Iggy Pop, Hunter/Ronson and Klaus Nomi, Clash, Cherry Vanilla and more…
By Madeline Bocaro ©
1980 was my last happy year – until John Lennon’s death in December.
Hunter/Ronson – Hammerheads, Long Island
Ronson did a killer ‘Slaughter On 10thAvenue’, as usual. At the end, Ian shook hands with all the guys in the front – and he turned to me and gave me a hug & kiss and I got lost in his crazy Hoople hair again, and he said I love you!
I sometimes break down when I play Mott The Hoople records because its reminds me of the wonderful times I had loving them years ago. I tortured kids at school (who only liked the Grateful Dead) by playing Mott relentlessly, and was thrilled to see Hunter/Ronson live in 1975. It’s so hard to believe that my 16th b-day (when I blasted The Hoople album all day long) was 5 years ago.
January 8, 1980 – Hunter/Ronson @ My Father’s Place
(recording for Welcome to the Club LP)
I was using the pay phone backstage in the afternoon when they all showed up for sound check at 4pm. Had to call mom to say I wouldn’t be home for dinner and was staying till the show. Ian took the phone from my hand and told my mom that I would be OK!!
They did ‘Man O’ War’, ‘We Gotta Get Out of Here’ and ‘Silver Needles’ 2x each. Ian was sweating and sick – not himself at all. It made ME nervous! Then came the magic – ‘Golden Age of R&R’, ‘One of the Boys’, ‘Cleveland Rocks’. ‘Bastard’, ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’, ‘Laugh at Me’, ‘Angeline’, ‘Irene Wilde’. I cried through it, thinking of how much I love Ian & Mick. The love was just pouring out of me. I couldn’t even move.
Elliot and I went to see Cherry Vanilla at Hurrah. I remember seeing her butt print in cement outside of Trude Heller’s. Cherry later told me years later that friends of hers stole the block of cement and they had it for ages but lost track of it. How can you lose THAT! It’s like Lucy with John Wayne’s footprints in cement! The DJ played Clash, Buzzcocks, Undertones, XTC, and Cherry looked amazing – she was fantastic – really hot! Elliot took a Quaalude. He gave me a Valentine card – a red velvet one from Fiorucci with angels on it, and he quoted ‘Soul Love’ from Ziggy Stardust in the card.
We also saw Student Teachers @ Hurrah. We love that place, with all the video screens.
I interviewed the Flying Lizards for CMJ at Virgin Records in NYC. Found out that Klaus Nomi is playing at Xenon!!
I got Iggy’s Soldier album. Love it!!
Saw Gary Numan’s NYC debut at the Palladium, which was super fun. I was surprised at the high-energy level of the crowd – wildly jumping around to every song! I worked at A&S all of last week – made $90 and spent it mostly on concert tickets which cost about $10 each. Iggy’s at MFP again & Hotel Diplomat, and Great Gildersleeves. Then the Jam and Cramps on Friday.
We finally got to see Klaus Nomi’s show!! I got the postcard ads in the city last week – he played at Xenon, a disco for $15. I went with Elliot. Klaus is even more android than Bowie! Not as pretty, but still fantastic! His make-up and costumes are incredible. The dancing disco crowd was shocked when their music stopped and the Nomi show began. They thought it was a freak show. Klaus has four other performers with him – one Is Joey – our pal from Fiorucci! It’s a complete performance which sort of merges Cabaret and Kabuki. There are films behind Klaus showing scenes from space – where he is definitely from! He disappears into a cloud of dry ice – which surrounds you in a cool mist.
See my extensive Klaus Nomi story here:
Saw the Jam @ the Palladium w/ the Speedies with Elliot but he had a tooth ache so we didn’t go see the Cramps at Club 57 afterward. I was so upset.
March 4, 1980 – Iggy at My Father’s Place
Iggy came on reciting ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ to a tape of ‘The 1812 Overture’. He did his Shakespeare song “Winter of My Discontent” – so great!! ‘…To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous assholes…” And other new songs, “Sacred Cow”, “Hassles” “Billy & Johnny” and then “Sister Midnight”, “Dogfood”, “I’m a Conservative”. He improvised:
“Why do you live with garbage?
Why do you live at all?
