Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things Found on my Local's Jukebox # 166 Dead Boys

Things change strangely on the jukebox at Rosie's. Songs get assimilated for reasons beyond mankind's cognition and added to the mix, available to be played suddenly should anyone wish to do so. If you happen to search for an artist you know weren't there previously, suddenly they are. Such was the case this afternoon with Dead Boys this afternoon. So I put it on.

Perhaps 'artists' is the wrong term in this respect. The track doesn't sound particularly strong coming out of a jukebox. Almost certainly the band's best song, and the most important gem that guitarist Cheetah Chrome salvaged from the wreckage of Rocket From the Tombs when that band split and the uneasy seventies Cleveland art/ punk coalition went their separate ways, leaving Pere Ubu and Dead Boys to carry their different visions forward from that fork in the road.

Dead Boys didn't ultimately have much of a vision, except to get as wasted as they could and ape things that Iggy & the Stooges and The Ramones did much better. Sonic Reducer is also very oddly produced and splutters out of the jukebox rather than surging forth as a statement as it should do. Stiv Bators' weak vocals are at the heart of things rather than David Thomas, the song's lyricist who injected the song with poetic, outsider energy where Bators just substitutes a rodent, gutter snarl. Still, I'm glad it's there. I'll play it again, and fervently hope for Richard Hell & the Voidoids and the Heartbreakers to somehow configure their way through the ether to Rosie's jukebox at some point soon.

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