Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheetah Chrome

I don't know what made me think of it, but it must have been over twenty years ago and I was trying to find all I could to read about the punk "scene" in North America (I didn't and don't mind the UK stuff, but it sort of seemed to me that too many of the band over there were more concerned about fashion than they were about the music. That's probably unfair, but I've been wrong before so that's okay). There was a magazine out of New York called Rock Scene that was pretty good, they covered pretty much everything and that's fine. There was Creem, and that was okay. They had writers with attitude but at times they were more interested in writing about how cool they were rather than the music (I call this the Rolling Stone syndrome (Rolling Stone the magazine, not the band)). There was Circus, which was sort of the People of music magazines but still had the occasional article worth reading. Then there were the ones that were trying to cash in on the whole punk thing, and while there might be nothing sadder than that, at least the pictures were cool.

It was one of these last magazines that I remember buying because it had an interview with Cheetah Chrome, the guitar player for the Dead Boys (and for that .000001% of the population that has not heard of the Dead Boys, rush out right now and buy their disc Young, Loud & Snotty. An album so good that it's cover should be put on postage stamps across North America as a testament to all that is good and right. Hurry up now, I'll just wait here.) In this article this interviewer spent the day with Cheetah, ending up at a club the Dead Boys were playing that night. Good clean fun I'm sure, and it seems to me that I liked the interview right up until they left for the club. They were in Cheetah's apartment and the interviewer noticed that Cheetah's T-shirts were ironed and that there was deodorant in the bathroom. This set him off into some sort of "what kind of punk uses deodorant?" rant that even to my 18-year old mind looked stupid. Cheetah Chrome, the guitar player for a punk band uses deodorant and that somehow makes him less punk than some nobody who writes for a one-off glossy "punk" magazine? Dude, that's just wrong.

I guess for some that may have been the style of the time though. Punk had the rebelliousness that rock and roll had lost. Twenty minute guitar solos, disco, and rock-stars in big jets drinking Jack Daniels (thus getting so plowed that they couldn't play anyway) just didn't have anything to say to me. I think the people who wrote about music liked that aspect of it, but the fact that the new bands of the time just didn't care what the mainstream media thought or said about them pissed them off. They wanted to be part of it without being part of it, as it were. Oh well, at least the pictures were cool.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Mister Cheetah Chrome, back in the day.
Would you let your sister "bump uglies" with this guy?
I thought so.


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