HBO’s Vinyl: Getting Into The Groove

The music industry is the focus of Martin Scorsese’s new HBO show Vinyl just as the mob-run liquor business was the focus of his last show Boardwalk Empire, but in many ways, the two are pretty much the same.

Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) runs his record label American Century Records out of the Brill Building with the same amount of wild swagger that Nucky Thompson ran his Atlantic City operation. By the end of the first episode, there was even a bloody murder.

My interest, of course, is the history, and Vinyl compacts historical events in vivid, fairly unrealistic but very enjoyable way. (A glacially paced romp through 1970s New York City history wouldn’t make good television.) In the first episode alone, Finestra magically predicts the success of ABBA, stumbles into the first hip hop party in the Bronx, then witness the collapse of the Mercer Arts Center from the inside.

If you happen to be watching live on Sunday nights (9pm EST), follow along with me on Twitter (@boweryboys) where I’ll be watching alongside and throwing out some interesting trivia bits. It’s the 1970s in Times Square so the potential for some scandalous history is high!