Milk 'N' Cookies were a band in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they'd shown up a few years later, they could have been part of the poppy end of the late-'70s/early-'80s punk/new wave explosion. If they'd made their name a year or two earlier, they could have been part of the glam explosion that inspired them. And if they'd been from Los Angeles or the U.K., they'd probably have found friendlier press. But it was their fate to emerge in Long Island, New York in 1974, where they didn't fit in with the sound of the day. They had to settle for being an influential and revered cult item instead of achieving genuine rock stardom.
Milk 'N' Cookies were formed in 1973 by Ian North, a guitarist and songwriter eager to put together a band to play his material. A fan of U.K. pop and the glam-oriented sounds of Sparks, David Bowie, and Slade, North had been working with bassist Jay Weis and drummer Mike Ruiz. The group needed a singer, and a young woman who knew North and Weis introduced them to her friend Justin Strauss, a fellow Anglophile and glam devotee. Strauss soon became their lead singer, and his sister coined the band name Milk 'N' Cookies. While the group was emboldened by the straightforward but catchy sound of glam, they also embraced a touch of amped-up bubblegum, sounding tough but hooky at once. And their lyrics were playfully subversive paeans to teenage lust, with Strauss singing with a breathy aural pout. The band began playing out in Long Island at bars and teen dances, and soon made their way into New York City clubs.