Max's Kansas City is one of those unique places that defined an era. “It was the exact spot where Pop Art and Pop Life came together in the 60's," stated Andy Warhol and the center of the universe in the late 60's and 70's for all segments of the arts, a home away from home for Everybody who was Anybody, from Warhol and his Superstars to William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Abbie Hoffman, Truman Capote, Betsey Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg to name a few, and the launching site for emerging bands like the Velvet Underground after which pop culture would never be the same again.
To commemorate Max's 50th Anniversary, The Max's Kansas City Project, established in 2001 by Yvonne R. Sewall, will recreate some of the magic with two special events in January and February to start the New Year with an infusion of electrifying energy: a tribute concert to the iconic Velvet Underground and Lou Reed on January 14, and a Meet & Greet the artists and photographers 50th Anniversary reunion party/exhibition/auction on February 11. The Max's Project embraces Mickey Ruskin's (the creator of Max's Kansas City and a staunch supporter of the arts) philosophy of helping artists in need by providing emergency relief and resources for individuals in the arts in crisis, and has in development FEARLESS YOUTH, a teen empowerment through the arts program featuring and interactive virtual club dedicated to supporting teens in developing their uniqueness through the creative arts with a focus on substance abuse and suicide prevention.
The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed Tribute Concert will be a night to remember with an amazing line-up of talent with a Max's All Star Band featuring musicians from Lou Reed's various bands: Mike Rathke (guitar), Ellard-James "Moose" Boles (bass), and drummer to be announced. Other special talent includes Garland Jeffreys, Marshall Crenshaw, Lenny Kaye, Jenni Muldaur, Bebe Buell, Conner Kennedy, Donna Destri, Monica Behan, Richard Barone, Kimberly Hill (formerly a lead singer with the Black Eyed Peas), poet Anne Waldman and the "Cadillacs," a Lou Reed tribute band. More talent to be added and "Surprise Guests" can be anticipated, which was always a tradition at Max's. Perennial Max's 'master of ceremonies' Jimi LaLumia will emcee the show.
Max's 50th Anniversary Meet & Greet the Artists and Photographers Reunion Party/Exhibition/Auction will take place at the Chelsea Hotel Gallery in partnership with The Chelsea Hotels and Paddle8, February 11th at 222 W 23rd Street 7:30-10pm, ticket price TBA. The exhibition includes selected artworks, rock photography, rock memorabilia and originally designed jewelry from their impeccable donated collection. A sampling of these artists includes Lawrence Weiner, Dan Christensen, Larry Bell, Ronnie Landfield, Larry Poons, Joseph Kosuth, Francine Tint, Barbara Thomas, Bob Gruen, Marcia Resnick, Paul Zone, Anton Perich, Dustin Pittman, Roberta Bayley and many more. Some of the collection can be viewed in the gallery on our website: www.maxskansascity.org