In Culver City, around 1979.
Peter Case is a bonafide solo artist - a singer/songwriter of some note - and someone who always has something good going on that you should hear. He's been doing his solo thing far longer than he was a punk rocker, as a Plimsoul or as a member of The Nerves. Please check out his website and follow what he's doing now. You won't regret it.
In both the Nerves and the Plimsouls, Peter Case did rock the house down whenever he played. After the Nerves disbanded, Peter formed the Plimsouls with Eddie Munoz, Dave Pahoa, and Lou Ramirez. They put out a really cool indie EP called "The Zero Hour," and it had one of those riffs that would get appropriated later (first by the Knack in "My Sharona" sort of) and often. Peter has a knack for writing a song that can't leave your head. On the strength of the EP and their blistering live shows, the Plimsouls got a major label deal, made a record that sounded a little too clean, but still had great songs, toured the world and made a bit of a dent with a hit single, "Million Miles Away."
Once at the Starwood, Phil Lynott, of Thin Lizzy came to see them. I got a live photo and a backstage photo of those moments widely published. Will have to scan and share soon. Probably that seems odd for a big time rocker to join an LA punk band on stage, but the Plimsouls represented a blend of the best of punk - the all out energy and sweat and total guitar noise - with the finesse of fine songwriting, heartfelt vocals along the lines of John Lennon at his rockin best, or even Little Richard. I kid you not. You had to be there. Anyway, I'm sure that Phil Lynott gravitated toward that soulful punk noise like a fan. Actually, I think Phil Lynott's influence on music has been underrated. I hear his influence in everyone from Ted Leo to Bruce Springsteen.
What other trivia do you want to know? Peter Case was the best drinking buddy you could ever have. That's why he doesn't drink anymore. I think we had our fair share of partying -- we both have April birthdays (his was Tuesday) and I always threw an "April Fools" birthday party that he attended. When he was dating Charlotte Caffey, he told me a tale of going to the Grammys with her and meeting Jerry Lee Lewis in some backstage hospitality room. The Killer had just had open heart surgery but he was pounding back the beers.
Last year, Peter and I bumped into each other in Cleveland, at the Beachland Ballroom when I was location scouting for a film shoot the next day. He was playing that night. We had a great catch-up talk and now, a year later, I'm still here in Cleveland (I was in NY and LA in between trips here) and Peter and the Plimsouls (but not Lou - they've got another drummer) are gonna be playing some gigs in the summer! I know they're doing a show in LA with X.
How's that for Old Home Week. That's something you really should not miss!
Thursday, April 07, 2005
In Culver City, around 1979.