Friday, August 1, 2008

Faster Pussycat

Taime Downe

Farmingdale, NY
July 31st '08

In 1987, when Peter Philbin asked me to fly out to Phoenix and check out his latest discovery, Faster Pussycat, I thought anyone sussed enough to name themselves after Russ Meyer's paean to pummeling pulchritude has to be ok and booked my ticket. We find ourselves standing about 15 yards from the stage and right in front of us are a bunch of dolled up, glammed-out gyrating babes one of whom I recognize as adult film star, Lois Ayres, so clearly this band has what it takes. They were pretty scrappy back then and Peter likes to remind me that I leaned over and asked him if it was too late to get out of the deal. It was. So after the show, we invited them out for dinner but most of them had better things to 'do'. Ah, youth. As time passed, I got to know Taime, Greg and Brent pretty well, and always had a blast hangin' out. Their first album defines a time in LA when glam-metal had an innocence (if that's possible) and the scene had something to look forward to. Plus, it sounded great blaring from the speakers at the Cathouse, a club the savvy Taime and Riki Rachtman formed to serve as ground zero for the movement that Motley Crue had inspired. Guns & Roses, Faster Pussycat, LA Guns and Jetboy was the line-up for the first show at the Cathouse and it wasn't long before every wannabe rocker (tattoos and piercings de rigeur) was ODing or puking in its toilets. FP's second album 'Wake Me When It's Over' went gold, thanks to the hit House Of Pain and the great Poison Ivy, while their last for Elektra, 'Whipped' showed a (sonic) maturity that probably did the group no favors. Their fans preferred it trashy.
On Thursday, I drove the 58 miles to Farmingdale where Long Island's rock hangout, the Crazy Donkey hosted FP, LA Guns and Bang Tango midway through their tour across the US. On the bus, Taime was as friendly as always, introducing me to Tracii Guns who was reading a list of best metal songs of all time from his computer. 'Breaking The Law' (I guess), 'Ace Of Spades' (obviously)...all the obvious ones were there, although eyebrows were raised at the mention of 'Eye Of The Tiger'. Taime gave me a copy FP's latest, 'The Power & The Gloryhole' (Full Effect Records) which I cranked in the car last night and now I wish I'd stuck around for the show. There's a couple of classics on it (Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll and Bye Bye Bianca) and a bunch of crunching rockers that take the years off. Always championing new bands, he said to look out for Crud (with the delightfully-named singer,
Vinnie Dombroski) and soon he was going to take FP to South America for the first time, taking in Brazil, Argentian, Peru and Chile. He still enjoys getting on the bus and touring, but when I overheard snippets of a conversation at load-in between him and the very worried-looking singer of tour-mates Bang Tango that involved said singer's "blood", "kidneys" and immediate need for a "taxi to the hospital", I thought it's probably a good time to take my leave. Good seeing ya Taime...don't get into too much trouble on the road, buddy...
Here's a slideshow

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