Fri. April 22: Old Punks 3 brings more legends to the stage for a great (punk rawk) cause

Posted: April 19, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Live Performances, Previews
Tags: , ,

This Friday, some of Windsor’s punk rock legends come together for a clash of epic pistol-leering and damned stoogery. Dale “Elad” D’Amore and Frank Carlone – of the legendary Spy’s – and Hevy Kevie, Tommy Vomit and Ray Maybe – of the notorious Dry Heaves – join forces for Old Punks 3, a punk rawk variety show that features them – alongside backing band members bassist “Coma Mike” Fortier and Dave Garant on drums – bulldozing their way down memory lane playing many of the classic Spy’s and Dry Heaves songs (Spy’s “Machine Shop” and Heaves’ “Shoot Yourself” are Windsor staples), as well as other period punk anthems by acts like The Stooges, Ramones, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Dead Boys and more. And all money from the door is going to help Canadian Diabetes.

The Spy’s exploded on the local rock and roll scene in Windsor, Ontario in 1978 because they were something it had never tasted before: wild, raucous, debaucherous streetsmart punk rock and roll. The Spy’s started when some buddies went to a show at The Old Miami in Detroit and caught their pal – guitarist Dale “Elad” D’Amore – up on stage jamming with former MC5 guitar great Fred “Sonic” Smith. It was then they knew they had to build a band around their axe slinging friend. And so The Spy’s were born – featuring Frank Carlone on vocals, “Coma” Joe Desrameaux on bass and vocals, Dave O’Gorman on drums and the catalyst, D’Amore on guitars. They quickly began tearing up anywhere they could play, from Windsor to Detroit and back again. They left blood, sweat and beers (all empty) wherever their onslaught took them. Their shows became events and everyone knew that Windsor had conquered the underground. They released the Machine Shop/Underground 7″ in 1980 and soon agents and promoters from around the country came sniffing. But the pressures of possible commercial success started to suck the fun out of the band and in the late 1980, the Spy’s dissolved. D’Amore and Coma Joe merged with The Hard-Tops to form The Nelsons, Windsor’s first punk supergroup, while O’Gorman joined rival punk gang The Dry Heaves. Carlone moved on to Toronto to form The Ronald Reagan Story. The Dry Heaves have had several reunions since, the most recent being the live recording in 1995 at The Loop in downtown Windsor. D’Amore is still active in the local music scene, leading The Guitar Army. Although their run was brief, their impact was enormous – almost everyone who experienced the Spy’s went on to form their own bands, many of them influential in their respective scenes.

Shortly after the arrival of The Spy’s came Windsor’s second punk rock soldiers, The Dry Heaves. Formed in 1979, it featured Hevy Kevie on lead vocals, Tommy Vomit and Rudy Babyon guitars, Ray Maybe on bass/keys andCookie Man on drums. Their punk rock attack was a ferocious barrage of angst ridden mayhem, aimed at injecting some youth in the classic rock pomp of the Top 40 doctrines of the day. They played a ferocious schedule, playing a multitude of gigs with such bands as The Spy’s,Destroy All Monsters and Teenage Headto name a few. They released an EP in 1980 on Salem Records entitled Shoot Yourself. Considering the complete commercial unacceptability of punk rock in this time, the album gained national notoriety. The Heaves unfortunately broke up in 1981, following Hevy Kevie’s move to Toronto. They would get together periodically throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s for a series of reunion shows and in 2000, RaveUp Records released a 12-song Shoot Yourself album (featuring the original EP and other unreleased original recordings from the initial sessions). The renewed interest stirred the Heaves into reforming on a more permanent basis and they gigged quite reguarly up until 2004. Hevy Kevie and Tommy Vomit are also still performing locally as part of The Shannon Brothers. Whether or not the Heaves are officially done is anyone’s guess. You never know when another Dry Heave will come up! As in the case of the Spy’s, the Dry Heaves legacy has lasted longer than they did.

If you want to see some true musical legends from Windsor’s earliest days of punk rock, head over to the FM Lounge on Friday. You won’t regret it.

Old Punks 3 featuring The Spy’s and The Dry Heaves, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, main level), Friday April 22, 9pm

  1. Ray Maybe says:

    I’m only going to the show to hear the rhythm section.

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