… for Steve!

Although i know that our little scene is actually very close, very tight and generally full of mutual appreciation there are these little moments, these little gestures and these observations that do stun me. Tuesday evening at the Hafenklang was such a moment: What under normal conditions would have drawn say 100+ people to see the Adolescents turned out into an almost sold out show that the Hamburg lot come out for and provided the band with a huge wave of love and appreciation.

When the sad news of Steve passing away came over many people thought „…that’s the end of the Adolescents, they will cancel the tour“ and quite right so. We (and i) have lost members of our little scene in the past and not so recent past and it is a devastating feel. And now think of a band that just finished a new record, booked flights to Europe and all of that was managed by … Steve. It takes a lot of guts to then just hang in and come over. You could feel that the band was in two minds: The heavy push down by the sad loss and the uplift from the love coming back from the audience.

And whilst you should never reveal the end of the book at the start i think „For Steve!“ is a good reason to let you know that the Adolescents came out of that amazing: They gave most likely the best, tightest and heart-full set ever in Hamburg: For Steve!

The support slot was taken by No Sugar who sported some familiar faces. It was their 3rd only gig but individually they have some experience under their belt. They claim to do Proto-Post-Punk/Anarcho-Rock’n’Roll and that makes me smile, as i can now add another drawer to my mu-sick-al cupboard.

No Sugar (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
No Sugar (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

When they played i could actually not make out any connections to the cupboards mentioned, it think they play something with a good twang and have a special advantage by all of the three in front singing. Either individually, or in harmony or with some as chorus. Whilst i could not make out all lyrics (in English) it was their main asset.

Did i like them? Yes – i stayed inside during their set whilst half of the audience decided to have beer, sun and conversations outside of the Hafenklang. Their set was short (say 25 minutes) and only had one disadvantage for my ears: There was little rhythm change, little variations in speed. Whilst that per se is not an issue, i think their type of twang would work better with. Lets see where they head for and lets see how it works should i see them again.

And then came the Adolescents and they were greeted with loads of applause and loads of cheers. And they kicked in like this:

Bang, spot on. And sorry for cutting the cheers off at the of the video – there where many. It was clear that for them doing this was a heavy task, the heaviest most likely for Tony (who lost a life long friend) and for Brad (from F-Minus, Leftover Cräck and Rats in the Wall), who had to fill in on Bass.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst they blitzed, bulldozed and stormed through their set they also took the time to remember Steve and let the audience know how much they appreciate the support and expressions of love. It was truly a show fueled by love and positive energy and it made everybody feel good.

As stated earlier i think it was the tightest and most energetic set of the Adolescents ever in Hamburg. The longer the set went, the the way above 200 people in the audience got moving and enjoying. And i think also the band on stage really enjoyed it.

And when it came to the end there sure were encores and the final encore was an obvious one:

Thank you so much Adolescents! That was a worthy remembering of Steve’s legacy and that was a great show. Hard things may hit us and hard thinks will eventually hit us – it is how you go about it. You went about it in the best possible way and for that we are thankful.

And with all that love and joy most of the audience set off to plunder the merch table, many got the new record and a shirt – one loner got the first record and subsequently was taunted by one of me mates (for no good reason). I got the new record and the „Free Melania“ T-Shirt and when i turned around 5 of me mates had done the same choice, so we decided to co-ordinate wearing it for one show in the future to appear as a gang.

I was home very late (and nicely hung over on work next day) but for a very worthy cause.

nb: And here is how the Adolescents phrase it:

On June 27, 2018, we lost STEVE SOTO: fearless leader, bass player, singer, songwriter, producer, and best friend. After much internal conflict, soul searching, and heartbreaking discussion, we have realized that Steve - the hardest working man in punk rock - would be upset if we did not finish the tour to support the new record that he worked tirelessly on for well over a year.

Steve did not cancel shows, and considered doing so to be sloppy, disruptive, and unprofessional.

We will do what Steve set out to do. What he wants of us, and what is right. We will fulfill our commitment to share those songs. Longtime friend Brad Logan will rock the bass in Steve’s honor this summer in Europe and the UK.

We thank you for your support, love, understanding, and patience with us during this time and hope you will join us to celebrate and honor Steve the way we know - by playing the music he helped to create.

