Image courtesy of Denise Mercedes Image courtesy of Denise Mercedes
By Laura Lee Flanagan



New York City has generated some of the biggest names in music. Ever.

A quick Google search yields an endless stream of native legends, iconic in their respective genres. Add to them the stunning number of the world’s best and brightest who travel here from around the world to create the ever-changing tapestry that is the New York music scene, and you’ve got a sound mecca.

Alongside mainstream megastars from Jay Z to Bobby Darin, and Cyndi Lauper to Tito Puente, NYC has produced some of the most influential underground music. Ever. The New York Dolls, Biohazard, Velvet Underground, The Mad, the Cro-Mags, Blondie, Agnostic Front…every single member of The Ramones, Beastie Boys, and Luscious Jackson…Johnny Thunders and David Johansen (New York Dolls), Peter Steele (Type O Negative, Carnivore), Chris Stein (Blondie). The list is endless, the music timeless.

Amid the musical mayhem, and in large part catalyst for it, is one Denise Mercedes — underground rock guitarist — always at the heart of indie music; punk, metal, or the current global passion for playlists we all know and love.

 Offbeat: Baby I Was Born to Rock
Image courtesy of Denise Mercedes

In her most recent endeavor, D can be seen rocking the cover of The Village Voice with her band of leather-clad divas, forming the wildly popular Mötley Crüe tribute band Girls Girls Girls.

Today, an officially endorsed Hagstrom Guitars artist, D is unstoppable and amazingly talented. Born and raised in NYC, her musical inspiration came from the best in Europe (Bowie to Rat Scabies) and the States (Dylan to Bad Brains), but she really cut her musical teeth at the heart of NYC’s Punk music scene during the late ’70s and early ’80s. In fact, D was the founder and guitarist for legendary NYC punk band The Stimulators — a band that paved the way for punk and hardcore with their unique style and resounding anthem, “LOUD FAST RULES.”

 Offbeat: Baby I Was Born to Rock
Image courtesy of Denise Mercedes

D paid her dues at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB along with other icons of the punk and later hardcore scene. Some of that ethos is recounted in an appearance in the 2012 Bad Brains documentary, along with Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, Harley Flanagan, the Beastie Boys, and other icons of that epic moment in music, which informed all of what we know as “indie” music during the last 20 years.

If you want to see some serious musicianship and a super New York native talent continue to kick serious ass on stage, check out Girls Girls Girls live on October 11 at the NYC Zombie Crawl, the after-party for Comic Con at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, and again on October 28 for the R.I.P. Mötley Crüe Rock ‘N’ Roll Funeral at Pianos, after the Mötley Crüe concert at MSG.

 Offbeat: Baby I Was Born to Rock

And you must watch the band in this super funny episode of VH1’s That Metal Show about tribute bands, just because: