Michael Holman may not be a household name to Hip-Hop fans, but he should be. Holman’s 1984 television series, Graffiti Rock, lasted only one episode despite gaining good ratings and influencing rappers such as the Beastie Boys. Holman has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the show’s 30th anniversary, and still holds a torch for the culture.
The New York Times profiled Holman, and dove into how the Basquiat screenwriter began his career. After introducing English punk band Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren to Afrika Bambaataa and Jazzy Jay in the Bronx, Holman was asked by McLaren to launch a Hip-Hop revue at the Ritz venue in Manhattan.
Graffiti Rock came later and it appears that Holman’s show was launched too soon.
“That was my tragedy. I was ahead of my time,” Mr. Holman said to the Times. “I had ‘trend-heimer’s’ disease. The station managers thought rap was a passing fad. Who knew where this was going to go?”
The show featured Run DMC, Kool Moe Dee and Special K of the Treacherous Three, and the New York City Breakers, who just starred in the breakdancing film, Beat Street. Many rap historians consider the show a must-watch in the same vein of b-boy classics such as Wild Style.
Holman launched his Kickstarter last month for the documentary, Graffiti Rock: The Untold Story. As mentioned on the page, actors Vincent Gallo and Debi Mazar were in attendance at the show. Holman hopes to revive the forgotten elements of Hip-Hop via the documentary, which aims for a 2014 release.
Check out some photos of Graffiti Rock, Holman and other related shots on the following pages.
Photos: Michael Holman, Martha Cooper