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rock n roll round table

beach and there's the whole band leaning up against the First Boston-area show, at The Club in Cambridge. He shot some Beach seawall, with no one around. They were probably expectSuper 8mm footage at that gig that was used for the live ing a boardwalk or something like that. But there they were, career-spanning RAMONES: It's Alive 1974-1996 DVD [Sid's looking like they should be in Atlantic City, without a soul in footage is Chain Saw, track 6] sight." These epic shows were bringing something new to town Sid and the boys worked the show without incident and got and it was resonating with Newport's working-class youth. In a great view of the frenzied performance AEROSMITH were the following years, new bands were forming that showed a becoming known for. "It was awesome. They were sorta punk at clear influence of these grittier new sounds. If Jazz and Folk the time, like the American Rolling Stones. We ended up followhad been Newport's past, Punk was becoming its future. ing them for a couple more shows, they were playing all around Newport's first Punk band may have been MENACE. When New England at the time." Bob Lawton and James Costakos joined the lineup of Frank A couple of months later Newport got its first dose of NYCFlaherty, Frank Gardner, and Artie Dennis, their sound took a style proto-punk GLAM. Sid remembers, "The same friend that turn for the punker. Frank remembers, "Bob modeled himself booked the AEROSMITH show was bringing in the NEW YORK after Iggy. And he was a real promoter, he was very in touch DOLLS. He knew we had a van so with the scene and we packed 'em he called me and asked me if we in. We played all over the place." could pick them up at the airport. Not long after MENACE, Frank We were a little late and they were Gardner and Artie Dennis joined up already off the plane. They weren't with Eddie Silvia and formed THE in the stage outfits but they were HANGERS, while James Costakos dressed really over-the-top in plat[aka, Jimmy Silk] and Sid [aka, form boots, stuff like that. They had Johnny Morroco] joined forces with a circle of people around them and Nick Stingley, Victor World, Charles they were dancing and being really Best and Chris Mess and became loose and lively. The ride back to BIG WORLD. These bands would Newport was crazy and they were not only help define Newport's burreally cool. We dropped them off at geoning Punk scene, but they would the Viking, got to check out their inspire a whole new surge of bands. soundcheck and then the show BIG WORLD quickly became a that night." powerhouse, packing rooms and Stevie D fondly remembers, decimating audiences with their "We knew the DOLLS were playing powerful show. Out of town they'd so me and my friend Smitty [Mike support major acts like IGGY AND Smith] had to walk up there. We THE STOOGES, THE TUBES, GANG wandered into the lobby and [NY WAR, and JOHNNY THUNDERS, The Hangers upstairs at Harpos. DOLLS bass player] Arthur 'Killer' but here in town they were clearly L-R: Artie Dennis, Frank Gardiner & Eddie Silvia Kane is standing there leaning up headliners. The scene was starting against the wall. He looks down at us from atop his 7 inch platto crystalize, and now all it needed was a home base. form boots and asks, 'Hey, you guys coming to see the show?', With a decline in the number of people coming out to see live Jazz, 'Crazy' Dave Haddad, who owned and operated and we're 11 years old so we reluctantly answer, 'No, we don't have the money and our parents won't let us.' So he says, 'Well Harpo's Jazz Club, began to incorporate other types of music how about this? You guys can come in for a little while. You can into the monthly schedule. Their eclectic mix of musical genres see some of the show and make it back home before you get in would become a Newport staple. trouble.' He was a really sweet guy." About the show itself, Stevie D recalls, "They had everything. On any given night Stevie recalls, "Sylvain Sylvain was wearing roller skates. He you could see a Folk act, or a Fusion band, or a Punk band, or a Reggae band, and they had national acts on the weekends." was stomping his foot so hard he put his skate through the stage! They were loud, they had attitude, and they were snotty. During this period Frank had become the house sound engiAnd even though you couldn't really understand the words you neer and states, "I was grateful to 'Crazy' Dave for exposing me knew they were saying what you were feeling. It was life-changto so many different types of music and allowing me an opporing." tunity to hone my craft." When the RAMONES came to Newport to play a two-night With THE HANGERS in place as the de facto Harpo's house stint at Bourbon Street in the spring of '76, Sid once again got band, and BIG WORLD emerging as the major local headliner, bands like BORED YOUTH [Sean Smith and Mike 'Smitty' the call. "There was no one coming to see those guys then so we spread the word through the shop. We led the charge and Smith's band] and the BOY KILLERS [maybe Newport's first girl went up there every night. Everybody came up and saw them punks] added more fuel to what was becoming Newport's ragand we got to hang with them. They were awesome live. That ing Punk inferno. first RAMONES record was so groundbreaking, and then to Hosting bands like Boston-based rising stars THE NEIGHhear them play it live and it's better than the record... wow." A BORHOODS and MISSION OF BURMA, Harpo's was becoming a couple of days later, Sid would catch the RAMONES first destination Rock club that bands wanted to play. Sid declares,

newportnaked.com • winter 2013 / 2014 69

Newport Naked Winter 2013  

Think Hwang

Newport Naked Winter 2013  

Think Hwang