15 second spot for the upcoming reelection campaign of my friend, Judge Mike Schneider
This is the only video commissioned by the legendary 99 Records in NYC. It was produced in 1983 by Michael Sporn Animation Studios. Mike was my Brother-In-Law at the time. He'd never made a music video, so he jumped at the chance! We could only afford $500 but Micky didn't care. Everybody thought that it came out great!
Of course many listeners will immediately pick up on the bassist Richard McGuire's unmistakable baseline. Liquid Liquid were four white friends who were more a part of the No-Wave scene. After recorded this track ’Cavern', the labels owner, Ed Bahlman hightailed it over to Manhattan's local cutting edge radio station and got it right into legendary DJ Franky Crocker's hands. He and their entire staff LOVED IT! For the next three months Liquid Liquid's “Cavern" went ballistic. We couldn't keep it in stock! Then one day I went to work, and no Liquid Liquid. **POOF**. Gone, baby gone.... About a week later, new artist “Grand-master Flash" debuted a track called ‘White Lines". Thus began the world's first “Sampling Law".....
In one of the long vacant basement storefronts of the West Village, a British expat had setup a small shop.
The shop was at 99 MacDougal street. I lived just four blocks away at 313 Avenue of the Americas, right next door to the Waverly Theater. I was working at an enormous Legacy law firm as a file clerk. My friend Joe Miller told me that a new Punk store had opened over there. Joe ran the Jazz department at the Golden Disc record store around my corner on Bleeker Street. I recognized him from a Times Square record store called ‘Colony' that he used to work at and I used to hang out at.
Gina Franklyn is a designer. She was one of London's original English Punks of 1976. She'd been there at it's exploding apex without even knowing that there had been a detonation. Like so many others, she'd been absorbed into Great Britain's massive post-WWII Socialists State. A nuclear reaction brought about by its Monarchy's inability to protect the population and its own future from the inevitable collapse that coincides with the End of Empire. She was making her own clothes and selling the supplies one would need to decorate yourself for a personal revolution. I bought a bottle of Blue/Black hair dye and a few pins. Punk Flare. A month or two later I noticed that there were some imported 45rpm singles hanging in one of the two large plate glass windows. I scampered down the rabbit hole into a Brave New World.
A guy I'd noticed at local shows had setup a couple of turntables on a low counter he'd built on one side of Gina's shop. He only had a few records for sale but he had plenty more that he began to play for me. I wanted them all. I had been buying my music at Bleecker Bob's a few blocks away. That and Golden Disk around the corner on Bleecker Street were the only games in town to find anything that was imported or independently released. Those two other stores, well let's just say they had their own issues. I really didn't like spending my money there. The kinda places where you felt like you were impinging on the staff by asking questions.
Ed Bahlman became my Gatekeeper. Every Friday I'd cash my paycheck from my boring fukin job and dash over to 99 to spend most of it on whatever new records Ed had brought into their shop.
Every time before I'd leave I'd tell Ed that if he ever needed anybody that I'd love to work there. He started to believe me. The store was not a profit center. At all. He still worked his union job as a maintenance man at a building on the Upper East Side. He would finish up there and than run down to 99 in the afternoon.
Unbeknownst to all of us, 99 was becoming the off-center nucleus of a coalescing music scene. It was as surprising to Ed as it was to everybody else. By 1978-79 the NYC “punk" scene had been co opted by a few major labels. They in turn were fighting against the establishment press and radio to even recognize bands like Television and Talking Heads.
At 99, we were looking for something different than that.
Something like a phenomenon.
Sonic Youth, Bush Tetras, Glenn Branca, James Chance, Mars, Liquid Liquid, Misfits, Lydia Lunch and Lori Anderson weren't even bands yet but each of them and their members were regular customers. Tony Wilson, Vivien Goldman, Adrian Sherwood, Keith Levine and Martin Hannett made expeditions. Seminal club DJ Larry Lavant was a regular customer. So were all of the staff's of Danceteria, Hurrah! and the Mudd Club. Jack Rabid could smell the vinyl from his place. Trish and the girls from Manic Panic would buy records and steal/share ideas from Gina. Rick Rubin and Tim Sommer headed up the NYU delegation. Mark Josephson and a handful of other future music industry shakers frequented too. Booking agent and manager Ruth Polsky also. A man who would come to hire me at Elektra ten years after, Howard Thompson was a customer as well.
Ed started giving me records and tapes that had begun to be sent to