Dead Boys At Dingbatz in Clifton NJ

Cheetah Chrome has been a guest on my WFMU program numerous times, this link is to some live downloads – and I never thought he’d “get the band back together…” By this I mean, that original Dead Boys vocalist Stiv Bators left this mortal coil over 20 years ago, and to replace him would be criminal… or would it?

I’ve had numerous conversations with Cheetah over the years and I have enjoyed all of his musical projects -whether it’s his pairing up with Mike Hudson, Sylvain Sylvain, his solo work, and of course the Dead Boys. I haven’t actually asked him what transpired to prompt this tour, but what I do know is that Cheetah is a level-headed guy, never stopped playing music, and knows what he wants. As a spectator, I wondered what the band would be like for a Dead Boys tour.  Cheetah is joined by master skinsman and original Dead Boy Johnny Blitz for this tour, as well as Ricky Rat ( of Detroit’s Trash Brats) on bass, Jason Kottwitz (formerly of M.O.D.) on guitar and Jake Hout taking command of vocal duties. I had heard speculation about the other two original Dead Boys members; one turned down the tour and the other is suffering temporary health issues, but none of this came from any one on the tour.

The band was tight, very tight and the singer was great, and was not trying to be Stiv Bators, but did have a lot of energy and sort of pushed Cheetah around and pranked him on stage in the same spirit that Stiv had. Vocal styles were different, but in witnessing the show I could see what mattered to Cheetah in putting this together.  It had to be the feel, the balls out, relentless collision of song into song, the energy, the spit, the sweat and the exhaustion. From Sonic Reducer to Son of Sam, the set blazed. Blitz is still a monster on the drums, Cheetah has his sonic chops intact,  and every player with them is a professional – having a sweaty blast.

I did not get to ask Cheetah what his motivation was, but I could clearly see that if there was a Dead Boys resurrection, what it was going to take, realistically to make it happen. I guess he and I will compare notes at some point,  but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, I hope he is as well!

Here’s the video caught on the fly of I NEED LUNCH!

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