Video Vault, Episode 10: The Dead Boys


October being the month of the dead, I was very tempted to make this Video Vault about death metal (PS: have you tried the awesome “is it furniture or a death metal band?” guessing game Ikea or Death yet? I got 15/20!). However, having just read A.O. Scott’s withering review of the new CBGB movie (“It was probably fun for Malin Akerman to pretend to sing for Blondie and for Joel David Moore to do the same for the Ramones, but it is not much fun to watch them do it” …yikes), I started thinking about classic punk, and, more importantly, The Dead Boys.

An under-appreciated and less-famous-than-others offshoot of the CBGB scene, The Dead Boys were supposedly a personal favorite of CBGB founder Hilly Kristal. Originally from Cleveland, they formed out of the ashes of seminal group Rocket from the Tombs and migrated east to the Bowery and CBGB in the late 70s. Record label pressures to conform and clean up–this being before the dirty, UK-style of punk really hit in the US–along with their own self-immolating tendencies, caused them to break up in 1979. But not before appearing in the classic cult punk performance film D.O.A.: A Right of Passage (no relation to the Vancouver-based punk band of the same name). I could post clips from D.O.A., but instead I’ll post this pretty incredible hour-long reunion show The Dead Boys did on–yep–Halloween, 1986. It was the first time they’d all played together since disbanding in ’79.

While you watch this, consider that Dead Boys guitarist and punk stalwart Cheetah Chrome (the surly ginger you see above) is played in CBGB the film by Rupert Grint, aka Harrry Potter’s Ron Weasley. Accio guitar!

Embedding is not enabled in this case, but you can watch The Dead Boys 1986 reunion show here. Happy Halloween, dead boys and ghouls.

– Kaitlin

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