New York Rock and Roll History Quiz

By Jen Dziura

From The Ramones to Lady GaGa, New York rocks! Illustration by Chris Kalb

From The Ramones to Lady GaGa, New York rocks! Illustration by Chris Kalb

1. Which of the following did NOT happen at the Apollo Theater?

A. Buddy Holly became one of the first white rock and roll stars to perform there in 1957.
B. Jimi Hendrix won first place in an amateur music contest in 1964.
C. Jane Fonda protested the Vietnam War in 1969, leading an audience singalong.
D. James Brown’s body was displayed to the public in 2006.

2. Where is Joey Ramone Place?

A. It’s part of 2nd Street
B. It’s an alternate name for Herald Square
C. The stretch of St. Mark’s Place between the Japanese tattoo parlor and the regular tattoo parlors
D. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

3. How were The Ramones related?

A. Joey and Dee Dee had the same mother and different fathers.
B. Joey and Johnny were cousins who had reconnected at Dee Dee’s bar mitzvah.
C. Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee could all trace their roots back to Mayflower passenger Rev. Myles Ramone, who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1650.
D. They weren’t.

4. Lou Reed’s 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side” refers to a “Holly” who came to NYC from Miami to…

A. dance at Scores
B. never lose her head “when she was givin’ head”
C. shave her legs and go from a “he” to a “she”
D. shave Lou Reed’s legs on an as-needed basis

5. Which of the following was NOT a song performed at Elvis Presley’s Madison Square Garden concert in 1972?

A. A version of the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey”
B. Never Been to Spain
C. Polk Salad Annie
D. Tuna Salad Shirley

6. Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine’s band Television famously convinced…

A. CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal to start booking rock bands
B. NYC Mayor John Lindsay to legalize clothing held together with safety pins
C. The Chelsea Hotel to stock Hell’s pseudonymous poetry chapbooks in its minibar
D. Your mom to be a punk groupie

7. Central Park’s Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon contains which of the following?

A. Um, a field of strawberries. Obviously.
B. A mosaic made by Italian craftsmen
C. A guitar owned by Lennon, now gold-plated and rubbed by tourists for luck
D. A life-sized sculpture of John and Yoko holding a “Bed-In for Peace”

8. Where is “Tom’s Diner,” from the 1981 Suzanne Vega song, located?

A. 112th Street and Broadway (and it’s really “Tom’s Restaurant”)
B. Mercer Street (and it’s really “Tom & Erma’s”)
C. It was in Times Square, but it’s now a Skecher’s Shape-Ups Store
D. Vega made up the fictional diner on an acid trip in Phoenix

9. Which two of the following are NOT bands hailing from NYC?

A. Dirt Assembly
B. French Kicks
C. Grizzly Bear
D. Crash Leopard

10. In 2004, the artist currently known as Lady Gaga dropped out of:

A. FIT’s metal and latex design program
B. Columbia University’s School of the Arts
C. NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts
D. An alternative, pants-optional high school

Jennifer Dziura ( is a quizmistress, spelling bee host, and professional nerd who recently premiered a one-woman show about punctuation.

Answers: 1: C, 2: A, 3: D, 4: C, 5: D, 6: A, 7: B, 8: A, 9: A and D, 10: C

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