This is not a time for hate. Hug your loved ones; this ride is short. Come celebrate Steve’s legacy. Sing the songs we wrote.

Tony, Dan, Mike, Ian
The Adolescents
7.12.18

 

… it ain’t memory lane – they still have a lot to give!

Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies - Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies – Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)

It should have been a walk down memory lane but it turned out to be much more fun indeed. My business schedule took me to Manchester the week before Rebellion@Blackpool and everybody taunted me for not staying over. One of the reasons (next to spending the weekend with my love) was that i needed to be in London the week after and wanted to see my dear old friend Rudi, who on the way back from the Blackpool pilgrimage did a stopover in Hamburg before returning home to his new hometown of Perth. So i was up for Rudi, Adolescents and The Dickies – knowing that i had to fly out to London next morning. Grim outlook but nothing that could not be cured with good music, fun, friends and beer.

I did let go Arrested Denial but rather spend time talking – then it was time for the Adolescents.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

I do not know how many times i have seen them but it is always unpretentious and class. Sure it ain’t the Adolescents from 1980 but Steve Soto and Tony Cadena keep their thing flying with style. And energy the have, ob boy, they do have. It is sure helped by the other 3 guys in the lineup, giving them the perfect backdrop. The stage entry was yet again cool, just went on, adjusted the lights and blasted off with „No Way“:

And they carried on without a scent of slowdown. And did they stop at one point in time? not realy, they gave the impression that they wanted to play on and on and on! Finaly „Sonic Reducer“ was a well timed „farewell“ to the audience. Wow – even better than last time at Hafenklang!

Next on The Dickies and that is down memory lane: 27.11.1979 was my fist punk show ever, seeing The Dickies (whom i thought to be from England) and The Stranglers as a 15 year old kid at the Markthalle in Hamburg. The Dickes blasted the place, there is a cool tape of that show but no video – they looked like this (apparently the only video footage of that area):

The Stranglers where just hated for all the stupid reasons of „… not punk“, „… sellout“ – see below cut from a German music magazin:

The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)
The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)

But hey, 35 years later The Dickies (ok, Stan Lee and Leonard Graves Phillips plus a variety of backline) still give it a go!

The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The music has been speeded up a wee bit to fit todays listening preferences but from there they are still one of the best sing-a-long bands of all times. And yes, it is memory lane! Forgive me and my age!

The took the stage with „Paranoid“ and took Hamburg by storm:

And took no prisoners from there. Be it short („Poodle Party“) or long (my all time live favourite „If Stuart could talk (what would he say?“):


 

Also The Dickies made no stop, played for ever and encore was added to encore:


 
I lost time, enjoyed the music, talked forever and had way too many beers. But within the set was a cool gem worth to explore. The Dickies sure are known for their cover versions and there are so many stories about these. But they also played my favorite cover: „See my way“ (a song by a long forgotten UK rock band from the early 70s):

The words for this one are priceless:

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

see the point of watching my life
i can see it's been so wrong
climbing mountains without even looking
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

(c) 1970 Mick Abrahams

And in it’s 1970 boring rock glory it sounds like this – live at German Beat Club TV Program … and now you do know why it has been covered:

Actualy, on record and leaving the jazzy bridge and the sax aside, it is a decend pre-hard rock song:

And, not for a reason, also the Ramones family did a cover:

And you know, fuck it – i got all the space of the world here, this is a psych-proto-metal cover version from New Zealand, dated 1971. And you exactly know why punk had to happen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE1lr5HoEJI

So actualy next to be able to write this song, to give credit to this exhibit of reason why punk came about, they got their record covered designed with so much more class than bands nowadays who design for CD covers at maximum. Gatefold cover with a cool bord game on the inside. Now beat this!

BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
Blodwyn Pig 1970
Blodwyn Pig 1970

 

I am sure my friends Alf and Wolfgang have this record in their collection, as they sport a few years more and made it through the pre-punk prog-rock area.

Humming „See my way“ did lead me home and with a late and short sleep and the „comfort flight“ next morning to London i sported a neat hangover in the office on Wednesday. Regrets? None! Even 35 years later these evenings make my day and pic’s like below will forever serve my memory!

Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)