Where in the mythos of punk is there room for a frizzy-haired cinephile San Diegan? How could the defining rock attitude and look of the late 1970s get brainstormed by two go-nowheres from a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware – a D student and kid voted Most Unknown by his senior class?
Forget the worn-out yarns about London gobbers and safety-pin piercings – the true story of the birth of punk rock on 45 is the story of Ork Records, captured by Numero Group on four hefty LPs (or two shiny compact discs) and told across 120 high-gloss pages filled with insider photos and sordid details. Naturally, this piece of history will be released on Orktober 30th.
It is a story populated by iconic names like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, the Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie and the Ramones. And it’s a tale told from the hallowed grounds of CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, and Ardent Studios.
This a story so glorious and important that it’s shocking to think that it’s never been told until now. Only the Numero Group could properly tell it, as it is a tale of imploding ambitions and underdog hustlers with a litany of heartbreaks and financial straits—a tale of indispensable rock ‘n’ roll made by people unjustly dispensed by history and the masses. For all the Record Geek Valhalla names mentioned earlier, there are even more forgotten heroes involved in this narrative that measure up to those Hall of Famers.
The legend began on wax with Television’s “Little Johnny Jewel,” the poetic head-splitter spread across two sides of a 45 in 1975. But it all began, in fact, with Terry Ork, a Jewish SoCal film nerd enthralled by Andy Warhol’s posse as they made a transgressive surfing flick, who moved cross-country to manage a movie memorabilia shop on the grubby streets of the Lower East Side. Made in the shadows of disco and dereliction in late-‘70s Manhattan, Ork Records: New York, New York is not just the genesis of punk, it is the birth of the New York City scene and indie culture as we know it.
Ork Records Compilation Arrives In Orktober! was originally published on Tigr Tigr