Deadbeat Poets

(-Geordie Pleathur ruminates at length on the glorious results of his misspent youth in the dog barking flyover states when music mattered…)
*This regularly scheduled rant and rocknroll review was filmed live in front of a studio audience.*

“One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon.It’s man’s inhumanity to man is all it is.” (-90 year old Arnold Abbott, arrested for feeding the hungry in Florida. The city’s new law was passed in an attempt to halt the city’s growing homeless population. It incurs a fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail for those who violate it.)

“Both parties suck. We as a Nation are doomed. The NWO agenda moves forwarded as Flip Flop Politics turn our Nation into a polluted environment profit motive uber capitalistic war machine.” (-Thomas Botch)

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” (― Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)

” If these criminals wanted to not go to prison they should’ve known to be rich white and powerful men. What values did their parents teach them? I bet it wasn’t to be rich and white. It all starts at home. ” (-Rodolfo Palma parodying all the toughtalking rightwing blowhards)

“If anything, to be poor in a rich country, where one’s worth is sadly too often presumed to be linked to one’s possessions (unlike in a poor country where people still know better) is to create a particularly debilitating kind of deprivation. To be poor in a place where success is synonymous with being rich is to find oneself marked as uniquely flawed. To live in a place where wealth is not only visible but flaunted, where the rich make no pretense to normalcy, and where one can regularly hear oneself being berated on the airwaves as losers and vermin and parasites precisely because you are poor or working at a minimum wage job, is to be the victim of a cruelty that poor folks in poor nations do not experience. The poor of Vietnam, for instance, do not have to listen to those who are doing better than they put them down on a daily basis. And why? Because those who are doing better than they, for the most part, are not the kind of people who would bash them for their poverty. The culture of cruelty is not as well developed there. It’s quite an American thing, which unlike most American things we haven’t yet exported to the world. So in a poor nation, the poor are still viewed as belonging to a common humanity, unlike in the United States, where the humanity of poor people, and certainly their right to full citizenship is increasingly under attack.” (-Tim Wise)

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself.” (- James Joyce)

“Time for something new already. The past is sick of us staring back at it endlessly. It wants to be left alone.” (-Falling James)

“Every time I see the Freedom Tower, I think of ‘freedom fries’ – the term coined when the US wanted to invade Iraq, and France objected. Anything attached to the word ‘French’ in the US was then relabelled with the word ‘freedom: freedom toast, freedom fries, freedom kiss, for fuck’s sake. French wine was banned, French people were spat upon, their heads in photographs replaced with heads of weasels. Forget the Statue of Liberty and where it came from. It was a disastrous response-a horrid turn on the formerly leftist act of boycotting as protest. I’ve never been more embarrassed by my country, (except when we re-elected George W Bush and Dick Cheney). I largely blame the media for this egregious abuse of power and influence.” (-Michael Stipe mistakenly believes Bush and Cheney were ever elected)

“I’m a justice seeker. I want safer cars for everyone, whether they’re conservative or liberal. I want health care that’s open to everyone, whether they’re conservative or liberal. Red state. Blue state. I don’t like empire. I don’t like bloated military budgets & corporate welfare budgets when we should be building bridges, highways, schools, sewage water systems, renovating, repairing America, producing good paying jobs in every community that can’t be shipped off to China.” (- Ralph Nader)

“Capitalism is the issue, not left vs. right. Both parties prop up Capitalism, both parties have blood on their hands. Under Capitalism, we judge humans by their ‘worth’, and we decide that some are simply not worthy of life.” (-Alley Valkyrie)

“U.S. imperialism:  hands off Syria! U.S. imperialism:  hands off Iraq! U.S. imperialism:  hands off the Middle East! U.S. imperialism:  get your bloody hands off the world!  Working people:  It is the American ruling class and bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat imperialist government in Washington-D.C. who have made the conditions which brought into existence ISIS and earlier, Al Qaeda!  It is decades and decades and decades of joint bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat U.S. imperialist exploitation and oppression and mass murder in the rest of the world which has brought about the current situation of chaos in the world! The main enemy is not in some other country!  The main enemy is at home!  The main enemy is the American ruling class -owners of banks, corporations, industries, mines, mills, factories, and the twin capitalistic, and imperialistic, parties, Democrats and Republicans, representing this American ruling class! They are the ones who have brought on the current situation of misery and death in the world and misery and death here at home!  They are the joint, bipartisan, capitalistic, imperialistic executioners of the people, both people in other countries, and the American working and ordinary people here at home!  No votes for imperialist Democrats or imperialist Republicans in any elections! No political support to Democrats or Republicans!  Forge a fighting, class war program-based, revolutionary workers’ party that fights for the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, tanks, ships, planes, spies, spooks, from the rest of the world, and fights for replacement of the capitalistic government bya workers’ government of elected workers’ councils which would expropriate -confiscate, seize – the banks, corporations, mines, mills, factories, industries, and would make a socialist planned economy here in America, and would in turn do all it could to encourage the development of similar revolutionary workers’ parties fighting for workers’ governments in all other countries of the world – for a worldwide working class socialist revolution, and for worldwide working class socialist unity! Bring down U.S. imperialism, U.S. capitalism, from within the belly of the imperialist beast by proletarian class war against the bosses right here at home!  The main enemy is not somewhere else!  The main enemy is at home! (- Allan Greene)

