Jimmy Webb, the former manager and buyer for the iconic Trash & Vaudeville store on St. Marks Street in New York City before opening up his own punk rock store, I NEED MORE, died on April 14, 2020. He was 62.
The sad news was confirmed by Webb’s close friend, Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, who tweeted, “Jimmy Webb was a great friend of mine. I bought every pair of Cuban heeled boots that I wore from 1987 – 2011 at Trash & Vaudeville from Jimmy. Rest in peace brother we will miss you. You came from the time of true rock and roll.”
Webb, who famously said, “It’s not rock and roll if your pants don’t hurt,” was a beloved stylist to all the world’s biggest rock and pop star stars. Maureen Van Zandt, wife of rocker Steve Van Zandt, tweeted, “Farewell, dear Jimmy. The sweetest, kindest, rock and roll soul. I’ll never forget you.”
The punk rock stylist lived and breathed rock and roll, and his infectious energy was contagious for anyone who walked into Trash & Vaudeville, first opened in 1975. Webb, who started working at the shop when he was just 16 years old, spoke of his passion for keeping the iconic store afloat while St. Marks became heavily gentrified over the decades. The store, which is owned by Ray Goodman, relocated to 96 East 7th Street in March 2016.
In 2013, Webb told The New York Times, “We are true mom-and-pop, the bodega of rock ’n’ roll clothing. It’s here because of truth and spirit, just like Iggy Pop giving it his best every night and going all the way until everything in your body is broken except your soul and rock ’n’ roll. We can move it to Mars and still live.”
Marky Ramone, drummer for The Ramones, told The New York Times of Trash & Vaudeville, “When punk was at its height, it was the only place to go at that time, and it still is.” The Times reported that “virtually every other group in the scene were frequent shoppers,” including The Ramones, Blondie, the Heartbreakers, and the Dead Boys.
“Me and Dee Dee would go there and try out the display clothing,” Ramone continued. “Joey had a problem finding pants to fit him and would always buy them there. He was 6-foot-5 1/2 with a 36-inch waist.”
On October 13, 2017, Webb opened up his own rock boutique called I NEED MORE in New York City, and Webb credits Goodman for both his successful career and personal health.
While Webb struggled with heroin addiction for 20 years, he got clean in 1995 and had been sober ever since. “I would not be alive or the man I am without Ray Goodman,” Webb told The New York Times. “I have the best life ever. He took a chance on me.”
Webb Was Best Friends With Slash, Debbie Harry & Ewan McGregor
While Webb was beloved throughout the rock world, he formed incredibly close friendships with Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Slash from Guns N’ Roses. They both frequently appeared on Webb’s Instagram page, along with numerous other rock heavyweights.
Other celebrities who frequented Webb’s store to shop or just hang out included Alice Cooper and actor Ewan Mcgregor, with whom the stylist was particularly close.
Jimmy Webb’s Authentic Punk Rock Style Was Featured At The Met Gala & The Costume Institute
When the Met Gala chose punk rock as its theme in 2014, many expected true rock stylists to pan the high-fashion event. While Punk Magazine founder Legs McNeil called the exhibit a “masturbatory fantasy for Anna Wintour and Vogue,” Webb welcomed it with open arms.
In an interview with Fashionista, Webb said he was helping style some of the evening’s biggest stars and revealed that a few of his pieces would be included in the Costume Institute’s exhibit. Webb said, “I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s like not having a problem with Hot Topic selling bondage pants in Ohio; you can’t take the authenticity of what we do away, and you have to take a great bow to Vivienne Westwood, who’s a big part of it. So it is what is.”
Webb also mentioned that fellow designer Tommy Hilfiger, famous for his all-American style, was a frequent visitor at Trash & Vaudeville. “You know, Tommy Hilfiger was in here the other day, and he’s always come in here on and off and he’s always given us our props. I happen to know who he’s taking to the gala ’cause they’re good friends of mine, and good customers here at the store and I don’t even know if I should say that.”
Heartfelt Tributes To Webb & His Rock & Roll Fashion Legacy Were Shared On Social Media
Whether it was a random shopper walking into his store, a budding star, or one of the biggest celebrities alive, if you were looking for style advice, he treated everyone with the same amount of care and attention to detail. He was nothing short of an icon in New York City and was beloved by fellow fashion designers, musicians, and any customer looking to buy a pair Doc Martens and the perfect pair of ridiculously tight pants.
When Webb was asked about his philosophy of style in an interview with The New Yorker, he said, “You should never give away your secrets, [but] anything pink rocks. Anything animal-print rocks. Anything skin tight.”