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Ned Flood of Boston, MA, takes issue with the passage in the “Bambaataa, Afrika” entry of The Rock Snob*s Dictionary that mentions that Bambaataa was an early hip-hop ambassador to white listeners, “performing at such Downtown new-wave clubs as the Mudd Club and the Peppermint Lounge in the early eighties.”
“I wouldn’t call the Mudd Club ‘new wave’ and I remember the Peppermint Lounge being located around 42nd St–not really ‘downtown,’” writes Ned, Snobbishly and snidely brandishing the scare quotes. Well, Ned, here’s the thing: the Mudd Club opened in 1978, at precisely the New York new-wave moment, and was cited in a Talking Heads song from their new-wavish period, and, while also a showcase for punkers and art-music diddlers, played host to dozens of new wave acts. As for the Peppermint Club, it indeed spent most of its life in midtown Manhattan, on 45th Street, but by the early eighties, when Bambaataa took up residency there, the club had relocated to Fifth Ave at 15th Street. If you want to be super-nitpicky, you might argue that a club can’t truly be downtown unless it’s south of 14th Street. But then you’d be more than a nitpicker; you’d be what’s known, clinically, as a wanker.