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.” (-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment)

“The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now – with somebody – and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.

We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.
This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed – for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now. He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won’t hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force.” (-Hunter S. Thompson)

“ISIS should give up their terrorism mantra and take a position at Harvard Business School. In just a few weeks they have gone from an angry band of nomads to one of the most successful oil companies in the world. They control territory, share power, have tech savvy engineers, social media experts, mind controlling recruiters, have good media relationships with people who get them viral on YouTube, and are impervious to sanctions, bombs, NSA tracking, International Espionage, Climate Change, starvation, heat, cold, kryptonite, and the Ebola virus. The only thing that bothers them is name calling. We’re doomed.” (-Patrick S Duffy)

“There comes a time to reassess our tactics– when they thoroughly demonstrate– what’s the military term for superiority in all modes of conflict?– Anyway, they control media and propaganda resources enough to influence many millions of intellectually lightweight voters; they control the voter registration process enough to exclude millions of eligible voters; they control the vote counting process enough to shift the results several percentage points in close races without anyone complaining; they control the polling processes that tell us what we think. At some point one feels like the Python’s black knight after he’s lost all his limbs– ‘Come back here!– I’ll bite your kneecaps off!’. Perhaps resistance is futile.” (-Martin Bishop)

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It’s the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.” (-from Louise Erdrich’s The Painted Drum)

“I was taught when I was a child that the police are here to serve and protect. And then I grew up and noticed they do neither. They bully and cajole and kill and intimidate and badger and have out sized egos for their small brains, and they seemingly provide absolutely NO value, really. So, if someone breaks in my house and tries to kill me- the cops ain’t gonna save me, they’ll just take down the report if I survive. If I am mugged on the street, the cops will do nothing, except paperwork if I’ve survived. It seems the police only exist for those controlled by fear, who in turn create more fear rather than address the deeper issues of why crime proliferates. AND IN SOME CASES, WHEN YOU ASK FOR HELP- THEY KILL YOU. How fucking sad. I stay as far away from cops as I can, precisely because they are so stupid and lazy and generally moronic (have you ever tried to have a random conversation with a cop? I literally have contempt for these low IQ motherfuckers. They issue these soggy brained ass monkeys guns and basically let them go ape shit on us) Which is why I- as hard as this is to swallow- defend the 2nd amendment. I don’t own a gun, nor ever will, and do believe in gun control- the fact that we have these evil blue men stalking us is reason enough to be allowed to carry some form of self defense (sadly there is another moronic element to that as well, but man- we can’t weed all the idiots out.) If you see a cop, there is ALWAYS collateral damage, so I steer clear- I see them much like schizophrenic crackheads walking the street of Hollywood- AVOID.” (-Frankie Delmane)


