NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell tells the story of one of the most astonishing pop culture years in American history. New York City had fallen in decay and chaos. There were not enough jobs, not enough money, not enough police, not enough schools, and not enough social services. There was a city wide black out with major looting, there was a serial killer on the loose, and the Bronx was burning. Yet out of the chaos, emerged one of the most creative times any city has ever encountered.
Hip Hop was emerging from the South Bronx, punk music was emerging from the lower eastside centred around GBGBs, and disco was emerging from Queens and midtown Manhattan (The Loft, Paradise Garage and Studio 54). Elaborate, finely crafted graffiti art decorated the subway cars. Break-dancers danced in the streets. There was a huge sexual liberation with sex clubs and a burgeoning porn industry. In the beginning of the year, the world was not paying attention, and most of this activity existed in its own underground bubble. Yet by the end of 1977 all of this artistic expression was about to become part of mainstream America and would remain popular for generations to come.
The stellar list of people interviewed includes Mayor Ed Koch, Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein, porn actress Annie Sprinkle, hip-hop pioneers KRS One, Afrika Bambaataa and D.J. Kool Herc, punks Richard Hell (Neon Boys, Television, The Heartbreakers and Richard Hell & The Voidoids), Blondie’s Christ Stein, Studio 54 co-owner Ian Schrager and disco diva Gloria Gaynor.