On Tuesday April 14, New York punk icon and Trash and Vaudeville manager Jimmy Webb passed away at the age of 62. According to Rolling Stone, Webb's friend Heart Montalbano confirmed that he'd passed away from cancer.
A few months back, before COVID-19 had us quarantined, I was at Grit N Glory in the Lower East Side when I saw a man wearing head-to-toe zebra print with a studded jacket and shaggy hair walk through the door. He came through that door with a presence unlike anything I'd seen before, and I turned to one of the owners, tattoo artist Megan Massacre, and asked, "Is he a celebrity?"
It turns out, that man was Jimmy Webb and while I initially thought he was a rock star, he's best known for being one of the faces of the East Village's Trash and Vaudeville. Trash and Vaudeville was a punk rock staple of St. Marks, and Webb was a salesman and buyer there for many years. He dressed everyone who walked through those doors, from celebrities to models to drag queens to everyday college students. Webb worked at the punk landmark for many years, outfitting celebrities like Debbie Harry and The Ramones.
Then on Friday, October 13, 2017 Webb opened his own boutique, I NEED MORE, on Orchard Street, bringing his energy and style smarts to a new building. Back in February, Webb had his last great hurrah when he hosted an event called "Footprints in February," which featured Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop pressing their hand prints into the concrete floor of his shop.
Many have spoken out since Webb's passing was announced, including Harry who shared "We love you Jimmy," alongside a photo of them together on her Instagram. "RuPaul's Drag Race" winner Sharon Needles shared a photo of herself with Webb on her Instagram, writing "Rest In Peace old friend. You always told me I was a size 3.. HELL! You told EVERYONE they were a size 3!! Your contribution to and love of rock’n’roll is unmeasurable."
Webb not only made an impact on the lives of celebrities and rock stars, he made a tremendous impact on New York City. Many of us have stories about going into Trash and Vaudeville and meeting the man who brightened up the punk world with his magnetic smile. A fashion icon with badass tattoos has left our world, but he's certainly left his mark on it.