The Colors

After Big Apple punk's first wave got swallowed whole by major recording conglomerates-and with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 half a decade away-gaping holes in the CBGB/Max's Kansas City/Tier 3 scene were filled by teenagers pouring in via the city's tributary bridges and tunnels. Foudnded in 1978 by Chinatown natuve and vocalist Tommy Cookman and Long Island guitarist Paul Sass, the Colors were unabashedly second wave, more Bay City Rollers than Velvet Underground, and far more pop than punk. The band was pure fantasy before the arrival of former Numbers bassist Robert Vickers from Australia, who Sass cajoled into dropping his Euro-travel plans and applying for a green card. "The colors had a brief existence, less than four years in total," Vickers remembered. "But our star shone brightly during that time, illuminating the murky grim of the old Bowery and the dimly lit side streets of a low-rent, crime-ridden Manhattan that disappeared so completely in the boom of the late '80s."

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