Live! At CBGB's 1977 DVD
By Brian Chillemi
Originally filmed for a 60 Minute report that never aired, Dead Boys: Live At CBGB's 1977, captures true punk rock at it's peak. This 45 minute live show is nothing short of breath taking. With three-color news camera's filming from all angles and CBGB's teaming with ecstatic fans the Dead Boys give everything they have…and let me tell you it is quite a lot.
From Youngstown, Ohio, an industrial wasteland, the Dead Boys grew up on the likes of The New York Dolls, The Stooges and MC5. They're signified by their huge and piercing sound that is carried by uncensored aggression and anger. But to be frank, they just fucking rock. As Cheetah Chrome, lead guitarist, puts it "first and foremost we were a live band". This DVD does a lot more than just prove his point. Playing nearly every song on their first record "Young, Loud and Snotty" plus two songs off their second release "We Have Come For Your Children" not to mention a cover of Iggy and The Stooges own, "Search and Destroy" the Dead Boys don't only live up to ones expectations but far surpass what simply listening to the records suggest.
Live! At CBGB's powerfully conveys Cheetah Chrome's thrashing guitar solo's, Jimmy Zero's huge ring outs, Stiv Bator's uncontested showmanship and finally Johnny Blitz's hard, chaotic drumming style. From the minute the first note is hit the audience is not given a moment of relief from what stands before them. Stiv Bators, lead singer, is a showman who sits with the likes of James Brown, Iggy Pop and Little Richard. His timing, dancing, overall style and pacing of the performance are incredible. With the audience in the palm of their hands the Dead Boys deliver the goods with no one left feeling unsatisfied.
The Dead Boys broke up only a year after the filming of this show and not much other live footage of their performances exist. Leaving this as one of the few high quality documentations of a truly unique band at an unprecedented time in history. The special features also contain interviews with all the band members offering their take on punk and their performance. Not to mention interviews with Cheetah Chrome today and the owner of CBGB's giving his story of the Dead Boys.
For the low cost of 14 bucks (even cheaper some places) this DVD is a steal and worth every penny. Do yourself a favor and buy this DVD and see what punk is really about, straight from the horse's mouth.