Monday, October 26, 2020

Pegboy marks 30th anniversary, dedicates gig to Pierre Kezdy

John Haggerty plays with Pegboy on Oct. 17. (Photo by Meredith M. Goldberg)

By Andy

It was a gig to mark Pegboy's 30th anniversary, but it was so much more than hitting that milestone for the rock-solid Chicago band. 

Not only was it a rare, socially distanced gig during a pandemic, it was an emotional tribute and memorial for Pierre Kezdy, the dynamic Chicago bassist and lyricist who passed away from cancer on Oct. 9 at the age of 58. He influenced and inspired scores of musicians during his time with Pegboy, Naked Raygun, Strike Under, Arsenal and Trial By Fire.

On Oct. 17, Pegboy took the stage alongside The Bollweevils, Jake Burns and Local H at the Chicago Drive-In Theater in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Pegboy guitarist John Haggerty, drummer Joe Haggerty, vocalist Larry Damore and bassist Mike Thompson rammed through their set during the windy, overcast and socially distanced atmosphere.

"So windy that I thought my amp would blow over and they had to put sand bags on the cymbal stands so they would not fly away," John said. "At first it was strange to play in front of a crowd largely confined to their cars without the type of direct interaction we are used to. But that quickly passed as soon as we heard all the car horns blaring in unison. Especially when Larry held Pierre's bass aloft and dedicated the show to him. We might not have many, but we have the best fans in the world."

Pegboy vocalist Larry Damore displays Pierre Kezdy's bass. (Photo by Meredith M. Goldberg)

John noted that the show resonated deeply with those people whose lives Kezdy had touched. Pegboy was also humbled by the other artists who played that night, who are all headliners in their own right, he added.

"I knew that Pierre's work had a positive impact on many, but I never realized how many," John said. "It was seeing his first band, Strike Under, that made me realize that you can play live, write songs and make records even if you are not an arena rock band. I joined my first band shortly thereafter."

"Seeing his likeness on a giant screen while playing a show with his bass on stage was very moving to all of us. We thank all who came out despite less than ideal conditions," added the guitarist, who turned 60 the day of the gig and was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" by a socially distanced group of people up front while he was jamming with Local H.

John and Kezdy played, wrote and recorded together in both Pegboy and Naked Raygun for about 25 years total. 

"Besides being a great player and a brilliant songwriter, he was a lot of fun to be in a band with. He had a great sense of humor and would give you the shirt off of his back, without hesitation," John said. "He was a great card player and could drive massive distances without a break. He could do an interview in the afternoon, play a show at night, load gear like a longshoreman then drive us safely back to the hotel. He was the MVP of our band and one of my favorite people in the world."

Now that he's hit the big 6-0 and is still rocking, John sums up his musical trek over the last 40 years, which surely mirrors a multitude of other musicians' experiences.  

"I have very few regrets and I am honored to be associated with so many fine musicians and music lovers," he said.

Naked Raygun from the "All Rise" CD reissue with John Haggerty and Pierre Kezdy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Original members of The Damned reunite for UK tour

Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian in Seattle in 2018. (Cat Rose photo)

Stellar news on The Damned front today as the legendary band has announced that original members Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible and Brian James will reunite for a four-date UK tour in July of 2021. 

Here's the schedule:

July 9

Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

London, United Kingdom

July 16

O2 Academy Birmingham

Birmingham, United Kingdom

July 17

O2 Academy Glasgow

Glasgow, United Kingdom

July 18

O2 Apollo Manchester

Manchester, United Kingdom

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Photo flashback: Cheap Trick strikes 10

Rick Nielsen, Daxx Nielsen and Robin Zander in action. 

So, we've finally been given permission from Cheap Trick's management to share two of Cat Rose's photos (with watermarks) from this ripping show on Aug. 28, 2015, at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. They opened for Peter Frampton.

“We are the one and only — with no substitutes — Cheap Trick,” Rick Nielsen shouted to the crowd at one point during the energetic set, which featured the guitarist flicking copious picks to fans and giving the throng a thumbs up after nearly every song.

