Monday, March 14, 2011

Stiv Bators Birthday Present

Unit 5 played with The Dead Boys a few times when they were in town, I got a lot of crap for that, from Tony, who thought we were to pop and didn't deserve the shows.  It made me feel really bad, because I disagreed completely and we butted heads about that before we were even in a relationship, he always let his opinion fly.  The Dead Boys were certified rock stars at that point, it was as if, when someone said either The Sex Pistols or The Dead Boys they had to say them both. Here's an example of how "hand in hand" they were.  "I like punk, I'm really into THE SEX PISTOLS they are my favorite.....and THE DEAD BOYS.  That's an example I made up, just to show you how popular The Dead Boys were, they were like The Sex Pistols, see what I mean...I did it again.  So Stiv was from Youngstown, we had some mutual friends and I met him through the inner circle.  For some reason he liked me, a lot, we talked, he let down his "I am a severely demented rock star" persona a few times over the years I knew him and I was fond of his more mellow regular guy personality and he did have that side to him, but he was also a wild man in the clubs and on stage.  One night at JB's Down in Kent, a few of us were out to see a band, I can't even remember who it was but we stayed until closing.  Stiv and I were just hanging out in the bar as the lights went up and he was being Stiv the rock star not Stiv, from Youngstown.  Last call had since passed and he was piss drunk and wanted another drink but they wouldn't serve him, understandably it was after hours at that point.  So in true punk rock fashion, I watched him go around to all the tables that had not been cleaned up and drink the beer residue from all the glasses and bottles left, even the ones with cigarette butts and ashes, then called me something vulgar but hilarious actually because I was sure I was going to throw up.  I won't forget that, he was absolutely hardcore and he was not faking it, Stiv was the ultimate punk and he had a vibe that could only be described as the "It" factor, he wasn't pretty, he was cool as hell though and anyone who knew him would probably agree.   So months later the Dead Boys come back through and played the bank.  It was Stiv's birthday or it was close to Stiv's birthday and the band was definitely celebrating. Stiv had gotten me a job singing with an all girl band "The B Girls" in Toronto (if I wanted it).  He had really gone to bat for me and pulled some strings, he was a friend of Debbie Harry's and she was using The B Girls on her AutoAmerican album that was being recorded at the time.  I was to move to Toronto and join the band and work with (ironically) enough Blondie, who was also using The B Girls as her opener on an upcoming tour.    I remember he gave me the B Girls 45 to see what I thought of them and they were very cool.  I felt like that would have been my fork in the road, had there been one, that was it.  That night at The Bank was so fun, I had not made the decision to say NO to The B GIRLS (But I would eventually come to that decision) so all was well and everyone was having fun.  At one point the band yelled from the back of the club, for Stiv to come get his present and he walked towards the back and just as he did, the band (The Dead Boys) surrounded me, picked up and made a circle around Stiv and I and presented me as his Birthday present, I guess it was "just what he wanted" and I was actually more than a little frightened, I had seen these guys in action and I knew there were no limits to the depravity they sought.  So I guess I was the present, one asked me.  Turned out we danced, he couldn't have been sweeter.  I am not sure if this was the night that his girlfriend at the time, BeBe Buell ( mother of Liv Tyler) was there, but she was there one night and very unhappy with my presence and very unhappy about being in a dive bar in Akron. I remember Tony was so excited to meet her, she was absolutely gorgeous I must say.  But the Stiv days were fun, he was fun, he was RUDE and wild and obviously full of something that drew people in, great performer and front man, I really liked him but I was always aware of the scary stuff.  I said no to The B Girls, I couldn't leave Unit 5 at the time, I had to see where it was going with "my band" and I loved those guys like brothers and I still do 30 odd years later, so that made it worth it, I still have my "guys" in my life, Mark a lot, Bob, enough (HA) and if I ever needed to talk to Augy or Mike, they are there.  I am not sure I could say that had I screwed everyone over to go to Toronto, I made the right choice and I don't wonder "what if" anymore because if you think about it, how many of you have heard of The B Girls anyway?  So it is what it is, Stiv has long since passed away after being struck by a car in Paris.  He got up and walked out of the hospital (or so that's what I was told) in true Stiv fashion, without even knowing his injuries would do him in within hours, rock star until the end...Living to fast I've got my head in full throttle I saw a screaming skull in the bottom of a bottle. Can't stand up, honey, got my tongue on the floor
Living out a dream 'bout the third world war

1 comment:

keith said...

I remember hearing of The B Girls.