Before the sex pistols there was New York's Lower East Side: trash aesthetes with short hair and kinky vixens in B-movie stilettos. Kids with minor drug habits and slim volumes of symbolist verse. Pre-punk 'punk' was Gotham's reaction to smug denim California and prog-pomp stadium blow-out. The new Bowery Bop was about immaculate posing, street-corner nihilism. It was railroad-apartment art-rock out of the Velvets, Stooges, Dolls, with a side order of Nuggets garage psychedelics.

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Before the sex pistols there was New York’s Lower East Side: trash aesthetes with short hair and kinky vixens in B-movie stilettos. Kids with minor drug habits and slim volumes of symbolist verse. Pre-punk ‘punk’ was Gotham’s reaction to smug denim California and prog-pomp stadium blow-out. The new Bowery Bop was about immaculate posing, street-corner nihilism. It was railroad-apartment art-rock out of the Velvets, Stooges, Dolls, with a side order of Nuggets garage psychedelics. Patti Smith was the tomboy boho icon (hairy armpits, Rimbaud fixation); The Ramones the inner-suburban denim’n’leather drongos peddling cartoon ramalama. By contrast, Television were cool and arty, monkish Apollos to Patti’s distaff Dionysus.

Tom Verlaine (n