How Jesse Malin's music honors the spirit of NYC's past

How Jesse Malin's music honors New York City'... 03:16

Jesse Malin starting exploring the punk world of Manhattan's Lower East Side before he was even a teenager.

"You were already playing guitar at that point?" CBS News' Anthony Mason asked him.

Saturday Sessions: Jesse Malin performs “Sh... 04:23

"Yeah, I'd already taken a couple of lessons, learned some KISS and Ted Nugent, Zeppelin songs, and yeah, once the punk thing came it was like, alright, just learn three chords and you can you know write your own songs," Malin said.

The kid from Queens knew immediately what he wanted.

"First time on stage was the talent show at P.S. 193, and I dressed up as Gene Simmons, and I spit ketchup instead of blood. And everybody thought that was cool, so I was in," Malin recalled.

Saturday Sessions: Jesse Malin performs “Oh... 03:24

He was 12 years old when he started his first band, Heart Attack.

"CBGB had an audition night, the famous Bowery punk rock club. I called from my school pay phone and made an audition call, ya know, set up a showcase," Malin said.

He put out his first single, "God is Dead," at 14 years old with a label called Damaged Goods.

In the '90s, he joined the influential glam punk band D Generation and ended up opening for the Ramones.

Saturday Sessions: Jesse Malin performs “Wh... 03:11

"That was one of the dreams, I mean becoming friendly with them," Malin said.

Malin launched his solo career in 2001, with "The Fine Art of Self Destruction," produced by Ryan Adams. Critics and fellow musicians took note, including Bruce Springsteen who later joined Malin on his song, "Broken Radio."

"He just seems to really love music and is very supportive of other artists and stuff, so it was kind of a surreal thing," Malin recounted.

Mason spoke to Malin in Berlin, one of three Lower East Side bars he now co-owns. His first venture, Niagara, has been going since 1997.

"You wanted to open a place why?" Mason asked him.

"I think as a musician, whenever I tour, I'm always looking for a place that has a great jukebox, a great DJ, a great playlist. ... So like kind of a Frank Sinatra fantasy of having a spot, a clubhouse, a social club," Malin explained.

The Lower East Side isn't as gritty as it used to be, but it's still the heart of Malin's music.

"This is where my family came from, my grandfather, his father, they got off the boat and ended up in the Lower East Side. And it's an area where I still get inspired," Malin said. "There's still pieces of Woody Allen and Joey Ramone's New York and my New York ... and we want to keep that spirit going and take it around the world too."