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Some called it post-punk. Others called it no wave. I will forever call it NO NEW YORK. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 20, 2012.

Some called it post-punk. Others called it no wave. I will forever call it NO NEW YORK.

About this project

No New York: Adventures in the Town of Empty

I arrived in New York City in 1977. What I found there was a wild and desolate Village of strange ethers inhabited by an army of artists eager to undo the world. The memoir I’m writing is about that time and place, and a collaborative revolution in music and art that spawned some of America’s greatest artists and continues to inspire today. Some called it post-punk. Others called it no wave. I will forever call that time and place No New York.

The Project

Named after the seminal LP I participated in as a member of the Contortions, the memoir is about my adventures in New York City from 1977 to the late-1980’s. Back then, downtown New York could often feel as if you were moving through a fairytale. A dark garden where being beautifully broke was more a protection than a curse, the East Village was a place where wild girls and boys could stick and grow on the air alone. My memoir will take you along on a very personal journey as I travel from Cleveland, Ohio to NYC, from my first band with Peter Laughner of Pere Ubu to the Contortions and my all-girl band the Bloods, to my eventual signing to Geffen and Chrysalis Records. It's also my chance to finally set the record straight about my 'rep' in the music business, with full accountability! 

The journey is not only about music; it’s a very personal history of my adventures in the underground film and art world, and the collaborative nature of the scene and the artists who I lived and played with. I feel fortunate to have been among the international tidal wave of women who rose up to defy boundaries as musicians and artists during that time. It seems people are endlessly interested in this scene, yet aside from books filled with anecdotes and great photo documents, narrative accounts are slim. Help me change this situation by supporting my finishing this book!

If you’d like to know more about me and the flavor of my writing, please visit my website:


What will the money be used for? The project fund will provide me with uninterrupted writing time on finishing the manuscript. It will also fund copy editing costs and research on photographs for the book, with some funds going toward creating limited edition rewards for you.

I work professionally as a ghostwriter and although I’m grateful for the work, I need time to concentrate on my own story. Time is a writer’s currency, and I can promise you I definitely won’t be wasting yours or mine. By participating with a pledge, you can provide me with the necessary time and resources to finish this book and to help prepare it for submission for publication. My deadline to submit is September 1st, 2012. 

Aside from my undying gratitude, I have great rewards for everyone who participates in helping to make this book a reality. You can pledge as little as $1.00 or as much as you wish. I’m grateful for whatever you can give toward helping me reach my goal.

What if funding exceeds your goal? A dream come true is the ‘what if’! In the auspicious event I exceed the funding goal, I plan on using every bit of surplus to promote and market the book. And to produce more rewards for YOU.

Where are all the pictures and video clips from, and is that you in all of them? Yes, it’s me captured by friends/filmmakers/photographers during the period I’m currently writing about. The video includes film clips by Scott and Beth B., Vivienne Dick and  Dee Trattman. Photos are by Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Ted Baron, Michael Granros, Julia Gorton, and Marcia Resnick.

Aren’t you known as a singer and musician? Yes, and some of the stories concern the part I played in the New York of yore as a musician. I’m also a writer – have won a fellowship to the Tomales Bay Writing Workshop at UC Davis with Dorothy Allison, and was awarded a writer’s residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I’ve been working as a ghostwriter for nearly two decades. With this project, the ghost finally materializes.

Raising funds to finish writing this memoir is my first attempt at crowd sourcing, which I believe is the future of arts funding in America. The government may take away funding for the arts, but the success of sites like Kickstarter prove the people will always believe in and support their artists. This is the way to do it; people having the power to choose and support the art, music and literature they WANT to be inspired and entertained by, instead of being fed what major media corporations expect us to live on. If you support my reaching the ‘funding-toward-publication’ goals for this memoir, I’ll not only be grateful, but I just may come back later in the year with a recording project. First things first!

What is the title of the memoir? The working title is No New York: Adventures in the Town of Empty. The phrase ‘town of empty’ was once uttered by old friend Mark Boone Jr. in relationship to our New York, and Mark has graciously allowed me to share in its emptiness (as we all once did). The adventures are solely my own, as is the point-of-view.

What about foreign shipping costs for rewards? All domestic U.S. shipping costs for rewards will be paid by me, but overseas shipping is something you might think about including, unless you’ve pledged over $150.00. For book rewards outside the Continental U.S., please add the following to your pledges: $5. for Canada/Mexico, and $9. for international. Also, please note that aside from chapbook rewards, the actual project will not be shipped until published.

THANK YOU for every bit of your support!


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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    24 backers

    A virtual thank you and a very real shout-out on my website!

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    Pledge $25 or more

    32 backers

    A virtual thank you and shout-out on my website,
    + a special letter snail-mailed and inscribed in an old-fashioned fountain pen (very anachronistic) to you, with a page torn from my notebook!

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    Pledge $50 or more

    23 backers

    All the above + ebook download of No New York memoir when published!

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    Pledge $70 or more

    26 backers

    All the above + inscribed first edition published copy of No New York memoir + short QT movie of my dog Cicciolina dancing in a tutu!

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    19 backers

    All the above + Anubian Lights CD (my old band, me singing lead, limited amount of 20 available)
    + a personal ‘thank you’ phone call!

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    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    All the above + limited edition numbered chapbook short story, inscribed to you!
    + your name included in thank you’s when book is published.

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    Pledge $750 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above + unreleased recording of me singing the Italian partisan song Bella Ciao!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above + dinner and a movie date in Los Angeles (air fares and hotel not included!) WOWEE!

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Funding period

- (30 days)