From the Wayback Machine: Vanity Fair Article on the Rise of the New York Rock Scene

This first appeared in November 2002.

Some say the 1970s New York rock scene started in the 1960s with the Velvet Underground. Others insist that it began around 1968 with the Stooges and MC5 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Or with Lou Reed’s reconfigured Velvet Underground at Max’s Kansas City in 1970. Or Patti Smith’s poetry reading with Lenny Kaye on guitar at St. Mark’s Church in February 1971. Or in London in 1970, when David Bowie began sewing those pre—Ziggy Stardust costumes.The truth is that the truth is not so simple. What really happened is that several things happened, all at once, all over the world. But nearly everyone would agree that in early 1972, when the New York Dolls performed every Tuesday night at the Oscar Wilde Room of the Mercer Arts Center in the Broadway Central Hotel, the 1970s New York rock scene was officially born.
I was there covering the music and the scene for Creem, Rock Scene, Hit Parader, a syndicated newspaper column, and the British music weekly New Musical Express. I kept my tape recorder with me at all times and managed to take enough notes to remember that every night was New Year’s Eve with the New York Dolls.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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