Punk rock guitar legend Cheetah Chrome is hitting the live music bolt-holes of Europe for the first time ever, backed by a hand-picked Dutch band called The Knobs.
The new millennium has brought new opportunities for the ex-Dead Boy, including his first release under his own name, a critically-acclaimed book and multiple tours in the United States alongside the likes of Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Ronnie Spector, the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, James Williamson (The Stooges) and The Blackhearts.
In Fall 2016, he will be returning to Europe to embark on a tour across mainland Europe and through Scandinavia. Cheetah has recruited a quality cast of bandmates who have aligned themselves with his style and have brought his influence to their country.
Here’s some news that will stir the embers of controversy. Original Dead Boys Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz have been taking a line-up on the road in the US to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s seminal album, “Young, Loud and Snotty”.
Now they’ve announced they’re releasing a re-recording of the landmark record.
“Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!” is being released on Nashville-based Plowboy Records on September 8 with a US tour kicking off in Dallas, Texas, on September 7. A handful of dates have been announced and you can follow the itinerary here.
This autobiography by American pop-cum-punk-rock guitarist Frank Secich is a charmer. It’s big on warmth and doesn’t dish the dirt.
Its vignettes sometimes run to less than two pages apiece and are served canape style rather than in large chunks. Its 200 or so pages won’t suck up more than a few days for most people to consume.
Polite charm and gentle humour shine through.
You’d never guess its author spent two years touring with one of America’s most notorious punk bands.
Frank Secich cut his musical teeth in a bunch of Mid-western garage and teen hop bands in the ‘60s, almost cracked the big time with major label signings Blue Ash and was a sideman on bass for the latter-day Dead Boys, with his good mate Stiv Bators.
Secich worked with Stiv in his time as a solo artist for Bomp Records, retired and went on to a second career with Club Wow (with Jimmy Zero) and garage rockers Deadbeat Poets. He’s paid his own dues and those of several other people.
This is the last musical will and testament of Stiv Bator. Let’s talk about who’s not on this album.
Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders had convened at Stiv’s Paris flat in 1990 to work up a supergroup, The Whores of Babylon, with the ex-Dead Boys frontman. Contrary to widespread belief, neither of them made it onto the album.
Frank Meyer flanked by Cheetahs bandmates (from left) Bruce Duff, MIke Sessa and Dino Evertett on bass. AP Murray photo.
In these COVID-fraught times, asking Frank Meyer what he puts on his curriculum vitae is a valid question. The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs vocalist-guitarist doesn’t skip a beat, down the line on Zoom from his home in Long Beach, California.
“Right now, I mean, I'm basically freelance film producing and directing. You know, my last full time job was at Fender as directing and producing their digital content. But at the beginning of COVID, they laid off a lot of my team, including myself. And then showbiz kind of shut down.
“But now I've essentially just been doing music and freelance editing and online production, and a lot of session work, singing and playing, recording and producing. In the last few months, digital production has picked up and I've been getting a bunch of field production gigs. And I've got some book deals happening. So things are looking good right now.”
Some would hide their earliest bands’ recordings in a dark place and hope nobody found them. Thankfully, not Sonny Vincent.
As one of the last New York punks still standing, Sonny Vincent criminally remains a well-kept secret. The music he’s made under his own name, and with a string of bands - most notably, Max’s Kansas City and CBGB graduates, Testors - is some of the best primal sound around. This collection of songs from his pre-punk bands, spanning 1969-72, does nothing to detract from that track record.
The spirit of New York City’s Lower East Side (circa 1979) is alive and well and living under the nom de plume The Disconnects in Neptune City, New Jersey.
In many respects that’s good to know because in these horrifyingly gentrified times, it couldn’t exist any longer in safe and antiseptically clean Manhattan. Even its neighbour, Brooklyn, has become respectable. New York Punk (the Heartbreakers variant) was swept under the carpet years ago - so good on The Disconnects for flying that ragged flag.