If you like Wilco, Ryan Adams, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, or Redd Kross, there’s a good chance you’ll love the righteous rustbelt rockers, DEADBEAT POETS, one of the Last Great Album Bands. Remember those longplaying, satisfying, full length albums we used to love? Remember when The Replacements or Rolling Stones or Love or Beach Boys took us on an entire TRIP? “Disconnected” on white vinyl was one of my favorite possessions as a kid. Like all those similar class acts, DEADBEAT POETS specialize in delivering a full sonic experience. They pour shit tons of love and care and extra texture into every L.P. they release. It’s a lost art and a thing of real beauty. Immense and intense. “In My Iron Lung” kicks the album off with some gloriously poppy guitars and vocals–promising delivery from the mundane and routine experiences of mindless shopping and Friday night grillouts in the burbs-remember all those sixties tunes about escapism, gurus, and magic carpets? “In My Iron Lung/I’m gonna show you a better way” promises some sweet young thing this deadbeat can raise her consciousness, if only she’d let go of like all those heavy trips, and take a giant step outside her mind, and like, be here now, maaan. Fun stuff. The shimmering, “Baby Doll” instantly reminded me of Syl Sylvain who uses a similar title, but the tune is pure rock candy like Mike Nesmith’s cowboys and cactus pop, with a boppy, cool beat, great break, vintage keyboards, western solo. Deadbeat poets are really authentic masters of sugary pop composition, they know all the formulas like the top forty country hacks of today, but the Poets infuse every song with so much energy and true emotions, it really sets them apart from the herd. You hear these songs and remember what music is supposed to sound like. We shouldn’t be limited to the narrow, non-musical, non-choices we are tricked into accepting nowadays by consolidated media charlatans who always want us to choose between two versions of the same old shit that ain’t no choice at all-like politics and soda pops. Deadbeat Poets make gleaming, exciting, heartfelt music for lovers and grandpas and kids and hoodlums of all ages.  I can’t believe they are from Ohio. Holy Toledo, Ohio sucks. Ohio has always sucked. In my experience, the dominant characteristic of the average Ohioan is that they despise anti-war demonstrators, black kids with low riding trousers, dropouts, non conformists, and moms on food stamps, but they all park right in front of the front doors of Krogers, with their big truck hazard lights on, illegally parked in the fire lane, while they determinedly shop for steak and alcohol and have a hard time making up their minds in the ice cream aisle-usually ‘go with something almond. Duck Dynasty watchers. Talk radio listeners. Camo painted vehicles and immaculately manicured lawns. Dedicated Wendy’s eaters–urban legend had it friendly ole Dave Evans, the Columbus, Ohio Wendy’s founder from those old commercials, was involved in the Kent State shootings, but that always seemed about as likely as rumors about Life Cereal Mikey and Pop Rocks and Coke. The Buckeyes have always been stubbornly behind the times and many needed Mega Death and Metallica to introduce them to the Misfits and Sex Pistols in 1987 when they still thought Axl was not macho enough, because Izzy had convinced him to wear blue eyeshadow and Aqua Net for five minutes. The hometown honchos all finally discovered rockabilly in like, 1995. They got stuck on that one. Devils and dice, fatguy bowling shirts, everybody has ten grand in tattoos from the Black Cat Tattoo Parlor with all the fluorescent lighting from College Row. Thanks to Nashville Pussy, and Kat Von D, they even let the unhappy kids have bagboy and dishwashing jobs, with tattoos, now. So long as they pass their mandatory lower class piss tests. Life imitates “The Simpsons” in Ohio. They think Fallout Boy is a cool band. Korn is still huge there, and the Chili Peppers. Everyone wearing baseball caps. It’s the tragic, ongoing Grohlification of The United States Of Generica. Grohl me out, Gaga me with a spoon. Sentimental baby boomers who own record stores might wanna babble about Devo and the Mirrors, Pere Ubu and Electric Eels, having read that “Ranters And Crowdpleasers” book but look around–every sane or talented motherfucker–from Dean Martin to Chrissie Hynde to the Cramps to Steven Adler wanted to get the fuck out of Ohio, first chance they got. Peter Laughner was a visionary badass from Ohio. Zapp, Isleys, David Alan Coe, Al Jardine and Screamin’ Jay, Ben Orr and Lady Miss Kier all narrowly escaped a lifetime of Midwestern banality and smalltown insanity, having wisely gotten the heck outta the miserable confines of the Bengals state. The Nine Inch Nails guy, and also Rick Derringer came from there, but you didn’t see many of ‘em stickin’ around to watch FOX with their old man and bigballs around the sports bar with their little manager badge. EXECUTIVE chicken wings deep fryer. Fat dudes in man caves watching “Shark Week”, again. While their greedy wives all watch “Shark Tank” and dream of marrying up, again. This was the land of tank plants and Wonder Bread. Haunted bridges and race riots. They were shooting unarmed black men multiple times in the back for petty violations before it was popular and trendy. High school was always stoners vs. the preps. College is where white people incapable of critical thinking go into debt learning to howl for their favorite sports teams. Before marrying up or going to work for the family business.


