Riding High on the New Wave

Annie Rock 'n Roll met Billy Preston after he fell offstage and onto her during a concert five years ago. He later introduced her to Mick Jagger, and she following the Rolling Stones tour all the way to Memphis, Tennessee, hitchhiking. "By the time I came home, a month later, I had to go into the hospital because I hadn't eaten, because I didn't have any money. But I still lived, still followed them. That's the type of thing I'll do."

Allison is a waitress at CBGB's a punk rock club in New York. She also plays rhythm guitar in a band called Revenge. "Groupies think it's so glamorous to get a job here. On a good night, you don't sit down! You don't sit, you have to carry this heavy tray, clean up, take abuse...I've had half my hair pulled out already! I'm not one of those girls that dyes her hair pink and orange and crawls all over the band members. I think that's disgusting. They think it's in 'cause they're doing it in England. I think it's weird. I went through a stage where I was shredding all my clothes. Then I saw how phony it was, how stupid it was."

Part of August's act, lead singer of the Boo Hoo Band, includes sexually molesting an inflatable doll while wrapped in Saran Wrap, plunging a dagger into occupied tables in the club audience, and pouring hot wax on his bare chest.

"Pouring hot wax on myself? It's just part of the character, you know? For me it's just acting. It doesn't take much talent. Everybody has it. You just have to have the nerve. It's freedom. Onstage it's anarchy. That's the only time you can experience anarchy, I think, is onstage. That's total anarchy, because anything can happen. Anything."

Howie (19), Nick (15), and Billy (16) are the Blessed, a punk band which played its first gig on Christmas Day in New York. Before their debut performance, they had practiced a total of three times, once with no microphone and a cardboard box as drums. None of the band members owns equipment, except Howie, the bassist, and Nick picked up a guitar for the first time three weeks before their debut. They maintain that they are the real punks. "These people are too old to call themselves punks. If you're going to sing about being a teenager, you might as well be one."

Rick, the lead singer for a band called Luna, taught school, joined the Peace Corps in Korea (and was fired), attended architecture school and acting school, and started a home for delinquent kids in Quincy, Mass. before he began writing songs.

"This is the longest job I've had, and I'd hate to see it die. It'd kill me. I think it's great music. We're really saying a lot onstage, and there's a definite market for it. Somebody's just got to realize it--that's got bucks."