What kind of music got played at the Mudd Club?

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Anyone know if there is a Mudd Club playlist out there somewhere? Or know some of the tracks the DJs played there?

Its live music policy was best known for New York "No Wave" bands like DNA, The Contortions, and Basquiat's band Gray. The B-52's did their first New York concert at the Mudd Club; the group Talking Heads performed songs from their new album Fear of Music there to a packed crowd of punk rockers. ... On the dance floor, DJ's David Azarch, Anita Sarko and Johnny Dynell played a unique mixture of punk, funk, and curiosities.

I'm guessing people didn't dance to DNA so I'm imagining Talking Heads, Liquid Liquid, Bowie "Fame," Ze Records stuff like "Contort Yourself," Christina, Kid Creole / Coati Mundi ... ?

I know Johnny Dynell's name from his great single Rhythm of Love (mixed by Larry Levan) so I'm assuming there's some garage-style disco in the mix too but I'm curious to know more. Surprisingly there has never been a Mudd Club thread unless I searched it wrong.


dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

Cool question, and I hope there are answers! I'd guess your guesses are correct, though: ZE and 99 Records, early punk and new wave singles. I recall The Only Ones getting played a lot at my local punk club. Especially in the '79-'80 era it was mixed with stuff like Eno ("Baby's On Fire") or The Modern Lovers or Dictators. Iggy and Bowie for sure.

Once the floodgates opened around '81 and the genres started mixing more, I can remember Grace Jones and things like "Square Biz" by Teena Marie getting played next to, like, The Bongos.

Hawaiian mime montage (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 31 January 2012 19:21 (eight years ago) link

Any insight about other clubs from the same era also fair game - Peppermint Lounge, Danceteria, etc.

Question partly inspired by the 1981 Danceteria flyer reprinted in the Soul Jazz "In the Beginning There was Rhythm" compilation - A Certain Ration on at 1am, preceded by special guest Madonna

dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 19:31 (eight years ago) link


I'm sure this was in the mix too


dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 19:31 (eight years ago) link

Should have added, my local was The Longhorn in Minneapolis, and by '81 (when there was a lot more mixing of disco and new wave, and also a lot more music videos to be shown on big screens) First Avenue. This crazy thing got played a ton in 1981:


Hawaiian mime montage (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 31 January 2012 19:46 (eight years ago) link

By '80 or 81 some djs were getting their records from the dj record service Rockpool which was linked in some way to the Mudd Club. I saw the Cramps there.


Rockpool was a record pool in the 80s promoting primarily rock and new wave records, which DJs subscribed. Founded by Mark Josephson who also co-founded New Music Seminar. I remember them pushing new romantic stuff.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:04 (eight years ago) link


these 2 would know

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:06 (eight years ago) link

Grace Jones is a good call

things like "Square Biz" by Teena Marie getting played next to, like, The Bongos

this is p much exactly what I was looking for ... articles are usually like "they mixed a lot of stuff together" but what stuff exactly

saw a John Lennon article where he talks about how he and Yoko were happy David Azarch was playing this at Peppermint Lounge


dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:06 (eight years ago) link

I saw the Cramps there.

!! damn

dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:06 (eight years ago) link

playing this

this being "Walking on Thin Ice"

dmr, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:08 (eight years ago) link

x-post. I do not remember what the dj was playing there that night before the Cramps came onstage. I just recall they came onstage at 1 am or so and it was a Sunday night/Monday morning.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:14 (eight years ago) link

dmr, you might have googled this Dynell interview already:


For those who are not that familiar with the New York club scene of that era, how would you describe a typical night out then? What were the characteristics in terms of DJ sets, locations and crowd?

As I said before, even though I was playing in a lot of the newly emerging New Wave clubs, I was playing mostly Disco music.
By the early eighties though the Disco/New Wave lines were blurring. Mark Kamins, the main DJ at Danceteria, was making a name for himself as a New Wave DJ and producer but his roots were in Disco and he flawlessly mixed the two genres. I think that he almost single-handedly changed that scene. His second floor was packed every Saturday night with uptown kids and downtown kids grooving together to a whole new soundtrack. DJs like Jellybean Benitez at The Fun House and others picked up on it as well.

