Excited for ‘Vinyl’? Get Into The New York Mood With These Books, Films And Albums

Vinyl, the raunchy HBO ’70s New York music drama produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and legendary director Martin Scorsese debuts in the UK on Sky Atlantic this coming Monday (15th). The show is a filthy and noisey dive head-first into the crazy 70s NYC music scene and stars Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano (Yes, from Everybody Loves Raymond). To get you in the mood – here are some of essential New York material to read, listen and watch before Vinyl.


Just Kids – Patti Smith (2010)
Patti Smith’s autobiography traces her rise to punk stardom, and offers great insights into the murkier areas of the New York’s art scene in the 1970s.
What it’ll learn ya: That the New York punks were grimy and all-inclusive, and they really were just kids.


The New York Dolls – ‘Trash’ (1973)
A forerunner to the punk movement that wasn’t far behind, this track perfectly conjures the sleazier side of ‘70s New York.
What it’ll learn ya: That the early ‘70s weren’t all prog rock and grown men talking about druids.

Richard Hell and The Voidoids – ‘Blank Generation’ (1976)
Arguably the National Anthem of early US punk, it’s got the lot – noisy guitars, drums, a guy shrieking about boredom and nihilism.
What it’ll learn ya: That New York had their own version of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’, and it was wicked.


Taxi Driver (1976)
Scorsese’s paranoid masterpiece is a putrid study of ‘70s New York, starring Robert De Niro as a troubled cabbie with a one-way ticket to total psychotic breakdown.
What it’ll learn ya: That 1970s New York was a breeding ground for scumbags, scumbuckets, scumdingers, freakoids, and weirdos.

End of The Century(2003)
Not just the name on an iconic T-shirt, The Ramones earned their stripes as practically the house band at the legendary New York venue CBGBs. This documentary tells their troubled tale.
What it’ll learn ya: That disenfranchised 1970s New York youth could write great songs inspired by glue sniffing.

Josh Burt