Put Your Arms Around A Memory: Dolls' Guitarist Says Goodbye to 'Tower' (Again)

By Courtney Humiston
|  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010  |  Updated 5:05 PM EDT
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Put Your Arms Around A Memory: Dolls' Guitarist Says Goodbye to 'Tower' (Again)

thecontes.com

Steve Conte

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How would you like to see Johnny Thunders at Tower Records this weekend?

Yes, we realize that the iconic music store has been closed for three years and Thunders, the original guitarist for the New York Dolls, is long dead, so you may have to modify your expectations slightly.

Instead of Thunders, how about his replacement in the Dolls, Steve Conte, and instead of the Tower you knew and loved, a made-over version that is filled with artistic renditions of albums rather than actual records.

No Longer Empty, a nonprofit that creates public art exhibitions in empty stores and otherwise abandoned spaces around the city, has been occupying the former Tower space since mid-January. The latest show, "Never Can Say Goodbye" in the former record store, is closing Sunday and, in a final act of nostalgia, is bringing Conte back (he performed with the Dolls in Tower shortly before it closed). He'll play with his band The Crazy Truth on Friday at 7 p.m.

Manon Slome, the organizations founder and a former curator at the Guggenheim, tells Black Book Magazine she was inspired to start No Longer Empty when she was walking down Madison Avenue and noticed all the empty storefronts -- victims of the economic downturn. Ohhh, how very zeitgeisty.

The show goes on better and pays homage to the space and to a record industry that is becoming all but obsolete in the digital age.

Reservations for the show are required and a $10 suggested donation includes admission to the exhibit.

 When: Friday, February 12, 7 p.m.

Where: 4th Street and Broadway

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