in Astroland Park, today Luna Park on Coney Island.  It’s here that Richie Finestra and his friends have a car accident. The hot-dog that Ernst is asking for all throughout the episode comes from the mythical Nathan’s Famous, just next door.

Mercer Arts Center / The Kitchen

In the series, the building collapses and the end of the pilot, during a New York Dolls concert.  The Mercer Art Center really did collapse in 1973, causing four deaths, but it wasn’t during a Dolls concert!  The Kitchen, a center for multi-field artistic creation, survived, but has moved since (512 West 19th St).

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