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Dead Boys at Small's, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, October 26, 2017

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The Dead Boys had no reason to believe the band would be alive 40 years after its first album.

The Cleveland punk group broke up in 1979 after a pair of albums, and none of the periodic reunions stuck for the long-term. And frontman Stiv Bators’ death in 1990 seemed to seal the band’s future prospects.

But the Dead Boys have revived this year, thanks to a 40th anniversary re-recording of its seminal debut album, “Young, Loud And Snotty,” whose “Sonic Reducer” has been covered by Pearl Jam and many others, and a new lineup that’s breathed new life and energy into guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz...

• Chrome (real name Gene O’Connor) says that having the Dead Boys as a going concern again -- including singer Jake Hout from the Undead Boys, “zombie” tribute band -- “feels right. It doesn’t feel like any time has passed at all. We’re lucky that this band kind of has the same dynamic as the old band. Obviously it’s not the same, but I think that album has really stood up compared to a lot of the albums that were made back then, and we sound really good playing the songs. So it’s good. It’s something worth doing.” Chrome, 62, adds that Bators’ family has given the project its blessing.

• Redoing the first album -- as “Still Snotty: Young, Loud And Snotty At 40” -- is something that’s been on Chrome’s to-do list over the years. “When we first did the record it was supposed to be a demo tape; It was not supposed to be a real record,” Chrome recalls. “None of us had been in a recording studio before that. We were all nervous. I wasn’t happy with my guitar sound. There were a bunch of different reasons that it should’ve been re-recorded. But when we got the deal with Sire, Seymour (Stein) didn’t think it needed to be re-recorded, so while we disagreed, that’s what we were left with. Over the years the version that went out grew on me. I was happy with it. I thought (producer) Genya Ravan did a great job, but it wasn’t what we heard in our heads. So this time we decided to take the approach of ‘What would’ve happened possibly, if we had gone in and recut it?’ We weren’t trying to outdo it or anything; We wanted to make it something different, something to celebrate the 40th anniversary.”

• Next on the Dead Boys docket is something to commemorate the 40th anniversary of 1978’s “We Have Come For Your Children.” “That one in particular we were not happy with the recording,” Chrome says, “so there’s a chance we might get the original masters and do something with that, which I would really like to do. Those songs are just as strong as the first album. They sounded great live. We were appalled when we heard the final mixes, so it would be nice to do those songs justice.”

If You Go:

• Dead Boys

• Thursday, Oct. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Small’s, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck.

• Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

• Call 313-873-1117 or visit smallsbardetroit.com.

Web Site: www.smallsbardetroit.com

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