They rolled through "Come On, Come On," "Big Eyes," "Lookout," "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police," "Stiff Competition" and much more on the most-rockin' eve.

Daxx and Robin.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Circle Jerks' 'Group Sex' rages on 40 years later with Trust Records reissue


By Andy 

"NUTS!" is one way Keith Morris emotes his feelings about how the Circle Jerks' "Group Sex" album has withstood the test of time.

"I personally am in awe over the attention our album gets this far out from its original release back in 1980," the band's animated singer told us in an email this week.

While the pandemic put a hit on the CJs' 40th anniversary reunion plans this year, Trust Records has helped keep the band's legacy alive with a reissue of that classic punk platter. Our original copy my brother purchased in 1980 is scratched to hell, but still delivers the angst and rage 1,000-fold.

The new edition has been given the remaster treatment and will include five bonus tracks from the band's initial rehearsal in 1980, a deluxe 20-page booklet jam packed with rare photos, flyers and testimonials, and a reprint of a 24-page CJs fanzine from 1980 with pre-orders. Visit

At the age of 14, I first encountered the CJs at the Starwood in Los Angeles at my first punk gig. It was a night I'll never forget.

When Morris and the CJs hit the stage, I was amazed at how the band raged while playing so tight. Guitarist Greg Hetson and bassist Roger Rogerson jumped up and down and drummer Lucky Lehrer shredded away with a wild look on his face. Morris had his usual beer in hand and was as manic as I thought he would be on stage -- turns out my grade-school buddy Tony Ford (who often collected the donations at church sporting engineer boots and a leather jacket) was right.

To top off the CJs' set, brother Ed hopped up on stage, ran across it and dove into the crowd during "Paid Vacation."

Morris fills us in on the raucous band's beginnings.

"When we first started, our situation had us skipping out on the learning to crawl and walking bits and going directly to a swift paced run. Everything was moving fast and we didn't have time to dwell upon the events that were happening to us. The CJs were just going for it!," he said. 

And then they began wearing out their shoes and boots at a blistering pace on the punk scene.

"Writing songs and booking gigs equated to spinning heads, and the recording process for 'Group Sex' went by so quickly that we had no idea as to what we were doing," he added. "Roger, Greg, Lucky and I had absolutely no thoughts towards us helping to create a blueprint for a genre of music."

Our original copy from 1980.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Adolescents unleash cover tunes on 'Russian Spider Dump'

Tony from the Adolescents. (Cat Rose photo)

It's covers time for the Adolescents, who tackle 15 classics on their upcoming album "Russian Spider Dump" (political post part 2 for TSHIT this week). 

On the Kung Fu Records/Cleopatra Records Oct. 23 release, the Adolescents let loose on tunes by Middle Class ("Home is Where"), the Simpletones ("I Like Drugs), the Germs ("Lion's Share"), the Flyboys ("Crayon World") and more.

It's available on both CD and colored vinyl at

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Ukeage Boy: Milo goes political with RebUke tunes

Milo Aukerman sans ukulele. (Cat Rose photo)

In a 2019 interview with this blog, Milo Aukerman discussed how he played acoustic guitar around his home while his daughter joined him on the French horn.

That's a far cry from the Descendents tuneage he's used to knocking out, but how about going all ukulele on us?

About a month away from an ultra-crucial election, Aukerman has released three politically charged solo tunes under the RebUke moniker on "45... not a LP." Check it out at Fat Wreck Chords will unleash the vinyl and the digital product is in Epitaph Records' hands.

When we last spoke to Aukerman, he was writing new Descendents songs, but these ones have now made their way into the RebUke realm as the election nears.

"I’ve spent most of my punk rock life avoiding the temptation to write political songs; it always seemed like politics is the obvious go-to subject of punk and thus not of interest to me. Unfortunately, after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, I find myself virtually unable to write songs about anything else," Aukerman said today on the Fat site. "If you believe, like me, that 45 is not a LP, we ALL need to VOTE to make that a reality. Only then can we hope to see a return to sanity, a turning of the page. These songs are my personal attempts to turn the page on our national nightmare…if only I could will it through music."