Walk on the Wild Side Tours NYC is owned and operated by me, Jesse Rifkin. I've been a working musician in New York for over a decade, playing CBGB, Lincoln Center, and everywhere in between. It's been interesting.
I first began researching the lives and careers of notable musicians who had lived in this notoriously crowded and overpriced city because I wanted to see how they pulled it off. The research led me to start seeking out the locations I was reading about, and as I walked around, the narratives got a lot clearer. The end result was a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with the city I call home (and, more tangibly, a NYC tour guide license).
My hope is that these tours demystify these artistic communities and humanize the larger-than-life figures involved. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, I am not interested in hero worship, debauchery narratives, or nostalgia for its own sake. I'm interested in the music itself, the circumstances that led to its creation, and the communities that formed as a result.