July 2017


Max's Kansas City Festival 2017...
Review By: Jimi LaLumia

As has become a recurring tradition at The Bowery Electric on the lower east side in New York City, a 3 night festival celebrating the first ever underground night club,Max's Kansas City, was held heading into the Memorial Day Weekend. As has become customary, I was once again drafted into service by Max's main man, Peter Crowley, to emcee and to construct a 5.0 edition of my band.,The Psychotic Frogs, this time drawing upon Long Island's finest, Sean (Jones Crusher) Sanders, Jay (Loose Lips) Bennz, and Gino (the 'go to' drummer for L.I. punk bands) Scalmato, and with only two brief rehearsals, we delivered a six song set of the singles' ("Death To Disco", "96 Tears", "Fucked By The Devil", "Palisades Park", the xxx-rated parody of "Eleanor Rigby", and "WipeOut") ".which was very well received by the crowd.

I was a bit apprehensive as we followed surviving Heartbreakers member Walter Lure and his band The Waldos, who did quite a few songs from the legendary "LAMF" album for a great audience rousing set. Basically stealing the show was the amazing Luigi & The Wiseguys, who brought the crowd all the way up and kept them there; Luigi is balancing the band activity with his film career , which is on an upward roll, no surprise with this handsome and talented Wiseguy, Elda Gentile was in top form, fronting a resurrected edition of The Stillettos, one of the earliest NYC downtown acts, of which Elda was the founder. The Sick Fucks killed, as they always do,and New York Junk electrified the room, as they always do, with new recorded material available for you to find on line.

NYC mainstay Joey Kelly was on point with the Dive Bar Romeos on the first night, and did it again on the second night, alongside another NY legend, Sesu Coleman, in a new version of The Magic Tramps, one of the earliest bands to make noise on the Mercer Arts/Max's /CBGB circuit. Brilliant Puma Pearl was astounding, as was the second night 'discovery' Simon Chardiet, who, solo with guitar, punked out more than any punk I've seen or heard in many years. Of course, Regan Youth nailed it, bringing the hardcore element representing the early 80's, final days of Max's; it seems to get lost in the history books that 'hardcore matinees' were born at Max's Kansas City, before hardcore was welcomed anywhere else, one more feather in Peter Crowley's cap.

On Friday and Saturday, more originators took the stage; Ruby & The Rednecks, The Brats( had a great conversation with Keith West), Mickey Leigh (who commented on my 20 pound weight loss since I quit sugar, a conversation that carried over onto the stage!), and his great new band,;Phil Marcade, who joined forces with The Rousers, Long Island's own Sea Monster,King Bee and the Stingers with the immortal Buddy Bowzer,Deborah Frost, Michael Alago, and Chris Gari and the All Star Max's Band (there were other bands playing upstairs in The Map Room, so everyone certainly got their money's worth!) This celebration of the re issue of "Max's Kansas City 1976" in a Jungle Records UK expanded edition was a remarkable success and I look forward to the next one!

Luigi & The Wiseguys
photo by Jimi LaLumia

Luigi & The Wiseguys  photo by Jimi LaLumia

Sesu Coleman & Elda Gentile
photo by Jimi LaLumia

Sesu Coleman & Elda Gentile photo by Jimi LaLumia

Jimi LaLumia & The Psychotic Frogs
photo by Arthur Siegel

Jimi LaLumia & The Psychotic Frogs photo by Arthur Siegel