Arthur Baker, John Robie and Tommy Silverman would bring us records like “Planet “Rock” and “Hip Hop Be Bop” to play and suddenly the black vs. white, rock vs. disco thing was irrelevant. English groups like New Order were there too and it is not a coincidence that their songs suddenly had a Disco beat. I remember one jaw grinding morning one of them saying to me sarcastically, “Maybe Mr. Dynell will play our records now”. I did and still do.

Hawaiian mime montage (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 31 January 2012 22:32 (eight years ago) link

I have never heard this before, and it is totally (rhumba) rocking my world. This wasn't 'til '83, though;


Hawaiian mime montage (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 31 January 2012 23:03 (eight years ago) link

that was a great interview

dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 04:16 (eight years ago) link

If Tim Lawrence were to ever write the promised second half of Love Saves The Day, I'm sure there'd be playlists from all of these clubs. Is this still in the works?

JacobSanders, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 04:46 (eight years ago) link

Not the Mudd Club, but Club 57:


tokyo rosemary, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 04:57 (eight years ago) link

ahhh awesome thanks

dany says:
Nomi Song - Klaus Nomi
Psychotic Reaction - Count 5
I’m Cramped - The Cramps
Let There Be Drums - Sandy Nelson
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
Love is Like an Itching in My Heart - Supremes
Groovy - Joe Dodo and the Groovers
The Girl Can’t Help It - Little Richard
Bongo Rock - Incredible Bongo Band
Planet Clare - B-52s
Out of Limits - The Ventures
I Know but I Don’t Know - Blondie
Warning Sign - Talking Heads
Gravity - Pylon
Can’t Be Funky - Bush Tetras
Monster Jam - Spoonie Gee and the Sequence
Midnight Boogaloo - Ray Baretto
I Know a Place - Petula Clark
The Nitty Gritty - Ricardo Ray
Tear the Roof off the Sucker - Parliament
Bertha Butt Boogie - Jimmy Castor Bunch
Jungle Fever - The Chakachas
Dance - ESG
Lightning Strikes - Klaus Nomi
I Like It Like That - Pete Rodriguez
L’elephant - Tom Tom Club
Do It Any Way You Wanna - People’s Choice
Rockin’ It - Fearless Four
Lightning’s Girl - Nancy Sinatra
Peter Gunn - Duane Eddy
Devil With a Blue Dress - Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
Lucky Number - Lene Lovich
Kookie’s Mad Pad - Edd Byrnes
The Boat that I Row - Lulu
Land of 1000 Dances - Cannibal & the Headhunters
Bell Head - Liquid Liquid
Taki Rari - Yma Sumac

dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 05:07 (eight years ago) link

there was a Roxy playlist in The Record Players but A) I have it loaned out right now and B) I think while there's probably a lot of crossover with the downtown clubs on stuff like "Planet Rock" and ESG the Roxy had its ultimate roots in the Bambaataa / Herc / funky breaks thing and these places didn't?

dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 05:12 (eight years ago) link

from 1982-84 Bambaataa and proteges Red Alert, Afrika Islam Jazzy Joyce et al spun at the Roxy on Fridays

the Roxy was the best club around then due to the mix of people - uptown teens and downtown hipsters

Mudd Club was hard to get into! for me anyway. made it in a couple times, saw Sonic Youth/Swans destroy the joint. Anita Sarko was the main DJ, she played more eclectic/new wave stuff than straight disco/R&B iirc

demolition with discretion (m coleman), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 10:56 (eight years ago) link

Okay holy crap, that Dany Johnson playlist looks ridiculously fun! It will be soundtracking my work this morning.

