Text (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2011
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As stated in an earlier blog, throughout the years I have collected flyers, especially from the 1970s and '80s. Many were sent to me directly by the bands while I was publishing FFanzeen . Below are some scans I made from my personal collection, in no particular order. I did see may of them, but not all, and I will comment on them from time to time. Note that I do not financially profit off of publishing them, but only do so to honor the work that was involved, and for archival purposes.
The Rattlers were a fun band. They first time I saw them was with Lester Bangs fronting them as Birdland (My Father's Place, opening for the Ramones). When Bang separated and the new trio retitled themselves, it was a 100% improvement, and Mickey and David produced some great sounds. By the time the photo for the show below was taken, David had left to form a weird synth band (Ships, I believe it was called), and the Rattlers became a foursome. I had only seen them as a trio, but I bet their sound was solid.
I've seen the Dolls in both incarnations ('70s; '00s), but other than his regular stints on Saturday Night Live, I had not had the pleasure to witness David Johanson's Buster Poindexter incarnation (nor his Harry Winston). After the disco-y "Have You Heard the News," I found this refreshing. Sacrilege?
Along with being one of the first to ever interview the Fleshtones, I've been a fan since the first time I saw them. It was rare that a recording of them, which are all great in their own right, could hold a candle to them live, though. They were kinetic in a way that was catching. If you get the chance, read Joe Bonomo's history of the band, SWEAT, by all means do so.
Brenda Bergman was a gutsy, blusey singer in the 1980s who often appeared with another favorite of mine, Get Wet. Just down the block from the imposing Limelight, s.n.a.f.u. was a ideal place to see these bands play. I probably saw BB about a half dozen times back then.
Mr. Homosapien left the Buzzcocks and made a name for himself as a solo, though perhaps not that much, as the Buzzcocks reformed after a few year-split. I found his material from this period a bit too electronic for my tastes.
I remember powerpop band the Poppees playing a bill with the Marbles at a Rock Ages convention, among other great gigs such as this one. Back in the '70s, not only was New York the origin of punk (yes, NYC was), but there was also a huge powerpop scene that was just as cutting edge, but ended up not making it into the 1980s to make a dent, having been drowned out by New Wave disco-laden groups like Blondie.
From LA, this was part of one of their first tours.
New York's only all-Chinese hardcore band, they made a bit of a notch for themselves locally and put out a bunch of singles. I never saw them play, but had met them a number of times at other gigs, and they came across as nice guys.
While I didn't necessarily agree with her politics, as a person there was no one like Helen Wheels (RIP). She was a tough, muscular, diminutive woman who liked to play with knifes onstage, hung out with bikers, and lived her life at the moment. And yet, she was one of the cheeriest, sweetest people I knew. When I interviewed her before she opened for Iggy Pop at the Brooklyn Zoo, I was nervous, but quickly fell under her charm. While never a metalhead, I went out of my way to see her band play (once at a performance at FIT, where they freaked out that she tossed a switchblade into the stage, one of her bits).
I was lucky to have seen Salem 66 a number of times, in their home town of Boston (Harvard), New Jersey (Maxwell's), and various places around New York. They were quirky in a way that seemed to have been a trend in Beantown (Pixies, Christmas, etc.), much as No Wave as mostly in New York. They were a fun band to both hear and watch.