Pioneers of Punk

Published October 29, 2015

PHOTO COURTESY OF NUMERO GROUP

Under the greenish hue of the mercury-vapor street lamps that hummed over 1970s downtown Manhattan, a culturally upending music scene was incubating. And nurturing this Romantic-street-poet-with-a-switchblade-cum-rock ‘n’ roll-purist daydream was onetime Interview editorial assistant and Warhol devotee Terry Ork, who, along with co-founder Charles Ball, established Ork Records in the summer of 1975, just as America found itself waist deep in a Quaalude-induced milieu of clunky glitz. Punk could not have arrived at a better time. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the founding of this seminal label comes Ork Records: New York, New York, out this month from Numero, a boxed set containing the entire Ork Records catalog—including early material from Television, Richard Hell, and Alex Chilton, to name a few—plus a 120-page booklet of rare photos and “sordid details” of the early days of New York punk.