Monday 12 November 2018

#119 THE CRAMPS - Club 57, New York (1979) (Flac)

Club 57, Irving Plaza,
New York, NY.
August 18, 1979

“I Don’t Care If You Want Me, I’m Yours Right Now”

Deciding on which Cramps bootleg to include on the blog was a close call between the ‘Ohio demos’ and this. With the alternate 100 bootlegs format I am now able to include this live performance from Club 57 in August 1979.

Club 57 opened in 1979 and closed four years later. It was an anti-disco, anti-glitz, dingy diamond of the early new wave era, and was managed by budding performance artist Ann Magnuson. Hired by the owner of Irving Plaza whose smaller club at St. Mark's needed alternative' entertainment to attract the neighbourhood’s local youth. She used her creativity and turned the basement into her own "low rent answer to Andy Warhol's Factory."

One of Club 57's more successful nights was the Monster Movie Club, every Tuesday, showing "the worst monster movie they could find," according to Drew Straub. The soundtrack for these absurdist, weekly carnival shows were stars of the outer reaches of punk, new wave and rap. The club featured performances by St. Marks resident Klaus Nomi, Fab Five Freddy and John Sex. and also more established names such as the Buzzcocks and the Cramps. (thanks to the Bowery Boys New York History blog for information about Club 57)

The latest unofficial bootleg release by Moonlight Records in 2011 has several issues with the mastering and sound quality. The main body of that silver disc is taken from the FM broadcast of Club 57, Irving Plaza, New York on August 18, 1979. It also includes 9 demo bonus tracks, these have been subjected to crackle and hiss removal, resulting in quite muffled sounding audio. The demo tracks can all be found on the bootleg vinyl release ‘Tales From The Cramps’ and while there may be some hiss and crackle on that boot, the sound quality is superior and more natural than the processed tracks on the Moonlight release.

The tracks presented here are all from a master tape of the WPIX FM broadcast. It has superior sound quality with much crisper audio, the raw edges have not been blunted by any additional and unnecessary remastering. 

In the summer of 1979, the Cramps had just completed their first European tour and returned to New York. They officially signed to IRS and commenced work on their debut album produced by Alex Chilton. After the album recording sessions had finished they went out on a major US tour, some dates as support to the Buzzcocks.

The debut album “Songs The Lord Taught Us” would not be released until March 1980, mainly because of mixing problems and difficulties caused by the producer’s perfectionism. This FM broadcast is an excellent representation of the raw and savage sound of the early Cramps live and should be played at much louder volume than studio recordings to gain the full sonic effect.



Lux - vocals
Ivy - guitars
Bryan Gregory - guitars
Nick Knox - drums

01. UFO
02. Domino
03. Twist & Shout
04. Weekend On Mars
05. Voodoo Idol
06. Zombie Dance
07. Rockin’ Bones
08. Human Fly
09. Garbageman
10. Teenage Werewolf
11. Sunglasses After Dark
12. TV Set
13. - crowd -
14. The Way I Walk



  1. Thanks for sharing so soon again! Cheers. Early Cramps, alright!

  2. Your welcome, didn't think anyone liked the Cramps due to the lack of response towards this post

  3. This Bryan Gregory-era live stuff is so boss! Thanks!!

  4. Another Cramps fan here! Thanks for this and the other great music you've shared.

  5. Thanks for sharing! I've been a fan of boots since the original TMOQ days. Your sound quality descriptions are spot on. I also appreciate the listing of the source lineage. Play loud to " ... to gain the full sonic effect ...", spoken like a true bootleg fan.

  6. Your welcome. Good to hear from another long time bootleg fan

  7. Caught them live in London about a month before this show.. have memories of a great night..looking forward to relive some memories.

  8. Nice site you have here! Stopped by looking for something else but was happy to see this gem lying around. Thanks!

  9. Are you familiar with the bootleg, Life On Mars. It is the same Club 57 show. Wondering if sound quality is good.

  10. No I haven't heard it. This one is from an FM master recording so I would doubt that the grey area release is better, unless they had access to the pre-fm source.

    1. Pulled the trigger and bought Life On Mars. It is fantastic. I just uploaded a video on youtube of my Cramps vinyl collection.
      Vinyl Richie The Cramps

    2. Thanks Ritchie, what an amazing collection you have.
      That's a tasty record the Ohio demos. Your new purchase looks great, the artwork is tremendous. These bootleggers make some pretty good stuff!

  11. I just bought a vinyl of this show today, it sounds pretty great. At the bottom under the title it says WLIR-FM

    1. It's a nice object to own, take a look at Vinyl Richie The Cramps on YouTube, that's some collection.