Hawaiian mime montage (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 15:48 (eight years ago) link

Is there any tradition of US punk/ new wave clubs DJing reggae, as per Don Letts in the UK?

good luck in your pyramid (Neil S), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 15:56 (eight years ago) link

"one jaw grinding morning"

andrew m., Wednesday, 1 February 2012 16:28 (eight years ago) link

it might've been in the sandbox during the outage, but wasn't there a thread with old danceteria footage? guess i could go look instead of typing here...

andrew m., Wednesday, 1 February 2012 16:30 (eight years ago) link


The late Tom Terrell used to spin reggae and ska at the original 930 Club location in DC (and he was road manager for Steel Pulse in the US), and there were certainly others. There were lots of US djs influenced by what was happening in the UK. Depending on the dj and the particular Uk band or style of the moment this was often a good thing (when some US djs started embracing New romanticism while dropping American r'n'b and punk/new wave I got less interested in their appraoch)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 16:30 (eight years ago) link


scott seward, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 16:54 (eight years ago) link

thanks, scott. that's it. thought someone (maybe dan?) started a thread for it, but i can't find it.

andrew m., Wednesday, 1 February 2012 17:04 (eight years ago) link

I'm also pretty sure there has been a thread for this insane Danceteria flyer collection but I might have seen it on Facebook and not ILX



dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 17:11 (eight years ago) link

wow "PS1 Party" ... didn't realize that had been going so long as an art gallery

dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 17:12 (eight years ago) link

the Pyramid Club from this era still exists but I don't really understand who goes there, I think it's basically one of those cheesy retro-'80s places like Culture Club

still has the same logo above the door on Avenue A though


dmr, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 17:22 (eight years ago) link

thanks Curmudgeon, interesting re. reggae.

good luck in your pyramid (Neil S), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 18:27 (eight years ago) link

wdw Diane from Scott's video

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Thursday, 2 February 2012 01:47 (eight years ago) link

I danced at the Pyramid once in early 1985, I remember the DJ playing The Cramps' "Goo Goo Muck".

sleeve, Thursday, 2 February 2012 02:18 (eight years ago) link

Ann Magnuson on the difference between Club 57 and the Mudd Club: "We were all about mushrooms and laughing like hyenas, while they were all about heroin and Nouvelle Vague films."


dmr, Thursday, 2 February 2012 07:09 (eight years ago) link

We turned the club into a center for personal exorcism, devising theme parties (or "enviroteques," as one drug-dealing-conceptual-artist ex-boyfriend liked to call them). There was Putt-Putt Reggae Night, where we played miniature golf on a course made of refrigerator boxes designed to resemble a Jamaican shantytown; Model World of Glue Night, where New York's hippest built airplane and monster models, burned them, and sniffed the epoxy

dmr, Thursday, 2 February 2012 07:10 (eight years ago) link

danced at the Pyramid once in early 1985, I remember the DJ playing The Cramps' "Goo Goo Muck".

I remember "Search and Destroy."

I Can Only Give You Every Zing (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 February 2012 19:48 (eight years ago) link

I just watched Downtown 81, which follows Jean Michel Basquiat through various scenes in New York in, you guessed it, 1981. At one point he's walking around wondering where to spend the night, and then he says he gonna go to the Mudd Club. I can't tell if he actually does or not, he goes somewhere and watches a group perform in a service elevator as it moves between floors. It starts at about 4:30.
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KaT1Is_ci3E"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

teenage vulcan, Friday, 3 February 2012 19:35 (eight years ago) link

It just closed a couple weeks ago, but the East Village West show at Royal-T was utterly fantastic: http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/east_vilage_west_ambitious_exhibit_of_nycs_fabled_70_80s_art_scene_/

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 3 February 2012 21:11 (eight years ago) link

Just in case anybody missed it: scroll down this page, with the Club 57 mix streaming on top, and you'll soon see Dany's link to the mix download, which still works (or did for me a few minutes ago)

dow, Saturday, 4 February 2012 02:19 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

That's so sad

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 28 October 2015 14:54 (four years ago) link

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