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Monday, January 23, 2006

Sports and Teen Idols

Yes, that is the skinny, 5'5" Stiv Bators shooting hoops in a recording studio. We used to stress that "Disconnected" was recorded on a basketball court (that's all natural reverb, you know) with the band set up right on the floor, between the hoops. You don't really think of the Dead Boys, Disconnected Band or Lords of the New Church as jocks, do you? Well, they aren't really. But who doesn't enjoy throwing a ball around? And who doesn't enjoy a game of hoops? As a UCLA alumna, basketball was always around me. John Wooden was still on campus when I started there. He still casts a giant shadow there - of course, with a hall named after him...

Then there's the great American past-time: baseball. And its pedestrian cousin: softball. There's a Sunday afternoon softball game in Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood, and you can find your hipster garage and punk rockers there. I even participated in one of these games...if you can call hanging out in the outfield participating. Mostly I cheered for the erstwhile Young Soul Rebels Records and Tapes store and label owner and sometimes Go bass player Dave Buick to hit a homer, and marveled at how Detroit Cobra drummer Kenny Tudrick could run around the bases in his boots.

Dave and his softball crew
Dave Buick on the right

I remember back in 1978, in Los Angeles, there was some event concocted by the NBC television network that a bunch of us went to in person - The Rock n Roll Sports Classic. This was a made-for-tv sporting event where music celebrities competed for what? Television ratings I guess. However, Pleasant, Randy Detroit and I attended because our girl, Joan Jett was one such competitor. She was in a bike race and I think she did a relay race, too. There were some mainstream top 40 music people there that I never thought I would ever see much less watch them do Gladys Knight and Kenny Loggins. Apparently, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were at this event, though I can't remember what they did (its on their website.) Really. What I found highly entertaining (and even have a blurry photo of somewhere in storage that I will indeed show you if you ask) was then-teen-idol, Leif Garrett playing soccer on a team with Rod Stewart. Rod and soccer, I understand... the man kicks soccer balls into the audience when he plays the Faces hit, "Stay With Me" in concert, and after all, he's English and that makes sense, but Leif Garrett?

Now let's talk about Leif Garrett for a second. Teen Idol. Leif and Shaun Cassidy had top 40 hits at the same time that punk rock was in full swing (at least in LA). Pleasant and I were fascinated by Teen Idols. In a big way. We both have all the picture sleeve 7" singles that Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy released. Those boys recorded covers of previous teen idol hits like "Run Around Sue" and they had some pop craftsmen churning out hits for them as well. Instead of boy bands, back then, we just had boys. It was comic relief for us, and we enjoyed every moment of it.

Stiv was into his teen idol worship too. Like Rodney, Stiv was a fan of the young Brooke Shields, who was an overnight sensation in the movie "Pretty Baby," which starred Susan Sarandon. Pretty Baby was such a phenomenon that even Blondie had a song called "Pretty Baby" on the album that broke them commercially, "Parallel Lines."

Although many people think I took this photo of Stiv with Brooke Shields, I did not. I don't know who did...but who ever you are, I can only imagine how Stiv made this happen.


Theresa K. said...

one of my readers found more rockin sports picks. check it out:


ZantiMissKnit said...

Whoa! That Brooke and Stiv photo is great! I think all of your photos are great, and I love the history. I know you didn't take this photo (and it is great of you to acknowledge that despite people thinking it was you), but that is an amazing pairing!