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Dead Boys

punk punk rock New York Punk rock 77 style punk

The Dead Boys were an American band that formed in Cleveland, Ohio around 1975. They evolved out of the band Rocket From The Tombs (whose remaining members eventually became the avant-garde band Pere Ubu).

Moving to New York City in 1976, they quickly gained notoriety for their outrageous live performances – lewd gestures and profanity was the norm, and on more than one occasion, lead singer Stiv Bators slashed his stomach with his mic stand. They frequently played at the legendary rock club CBGBs and in 1977 they released their debut album, Young, Loud and Snotty, produced by Genya Ravan. Their song "Sonic Reducer" is often regarded as one of the classics of the punk genre, with the All Music Guide calling it "one of punk's great anthems."

Sire Records pressured the group to change their look and sound to appeal more to the US mainstream (which had yet to embrace punk on the level seen in the UK) and this contributed to Dead Boys breaking up in 1979. A few months after the breakup the band had to reunite to record a live album and thus fulfill their contractual obligations. To exact revenge on the label, Bators purposely sang off mic and the resulting recording was unusable. When the material eventually surfaced on Bomp! Records, Bators had re-recorded the vocals in a studio.

Bators later formed Lords of the New Church with Brian James from The Damned and Dave Tregunna from Sham 69.

The band reformed for several gigs in the 1980's. They released Younger, Louder and Snottier in 1989, which included demos and rough mixes of their debut album.

In 1990, Bators died in France due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

In September of 2004, the band, sans Bators, re-formed for a one-off gig in Cleveland.

In 2005, they played a benefit show for the legendary rock club CBGBs. This same year, they also played a reunion show on Halloween.

Dead Boys has published photos.