Concert promoter Rocks Off has organized two walking tours in New York City: “The History of Art, Crime, Drugs, and Punk Rock on the Lower East Side” and “The Past, Present, and Future of Rock & Roll in New York City.” The tours are guided by John Joseph of the hardcore punk band Cro-Mags and Rocks Off owner Jake Szufnarowski, respectively.
Speaking of “The History of Art, Crime, Drugs, and Punk Rock,” Joseph said, “There is a lot of history in the Lower East Side and a lot of its culture and significance has been lost in recent years with the gentrification of the city. Some of the best artists in the world came out of there and some of the most storied crime lore came from there as well, and those two elements co-existed side by side.” Throughout the tour, Joseph provides first-hand accounts of the rise of punk rock and crime in New York City.
Szufnarowski’s rock & roll tour explores downtown landmarks such as CBGB, the Fillmore East, and the Hells Angels headquarters. The walk also delves into the rich backstories of bands including The Ramones, The Butthole Surfers, and The Strokes.
Both tours run weekly, Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are available through Rocks Off.