When: 7.30pm on Saturday 19 September 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF
We’re delighted to be working with Walter Lure – New York punk legend and ex co-frontman of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers.
One of the original members of Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, Walter Lure maintained a fairly consistent career in the face of working with some rather tumultuous characters. After the ‘official’ breakup of The Heartbreakers in 1977 – the band would continue to play the occasional gig right up until Johnny Thunders’ death in 1991 – Lure worked with The Ramones on their LPs Subterranean Jungle and Too Tough to Die, released a single with The Blessed, and started a number of bands, including The Hurricanes, The Heroes and The Waldos, who released their debut, Rent Party, in 1995. Lure continued to play New York City venues with The Waldos well into the 21st Century.
With the passing of bassist Billy Rath last year, Walter Lure is now the last man standing from the classic line-up of The Heartbreakers – not that arena band from Florida, but rather, the real ones that Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan formed to keep the rock and roll party going after the wheels came off the New York Dolls’ apple cart. (And sure, original Heartbreakers bassist-vocalist Richard Hell is still around, but does he really count, in this context?)
The Heartbreakers took their Lower Manhattan guttersnipe attitude to the UK, where they rubbed shoulders with The Sex Pistols and The Clash on the ill-fated Anarchy Tour, and cut a representative (if over-tweaked) slab of first-generation punkitude, L.A.M.F., that could have made them contenders … if only. (The record label folding didn’t help.)
Nevertheless, to this day, for fans from Stockholm to Sydney, the Heartbreakers’ sound remains emblematic of first-generation New York punk, and Thunders’ legend in particular looms large. Repackages of their meager discography abound. (For my money, the best way to hear them on disc remains the Nolan-less Live at Max’s Kansas City, as much for Thunders and Lure’s smartass repartee as for the tunes.) A crowd-funded documentary, Looking for Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders, was released last year.
Mr Lure was drafted into the original Heartbreakers line-up after some less-than-snazz gigs as a three-piece, but rapidly became their secret weapon. He promoted himself from singing one song in the Hell era to writing and singing half of the setlist. His ebullient bark was a worthy foil for Johnny’s nasal wiseguyisms, while his guitar work was both solid and fundamental enough for him to get tapped to provide uncredited (although remunerated) session assistance on three latter-day Ramones albums.
Even after taking a gig as a stockbroker, Mr Lure continued to run with a fast crowd that took their rock and roll lifestyle seriously – so seriously, in fact, that he’s buried more bandmates from his follow-up outfit, the Waldos, than he has from the Heartbreakers. The Waldos didn’t record until 1994, but some folks will tell you that their Andy Shernoff (The Dictators)-produced album Rent Party, which Jungle has just re-released, was the sequel to L.A.M.F. that the Heartbreakers never got a chance to cut.
More recently Walter was the special guest for The Jim Jones Revue’s swan song show at a sold out Forum last year. Walter blew the roof off with his UK band – made up of members of Birmingham’s Gunfire Dance, who will also join him in September.
Support comes from Bones Shake, a scuzzed, fuzzed blues three-piece from Manchester. They play everything into the red; violent bottle neck blues riffs, drums kicked, pounded and twatted and squeals of reverb drenched vocals all combine to help save your soul. Manchester Music described Bones Shake as ‘a frenetic, intense and vibrant display of dirty, gritty blues’. Their debut album, Kicks, is out now on Abattoir Blues Records.
This show is a co-promotion with Wotgodforgot.