NEW YORK WASTE, August 2011
SkyKrebs Presents: A Johnny Thunders Birthday Celebration with The Waldos
Thursday July 14 at Bowery Electric!
STEVE KREBS and Mr. WOOD
It was like one of those old Alan Freed Rock & Roll Shows. Eleven bands on one stage in one night all celebrating the birthday of protopunk guitarist/song writer Johnny Thunders. It was a night not to be missed.
DJ Extraordinaire Linda Rizzo began the night spinning the Garage/Punk/Psych/ Rockabilly that we all love to set the mood. Frank Wood was the stage manager, the only guy who could get the job done.
First up was the debut performance of American Dream: Corinne Callen vocals, keyboards & guitar, Tommy USA(formerly of Jesse Malin's band) acoustic guitar, bass & vocals & Stu Richards drums. They started off the night with Corinne on keys & Tommy on acoustic guitar playing I Only Wrote This Song For You. Corinne switched to electric guitar & Tommy to bass and they did Ask Me No Questions and ended with a superb version of Subway Train. A great start for things to come.
After a 10 minute break(this would be the format for the night) The Weapons: Barry Apfel (onetime Waldo) bass & vocals, Michael Fine guitar, Tony Contos guitar & Frank Francese drums hit the stage.The veteran Apfel rocked out on Going Steady, M.I.A. & The Doll's Bad Girl. Barry still rocks.
Local favorites The Dirty Shames: Lisa Lush vocals, Nathan LaChance guitar, Al G guitar, Matt Marando bass & Howie Zowie drums opened with Green Onions. Then Lisa took charge and belted out Baby Talk and I Love You.Great set.
King Bee & The Stingers featuring ex New York Doll The Fantastic Buddy Bowser on sax & vocals, Dave White (Stumblebunny) guitar, Joff Wilson guitar, Peter Jordan(who filled in for Arthur Kane with The Dolls when Arthur broke his hand) bass & Scheebo (The Stilettos) drums were next. The King Bee buzzed on Seven Day Weekend. Buddy then played an original, Thunder In Heaven (written about Jerry Nolan & Johnny Thunders) and broke into Jet Boy. Very cool.
Gass Wild & Friends: Gass Wild( who played with Johnny Thunders in The Living Dead in 1978) vocals, guitar, Fuz guitar, Joff Wilson(I'm seeing a patern here) bass & Mike Linn drums brought Ben Jaffe up to play sax on their first song (She's So) Untouchable. Gass then rocked on Endless Party and ended with crowd favorite Pirate Love.
By now the club was jam packed. Famous faces, like Bob Gruen & David Peel were among the guests. Also adding to the ambience of the club were several hot women of the NYC Music Scene: Beth Magnum, Cheryl Wildcat, Cyndi Dawson, Lucinda Gallagher, Mary Colbert, Raff, Sandy Lieb & Zoe Hansen.(I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but these girls stick out in my mind!)
The Joey Kelly All Stars: Joey Kelly (All Mobbed Up, Buddy Love) vocals, Johnny Rao(David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain) guitar, Joey Vasta(Mink DeVille, Ronnie Spector) bass, Johnny Eggz (Mighty Pragmatics) guitar & Jon Ihle(Ian Lloyd) drums began with Bo Diddley's Pills, a cover of The Dolls cover! Then Joey brought up Ben Jaffe & Chuck "The Raven" Hancock to play sax on Dion's I Was Born To Cry. Chuck had just returned from Japan after touring with Murphy's Law and made it to the club in time! Joey finished with a blistering version of I Wanna Be Loved. Joey I love ya!
Long time scenesters The Threads: Mick Brown vocals, Andy Dahill guitar, Roger Jaghoo guitar, Anthony Tricarico bass, Wes Carnes keyboards & Chris Cilone drums began with a beautiful version of It's Not Enough. The impeccably dressed Mick tore into Daddy Rolling Stone and killed on Personality Crisis. Mick always delivers.
New York Junk: Joe Sztabnik (The Dragons) vocals, guitar, Cynthia Ross (The B Girls) bass, Joff Wilson(he wasn't done yet!) guitar & Gary Barnett drums did a fantastic job on So Alone, then cut loose on Let Go. Joe played his original, Thunder, written about his friend Johnny, to close out his set. Joe is a very cool dude.
Krebs & The Maynard G's: Krebs vocals, Marc Rentzer guitar, Joff Wilson guitar, Ben Jaffe sax, Father Scardo bass & Jeannie Machine drums were up next. Ben blew a little happy birthday on the sax and then Joff sang and played a touching version of Sad Vacation. Joff broke into the opening riff of Pipeline and the band joined in. Krebs came on stage during Pipeline and the band broke into Milk Me. Dead Or Alive was next. Then the first of the guest stars hit the stage as ex Dead Boy Jeff Magnum picked up the bass and they dove into Sonic Reducer. They ended the set with a frenetic Too Much Junkie Business. Thanks Jeff.
Now the real fun began.The Waldos: Walter Lure vocals guitar, Takto guitar,vocals, EZ bass, vocals & Joe Rizzo drums took the stage and it was like it was 1979 again! Walter & company opened with The Heartbreakers classic One Track Mind and everyone was jumping! Next came Waldos classics Sorry & Never Get Away. Tony Coiro's Cry Baby brought back memories of the big man. Walter & Johhny's rebutal(dressing down) of the Sex Pistols, London Boys, rocked. It's Not Enough further proved Johnny's great song writing. Walter then asked the beautiful and talented Alison Gordy up and she sang a heart rendering You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory. More Heartbreakers material as the boys plowed through Get Off The Phone & Pirate Love.Then it was Andy Shernoff's turn. Walter called the ex Dictator to the stage and Andy smoked the bass on Love That Kills. Alison came up again for back up vocals on Born To Lose. Buddy Bowser joined the band and Jesse Malin jumped on stage and brought down the house with Do You Love Me.The hits kept coming as Lenny Kaye held center stage and sang a rousing rendition of Gloria. Walter had Todd Youth and half the people who played that night hit the stage (it was very crowded up there!) and led everyone in a wild Too Much Junkie Business.The stage cleared and Walter brought up Pillbox guitarist Gilbert "Mr. Ratboy " Avondet for The Waldos final number, what else but Chinese Rocks.
The show wasn't over. Pillbox: Mark Phelan vocals, Gilbert "Mr. Ratboy " Avondet guitar, Barry Hughes bass & Joe "Screamin' Joe" Rizzo drums, got on stage for their much awaited reunion. Keeping to the flavor of the evening, they opened with a cover of The Saints Demolition Girl then went into their own What She Wants, Kiss And Kill, Paralyze It, Rocket To Reno and Planet X. They ended a dynamite set with a cover of Howlin' Wolf's Who's Been Talking. Krebs asked them for more, but Joe said that's all they had. That ended the live music. Everyone hung out afterwards and got quite wasted. Just like the old days. It was a great night. A rousing birthday tribute to the great Johnny Thunders!