Thursday, October 07, 2004

live from punk ground zero

Once again, I choose to appropriate instead of write my own words, teachers rarely use their own textbook right? Spawned in part by 20jazzfunkgreat's Pere Ubu post, I had to post some of this. The new version of RFTT steamrolled through my town and while I knew going in that it was going to be a historic show not to be missed, I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was. Much less that Richard Lloyd of Television would be filling in on guitar...

Cleveland's only real legitimate claim to house the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is a band that will never be inducted there. In fact, it is more than 25 years after the group broke up that a legitimate album of their material is now available on Smog Veil. This was Rocket From the Tombs--the mutant daddy to Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Originally, singer David Thomas started the band in May 1974 as a kind of comedy act, though later the group would have a good grasp of theatrics. A gifted guitarist/writer named Peter Laughner showed up at some of these farce-filled gigs, jammed with the band and joined soon after that. Thomas and Laughner would make a new more musical lineup that included Gene O'Connor (AKA Cheetah Chrome) (guitar), Craig Bell (bass) and Johnny Madansky (AKA Johnny Blitz) (drums). Somehow this disparate crew got opening gigs ranging from Iron Butterfly to Captain Beefheart to Television (who Laughner actually joined briefly). Without Rocket From The Tombs, the world may have never heard “Thirty Seconds Over Toyko”, “Final Solution” , “Ain't It Fun”, “Sonic Reducer”, and “Down in Flames”--all Rocket’s originals, and all contained on this release, along with 14 other tracks culled from archival live recordings, some of which have never previously been bootlegged. Comprehensive liner notes and never before seen photos are jam-packed in this complete retrospective that showcases the true inception of the Cleveland underground sound.

RFTT - 30 Seconds Over Tokyo (Feb 18th, 1975 - RFTT Rehearsal Loft)
RFTT - Amphetamine (July 24th, 1975 - Piccadilly Inn)
RFTT - Final Solution (July 24th, 1975 - Piccadilly Inn)


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