I started to write this and managed to delete everything I had written. Maybe it was a sign. Or maybe I’m just clumsy with my fingers. Probably both. I’ll start it again. Unfortunately I have a really bad memory (sometimes it’s a good thing) so I can’t remember what I originally wrote. Hopefully I won’t mess up this time.
Punk is alive and well in certain bands. It’s alive in most of the bands I listen to, other bands have basically pissed all over what Punk is and created something truly horrendous called “Pop-Punk.” Awful. Really awful. Punk had this bite to it that made you listen. It was, in all its glory obnoxious and brutal. It was snotty and portrayed angst in a way that caused parents in the 70s to wash their kids ears out at bedtime religiously in the hopes they wouldn’t go to the “dark side.” Punk is the one kind of music that really made me pay attention fully to what I was listening to. I was aware there was a message coming through, and the message was my own to decipher. Punk was for those and is for those who aren’t happy with how things are. Those who are bored and tired of routine. Those who know there is something more and would rather kick the door down than knock politely.
Dead Boys were fronted by one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Stiv Bators. Stiv and wiry body leaped and flailed across the stage in a way that would leave you thinking his body could snap at any moment. He got his point across by being snotty on stage. A proper obnoxious brat who when you listen to him, made you as pissed off as him. What or who rattled your cage? Doesn’t even matter. All that matters is letting it out.
What I absolutely adore about Dead Boys was their ability to really capture the essence of Punk and make it so brutal to the point of being sinister. Some songs like Ain’t It Fun and All This And More have something really terrifying about them. Bands like the Ramones portrayed the frustrations of daily life better than most but Dead Boys took it some place dark. Dead Boys weren’t and aren’t for the faint hearted I guess. Thing is, I can’t stand loud people at all but I love loud music. I don’t like obnoxious and arrogant people, but I love music that has that about it. I don’t know why, but it’s just something that holds my attention longer than most. Dead Boys were as bold as they came. Stiv sometimes tearing up his stomach with a mic stand- he was as outrageous as Iggy. Except I don’t think Stiv ever covered himself in peanut butter. His wiry frame and distinctive voice made him and Dead Boys stand out amongst the Punk scene. I believe they are one of the most underrated bands of all time. Cheetah is one of the finest guitar players ever. Him and Johnny Thunders just made you wish you could make noise like that. Trashy, loud and so perfect. It made you want to play as loud as them and without a care in the world.
At best their songs were sordid, depraved and smutty. All the best songs are. They took you to a world where conventional means wouldn’t. They unleashed this world upon on you with their close to creepy songs. No other band could get away with it, no other band could do it like Dead Boys. There was something so special and rare about these guys. They went beyond being “just another Punk band.” They started something that is still in the belly, burning in some of the bands I listen to.
Known for their lewd live shows, no other band has come close to how they were on stage. They aren’t a band that you can say “oh they could have been great.” Shit. They INSTANTLY became great the second people started paying attention. In all their obnoxious glory, they were one of the best bands ever. Their unconventional and so far from romantic songs about girls were brilliant. I guess now “feminists” would be all whiny about how they objectify women or whatever. As a female, I don’t really care. I love the music and the content. It’s a different world to what I know and I love it. They take you to some underground and unsafe place covered in darkness. You can’t help but play it loud and try to move around like Stiv.
Sadly Stiv died in 1990 after being hit by a car. If he was still around know he probably would be teaching us all how its done still. Dead Boys may be no more, but what they did for Punk and many who were against “typical” will never be forgotten or undone. They were before my time, but when I listen to them I feel like I am in the moment from when it all began. Timeless, forever influential and nothing short of greatness.