Pre-internet, pre-Soundgarden, seeking out anything vaguely punk rock in small towns could be like digging for gold, I remember when the Cars were about the best thing on top 40 radio, and only like two rich kids had cable tv, so the college towns still had a magnetic appeal because draft beer emporiums and record stores were the places where all the weird kids came together-the goth, the moshpit shirtless bro, the ska kid, the Dio dude, the G.B.H. hardcore guy, even the loud, wild glam rocker all had to get along ’cause they were all outcasts, and you could still buy “Rock Scenes” for a quarter at Monkey’s Retreat on High Street in plastic bags. Dollar vinyl at Singing Dog and Magnolia Thunderpussy. Nowadays, kids got those gizmos allowing them to hear the rarest old Jook song, or Ed Banger, or Slaughter & The Dogs b-side, it’s all at their fingertips, but back then, you were lucky to find maybe a Violent Femmes record at the store in the mall amidst all the fucking terrible Loverboy and Journey and shit. I remember when Quiet Riot seemed like “punk rock”. So those college town independent record stores were like churches. Albums like Stiv Bators “Disconnected” could change one’s whole life forever. You’d get your older punk pals to buy you a couple forties and hangout in the alley behind the venue, waiting for the out of town bands to arrive because you were too young to get in. You may have missed Paul Revere & The Raiders, or Eric Emerson & The Magic Tramps, but you can still remember when Flaming Lips didn’t suck. You had an amateur hour, mohawked punk band, and did Gun Club covers two decades before they were obligatory. I remember tripping at the Neil Armstrong Space Museum. Dry ice cream in the planetarium. This was before the moneybags entitled Tarzans came in to monopolize the scene during the Sub-Pop frenzy. Few, if any, of those hockey playing “grunge” types even liked music at all before Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains. You only had the lone Thursday night matinee where the girls who liked the aural paint drippings of Sonic Youth danced forlornly to some gay kid in a long trench coats’ depressing 12 inch import records. Two hardcores slammed halfheartedly to that Suicidal Tendencies song. Lots of hair product and eyeliner. It was all still very “Pretty In Pink”. There were some fleeting moments where we wrenched some fun out of all the miserable malls and cow-pastures, but I knew my place was never among the jocks with giant watches and those hideous $300 big white tennis shoes. Traveling through Dayton, on the side of the highway, there was always this enormous statue of Jesus coming out of the water, reaching up towards Heaven, and was widely known as “Touchdown Jesus”, it was gigantic, but it was struck by lightning and burnt dramatically, to a crisp. Even the remotest thought of years squandered in riding mower country kinda seems sad, now. Like when highly-paid hatepig, Rush Limbaugh hijacked that Pretenders song about Akron. It used to make me think of chili dogs and Johnny Bench, but now all it reminds me of is macho Hooters customers rush hour rat racing to the liquor store or Home Depot, in white workin’ man vans, and mean secretaries who love television. There ain’t nuthin’ to do. Empty heads with no reactions. Gossip talk among the lames, ya know?

There were a few, and then, there was you, but ultimately, the world always needed more defiant, rebellious, artistic cats like Stiv and Cheetah and Frank Secich and a whole lot less white over sized truck driving, dittohead Rush Limbaugh goobers who bark, like dogs. Yes-actual grownass adults who attended college and learned how to bark like dogs, even when Arsenio’s been cancelled again, and all the tipsy women who rush to the dancefloor for “Who Let The Dogs Out”…they all seem kinda dumb, ya know? “She’s a BRICK HOUSE!!!” All competing to be owned by one of these hopelessly programmed armchair quarterbacks rooting for the stupid Ohio football teams, drinking Guinness with their Catholic School sports team mates well into old age, complaining bitterly about the homeless and the poor., in manly garages, filled with expensive name-brand tools, like their Dads. Expensive Namebrand Tools—that’s what those usual post-grunge, privileged sons should have called THEIR faux Cobain weekend “punque” band. They refer to each other as, “Dawg”. Many, many Midwestern locals love nothing more then speeding past pedestrians, screaming, “Fag!” or perhaps the timeless, “Get a job!” Running over family pets is a popular pastime. Adults who yell obscenities out of car windows at downtrodden strangers have something seriously wrong with them. Don’t you think all those old fat Catholic dudes who go to every girl’s basketball and volleyball game in those squeaky gymnasiums seem a little creepy? If white fratboy types tear up the town over a football game, sportscasters chuckle and call it campus hijinks. If black communities grieve in public spaces, or protest innocents murdered by cops, they declare curfews, call in the national guard, but let the rich white bars on the hill stay open. People in the flyover states are sadly trained by corporate media and sports culture to think racism, ignorance, violence, abuse of rank and privilege, and conspicuous consumption are “normal”. Camp out all night on Black Friday in your bubble coat and thermal underwear for some trendy newly updated device at Best Buy. Anti-immigrant. Pro fracking. Hunters. Chewing tobacco. “USA! USA!”