I’m born in a zoo with garbage like you
I think you all should crawl.”
The kids up front were obnoxious and yelling constantly, so Iggy just pointed at them and said, “I want you dead! Now I’m really pissed – you’re such an embarrassment – just shut up!” He was raving mad throughout the show. I was absolutely frozen still, scared of what he’d do next. I just watched his eyes. I got backstage and pressed myself against a wall like a fly and watched the proceedings.
Backstage, Iggy was wearing an orange outfit with a baseball cap with Styrofoam Mickey Mouse ears and a seething insane look on his face! He pressed me against the wall, grinned a crooked grin at me (like Lurch from the Addams Family), touched his nose to mine, winked and walked away. I was stunned and in a daze.
I spoke to Ellen (the dancer from Student Teachers) about Klaus Nomi.
March 5, 1980 – Iggy at Club 57
Woke up at 3pm and before I knew it, it was 7pm and we were off to see Iggy again. The Diplomat Hotel show got moved to Club 57, which is smaller and better. I was right up front! He grabbed my hand and held it forever during ‘China Girl’.
March 7, 1980 – Clash @ The Palladium
A fantastic show! You always know you are watching the best band in the world right now when you see the Clash. Got out all my frustrations jumping on a seat in the front row. Had a completely great time. Got backstage – Paul Simonon gave me his black metal star CLASH tie tack pin! It’s gorgeous! Joe was teaching some kids chords on the guitar.
March 8, 1980
Iggy’s in CT but I need a rest– I’m seeing him again tomorrow. Went to Canal Jeans with Elliot and got black jeans for $9 and a green army shirt (I stenciled IGGY POP – SOLDIER on the back in red). Met my pen pal Maryann who works there. We started writing when I saw her ad in the back of a magazine giving away Bowie stuff. She recognized me and Elliot just from my written descriptions of us in my letters!
March 9, 1980 – Iggy @ Gildersleeves
It was one of his best shows yet! He actually LIKED the audience this time, and he was very energetic but drunk and falling down – so funny! We pulled him down to us and he sang mostly in the crowd. The encore was “Take Care of Me”. Bowie & Jagger were there.
March 14, Friday – Iggy Staten Island (Met Lori & Rob!)
A rainy day. Listened to Iggy all day. Realized the Staten Island show is tonight – not tomorrow. Steve called at 9 and said let’s go! Miraculously, we made it to the club by 11. Iggy didn’t go on until 1 am so I had time to wiggle my way up to the front between a really nice girl Lori and her boyfriend Rob who were 6 feet tall!! Iggy fell on us and I hugged him a lot. He grabbed my hand and almost pulled me onstage. He hated the crowd though and didn’t do an encore. Got home at 4am.
March 15, Saturday
Went to Fiorucci and showed Joey the Klaus Nomi photos that I took at Xenon. Babysat to make extra money for concert tickets! The little girl I babysit for told me that she’s in love with a boy at school – he has brown hair and blue eyes. That’s funny because I told her that I love a boy with blue hair and brown eyes (whom I met last year at Rocky Horror)!
March 17 – Protex @ Hurrah!
I love Protex from Ireland. Perfect seeing them on St. Patrick’s Day. Their bass player is like a baby Paul Simonon. He’s really nice and he loves Mick Ronson! We played darts afterwards on St. Mark’s Place with the band.
March 18, 1980 – Klaus Nomi @ Hurrah!
I went with Steve and Hank. When it was over, Hank said, “My life has been changed!” So has mine! Another stunning, otherworldly performance. Lots of German and Japanese people in the audience. This is really something special!
March 19, 1980 – Klaus @ Hurrah! Again!
Worked 10-4 again in a great mood with Nomi songs in my head! I wore my lime green satin Chinese dress with a violet angora sweater and black satin stiletto boots. Elliot wore a white plastic jumpsuit from Steve’s hardware store with a purple extension cord wrapped all around it! It was the best night! They played the best space songs before Klaus came on – ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’ ‘Kurlian Photography’, ‘Solar Electricity’…Me and Elliot wanted to stay forever. We were on our planet for real! Klaus wore his triangular plastic tuxedo and changed into his wooden stockade dress and a yellowish gold ball gown! Later, Klaus and Joey were by the bar – they spoke to us awhile and kissed me goodbye. Klaus left a black lipstick mark on my cheek!
