The sounds — and sights — of the Dead Boys at concert


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The 40th anniversary tour of the Dead Boys – the trailblazing punk band fronted by the late Stiv Bators, a Girard native – continues Friday with a show at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.

Before the show, fans can view a new exhibit of photos from the earliest days of the band that was formed in Cleveland in 1976.

The exhibit, titled “More Dead Boys 1977,” includes 20 never-before-seen photos by Dave Treat, who was a friend of the band (and a student majoring in photography) at the time.

Earlier this year, Treat published “Dead Boys 1977,” a book of photos from the era.

Grainy, high contrast and in stark black and white, the photos show the irreverent band on the then-decaying streets of Cleveland. Also included are live concert photos and a whole section on Bators, who died in 1990 in Paris after being struck by a car.

Admission to the exhibit, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m., is free. The concert, which includes opening act Archie and the Bunkers ($20), starts at 8:30 p.m.

The Dead Boys was one of the first American acts to combine the fervor of the Stooges and the New York Dolls with a new level of intense energy.

The band is best known for its landmark 1977 debut album, “Young, Loud and Snotty,” which was pivotal in the birth of hard-core punk and produced one of the first great punk anthems, “Sonic Reducer.”

After one more album, the band split up in 1979. It reunited for a few gigs in the ’80s, but the band members went their separate ways after the death of Bators except for two brief reunions in 2004 and 2005.

The return of the Dead Boys began in 2017 with guitarist Cheetah Chrome.

“I’ve had my solo band for the last 10 years, and Dead Boys songs have always been included in my shows,” he said in a press release. “With the 40th anniversary of the Dead Boys on the horizon and a solid band that could interpret and deliver the performance and sound needed to maintain the authenticity of the Dead Boys, I reached out to [original drummer] Johnny Blitz about an anniversary tour, and he said ‘yes,’ and we began the journey of what would become ‘Still Snotty.’”

With Jason Kottwitz on guitar, Detroit punk legend Ricky Rat on bass and vocalist Jake Hout from Dead Boys tribute band the Undead Boys, the Dead Boys 40th anniversary tour started taking shape. “I’ve been singing the Dead Boys songs myself for 20 years because I couldn’t find another singer I trusted enough to hand it to,” said Chrome. “The first gig with Jake, it was like, ‘You got it, man!’ I think Stiv would be very proud of our choice.”

THIS AND THAT

Concert: Grammy-winning rock band The War on Drugs, which includes Boardman’s Anthony LaMarca, will play the Agora Theater in Cleveland on July 13. LaMarca’s own band, The Building will open the show. Tickets are $36 at ticketweb.com.

New bar: Construction has started on a new German-style beer hall, to be dubbed Rhine Haus, that will be in a building next to Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts on North Phelps Street in downtown Youngstown. It should be ready to open in November. Suzie’s and the new bar will be connected by an interior doorway.

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