The Ritz (rock club)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Ritz was a New York City rock club in the 1980s and early 1990s.


The Ritz was founded in 1980 by Jerry Brandt in the historic Webster Hall ballroom and concert space on 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.[citation needed] The address was 119 East 11th Street.[citation needed] The Ritz focused primarily on live performances, often of newer acts, but also featured dancing.[citation needed] The Ritz was one of the first clubs to incorporate video screens into the club experience with a 30' screen and a projector which cost $120,000.[citation needed] MTV made its debut at The Ritz.[citation needed] In April 1989, The Ritz moved to the site of the former Studio 54 on 254 West 54th Street, where it was called "The New Ritz" and continued to host concerts for several years.[1] From 1990 onward it reverted to the name "The Ritz."[citation needed] The original 11th Street space is now known as Webster Hall.

MTV's "Live at The Ritz"[edit]

MTV aired a series of concerts called "Live at The Ritz" on Saturday nights in the 1980s. Performers included Guns N' Roses, Gene Loves Jezebel, the Saints, the Cult, Nik Kershaw, the Smithereens, Julian Cope, Great White, Hoodoo Gurus, White Lion, Iggy Pop, Eurogliders, Blancmange,[2] and Simon Townshend.

Public Image Limited appearance[edit]

The club received national attention after an antagonistic performance by Public Image Limited on May 15, 1981.[3] They were a late substitution for Bow Wow Wow, who were originally scheduled to perform.[3] The band was more interested in creating performance art than giving a traditional concert; to this end, they appeared onstage deliberately obscured by a projection screen and played their records through the club's public address system while playing entirely different music onstage.[3] Taunted by lead singer John Lydon (formerly of the Sex Pistols), the Ritz's unhappy patrons rioted, throwing bottles and garbage cans, and pulling on the video screen that covered the front of the stage.[3][4][5]



  1. ^ "Minor Musings: The Ritz - NYC!". 13 October 2012.
  2. ^ Blancmange - Live at The Ritz 1985 - Taped from MTV on Betamax on YouTube
  3. ^ a b c d "New York, Ritz, USA, May 15th, 1981 (Review and Setlist)". Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ Ed Caraballo's account of Pil @ The Ritz.
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review + other remiscensenses of Pil @ The Ritz.
  6. ^ "Official Misfits Discography". Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  7. ^ Sarzo, Rudy (2017). Off the Rails (third edition). CreateSpace Publishing. ISBN 1-53743-746-1
  8. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 28, 1987). "Pop: Bo Diddley Tour". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Venom – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  10. ^ "A Look Back at Guns N' Roses' Legendary Live Show at the Ritz in '88". InsideHook. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  11. ^ "Kiss - The Ritz on fire (Broadcast 1988) - (Vinyl LP) - musik". - Musik - Film - Retro (in Swedish). Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  12. ^ Living Colour Rocks The Ritz. East Village Eye. December 1986. p 6.
  13. ^ McLennan, Scott (3 June 2019). "David Bowie & I: Socks, Sax & Sex Shops". Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Sepultura Tour Dates". Retrieved July 10, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′54″N 73°59′21″W / 40.73175°N 73.98912°W / 40.73175; -73.98912