Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the mid-1970's, New York City's rock music scene had grown fallow -- the city was in an economic downturn, there were few nightclubs offering original music, and hardly any local bands were making an impression in the national press. But that changed when two longtime friends, Richard Meyers and Tom Miller, moved to New York, where rents were still cheap and it seemed possible to make your own excitement; they started a band and began looking for a place to play. Meyers and Miller found a nearly empty bar on the bowery, CBGB, and persuaded the owner to let their new group perform every Sunday night. Meyers and Miller changed their names to Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine, their band was called Television, and they unwittingly launched what would come to be known as the New York punk rock scene. The House of the Rising Punk is a documentary that explores the first era of New York's punk underground, as eyewitnesses and scenesters share their memories of how a handful of renegade rockers, poets and artists created a sound and style that changed the world. Produced for German television, The House of the Rising Punk features interviews with Patti Smith, Dee Dee Ramone, Legs McNeil, Jim Jarmusch, Amos Poe, Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine.