Saturday, February 02, 2008

Da Prince Of Punk

One Of my biggest regrets in life is not see'n Stiv Bators preform. In the seventies I was a huge "Dead Boys" fan. Anyone that could write a song called "Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth" was my kind'a guy! I thought "He must have had a screwed up sense of humour just like me". I really related to most of the punks back then. Even though I was a young and up and coming guy in the management ranks. Shit that was a waste of time! Anyhoo I related to his music and that of the rest of that east coast punk sound. Iggy Pop once said of Stiv, "Your the second best front man in rock'n roll history, second only to Jim Morison". Stiv would completely understand that. He was the biggest Jim Morison fan ever! Even though he hardly looked like the "Lizard King", he looked more like da lizard!

If you don't know who Stiv Bators is or what I'm talk'n about here, don't feel left out, really nobody knows who Stiv Bators was, or that how he changed and influenced music in the 1970's to present day. Most people also don't know that in the mid-70's, when the "Sex Pistols" had every record label in Britain after them, over here in the Eastern U.S./Canada area Stiv Bators and da "Dead Boys" were weaving a new cloth for music for years to come, kind'a under the radar. They were the real punks, the real "New Wave". Before all the hoopla in the London clubs, "The Ramones, "Iggy Pop"and "The New York Dolls", were influence'n the "Brit Punks". I'm not take'n away the effect of the "British Punk Sound", it's just that the "New York Sound" was here way before the "Pistols" were even thought of by Malcolm McLaren. McLaren stole that "East Coast Style" on a trip to New York in the early 70's. He also tried to manage da "Dolls". They fired him after a few weeks. He did manage "The New York Dolls" transformation of street punks to glam rockers. I still don't think was a good idea. They kind'a floundered after that debacle. I remember see'n da "Dolls" at the "Key To Bala" in the mid-70's think'n I'd see the "first punks" only to be treated to a "Glam Rock" band. They looked like a early copy of Bowie! When McLaren went back to London he was the man behind a "Pistols". McLaren formed "The Sex Pistols" to resemble the "New York style". Most people were never hip to it though.

My jock buds were not into the new street sound coming out'a New York, because of the hard unskilled edge it had and the antiestablishmentarianism ( I knew I'd get that word in a sentence! It took me almost three years, but I got it!) In the mid 70's I started to hang with a different crowd. I was finished with sports and I really despised my old ways. I hated the fact you had to kiss ass, to follow the old guard to get into the higher ranks of sports and I was find'n it the same way in business. Me being one of those guys that never shy'd away from a hard edge. Punk was my late teen outlet. I loved that dirty twang and the lyrics that spit in the face of conformity. Even though I was still a big fan of "Pink Floyd" and "The Rolling Stones". "The Who" and "Iggy"had my ear more than the mainstream bands and when I first heard "The Dead Boys" and "The Skids" I was sold on their freedom of expression and anti-conformity.

Stiv Bators, born Steve Bators, named after his father a lower middle class steel worker, in Youngstown Ohio. He grew up idolizing garage bands of the sixties like "The Nuggets" and "The Doors". I guess when he first heard "The Ramones" it must have blown him away, cause he and a bunch of his friends decided to follow the band around during the bands first tour of Ohio. In fact he was in a car that drove beside the tour bus and before anyone knew it Stiv jumped out'a the side window and leaped on top of the speeding auto. Stiv did what is now called "car surfing" along side of that bus for like 2 miles, at 70 miles per hour. I guess he liked 'em!

