The Shirts

The Shirts were an American New Wave band from N.Y.C. that released three albums on Capitol between 1978 and 1980.

Members: Annie Golden (vocals), Ronald Ardito (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Arthur La Monica (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Robert Racioppo (bass, vocals), John Piccola (guitar, keyboards, vocals), John Zeek Criscione (drums, percussion, vocals)

The Shirts germinated from the musical partnership of Brooklyn musicians Artie Lamonica (guitar) and Robert Racioppo (bass), who started jamming circa 1970. Over the next three years, their band grew to a nine-piece with aspiring actress/singer Annie Golden at the mic.

In 1975, The Shirts became a regular act at CBGB on New York’s Lower East Side. They are one of 13 acts (along with Blondie, Television, Talking Heads, and Richard Hell) featured in the 1976 docu-film The Blank Generation, which chronicles the nascent Bowery scene with silent B&W footage paired to out-of-sync demo recordings of each act.

The Shirts made their vinyl debut on the Atlantic Records double album Live at CBGB’s – The Home of Underground Rock, released in 1976. It features three Shirts originals: “Operetico” (4:26), “Poe” (5:12), and “A.V.M.” (6:24). By now, the lineup stabilized with Lamonica, Racioppo, Golden, guitarist/singer Ronnie Ardito, keyboardist John Piccolo, and drummer John Criscione.

In late 1977, EMI A&R Nick Mobbs signed The Shirts to EMI Harvest. They recorded their first album with producer Mike Thorne (Soft Machine, Wire).



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