Godmother Of Punk Dies

Esther “Madame” Wong, a restaurant and club owner known for booking a Who’s Who of punk and new wave acts in the 1970s and ’80s, died August 14th at her Los Angeles home after suffering from emphysema and cancer.

Wong, 88, was nicknamed “Godmother of Punk” for giving bands like the Police, X, the Go-Gos, Oingo Boingo, the Motels, the Knack, and many others a place to perform early in their careers at Madame Wong’s clubs in Chinatown and Santa Monica.

Wong kept a close eye on her clubs, and once stopped a show by the Ramones until the members cleaned up the graffiti they’d written on a bathroom wall.

The Shanghai native closed the original Madame Wong’s in 1985 and Madame Wong’s West in 1991.