stiv bators - The I-94 Bar

Back Behind The Kit - TV4 documentary

back behind the kit

So as a person with an extremely limited disposable income, I am unaccustomed to experiencing so much high quality entertainment in a short period of time.

A family member tripped across some kind of free trial TV subscription service and I keep binge-watching music flicks-witnessing one marvelous show after the next, kind of glimpsing how so many of my former peers are able to stay apolitical, apathetic, suitably sedated in their consumer hypno-spells.

Circumstantial Evidence by Frank Secich (High Voltage Publishing)

circumstantial evidenceThis autobiography by American pop-cum-punk-rock guitarist Frank Secich is a charmer. It’s big on warmth and doesn’t dish the dirt.

Its vignettes sometimes run to less than two pages apiece and are served canape style rather than in large chunks. Its 200 or so pages won’t suck up more than a few days for most people to consume.

Polite charm and gentle humour shine through.

You’d never guess its author spent two years touring with one of America’s most notorious punk bands.

Frank Secich cut his musical teeth in a bunch of Mid-western garage and teen hop bands in the ‘60s, almost cracked the big time with major label signings Blue Ash and was a sideman on bass for the latter-day Dead Boys, with his good mate Stiv Bators.

Secich worked with Stiv in his time as a solo artist for Bomp Records, retired and went on to a second career with Club Wow (with Jimmy Zero) and garage rockers Deadbeat Poets. He’s paid his own dues and those of several other people.

Do You Believe in Magyk? - Stiv Bator (Easy Action)

magyckThis is the last musical will and testament of Stiv Bator. Let’s talk about who’s not on this album.

Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders had convened at Stiv’s Paris flat in 1990 to work up a supergroup, The Whores of Babylon, with the ex-Dead Boys frontman. Contrary to widespread belief, neither of them made it onto the album.

Sparks of punk and glam brilliance power "Electric Junk"

electric junkElectric Junk - Jeff Dahl (Iwannabeahoople Records/Ghost Highway Recordings)

Say what you like, but Jeff Dahl ruled the punk rock roost for many of us in the 1980s and ‘90s. Working with Cheetah Chrome, Stiv Bators, Poison Idea and spending time in Angry Samoans, he churned out a prolific stream of Stoogesque and glam-splattered albums under his own name, firstly out of Los Angeles and then from a ranch in the Colorado desert. 

Dahl also edited the coolest zine in the world (“Sonic Iguana”) and mentored many like-minded bands. No matter that he played shows only rarely in his home country. Jeff toured Europe and Japan and kept the Real Rock and Roll torch alight.  After relocating to Hawaii and taking a decade-long hiatus, Jeff Dahl spat out the formidable “Made in Hawaii” album in 2017. “Electric Junk” arrived in late 2019.