What do you do when you're a garage band without a garage?

That's the dilemma that plagues many up-and-coming New York City bands, drawn to the city by its vibrant music scene but left without access to easy rehearsal space due to its hellish real-estate market.

For more than thirty years, that need has been filled by New York's one-of-a-kind Music Building, a 12-story oasis of art on the grittiest stretch of Eighth Avenue. Since 1979, artists as varied as Billy Idol, Joey Ramone and The Strokes have written, recorded, practiced and blown off steam in int 69 rehearsal rooms. Madonna, its most famous occupant, took things a step further, squatting in the building in the early '80s.

With the help of SideTour, Metro was lucky enough to get a peek inside the Music Building and its 12 floors of amazing art. Take a look:


Band fliers litter the ground floor.

Madonna signed a piece of the wall upon her return to the Music Building.

Most of the hallways in the building are covered floor-to-ceiling with graffiti.

Chicago blues band Finley Knight spruced up the hallway outside their studio with an important musicology lesson.

Our tour ended with a performance by New York hardcore band Figo. Who knows, maybe people will be talking about them in 20 years!

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