Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Stiv Disconnects and Reconnects: Part 1
As the Dead Boys were slowly evolving or imploding (depending on whom you ask), and otherwise disconnecting as The Dead Boys, Stiv turned to his life-long friend, Frank Secich to first, fill in on bass for Jeff Magnum, and to help him segue from the Dead Boys to a new and uncertain future.
With only Jimmy Zero from the original Dead Boys at his side, Stiv was suddenly free to further explore his pop sensibilities. I always thought of Jimmy Zero as the pop guy in the Dead Boys, with his clean harmonies and chimey-Beatles like guitar....even back in 1977!
So, Stiv and Frank, Dead Boys behind them, set off for Los Angeles to convince Greg Shaw to release a Stiv Bators pop record on Bomp.
Needless to say, it happened. There was the single "Its Cold Outside," a cover of an Ohio pop classic. I've heard it said that the Dead Boys best song was a cover of a Frankenstein song - though most people know it as the Dead Boys own, "Sonic Reducer." Frankenstein was the Dead Boys before they were the Dead Boys, minus Jeff Magnum, and with the added addition of future Pere Ubu member, David Thomas. Yeah, Rocket From the Tombs is wrapped up in this family tree, too. If America has "punk royalty," The Dead Boys are certainly contenders for the crown.
See Frank front and center in the photo! This was an ad-hoc band at best. Greg paid for Stiv's friends to join him in the studio and prove their pop mettle. Liking what he heard, he said "OK" to the recording of Disconnected.
So, with Frank's help and the recruitment of the musicians who were the replacement Dead Boys, a new band was born... from Akron's Hammer Damage, George Cabaniss, who was going by "Georgie Harrison" at the time (my fave Beatle, for those who didn't know), David Quinton a teenager from Toronto channeling Keith Moon in The Mods. Jimmy Zero did play on the album, and a few gigs on the road.
Here is Frank Secich, Stiv's life long friend and voice of reason, more than any other in this band. Frank is also just about the only living person besides Stiv's folks who could get away with calling him "Steve." Miriam Linna could do that too. Of course, calling Frank the voice of reason is not to say that he was a bore.... Frank is funny as hell and has a memory that can't be beat. I can't stop laughing whenever we are together talking about the good old days and Stiv's antics.
A popular antic from the Dead Boys stage show that carried over well was the liberal use of bad taste. Here are Stiv and Frank creating a promo photo for the "Its Cold Outside" single for their German distributor.
This photo has caused some flak in the "politically correct" world we now live in... but seriously folks, it was a joke. Someday, you gotta ask Frank about the June Bug thing.
I'm signing off now... but stayed tuned all week for a look at the Disconnected band and their sojourn in Sun Valley, CA making Stiv's amazing solo album. There will be photos here that no one has seen since the pictures were taken!