Cool interview with Thurston Moore over at Vulture magazine.
Jennifer Vineyard interviewed Moore. Here’s an excerpt:
I was born in 1958, and the Velvet Underground disbanded in the early ’70s, so I was aware of the Velvet Underground as a young kid. I remember finding the banana LP at Sears, because you’d buy records in places like department stores. It wasn’t until later I found a record store in New Haven, Connecticut, called Cutler’s, where we’d find records that were more obscure. You would see them written about every once in a while, either in Rolling Stone or CREEM or the magazines of the time, like Circus, Hit Parader, and Rock Scene. Rock Scene was the most important one because it was primarily events that were happening in New York City. They would have all the heavyweights in there, like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, but they were also covering what was going on in the margins. That was really exciting, wondering what was going on in these little clubs in New York City, because the people just looked fabulous, and the music sounded more intriguing than what was going on at the time with youth culture, which was sort of a fallout from hippie and post-Vietnam kind of vibe. At that time, the hip thing was going back to the country, escaping the city and smoking pot with Joni Mitchell and David Crosby on the porch with the dogs. And there was all this music from Europe and England that had more pomp to it, like prog rock—Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. So to me, seeing images of Patti Smith standing on the subway platform—all of a sudden it was like this new idea that it was kind of cool to be urban. And that was like our new definition of identity. I wanted to investigate that. The reality of it was the city was destitute, and it became this kind of postapocalyptic landscape for artists, and there’s something very enchanting in that. I ran to it. I wanted to see Patti Smith.
Connecticut was a great place to be, because the bands would come to you. But I was very curious about going to New York City, to Max’s Kansas City. So as soon as I could figure it out, I drove to New York City and sought out Max’s Kansas City. I knew it was on Park Avenue—which is a very long avenue, by the way! So I drove along Park Avenue, and I yelled out the window, “Where’s Max’s?” [Laughs.] I eventually found it at the very bottom of the avenue, right near Union Square.