"As for the guys from the street who really knew their stuff, there was a guy named Lee Paris--he was a really smart young guy. He loved this music and promoted it. He died. He killed himself."
"You never had really wholesome people around the punk scene. You always had people using marginal real estate bases probably owned by the dear departed slumlord Rappaport or somebody like that. So you had marginal spaces, marginal people and marginal music. And the music worked. Marginalization makes good stuff."
"Up until the '80s, New Wave connotated everything, and punk connotated everything. But at some point punk became just like the Sex Pistols, and New Wave became more about fashion. It was zany. There were synthesizers. But some punk bands also used synthesizers. There was a line clearly drawn, and you knew what side you fell on."
"The Inquirer was very conservative; they didn't have really supercool writers yet. The Welcomat [now PW] was not a cool paper back then, either. And I don't think the City Paper existed. I think the Drummer existed. The whole scene was really an underground, word-of-mouth type thing."
"New Wave had its origin in the British press, which was tired of saying 'punk.' The two terms were interchangeable for a long time. Then record labels started seeing the negative connotations of punk and were hoping DJs would get behind 'New Wave.'"
"The sad side is that because it was punk, you had to screw things up, and my understanding is that the way the Hot Club screwed things up was they never got licenses for anything. So when yuppie No. 1 moved into the neighborhood within hearing distance of the Hot Club, they were able to go to the zoning board and find out the Hot Club had no permits--so boom! No Hot Club."
"Eventually, it got to the point where we got tremendous pressure from our neighbors to move on. That's why it eventually stopped."
"When was it over? When it wasn't just a street thing anymore. It became the mainstream. Just like everything. It starts out counterculture, then record companies see that they can make money with it, and the bands try to make believe they're not in it for the money, but they see they can make money and then they become stylish. The songs become a little shorter and the hooks a little more pronounced, and then all of a sudden you have Sting."
PW's 2015 Gift Guide
Dinner with Luke Palladino