Went to Trash & Vaudeville with Elliot and got thigh high stiletto black patent leather boots from London for $110!! Just like Bowie’s in the 1980 Floor Show!! My aunt said, ‘Well, they’re perfect for trout fishing!” Another hilarious comment from the elderly!
April 6 – Easter Sunday
Went to Elliot’s house at night and watched static on his TV (kept the dial in between channels) listening to Eno’s Music for Films and Phillip Glass. I wrote my new pen pal Vivian the whole story of when I was on a class trip in school to see the play Grease and I saw the Ronson Slaughter on 10th Avenue Mainman billboard being constructed in strips in Times Square in 1974. I saw them put the strip with his eyes, I innocently asked the teacher if I could stay outside on the corner of 42ndStreet and watch them construct the billboard all day. Ha – I was a 15- year-old girl standing on 42nd Street in dumbfounded awe innocently watching them put up the Ronson billboard while some pimps are salivating nearby, waiting to pounce. I had no idea of the danger back then.
April 7, 2008
A&S switched Elliot from Small Electrics to The Groove (teen department) where I work. This is great ‘cos now we can play our Clash, Klaus Nomi & Kraftwerk tapes on the stereo! A lady told us that the ‘strange music’ (Kraftwerk) was scaring her baby. Well, her baby was scaring US!!
I’ve been working a lot – many concerts coming up. That spring air is here again, when I love to listen to Mott the Hoople, Ian & Mick & Sparks and Bowie.
June 18 – The Undertones from Ireland @ Irving Plaza.
They’re kind of pop punk. Really cool.
July 5 – Hunter/Ronson @ Malibu Long Island
The club is new and beautiful surrounded by a beach. I had my perfect spot-right between Ian & Mick and the show was the best of all so far. These are the last shows of the tour and everyone (band & roadies) is happy and sad at once. I’m the saddest of all! They were all goofing around onstage. And Mick smiled the most!! He wore silver pants and a purple shirt with large pink butterflies on it. It looked pretty on him. They’re doing “Who Do You Love” and “The Truth, the Whole Truth…” amazing! They closed with ‘Dudes’ into ‘Slaughter’ each night. Went backstage afterwards and got my hugs. Ian said they’re playing the Ritz too!!
July 6 – Sunday – Hunter/Ronson – Detroit in Westchester
At 5:30 Mick drove up in an ugly old car – wearing pink Fioruccis and a shinky black jacket and shades. I went inside before the sound check. I showed Ian all my photos. A photographer took photos of Mick hugging me. During sound check Mick did the best ending to ‘FBI’ ever! He was beating the guitar to death! He is always glowing and I always feel like I’m absorbing his divine vibes – especially when I get a hug!
July 7, 1980 Hunter/Ronson @ Hammerheads, Long Island
Ian pulled up in his Pink Lincoln Continental. The club was nice and big, in a strip mall. Mick signed my Slaughter poster and an old promo photo and said, “I didn’t even know this stuff still existed!” Mick was playing the KISS pinball machine and he gave me a quarter, which I didn’t want to put in the machine because it was still warm from his hand. Tommy Mandel (keyboard player) asked me if that was me screaming on the live album during “Irene Wilde” he said he always thinks of me when he hears that. But it was in LA, so it wasn’t me. Ian was mad about the monitors and he threw a drink all the way across the floor. But later he bought us drinks.
At the end Ian was touching everyone’s hands, and he came down to me and gave me a big hug & kiss. I was crying tears of joy for an hour afterwards. I love Ian more than ever! I’ve always loved him more than ever!
July 8, 1980 – Hunter/Ronson @ Toad’s Place, CT
Another reason I cried yesterday is because it’s the 2nd to last club show, so tonight was sad too. Toad’s is also the 1stplace I saw Ian & Mick on my b-day last year.
Went early with Jackie who I met at the Malibu gig. She drove us in her red Mustang.I wouldn’t have been at this show if not for her. Ian told us not to bother getting tickets ‘cos he had lots of passes. Mick brought us in to the sound check.
