Max's Kansas City was a nightclub (upstairs) and restaurant (downstairs) between 17th and 18th Streets, on Park Avenue South in New York City. Opened by Mickey Ruskin (1933-1983) in December 1965, it was a hangout for artists and sculptors of the New York School, sculptor John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschenberg and Larry Rivers, whose presence attracted hip celebrities and the jet set, and also a favorite spot of Andy Warhol's entourage. The Velvet Underground played their last shows with Lou Reed at Max's in the summer of 1970.

In the 1970s, Max's Kansas City became one of the birthplaces of punk rock, featuring bands like Cherry Vanilla, The New York Dolls, Blondie, The Ramones, The Misfits, The Dictators (who were falsely rumoured to have been banned from playing there), Wayne County, The Fleshtones, and Patti Smith, as well as out of town bands in the same vein such as The Runaways, and The Damned. After the breakup of the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious played many of his solo gigs here.

Max's Kansas City, slid after pop art had turned punk and closed in the 1980s. The building remains, but is now a deli.

Further readingEdit

  • Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin, High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City (1998). Mickey Ruskin's widow really knew who was there.

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