Jumping ahead... Stiv's formed bands like "Frankenstein"and "Rockets From The Tomb" before settling with the name "The Dead Boys" with most of the original guys from the first incarnations. 'The Dead Boys" recorded their first album, "Young Loud and Snotty" in '76 (this album is highly coveted by record collectors). Soon after they had their first gig in New York. They were to back-up "The Dammed", the first "Brit Punk" band to tour in da U.S. That first gig was at "C.B.G.B's". New York's famous bar, in the deep dark area called the "Bowery". "Not a nice area, that's fer sure"! I know this for a fact, cause I went to this club twice. Once in 1978 and another time in 1980. The first time was a true eye open'n experience. It was 11 o'clock at night we crossed the bridge in a cab. We were stay'n in the airport area. Hey it was cheap! This was the first time most of us ever seen Manhattan. We crossed over da bridge, to Delancey then up to Houston..."Deep in da Bowery", only to be told by our cab driver that this is as far as he goes. "Da place ya want is right down da street". "Em...can't you just take us there"? "Look kid, that's not a wise thing for me ta do". My face must have been white as a ghost,"Oh, OK". "How far then"? He points down da road. I look at about three trash can fires down... I guess we must have wanted to go there fast cause a soon as we got out, we ran! We must have hurdled twenty odd drunks, before we came upon a weird site of "Town Cars", "Limos" and a long line of people outside the tiniest club. That was C.B.G.B.'s! Again I'm talk'n about me! The night of the "Dammed" U.S. debut in 1977 Stiv and da "Boys" blew da "Dammed" off the C.B.G.B. small stage. He torn himself and the place up! The "Dead Boys" are immortalized by the independent super cool film "Crash 'n' Burn" and also two other independent films, "Punking Out" and "Live At C.B.G.B's". If ya want click on my music chart. I have a "Dead Boys" song in there somewhere. "Sonic Reducer"!

After Stiv broke up with The "Dead Boys" He did some solo work. He also took part in two other super groups. The most memorable was with the band "The Whores Of Babylon" with the famous "Johnny Thunders" formerly from the "New York Dolls" and his teenage hero "Dee Dee Ramone". Stiv and Dee Dee.

But Stiv's best work was yet to come...

Next: "The Lords Of The New Church"

10 Don't Just Sit There Say Sumthin !:

TK Kerouac said...

Great post

but what struck me is that you left the jocks to rebel

my son did that to and regreted it

He was the rookie of the year in hockey
and the terminator on his baseball team
and other various sports

and gave it all up to rebel and chase chicks!!!!!!!!!

wallycrawler said...

Ya it's funny how all these posts about other people all end up to be about me, eh?

I did rebel, but not against the sport, against the people in control of sports in general. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth even to this day. It's such a ass kiss/patronaged thing. Especially in hockey and doubly especially in Southern Ontario hockey leagues. MTHL/OMHA/OHA are leagues full of doctor's and lawyer's sons, that spin at half speed and goal suck. The worst that I can remember was a guy that played with me for half a season, he was a notorious goal suck and half speed worker. That guy was Steve Payne who went on to play in Ottawa with Booby Smith. He then made a career play'n with Smith in Minnesota with da North Stars. His dad more or less bought his son a hockey career! I'll never say I belonged in the NHL, cause I really didn't have the desire, but my desire was curbed buy hundreds more events like that were going on daily in sports. It's not how good you are. It's who ya know and who ya blow. Literally!!!

So be glad that your son got out'a that mess. Maybe now he could go back and have fun with his buds, cause that's what it was all about anyway!

Besides I would never be who I am now. Who Like Immensely! I didn't like that kid I was back then.

Keshi said...

if only I had this knoweldge that I now hv abt life bak then...


Die Muräne said...

Cool post Wally! And once more good old stories about you!! thanks for that. I really didn't know you once were young ;)

Die Muräne said...

even thought I listened to a lot of punk and indie music earlier, I must admit I never heard of this dude before. will try to hear some songs then

The Phosgene Kid said...

Personally I think Lawrence Welk receives very little credit for the revolution he brought to the world of music - bubbles and acordains, you just can't go wrong!

wallycrawler said...

Keshi if only we all had that hindsight.


D.M. I bet you have heard of his music before. It's been covered and copied by tons of other "new" music artists.

And thanx.


Wundaful, Wundaful...And a one, an a two an a...

...An now da Lennon Sisters.

I love watch'n that ol'time shit! Funny stuff that is!

Die Muräne said...

hmm, i didn't find this songs on you playlist. Maybe i'm too stupid to handle that ;)
But I listened to some other stuff on it. cool! so next is 'lords of the new church'. hehe, looking forwards to it.

I have only little time to post at the moment. Pity, but I hope times will change soon.

Slickitysly said...

I am gonig to have to give these guys a listen. I have checked out some other stuff you recommended, and liked it quite a bit. Holla.

wallycrawler said...

D.M. OK and thanx. Now get back on your blog!

Ya I know you'll luv da Lords!


Hey Slick haven't seen ya around fer a bit. I guaran-fuck'n-tee you'll love da Lords.

Holla back