Chris Robison is an obscure but all-pervasive presence in New York rock from the late 60s onwards, having played with everyone fron Elephant’s Memory and Steam to a pre-Kiss Wicked Lester, plus the New York Dolls, John Phillips and Bob Dylan.
His 1973 self-released solo album Many Hand Band is a pioneering document of gay liberation, as well as being totally freewheeling and unique album, coalescing all the sensory overload of downtown New York City life in the early 70s. It touches on folk, psychedelia
rock, Latin funk and more, all filtered through Robison’s sly and cheeky personality. There is no “woe is me” self-pity here, just an uplifting sense of fun and natural self-expression. Recorded almost totally by Chris himself late at night in a cut rate studio, Many Hand Band is one of the few remaining undiscovered classics from the period, gay or otherwise.
As friend Angie Bowie says, “Chris’ bisexual stance and pretty pout invigorated rock’n’roll.”