Sunday, February 18, 2007
If It Ain't Stiv, It Aint' Worth a .....
Stiv Bators is, in my estimation, probably one of the greatest live performers who ever stepped foot on a stage. He was a true showman, and did whatever he could to get a reaction from his audience....whether it was hanging himself from a mic cord from the lighting rig above the stage, doing a goose step and miming a Hitler moustache, or dancing like a possessed Mick Jagger - Stiv would do it. The trick would not bear a repeat performance if it did not make the audience go crazy.
By the time he was doing shows as a solo artist, he had gathered up a bag of tricks ranging from pure rock hysteria to the artsy-fartsy absurd.
At this particular gig, I recall that Stiv was taking so long to get ready and go on stage that the band just hit the stage without him. Having lived with Stiv, I can testify that it took him longer than me to get ready - and longer than any other girl I knew.... imagine if you will, having both Stiv AND Hanoi Rocks front man, Michael Monroe as your roommates! I spent less time in the bathroom getting ready than they did, and it was the stuff of joke and legend amongst our neighbors in Old Church Street, South Kensington. Of course, Stiv Bators and Michael Monroe in that tony neighborhood where the likes of pre-Buckingham Palace Princess Diana and her ilk lived was also a pretty funny sight and thought in and of itself... but I digress.
At this show at the Whisky A Go Go, bass player and Stiv's life long pal, Frank Secich was getting more than a little weary of Stiv's usual primping. The band hit the stage before Stiv and launched into a fantastic version of the Beatles "Hard Days Night." Before you know it, Stiv shows up wearing just a towel around his waist, his hair wet and accompanied by his toilette.... he shaved, blow-dried his hair and got dressed during the course of the song. (I promise to fetch the color photos of this trick next time I am in NYC -- they're all there and I'm not)
This was the same show where Dee Dee Ramone jumped on stage and joined in on the fun.
Stiv worked that bubblegum for all it was worth....