Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Punks Have Feelings Too

If you know me at all, you know my favourite punk rock band of all time were The Dead Boys, originally from Cleveland, Ohio but mainstays in the New York City scene of the late 1970s. They were mostly active 1976-1979, with brief reunions in 1986, and 2004-2005, though more people nowadays are aware of Rocket From The Tombs, the band that preceded them, because they took back to touring in 2003 and haven't stopped yet. RFTT sing about half of the Dead Boys' catalog nowadays, though many of them were existing songs or works-in-progress from the early days anyhow, including both classic songs Ain't It Fun and Sonic Reducer (both of which I also have been singing since I started playing live shows in the early 1990s).

The two main protagonists in the Dead Boys were singer Stiv Bators (né Steven John Bator) and lead guitarist Cheetah Chrome (Gene O'Connor to the I.R.S.), with Jimmy Zero (rhythm guitar), Jeff Magnum (bass) and Johnny Blitz (drums) completing the line-up. Bators and Chrome were the main songwriters, though most of the band shares songwriting credits on their first album, Young, Loud & Snotty (1977).

Bators died in 1990 in France at age 40, after getting hit by a cab, which caused a blood clot to form and causing a brain aneurysm in his sleep that night. Filmmaker John Waters (who had worked with him for Polyester) says Bators' then-girlfriend snorted some of his ashes before spreading the remainder of them over Jim Morrison's grave; Bators was a huge Morrison fan, as were many punks from Ian Curtis (Joy Division) to Iggy Pop.

Speaking of Iggy Pop, here is what he had to say to Bators' parents when he wasn't able to attend their son's funeral:

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