Saturday, April 19, 2014

CHEETAH CHROME and the STREET WALKIN' CHEETAHS live: all this and more!

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity...we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..." With apologies for afore-abridged Charles Dickens, we indulge in a Tale of Two Cheetahs, legendary guitarist Cheetah Chrome backed by the recently reunited Street Walkin' Cheetahs, dubbed the Two-Headed Cheetah Tour 2014.

Chrome's reputation as fearsome guitarist for The Dead Boys and Rocket From The Tombs appears undiminished, belying his current duties as author ("Cheetah Chrome, A Dead Boy's Tale From The Front Lines Of Punk Rock," a transpicuously honest, readable and well received autobiography of his journey from junkie punk to clean and sober, happy family man/musician) and as A&R head of Plowboy Records in Nashville TN.

Whereas any potential tales of lucrative Dead Boys reunions sadly ended with the car accident death of its charismatic singer Stiv Bators in 1990, Chrome's style of distinctive punk songwriting (actual differentiation of tunes!) and rapidfire playing and/or melodic tunesmithy lives on his stint in The Batusis with NY Doll Sylvain Sylvain, new RFTT recordings and occasional, fantastic solo tours like this one. 

My photos emanate from his April 6, 2014 appearance at Spike's Bar and Grill, Rosemead, Calif., possibly an even better gig than the one at Hollywood's The Whisky due to innate dive (but jumbo-sized) bar ambience, immediacy of proactive forays into the audience and E-Z parking for the faithful, something impossible to claim by the Whisky. However, my friend Kim Yee noted of the Hollywood gig a few days before, "His voice sounded good. A treat to hear Dead Boys songs. I was limping yesterday cuz I danced so hard!" Note Cheetah's malevolent grin, gobs of sweat.
True to the 'all this and more' spirit of days gone by, Cheetah also invited his roadie of ten years, Ames Flames onstage to belt out the primo Dead Boys hit "Sonic Reducer," as Ames remains a very flash frontman. 

Below, The Street Walkin' Cheetahs rip through their own set before backing Mr. Chrome.


 They rhyme! Evita and Cheetah.


       Backstage (adorned with improbably cute, creative touch by club staff) with rock and roll couturier Evita Corby, Cheetah Chrome and former fellow Cleveland musician Bobby Richey.

Lastly, young love blossoms to the savage rhythms of hardcore rock...

 "Sonic Reducer" and cover of The Stooges' "Funhouse" video clips from this gig:    
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Retraction: Someone not identified by a full name disliked mention in an earlier edit. This has been removed.

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