Thursday, 1 March 2007

BBC4's Week of New York Punk Rock

BBC4 is a very exciting UK TV channel. It’s curiously old fashioned, screening documentaries that move slowly and are magnificently in depth. Or digging into the dusty corners of the BBC vaults for long forgotten music sessions. It’s like BBC2 used to be before it was infested with doing up your house or cooking a nice tea programmes. This week, it’s showing a series of documentaries about New York punk rock.

Tomorrow (Friday March 2) they have scheduled New York Doll, the documentary that follows the tragic story of the descent into alcoholism New York Doll member Arthur Kane, much of which was shot around the time of the band’s triumphant reformation.
New York Doll - BBC 4. 9.00pm - 10.15pm

On Saturday March 3, is a programme about the legendary punk hangout, and death place of Nancy Spungen The Chelsea Hotel.
Arena: Chelsea Hotel BBC 4. 10.25pm - 11.20pm

Followed by the story of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side. Although I think we all know that by now. Herbie Flowers will go ooooon about his bass line, AND there were backing vocals that had to be changed, AND there will be explanations of references to drag queens, AND Lou Reed will be grumpy and look like a supply teacher.
Arena: Tales of Rock 'n' Roll - a Walk on the Wild Side - BBC 4. 11.20pm - 12.05am

This looks good. But it’s only an hour. You know they’ll interview Debbie Harry.
Once Upon a Time in New York: the Birth of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk - BBC 4. 9.00pm - 10.00pm

As they will here, too. This is a great documentary, actually, with genuinely interesting and insightful interviews with members of a band who don’t just wash their dirty laundry in public, they run around with it until it’s dry. I LOVE the filthy looks Debbie Harry gives Clem Burke at the live shows. And the whole hoo ha over the Hall Of Fame debacle is hilarious. God bless Blondie.
Blondie: One Way or Another - BBC 4. 11.00pm - 12.15am

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