If you weren’t there you just don’t know.
Loud, fast, rules.
But it wasn’t just loud and fast, it had melody, it had a hook you could sing or at least yell along to.
And oh my god it was fun.
It’s rumblings were felt way before 1977 (no Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones).
It’s rumblings were felt as far back as 1969 (okay? All across the USA)
Think about 1969 for a minute. Abbey Road, Led Zeppelin 2, Let It Bleed…right?
But also the MC5, The Velvet Underground and …The Stooges…
Kick out the Jams indeed, motherfucker.
Can you imagine hearing Abbey Road and Zeppelin 2 and than somebody hands you Fun House? You wouldn’t know what to do with yourself. You would be thinking, “What the hell is this?” But you never forgot it.
Which brings us to 1977, when it all broke loose for good.
I was listening to anything that passed for popular music, mostly what was on Saturday Night Live, so it was a lot of Billy Preston and Simon & Garfunkel. Then a schoolmate handed me a Pepto Bismol pink album with ransom note lettering that his brother bought and hated. “My brother says they’re a bunch of commies” he said to me with derision.
I put that record on my turntable and my whole world changed forever. It would be at least twenty years before I ever listened to Simon and Garfunkel again. (They’re awesome…it’s a thing, maybe I’ll write about it)
From that moment forward I was a Punk Rocker and you know what, I still am. Olds Cool Punk Rawk. Loud, fun, music that makes you move, it’s exhilarating.
My all time favorite band is still The Clash but being an American kid, I was driven to the epicenter of all things Punk in the USA, that being CBGB and the music that was made there, bands like Television, The Dictators, Richard Hell & The Viodoids, The Dead Boys, Patti Smith, Johnny Thunders and none more importantly than the Ramones. But it wasn’t just the music. It was the people, who as scary as some folks may have thought they looked, were actually some of the nicest, kindest people you ever wanted to meet. They would even share their speed with you. (don’t ask, I have a past.)
It was the places with the graffiti, the smelly bathrooms, and the cheap beer. If loud three chord and a cloud of dust music was coming out of the place, I was drawn to it.
As I got older, my tastes did expand. Punk changed in my opinion. It became more misogynistic, more almost facist in its adherence to the idea of punk purity. Are you going to tell Joe Strummer that hip-hop and reggae have no place in punk rock music? Hardcore was never much my scene. I guess I just got old.
But goddamnit, I missed the days of Olds Cool Punk Rawk.
And then I saw Shit For Brians and I realized they just may be the last men standing.
SFB was born in Syracuse back in the days of the Rabid Monkey, which was what you would now call a pop-up performance space in the old Albinos warehouse on Park Street. The club was shut down for violating fire codes a year before the whole building went up in flames. Rabid Monkey carried on as the promoter of punk shows all over Syracuse.
I missed seeing SFB in those days but I can’t imagine how, or maybe my memory is just failing me and like all bands, they splintered apart, original drummer Belvy K left to join 7 Seconds.
Last March when one of my all time favorite bands local or otherwise, 1.4.5 booked a reunited SFB, who hadn’t played in Syracuse since 1984, to open for them and I it was indeed billed as Olds Cool, CBGB Style Rawk. There was no way I was going to miss that show, and it was everything I hoped it would be. David Lee on bass, Bob Cat on guitar, Neno on vocals and Joey on the kit, put on a show that would have done old Hilly Crystal proud.
I said to my friend who went with me, “this is the shit man, this is how you do it.”
Punk Rock, the way it was meant to be played, with melody, songs you cant help but shout along to. It was like being back in time with the music I loved. I felt like real punk never died and maybe it never did, maybe seeing SFB that night reawakened me, because in all honesty, I love this stuff.
As it turns out, the whole thing was recorded and recently released.
“Loud Fast Rules is Our Salvation – Live at Funk n Waffles” has been playing in my car and in my earbuds since I got my middle aged hands on it and take it from me, it rocks like you read about.
Opening with a menacing little instrumental “Never Again – Cyclone” set the tone with a nice almost spaghetti western/surf guitar run, then crashing into “Welcome to 1984” a title that tells you everything you need to know about the sounds you are about to hear. “You’re never too old, we ‘anit dead yet” you can almost picture the lads up there spitting out the words and Bobby in his best rock n roll power stance. This song is an anthem for all of us old punks who never gave up.
“Blind Faith” is a warning about authority and buying what they are selling at face value, delivered in a way that would make Bad Religion proud. This is a message sorely lacking for what passes for rock n roll rebellion in these dark days.
I was delighted to hear SFB cover the UK Subs classic “Warhead” a song the boys have been playing since day one back in the day. Talk about being true to ones roots!
“Last of a Dying Breed” is a tour through all the music that shaped a goofy ass punk rock kid like me, looking for integrity, some loud rebellion and a cold beer now and again,. Guys like “Iggy, Lemmy and Joey”, these were my heroes growing up. This, to me, is what rock n roll sounds like.
Do You Remember When?
Yes I Remember Then!
Renegades Rebels & Wild Youth
On an Endless Quest for the Truth
New York City Ain’t So Sweet
All The Dirty Punks & Hippie Freaks
Sounds From Detroit and The Bowery
Just Another Page in Rock ’n Roll History
Cool Cats On The Prowl
Full Moon Fever – Hear the Ladies Howl
Iggy Lemmy Joey Is the King !
Hey Ho Let’s Go – We’re Dancing in The Streets
Last of The Dying Breed
We Are The Last Of The Dying Breed
We’re Gonna Turn Up the Sound All Over Town
Before The Ship Sinks Into The Sea
You Gotta Take A Chance On Rock ’n Roll Romance
The Sounds Out On the Street
Around Every Corner You Can Hear The Beat
Black Leather Jacket & Loud GuitarsLast of the Dying Breed Bob Cat / Neno 2019
Teenage Rebellion and a Broken Heart
Johnny Stiv & The Blank Generation
Loud Fast Rules is Our Salvation
You know, I really am not one for nostalgia, and a throwback band never did impress me much.
But when a band carries forth the sound, and does it with integrity and not as some oldies act, it means a lot, it means a ton. It’s not a throw back.
It’s validation. Punk Rock is our tribe.
This album is a ripper. Turn it up. Let it make you drive fast.
Olds cool punk will never die.
Not if SFB have anything to say about it.
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