Not only is Jesse Malin a bad ass musician, entrepreneur, and debatably the coolest person in NYC, he just so happens to be a friend of mine. For those of you who might not be aware, Jesse Malin began playing live the age of twelve years old in the seminal hardcore band Heart Attack, releasing the first NYC hardcore seven inch, God Is Dead, on Damaged Goods Records. Before he turned fourteen, Jesse continued to tour North America with Heart Attack and released two more records with the band. In the early 1990’s, Jesse and his childhood pals formed the rock and roll band D Generation and released three albums, touring the globe several times over before parting ways in 1999. Malin’s other projects have included On Your Sleeve, a covers record featuring a schizophrenic mix of his favorite songs including everything from Elton John to the The Kills and Jim Croce to The Hold Steady, The Finger (We Are Fuck You) with Ryan Adams, Johnny T, and Colin Burns and the Rodeo Queens, a side project with Green Day formed very, very late at night. Jesse was also the music supervisor on Burning Down The House: The Story of CBGB, directed by Many Stein, and recently reconnected with Stein as an associate producer on 2012’s Bad Brains: Band in DC, co-directed by Stein and Ben Logan. He also and hosts a monthly radio show on Sirius’s Spectrum with John Varvatos entitled “New York Nights.” He joined us for our 5GB series before his show tomorrow at Smith’s Olde Bar.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Kiss at Madison Square Garden many moons ago. I was in the Kiss army, I did wear my mother’s plattform shoes around the house, made spaceman clothes out of aluminum foil and even tried this bit at the public school talent show spitting heinz ketchup as blood and smashing a Japanese imitation Les Paul.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
Opening for Ryan Adams solo acoustic, scared to death at The Olympia Theater in Dublin…or maybe it was the China Theater in Stockholm, Sweden. They had swastikas all over the walls. I thought I was going to be out numbered and turned into a living room fixture til I realized it was an Indian symbol. PS The gig was a lot of fun.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Probably The Bad Brains at CBGB’s in the early 80’s. Back flips, pure speed, anger, reggae, punk and PMA (that’s positive mental attitude).
What is the gig you would most like to play?
Opening up for Neil Young & Crazy Horse or headlining Madison Square Garden high powered on wheat grass and hometown pride.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Neil Young, again, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Bob Dylan, Big Audio Dynamite, Sam Cooke (if we could get him back), Suicide, The Kills The National, Squeeze, The Waldos and Paul Simon. If The Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem were available throw them in and maybe give Joni Mitchell a call. Also, please, Lucinda Williams. Might be a bloody festival, might have a to bring electric socks with a 9-volt battery, a plastic or heft bag style poncho and a hip flask full of Don Julio plus a 6 pack of Emergen-C and a silky speedo.
Catch Jesse Malin, Wednesday May 30th at Smith’s Olde Bar