Tony Matteucci Loren Molinare Mary Kay The DoGs photo: (C) Heather Harris
Mary Dog Photo (C) 2011 Heather Harris
Mary Dog Photo (C) 2011 Heather Harris
Detroit/L.A.'s venerable hard rock/punk legends The Dogs were spotted back in the studio recording all new material this last December chez Paul Hilton, seen at the board through the window, with bassist Mary Kay Dog looking fetching as ever. Tentative title is "Hypersensitive" for the planned March 2011 release. Photos (C) 2011 Heather Harris
all photos (C) 1985 - 2010 Heather Harris. All Rights Reserved.
The hardest thing to do in art remains chronicling one's own self objectively if accuracy is required. The second highest hurdle of subjectivity is to write about one's friends, hence no blog heretofore about The Dogs, a legendary punk band whom I've known for two and a half decades while considering bassist Mary to be my closest female friend. I found at least a voice sputtering through in relaying instructions to their videographer for a shoot in my studio last summer, excerpted as follows.
Joel-- Thanks for fitting this in. (-technical specs followed-)What might make it fun for you as opposed to them (they live for this stuff) is your encounter here with some genuine, lifelong subversives. In no way intellectuals, as artists they are real do-ers, activists as opposed to bookish shoegazers, always creating, and they have impressed the hell out of me in my acquaintance with them for the last two of their four decades as a band.I thought about this re-reading your "what is art anyway" blog on your site (Joel definitely deserves a plug here http://www.wayhome.com ).
Don't be fooled by their friendliness, one of them a family man with a traveling music equipment sales job, one of them still amazing-looking with a flirty laugh alongside near technical perfection of her bass, one of them's can-do agreeability belying his complete percussion mastery. They were once kids who opened in the '60s for the MC5 and the Stooges in their native Detroit, supported S.D.S. and all the (original) anti-war stuff, frequently were arrested for starting riots there, played for free, played festivals, refused to pay-to-play here, toured the U.K. and Northern Ireland in the 1970's (Mary told me our '94 Northridge earthquake damage reminded her of normal Belfast,) maybe kick-started punk at CBGB's wearing their street clothes of leather jackets and torn jeans onstage (with future Ramones watching,) definitely kick-started DIY punk in L.A. with their Radio Free Hollywood four-walling of live venues along with chums The Motels and The Pop, opened for Van Halen, AC-DC, Kiss, all the later punk legends, Guns N' Roses, in fact you name 'em, they probably opened for them, survived Phil Spector's gunplay, were name-checked by Henry Rollins, became cult legends around the world enough to easily tour packed venues in Japan in 2007 and to astound Mr. Twister's record company in Italy during Chainsaw's reunion Euro-tour in 2004 ("You are friends with The Dogs?!?") but never plugged in or got any payoff and yet DIDN'T QUIT.
They've survived personal fall-outs, triple-bypass heart surgeries, major addictions, not to mention the foremost enemy of rock and roll, the passing of time. Yes, they've all played in other bands in the last two decades as well and continue to do so (Mary-She Rok and Kanary amongst others; Loren still in Little Caesar, Texas Terri's band and Gilt Lily in the past; Tony played some damn gigantic Metal Festival in South America no less) but how many musicians remain authentic enough to keep their actual teenage dream alive (Mary and Loren were high school sweethearts remaining bandmates despite breakup) this late into adulthood without recompense? As full time artists no less?
All this info only supplements the major aspect of The Dogs to their fans: their music. It accomplishes all the impossible paradoxes of all great art: concomitantly complex yet simple, personal yet universal, and always mind-blowingly right for power trio-hard rock. That'll always speak for itself. Addenda: as Retrokimmer noted upon introduction, you can't believe the fun, cheerful, unproblematic people you first meet as The Dogs are such hardcore, speedmetal-fast, technically adept, monster players. Can one rock forever at the same intensity? Hell, yeah.
Photographs herein are The Dogs from 1985 through 2010, featuring Loren Molinare, Mary Kay and Tony Matteucci. Original 1960s/70s Dogs' drummer Ron Wood (the other one) is shown in my pic of the Dogs with the late Arthur "Killer" Kane (of the New York Dolls.) At the bottom right of this post, Mary collapses giggling after her backwards somersault while still performing killer bass-lines in The Dogs' video shoot of "Punk Rock Holiday," 2009.
Unlike other volumes on the punk era that focus on just the music—and primarily on British punk bands—Punks: A Guide to an American Subculture spans the full expanse of punk as it happened in the United States, from the late-1960s blast from Iggy Pop and the Stooges to the full explosion of punk in the mid 1970s to its next-generation resurgences and continuing aftershocks.
Punks covers it all—not just music, but the punk influence on film, fashion, media, and language. Readers will see how punk spread virally, through fan-created magazines, record labels, clubs, and radio stations, as well as how mainstream America reacted, then absorbed aspects of punk culture. The book includes interviews with key members of the punk subculture, including new conversations with people who participated in the punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s.
Lansing was the perfect fit for us as always, because even the audience includes your basic headbanger rockers that I'm comfortable with. I loved Ann Arbor because, in a good way, it's the land that time forgot. It's still all the great things I remember: streets packed with people walking around, everybody mingling, so alive, cosmopolitan, almost magical like San Francisco used to be. I thought this was just the coolest thing.
But I got my biggest deja vu flashback in Toronto. From onstage at the Bovine Sex Club, I looked out at an audience that reminded me of my own high school days. The girls all wore really, really short skirts and really, really high heels, an unfortunate shoe choice for those that were completely toasted. --Mary DoG
It’s been a couple of weeks since The DoGs went back east for our short Midwest Tour playing our home town Lansing and the Stooges home town Ann Arbor, Cleveland and of course Toronto at NXNE. Mary and Tony and myself felt totally free and totally humble getting the opportunity to play 5 shows in 6 days and coming back where it all started for The DoGs.
Lansing thoughts: It’s always great to go back home to see family and friends and reconnect with our roots of where we came from. After all these years to come back home and drive down the streets and see the parks where we played at free concerts it is a humbling experience.
The total non electric show acoustic show at The Record Lounge was great especially with my little 5 year old grand niece “Vada” checking me out to see if I was gonna be real or just another lame adult. Well I passed the test this time thank god! Many thanks to Sue , Gary, Michael and Brad Phelps, Randy Perez and Skott/Bermuda Porductions for making it happen with a lot of help from our friends.
Ann Arbor at The Blind Pig was a cool show lots of great people and bands we played with. We also met in the flesh the Tech Diva Kim Maki (RETROKIMMER) along with our Partner in Crime “Detroit Jack” from Future Now Records.
Cleveland: We stayed at our friends John and Kathy Thompson’s family’s 1970’s “Goodfellows styled PuNk RoCk Palace in Shaker Heights. The gig at the Beachland was high energy and met our rocking friends from the Australian the band “Muscle Car”
Lansing: Macs Bar: A hot and sticky Midwest thunderstorm night it was amazing that tons of old friend s and young and wild DoGs showed up and kicked out the jams. We had Ronnie Wood DoGs original bad boy come and close the show.
Toronto: NXNE The Bovine Sex Club: The Dogs first trip to Toronto and we loved the city and the people we got to hang with our cool Manager Mario Escovedo and Maren Parsul. The gig was wild and I know The DoGs will be back to rock Toronto soon.
MCB's newest contributors Christian and Nicole were out late and for the highly anticipated return of The Dogs who kicked ass and took names all night.
Look for a show review to be added here later today (see below) and if you missed the show head on out to Lansing tomorrow for another great night of detroit punk at Mac's Bar.
Ann Arbors' rockin' history came full circle last nite (June 17, 2009) at the Blind Pig, when The Dogs ripped open the wounds they last inflicted some 35 years ago. For the young punters, a chance to find out if they were 'Tuff Enuff' to handle the full onslaught of an old school high energy Detroit/Lansing band. For the older Dogs fans, it was more of the band that refused to give up the fight back in the day! It was crystal from the outset, that their beloved Dogs had upped the antee with new and enhanced ass kicking energy. The Killed By Death heros went for the juggulars of the pups who dared to venture too close to the cage. Veteran packs just howled up at the moon from the safety of their Lazyboys, rationalizing it to be safer than taking the Dogs by the tail! -- Detroit Jack
Originally arising out of the Detroit rock revolution that erupted with THE STOOGES and MC5, then migrating to LA in the late 70's, THE DOGS have influenced punk while treading right along with the scene. During the 70's they opened for punk and hard rock notables including MC5, TELEVISION, THE DICTATORS, KISS and AC/DC!
THE DOGS have continued to play shows throughout the decades, even releasing new material on the Dionysus label in 2003. Most recently the band has been celebrated with an international tribute album with bands culled by Detroit Jack.
Members: Loren Molinare - Guitar, Vocals Mary Kay- Bass, Vocals Tony Matteuchi - Drums