Richard Boch with Pete Farndon 1980© by Lynette Bean
Questions to author Richard Boch
by Tobe Damit
NITRO by Damita!
Tobe Damit: Henny Garfunkel used to qualify the end of the 70’s as ”the days of struggling without a struggle”. What did that meant to you?
Richard Boch: I believe Henny meant that despite the fact that few of us had any money we all somehow managed to live well. We got to pursue our own creative path, hear great music, go out nearly every night, get high, have sex and fuck around with little or no worry.
Tobe Damit: Looking back what were the major differences between the 70’s to the 80’s??
Richard Boch: Other than fashion and politics the 70’s seemed in a way to be an extension of the 60’s. There was another radical rebirth of popular music via Punk! My lifestyle was still ‘anything goes’ and ‘try anything twice.’ The 80’s was more a time to get real. The drinking age in NY changed from 18 to 21, Ronald Reagan became president and the AIDS crisis was upon us. The freewheeling ‘sexploits’ we had lovingly and recklessly experienced and practiced inevitably had to change.
Tobe Damit: Why did you mention at some point (p.182) that 1983 was the pivotal year? How so?
Richard Boch: NYC as an affordable city started changing. Gentrification was taking place and it was becoming more difficult and eventually impossible for a young artist or musician to survive ‘on the cheap.’
Tobe Damit: All through the book I feel a certain loneliness, a feeling of ”not being part of?”. Did you manage to get over that? How and/or when?
Richard Boch: I occasionally felt like I didn’t quite fit in and other times I felt like I was comfortably in the thick of it. Maybe drugs and alcohol made it better but at the same time made it worse. It was a hard job playing judge and jury. Yes I am over it today and writing this book was certainly the biggest help of all.
Tobe Damit: Who did you consider you best friends while you were working at the MUDD?
Richard Boch: Richard Sohl, Andi Ostrowe, Teri Toye, Pat Wadsley, Jesse Chamberlain, David Azarch, Lynette Bean, Allan and Dory Lanier, Pat Place, Vicki Pedersen, and Pete Farndon.
Tobe Damit: You must have a fantastic memory!! How do you manage to recall all this!! and I’m not even considering the various altered mind states you went through!??
Richard Boch: Ha! I interviewed nearly two hundred people so in a way it a collective memory. I kept a few journals and had lots of Mudd memorabilia. Besides, maybe the drugs burned some of the memories into my brain.
Tobe Damit: Were there some nights that made you really feel as being part of that ”energy” that was going on during those years you work at the MUDD Club??
Richard Boch: Yes, Talking Heads live at Mudd, The Soul Party, Marianne Faithfull live at Mudd and any given moment on the dance floor.
Tobe Damit: How would you describe the feeling that you would get from someone who wouldn’t fit in the MUDD Club?? What would be the vibe you would be getting (or not getting!) from that person?
Richard Boch: Impatience, too many questions, telling me what other clubs let them in, or drunk on arrival didn’t work for me.
Tobe Damit: What is your best memory best party night ever and who were you with??
Richard Boch: I was with my friend Michael Maslin, the New Yorker cartoonist. We were up front listening to Talking Heads onstage. Other than that it was up on the third floor with Richard Sohl, Teri Toye and Anita Pallenberg for the Marianne Faithfull show aftermath.
Tobe Damit: What was your favorite artist/band live?
Richard Boch: At Mudd it would have been Talking Heads. In general it would be The Clash, or the old Jefferson Airplane when I was a kid.
Tobe Damit: Thanks for this amazing book and all those wonderful memories you shared with us!! Thanks to Damita for her kind words and the nitro.