Mick told us that Ian was really nervous because Billy Joel & Kris Kristofferson were coming. Ian did ‘Bastard’ with the wrong guitar and he was so mad at himself that he finished the song on the floor with only a microphone! It was terrifying but cool! We didn’t go backstage – the crowd was really awful – a bunch of stupid hippies. One girl said I can’t wait to see Mick Ronstadt!
July 11, 1980 – Hunter/Ronson Central Park – A beautiful day with the NY skyline behind the stage. We hung out with them all out back for a while after sound check.
July 19, 1980 – Hunter/Ronson – Convention Center Asbury park NJ
Today was amazing! Mom refused to let me go alone. Luckily, I’d met 2 kids from the Malibu gig at Central Park yesterday who are going to the NJ gig, and will pick me up! Mom didn’t want me going to NJ with strangers, so she confiscated my ticket!!! NO PROBLEM!!! I told mom I was going out with Elliot. I drove to My Father’s Place and the couple secretly picked me up there. They packed us turkey sandwiches – and I was riding in style!! I had a nice comfy back seat to myself, and we were off! I wasn’t worried about not having a ticket – I was sure that Ian would get me in.
Asbury Park is a big outdoor amusement park surrounded by beach and a boardwalk with souvenir shops and arcades.( Last year, there were photos of Bruce Springsteen in every arcade, but I spotted one of Ian & Mick, so I brought them inside to see it – they were shocked!)
We got to the venue at 3pm – just as Ian was leaving from sound check. Ian’s car pulls out of the venue – the driver didn’t stop but Ian rolled down the window. I yelled out to him – I don’t have a ticket!!!! And he shakes his head and says, “I’ll see you in the front row!”
Well, I thought Ian had more confidence than I did, but I put on my old Lucy & Ethel thinking cap and got right to work. I spotted a guy unloading Hunter/Ronson T-shirts from a van, so I asked if he needed help. I grabbed a load of shirts and entered the venue right behind him – no ticket needed! Now I just needed a seat. I walked up to the 2 guys in the front row center, and asked if I could sit with them, and they said YES!! Luckily, I am really small and I squeezed in. Everyone stood up anyway throughout the show. Of course, Ian spotted me there and pulled me onstage to sing the ‘3-4’s’ during ‘Cleveland Rocks’ and the rest is history! Oh – and at the live shows, Ian would yell at the end, “My name is Ian Hunter, and this is my fucking life!’ And that day he said – “Her name is Madeline and this is HER fucking life!” I was crying on his shoulder onstage – and that’s when a photo was taken! It was the last show of the tour, so a bit sad.
(I had no idea that photos existed, until I saw one in a magazine years later.)
Elliot called me one day in 1982 and said, “There’s a review of Ian’s show in Relix magazine and guess who’s on stage with him!” (Mick had since left Ian’s band so I got excited and thought it was Mick) …but Steve said, “No, Madeline – it’s YOU!” Sure enough it was a review of a recent show, but it was an older photo from when he pulled me up onstage at Convention Hall in NJ!! I contacted the photographer and he sent me the original print, plus two others!!
Read more of my Concert Diaries here:
1980 Concert list
|8 – Hunter/Ronson – MFP – recording Welcome to the Club LP|
|Cherry Vanilla @ Hurrah|
|Student Teachers @ Hurrah|
|Gary Numan – Palladium|
Klaus Nomi @ Xenon
|The Jam – Palladium
|4 – Iggy @ My Father’s Place – Soldier Tour|
|5 – Iggy – Club 57 NYC|
|7 – Clash – The Palladium, NYC|
|9 – Iggy – Great Gildersleeves, NYC|
|14 – Iggy – The Factory, Staten Island, NY
(met Lori & Rob!)
|18 – Undertones – Irving Plaza, NYC
|5 – Hunter/Ronson – Malibu Long Island|
|6 – Hunter/Ronson – Detroit, Westchester|
|7 – Hunter/Ronson – Hammerheads, L.I.|
|8 – Hunter/Ronson – Toad’s Place CT|
|11 – Hunter/Ronson – Central Park, NY|
|12 – Hunter/Ronson – Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ|
|25 – Devo – Calderone Theatre, Hempstead, NY
|21 Klaus Nomi
|7 – Iggy – The Ritz, NYC|