December 31: Max’s Kansas City
Max’s Kansas City, a club in New York that helped launch the careers of Bruce Springsteen, the New York Dolls, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (which was the house band), David Bowie, Bob Marley, Aerosmith, and many others, shuts its doors on this date in 1982. The club, located at 213 Park Avenue South near Union Square, had been founded seventeen years earlier by Mickey Ruskin, an entrepreneur who died at age 50 in 1983. Max’s became headquarters for the Glam rock scene, and a hang-out for many, many modern artists, critics, and jet-setters. It closed in 1974 and reopened under new management in 1975 to become a birthplace of the Punk scene and a venue for the Ramones, Talking Heads, B-52s and many others.
“Max’s was the place where you could stare at Andy Warhol, argue about art with Willem de Kooning or John Chamberlain, discuss literature with William S. Burroughs, and get a record deal just by showing up.” —Steven Kasher