“Return Of The Living Dead Boys: Halloween Night 1986” by Dead Boys

Artist: Dead Boys
Title: “Return Of The Living Dead Boys: Halloween Night 1986”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 3/8/2008
Genre: Punk Rock
Rating: 2.5/5

The Dead Boys were one of the more influential of the Punk Rock groups of their day, and when the Cleveland band which formed in 1975 relocated to New York City at the suggestion of the Ramones, they became a part of the ever growing scene in the region. The band was known for being outrageous and obnoxious onstage and they often offended many with their live shows – hey this is Punk and not some placid Pop music after all. Over the course of their career they would only deliver two full length albums before breaking up but it should be noted that a number of bootlegs are in existence. Eventually a reunion show would be planned and held on Halloween Night at New York City’s legendary venue The Ritz. This was an amazing place to see shows and 1986 was an even more incredible time for the music scene with so much going on and so many bands to enjoy. This DVD captures the reunion show at the venue now known as Webster Hall and it delivers a cornucopia of the bands most popular numbers. The sound is rather good for the performance and must have been a straight feed from the soundboard since I can hardly hear any crowd noise. The downside is that it is shot from one straight camera angle which leads me to believe that there was a lone camera positioned at the other side of the venue. We do get some decent close ups but there wasn’t someone stationed in the photo pit or on the side where different visuals could be worked in.

Led by the energetic and obnoxious Stiv Bators, the band delivers a rock solid performance and from the video you see the audience keeping the stage crew busy as they jump onto the stage to yell into the microphone or dive back into the crowd. There are a few comments that befit a Punk group such as the intro to “Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth” being dedicated to Mama Cass Elliott and the ham sandwich that killed her, and how the audience had no ladies in it to speak of. Bators makes the mistake of letting some of the audience members sing with him, and that doesn’t go as it was planned at all with one guy ranting and raving into the microphone until he could get it back. There is also a time when the singer comes down real low and the audience pulls him into their swirling numbers. Highlights include the mega Punk anthem “Sonic Reducer” (which is played twice) and “Tell Me” while lowlights is when Bator’s disrobes completely. I wasn’t ready for the Full Monty portion of the show when it happened so that makes this a partially for mature audiences release.

The Dead Boys were Stiv Bators (vocals), Cheetah Chrome (lead guitar), Jimmy Zero (rhythm guitar), Jeff Magnum (bass guitar) & Johnny Blitz (drums). The bonus features are limited but include a rare 1980 interview with Stiv Bators and musical collaborator Frank Secich on a regional interview show hosted by Gary Cubberly. This footage also features a super rare video for “Sonic Reducer”. I loved the interview footage and like how they featured this, as many bands never get the chance to offer the viewer these small show appearances. After the breakup of The Dead Boys, Bators would go on to form The Lords Of The New Church but sadly he would die from injuries sustained after being hit by a truck in 1990. He is forever remembered as an influential and controversial performer and has inspired many singers who have come into prominence over the years.

Track Listing:
1. Joey Ramone Intro
2. Sonic Reducer
3. All This And More
4. Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth
5. Calling On You
6. Won’t Look Back
7. What Love Is
8. I Need Lunch
9. Ain’t Nothing To Do
10. Down In Flames
11. Son Of Sam
12. Detention Home
13. 3rd Generation Nation
14. Tell Me (cover)
15. Search And Destroy (cover)
16. Flamethrower Love
17. High Tension Wire
18. Sonic Reducer

Official Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Boys

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