Looking Back at Max’s Kansas City and Ahead to the New Don Hill’s

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Photo: VF

Vanity Fair publishes some photos of Joey Ramone, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, and others at sixties and seventies counterculture clubhouse Max’s Kansas City, the subject of a new coffee-table book and gallery show. Introducing the slideshow, James Wolcott notes: “Like the Ouroboros, the mythical serpent swallowing its own tail in an eternal circle of self-consumption, the cultural imagination of New York continues to feed on its chattier, noisier, messier, more creatively jostling past, the present being too priced out and tamped down.” Well put! But come on, New York can still get down — right?

Sure, we don’t have Max’s Kansas City anymore, but Debbie Harry was just spotted at Nur Khan’s pre-renovation party for the new Don Hill's! Who cares if the crowd (including cultural heavyweights like Mary-Kate Olsen) was so lame that performer Jack White was moved to yell, “Why don't you rock the fuck out?! Maybe I should go grab those free drinks and shove them down your throats, you hip motherfuckers!” The new Don Hill’s is really going to bring it, according to Steve Lewis: “I’m sure they will be pushing bottles of Goose to a crowd that does that, but at least the bottles will come with a show — better than a skirt bringing the booze with a practiced smile and sparkler.” Like John Lennon once sang about Max’s, “What a badass city!”

They All Hung Out at Max’s [VF]