Thursday, September 06, 2007
The Glue Behind the Scenes
Over the past couple years in this blog, the photos have taken you into the private rooms of people like Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Stiv Bators and others - like the photos above and below, from Joan Jett's apartment on San Vicente in West Hollywood - across the street from the Whisky A Go Go and the Licorice Pizza Record Store. You've been watching the scenes from the cutting room floor in the movie of our 1978 lives, seeing all the players - not just the boldface names...but all of them.
Seen below with Stiv Bators is Michelle Myers. She was the protege of Kim Fowley and was in charge of the day-to-day booking of the Whisky A Go Go at the time I moved full-time to LA. Michelle was a hard-as-nails big sister/ mentor/mensch to the likes of Pleasant and me as we were learning how to navigate our way through the waters of what would become our careers.
Michelle passed away at a young age, succumbing to cancer's ravages. The rock n roll booking environment really never was the same after she shuffled off this mortal coil
He's living the life of leisure now after many years of service to the likes of the Runaways, the Go Gos and the Dickies - with whom he's seen backstage in this photo....Kent Smythe... punk rock's most trusted road warrior. That's Kent - he's not really just leaning against the wall - he's got his eye on everything and everyone.
Frank Secich, long time Stiv Bators collaborator told me a great story of how Kent rescued his cherished vintage pea coat from off the back of a thief. While socializing in the big backstage dressing room at the Whisky with a huge picture window overlooking Sunset Blvd., Frank saw his coat walking away with someone he didn't know. Before he could finish talking, Kent was out the door, down the stairs, on the street and back again with the coat in hand.
I know that both the girls in the Runaways and Go Gos have nothing but praise for this man who was at once BOTH just one of the gals AND their trusted big brother chaperone and body guard. Not an easy job, but Kent Smythe was always punk rock's most trusted behind the scenes man.
The producer who Stiv liked to say we "broke in" is Thom Wilson, pictured here in a 1979 photo. Thom recorded Stiv's solo album, "Disconnected." After we broke Thom in, he went on to make platinum with the likes of the Offspring and I think he even worked with Madonna. The Gutter Twins, were the producers, and Greg Shaw, who released the record on his Bomp label oversaw the whole thing.
There's Stiv in his role as one of the Gutter Twins, lording over the control board.
Gutter Twin Frank Secich enjoys the playback while Bomp's finance guy, Merle Hauser keeps an eye on things from his sofa vantage point.
Greg Shaw kept his eyes open whenever he was with the Gutter Twins...even if he didn't look at the camera.
Kim is also the thread that links everyone on this page - Michelle Myers, Kent Smythe, Joan Jett, Stiv Bators and even me! Like I've said before, punk rock is my family.