Sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo reveled in the New York City punk rock scene in the '70s. The notorious Bronx-born duo sang with numerous groups, including an early version of Blondie. But it was their retail gambit that made them famous. Responding to audience members who, Tish says, "liked our style and asked us where we got our clothing," they opened a boutique in the Manhattan's East Village in 1977 with $250 from a sympathetic aunt and $250 in savings.
Tish & Snooky's Manic Panic NYC quickly became central to the scene. "Everybody came in to hang out," says Tish, whose cropped bangs and long ponytail vibrate with a combination of fuschia, hot pink, and violet hair dye. "They went to CBGBs and they went to Manic Panic." Tish fondly recalls Tony Garnier (best known as Bob Dylan's bass player) bringing by a pot of gumbo at Christmas. "It wasn't just about business; it was about music, it was a whole lifestyle."