First Show At The Ritz

The original Ritz is located at 4th Ave. and 11th St. in Manhattan. It opened in the spring of 1980 and The Heartbreakers were the very first band to play there. Before the show, I got there early for the soundcheck and it was a horror like a trip into hell. The sound system had just been installed and was not yet up to snuff. Luckily, Charlie Martin of CBGB'S was there as the system's tech and knew what to do.

The show started out rough but wound up being the best night of the short tour that we did that spring. Anyone that was there that night will attest to that. (If anyone has a tape of the show I would love a copy. Email me at This is just another bit of underground rock and roll trivia, the Heartbreakers were the first to play the Ritz and what a fabulous show it was.

I feel they left their mark on the club which was to be the site of a number of great live albums recorded by such artists as Guns & Roses, Iggy Pop, Ian Hunter and a few other notables. But we were the first.

Bobby Belfiore (retired soundman)

Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge:
Managed by Chris Ridpath:
Modified: May 14, 2001