On the Prowl with Krude- L.A.M.F.
NYC. My second home. I spend most of my rapidly diminishing average human lifespan time in Manhattan,as opposed to my actual living quarters in New Jersey. Between my job and extra curricular (drinking and carousing) activities in Manhattan,NJ is often a distant second in Krude choices of fun.So,on a ordinary Tuesday night,I found myself immersed in the four letters: L.A.M.F.,deep in the heart of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. If I have to tell you what that ominous acronym means,then maybe you should turn in your Rock N' Roll credentials and re-subscribe to the Simon Cowell fan club.
After I left my workplace on the Upper East Side of Manhattan,I caught the downtown 6 train to 23rd Street. Then a two street, one avenue walk to my lodging for the evening: Carlton Arms Hotel on 25th street. I started going to the Carlton Arms back in 2002 as a cheap,funky place to crash in NYC after a very late and drunken evening. Every room at the Carlton Arms is an artist designed work of their creative imaginations. The desk clerk will give you a few sets of keys to a few different rooms upon check in. Then you can pick your favorite room artist. Krude tip: get a room there that has a private bathroom. Cool place,just don't expect 5 star accommodations. Irish bar located just around the corner as well. Score!
I've written about Paul's Burgers in a prior Krude Experience blog and raved about the greasy spoon burger palace. Most of my journeys to the LES involve a stop at Paul's to fill my belly before a night of drinking. This night was no different. Paul's was spot on,as usual. Never heavy on the wallet either. Love this joint.
Then it was off to the Bowery to see the All Star L.A.M.F. Heartbreakers tribute show at Bowery Electric. This show starred Heartbreakers original Walter Lure,MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer,Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson,Blondie drummer Clem Burke, DGeneration singer Jesse Malin and Dictators singer Handsome Dick Manitoba. Add in Cheetah Chrome from the Dead Boys on guitar as well. HOLY ROCK N' ROLL FUCK!!! What a fucking lineup. No way I was going to miss this. Especially at a smallish venue like Bowery Electric. I scored VIP tix which meant open bar,signed gig poster,private bathroom,and a place to sit.Plus access to anywhere else.Yes! Wild Turkey on the rocks all night. Good conversation in VIP room with other Johnny Thunders fans. And various local celebrity sightings. I'm humbled by how awesome this night was.
The entire Heartbreakers L.A.M.F album from 1977 was played start to finish,in exact order,with different singers every few songs. The band was expectedly a bit ragged at first,but when Clem Burke is your drummer,things get solidly rocking real quick. Tommy Stinson looked and played like it was 1985 for him again. Wayne Kramer strapped on his stars and stripes Strat and testified mightily. Walter Lure was his usual Les Paul slingin', lanky cocksure self. Jesse Malin did great singing the slower numbers with an acoustic guitar. Cheetah Chrome was a nice surprise to see. And Handsome Dick Manitoba put aside past issues(with Johnny Thunders) and sang a walloping Kick Out The Jams. Whewwww... Damn. Only four gigs over two nights with this lineup? Doesn't seem fair to the rest of the world. Make it happen more guys!
The show ran about an hour. Then the band had to head off to Webster Hall for a late show. I didn't make that gig,but was more than happy with what I witnessed. There are many days I feel the real roots of Rock music are slowly fading away and/or are being completely ignored by mass media.In many ways,this is true. But when a group of legendary musicians can come together for a few nights and pay tribute to one of the greatest Rock N' Roll albums of all time,my faith is restored.
Thank you Johnny Thunders,Jerry Nolan,Billy Rath,Walter Lure - The Heartbreakers. You made American history in 1977 with L.A.M.F.. And it still rocks. Hard.
Like A Mother Fucker