Parts and Punks Unknown – The Music Loves of Anthony Bourdain

Parts and Punks Unknown – The Music Loves of Anthony Bourdain


The response to the passing over the weekend of revered chef, writer, raconteur and travel show host Anthony Bourdain has been overwhelming, in particular in the music world, where Bourdain cultivated many friendships, and where his great taste and passion was renowned. Of course music and musicians – from the Black Keys to the Master Musicians of Jajouka - were a big part of his programs No Reservations and Parts Unknown, and he was also noted for his love of classic soul. But Bourdain was most vocal of his love of early punk rock, which was a life-long passion. A New Yorker, he’d made the scene at CBGB’s in the ‘70s when the likes of the Ramones and Richard Hell were first making their mark, and, as he mentioned to Iggy Pop when Iggy guested on his Parts Unknown program in 2015, he was hip to Iggy’s punk-precursors the Stooges when their first album was released in 1969.

Iggy tweeted after hearing of Bourdain’s passing: 

“I’m in shock having just heard that Anthony Bourdain has passed away. I loved the guy, and he was a light of kindness and good vibes in my life. Iggy Pop”

To celebrate the life and musical times of Anthony Bourdain, ILYOS gives you some of his punk rock faves, as well as the video for the posthumously released Joey Ramone track “New York City” which features Bourdain (check him out around the 1:20 mark) and a bit of that great aforementioned Iggy interview.

The Velvet Underground “Sweet Jane” 

One of the great New York songs, from the band whose confluence of the underground art scene and rock begat punk.


The Stooges “Down On The Street” 

The heavy-hitting opener from Iggy and his pal’s classic second album Funhouse.


New York Dolls “Personality Crisis” 

The Dolls followed in the Velvets’ footsteps with a trashy sound and look that belied their artistic strengths. And they were a great rock’n’roll band.


Ramones “Beat on the Brat” 

A thumper from the Ramones’ classic debut and a definite Bourdain fave.



Dead Boys “Sonic Reducer” 

Cleveland transplants who became CBGB favourites. Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome just posted this one on his Facebook page in dedication to his old friend Tony, saying that he believed it was Bourdain’s favourite song. It’s a classic.


Heartbreakers “Chinese Rocks” 

Classic street sounds from the band Johnny Thunders formed after quitting the Dolls. The definitive soundtrack of Bourdain’s New York around the time of his first restaurant work.


Richard Hell & The Voidoids “Love Comes In Spurts” 

Hell, and Voidoids guitarist Robert Quine, were big Bourdain favourites.


Johnny Thunders “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” 

From the ex-Doll/Heartbreakers guitarist classic first solo album, this beautiful track always sounds like it was written as an epitaph…

Joey Ramone “New York City” 

Amidst of flurry of New York luminaries, a leather-jacketed Bourdain appears holding the sign to Joey Ramone Place.


A preview of Iggy Pop’s appearance on Parts Unknown...


For more classic 70s punk rock, check out ILYOS’ playlist…

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