For anyone bemoaning the death of certain NYC scenes, let us not forget that before most of us were even born, legacies were being built and demolished in this city faster than you could say "Fuhgeddaboudit." It's been decades, for instance, since the heyday of CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and the infamous Chelsea Hotel, which Patti Smith described thusly in her 2010 memoir, Just Kids: "The Chelsea was like a doll's house in The Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe...Everyone had something to offer and nobody seemed to have much money. Even the successful seemed to have just enough to live like extravagant bums."
|Carrie Ashley Hill is "Broke Up, Broke Down."|
Those extravagant bums have included everyone from Smith herself to Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Robert Mapplethorpe, and countless more. Once immortalized by songs like Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," the landmark was purchased last year by King & Grove Hotels, who renamed their entire company after the iconic location.
For residents of the Chelsea who still called it home, that meant finally vacating the premises and moving on. One of those residents was April Barton, a stylist who occupied Suite 303 for nearly 20 years, working with Bono, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Mary J. Blige, and Avril Lavigne, among others. When she saw singer-songwriter Carrie Ashley Hill sing "Broke Up, Broke Down" at the Bowery Electric a few days before the move, something hit a nerve, and the two decided to collaborate on a video for the track that would act as a fitting swan song for Barton's salon. We're happy to premiere it here today, exclusively.More »