One of L.A.'s great treasures (via their Michigan stomping grounds inception and a pre-punk spurt in NYC before The Ramones even crawled out) for decades in a now rare appearance at the Redwood with Mike Watt and others, THE DOGS careened and rocked in full cry to a packed house of appreciative fans of all ages, such is The Dogs' perennial appeal: genuine Detroit-spawned hardest rock played mega-fast, super-tight and magnificently...
Wrote California Rocker editor Donna Balancia: "I never before realized how POWERFUL The Dogs are! The Dogs unquestionably are a truly great band. Wrote Falling James (original L.A. punk of Leaving Trains who influenced Mark Lanegan's Screaming Trees,) "That was an intense Dogs set last night. It also amazes me that three people who play such furious and aggressive and swinging music are also such sweethearts offstage." Falling James also rose from his music journalist's seat at the L.A. Weekly to play a rare set just before The Dogs.
The Dogs (Loren Molinaire-guitar, leads vocals; Mary "look ma, no retouching needed!" Kay-bass, vocals; Tony Matteucci-drums, vocals) long have proven their crossover from good band to great band, probably from somewhere in the late 1960s (see their history, LINK* LINK**and LINK***.) In fact, their dependable greatness ofttimes makes booking a chore, since hard rock bands without a sense of history or humor appearing on the bill are blown offstage. Routinely.
No such risk for Mike Watt though, who swims in his own idiosyncratic oasis of greatness with a variety of his personal spinoff bands (The Secondmen, The Missingmen, Hellride, etc.) In fact for over a decade Watt faced down the F5 tornado that was The Stooges and Iggy and The Stooges for their touring and recording ensembles, fully "one of them." In Watt's predictable humility, he refers to the experience as his privilege to share their stage of history.
Whimsically and oddly, he spent a bit of the set with his tongue extended in what was not a fleeting moment. Otherwise, his Missingmen trio reeled around in 100mph rockjazzbo improv, clearly having a blast in their own dexterity to the infinite approval of the audience.
Also on the O.G. L.A. punk bill besides Mike Watt, The Dogs and Falling James were The Alley Cats, and Billy Bones from The Skulls.
Above, photographer Ellen Berman, California Rocker Editor Donna Balancia and her friend Bernadette Brennan. Below, Leslie Knauer, who was in the band Kanary with Mary Dog and Tony Dog for a dozen years, with Al TeMan, both now in band Naked Hand Dance.