Gary Pig Gold Most Fondly Remembers Our Pal Joey

 

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Late one night in very late 1976, a singer acquaintance of mine burst into the (condemned) house I was then sharing with the neighbourhood bar band, shouting “You will never believe what I just saw in Toronto tonight! These four guys with Brian Jones haircuts wearing drainpipe Levis, singing all these really fast, short songs. Lots of ’em, too! And the best part? NO GUITAR SOLOS!”

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Now, this being the absolute height of Frampton Comes Alive, it’s hard to completely fathom today the socio-musical import of that final kernel of information. But of course I was hooked, and the next time the Ramones left home for the New Yorker, I made sure I was there.

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The Dead Boys were opening: Sure, master Stiv Bators was alotta fun crawling over and across the drumkit during “Hey Little Girl,” but the headliners truly were, in every aspect of the words, The Real Thing. So I duly invited myself backstage to conduct their first interview on Canadian soil, and despite nearly getting bounced for taking a snap of NewYorker77Danny Fields writhing beneath a fridge in search of a runaway pencil, I was made to feel totally welcomed via the band’s deep-rooted, deep-seeded LOVE of all things Rock and especially Roll: Johnny’s coming-of-age watching Elvis’ Ed Sullivan Show debut as a child, Dee Dee bemoaning the fact that it was hard getting the band going “coz rehearsal halls wouldn’t let us in, ya know,” and Joey. Dear, sweet Joey. He asked all about my record collection, claimed Peter Noone and Ronnie Spector as his two primary vocal idols, then wondered where a good place was to go see some local bands play later that night.

How utterly, disarmingly refreshing, to say the least!

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So we drove the R. brothers straight over to the Crash and Burn to see Teenage Head throttle some old Eddie Cochran and Swinging Blue Jeans tunes, ran into Phil Lynott PunkJoeysomehow lurking by the bar, then we all went out for some clas[sic] Canadian pizza slices (…mainly crust ‘n’ cheese, Tommy was complaining). Through it all, and then during subsequent fleetful meetings, Joey remained every inch the diehard, gentle man FAN of Our Music. And despite the fact that he and his bandmates literally changed the world, I simply prefer to remember The Man instead as nothing but the tallest, and needless to say coolest Herman’s Hermits fan I ever did meet.

Joey, it’s hard to believe, left us fifteen years ago, April 15.

Gabba Gabba, wherever you are.

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P.S.: but You can still Read All About It, right there in Pig Paper # 5.

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Gary appears here whenever he wants

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com.

DBAWIS_ButtonGary Pig Gold may have grown up in Port Credit, run away to Hamilton to join his first rock ‘n’ roll group, hung out with Joe Strummer on his first-ever night in the UK, returned to T.O. to publish Canada’s first-ever rock ‘n’ roll (fan)zine, run away again gary pig gpld facong leftto Surf City to (almost) tour Australia with Jan & Dean, come home again to tour O Canada with that country’s first-ever (authorized!) Beach Boys tribute band …but STILL, he had to travel all the way back to the USSR to secure his first-ever recording contract www.GaryPigGold.com

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