Tag Archives: Patti Smith

Happy Birthday, Fred “Sonic” Smith

Fred (Sonic) Smith would have been 61 years young today.

Fred Smith departed far too soon – six years ago this November – but he left behind some seminal rock moments, from founding the MC5 to Sonic’s Rendesvous Band (which until recently only existed in my tactile world through the classic single  “City Slang“).

Sadly, he is only known in some other circles for marrying Patti Smith. I guess when your name is Smith it isn’t a shock when you marry a girl with the same surname; it saves a bunch on monogrammed towels.

Video: “City Slang

The other members of the MC5,  Scott Morgan, The Hellacopters and many other bands are keeping Fred’s legacy alive through their (and his) music, and more and more recordings of the SRB are surfacing as well as a treasure chest of sides from The Rationals and other classic Detroit bands. Man, was that place cooking. Still is!

I met him once; we sat down at the same table at the Bottom Line in NYC. He was saying hello to a friend, who was a friend of my friend (Kevin Bacon explodes about this time) and the four of us enjoyed whomever we had driven in to see that night. Seemed like a really down to earth, regular guy. Wish I got to know him.

Fred Smith Wiki page

Fred Smith at Allmusic.com

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And Happy 25th Birthday to Mario!

Click the picture for the secret message…

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Two Old Dogs

Absolutely Fabulous

One was a group of happy canines, the others apparently upper-crust full-bred purse pups. Maybe we were running out of names as the 70s drew to a close, but I remember both these bands well. Kudos to Collector’s Choice and American Beat for reissuing 2-fer gems…fans will be very happy with the value while those taking the initial plunge will find that the music holds up very well…

Although they sound markedly different, the Fabulous Poodles and the Laughing Dogs share much beyond their canine nicknames. The Fab Poos hailed from the U.K. where their music drew heavily upon pub-rock and classic Brit rock. Famous for their whimsical stage antics and humorous songs, they were musically tight and lyrically clever to the point where comparisons to the Kinks were more than a coincidence.

The Laughing Dogs, on the other hand, came up through the New York City scene, playing CBGB’s and Max’s alongside Blondie, the Ramones, and Patti Smith. Musically, however, they were much more smooth and polished with a classic power-pop sound that was a lot closer to the Rubinoos and the Producers than their punk contemporaries.

Both bands had limited success in the U.S. charts and were gone after their second albums (for Epic and Columbia respectively) as were the Sinceros, the Photos, and dozens of others whose chum was similarly tossed into the same radio shark tank.

Continue reading the full review over at PopMatters.

Get em outta town

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