Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Frank Secich Connection

frank portrait

If this portrait looks somewhat familiar to you but you can’t quite place it, stop thinking. This is an outtake from the portrait sessions we did for the "Disconnected" album. Frank bears a more serious countenance in the portrait that’s on the album… but we did about ten shots and this one just reminds me of George Harrison in that sequence at the end of "A Hard Day’s Night,' when you see the Beatles mugging for the camera. Whenever anyone channels the spirit of George Harrison to me, that is a magical moment.

A few words about my friend, Frank Secich. He’s not just Stiv Bators life long friend and other half of the Gutter Twins production team…

frank stiv tub
The Gutter Twins try to clean up!

he is also a founding member of the legendary Blue Ash. Frank’s pop sensibility and his craftsmanship brought a new breadth and depth to Stiv’s grittiness. Working with Frank reminded Stiv of his very own soft spot for the pop tunes. I learned nearly everything I know about punk, garage and pop music through osmosis over the years of hanging out with Stiv and his friends, which included Greg Shaw, who became a great friend and mentor to me. These people all had phenomenal and endless record collections. Doing all-nighters with them was painless because they were always pulling out some great record you’d never heard before that was a regional hit in Youngstown only, or something like that. And then there’s Frank, who just lives and breathes a good song as easily as you or I well, simply breathe.

frank headphones

So when you listen to Disconnected, listen to all the things that sound like NOT Stiv. Those elements aren’t him at all… they’re Frank, or Jimmy, or David or George. Yin and Yang, Dark and Light… all the silly and stupid things on the album – that’s Stiv…. Because he knew that’s what his audience wanted to hear from him. That great track “Ready Any Time” could have been a pop radio contender, if not for Stiv literally pigging out at the end vamp. But he gave the people what they wanted.

discon band 1

I say this all with love, though. If anyone other than the Dead Boys or the guys in the Disconnected band were to say these things, I’d have to hurt them.

stiv frank rats

Here's Frank hard at work in the recording studio during the "Disconnected" sessions while Bomp Records finance man, Merle Hauser watches over Greg Shaw's investment.

frank secich and sleeping merle

Tomorrow - more never-before-seen photos from inside the "Disconnected" sessions!

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