Pennsylvania native, Frank Secich was one of those exceptional and rare cats who always had impeccable style, taste, and a Batoresque gift for relentless creative reinvention and a shining spirit of generosity. Back in the seventies, he had a genius power pop band called Blue Ash, who wrote songs like the Records and Big Star and Cheap Trick and Raspberries, and dressed cooler then the Black Crowes, even if they never sold a million records like all those ho-hum, half baked, lesser groups like, say, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Hanson. They were cool as fuck before our time and are currently being rediscovered by Ken Sharp readers and youtubers all around the world. I REALLY envy their cool clothes–they had style for miles like psychedelic dandies. They were like a hipper, flower powered Hollywood Stars. Patchwork tailored bellbottoms and Sgt. Pepper jackets. R.I.P. Bill “Cupid” Bartolin. A little label is re-releasing some fab Blue Ash sounds on vinyl including the much loved classic, “Halloween Girl”, so you vinyl hounds will want to click the links at the end of my ravings. I don’t know about you, but to me, “A Million Miles Away” is easily one of the very best songs written in the rocknroll era. Frank Secich had a hand in authoring all our favorite songs. “Not That Way Anymore”, “I’ll Be Alright”, “I Wanna Forget You Just The Way You Are”–those songs were on every cassette tape we ever made for our own personal bombshell blonde Patti Smith chick. Soundtrack to our adolescent desire and non-stop search for desperate kicks. Those songs made us think we could form our own bands, and maybe escape a loathsome fast-food fate, even if we were not Iron Maiden or Led Zeppelin. At some point on his storied journey, the brilliant songwriter, Frank Secich worked at a National Record Mart in spite of looking much like George Harrison in “Help!” or as many have said, the Brothers Gallagher from Oasis, and kindly assures me he would have hired me to work in the mall, even though my own small town Ohio record store mgt. always insisted they could not give me a job because my hair was too long to be considered in compliance with corporate dresscode standards, but really, the old Cheap Trick groupies just thought I wasn’t good looking enough-they preferred to hire know-nothing Bon Jovi fans with big perms, to skinnyass Joey Ramone mutants with detention hall skin ink. It’s painfully boxy, in the plantation states where they make the slaves–like, you drive a box, work in a big-box, pay through the nose for the right to live in a box, stare at boxes, think in boxes, have to fit. As Iggy Pop sang, “I ain’t gonna be no squarehead…” I dunno about you, but I feel sorry for the kids who have to court at Wal Mart on Friday nights because there’s nowhere else to go. I can’t connect to Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians. At least we used to have drive-in’s and band houses and record stores. I can’t stand the modern day rock BRANDS everyone is expected to obediently accept as good–you know, that have these glossy boy band choruses but moan on and on about how they aren’t taken seriously as the new Motley Crue, like that Hot Topic kid group-Black Veil Brides. They are so nauseatingly bought and paid for. It’s worse then the Strokes. There’s nothing there really, besides the old Johnny Thunders/Greg Prevost haircut and expensive leather costumes and bigbudget videos. Vacant t shirt bands. All the remaining kid bands since grunge are Fauntleroy’s, and not in the cool Ivan Julian and Alejandro Escovedo sense;  but indeed, the spoilt, unimaginative sons of landed gentry. You can’t rent rehearsal halls and buy p.a.’s and drum-kits on dishwasher pay, any longer, so we are left with a lot of boring rich kids with problems and copycat bands, slavishly regurgitating yesterday’s parties. No fun, mah babe. I can’t even contemplate the fake R&B or bullshit commercial country, it’s beyond contempt. Thank goodness for some of these veteran survivors like, DEADBEAT POETS, who still know how to make authentic music with brains and real heart, full of soul and endless summer. Their music is so evolved, diverse, inspired, it makes Youngstown seem like a mysteriously attractive music Mecca, a Seattle or Liverpool. Or when everybody started moving to Athens, Georgia to soak up whatever was in the air, or water there, after they made that film about BAR B Q, Howard Finster, Peter Buck’s pajamas, and Flat Duo Jets. How could a band this groovy exist at the top of a state full of violent jocks and fratboys? It’s some kind of weird anomaly. What is it about Youngstown that produces all this peculiar magic? “Love Is On The Right Beat” by Deadbeat Poets is sweet throwback lover’s rock for the makeup scene in your very own private beach movie. Killer guitars, perfect pop, simple, heartfelt. Makes you wanna have a luau on the sundeck. “Psychedelic Gas Station” is a fuzzy ride through marmalade vibes, ala Strawberry Alarm Clock, or (Ohio’s!) Lemon Pipers, or Question Mark and the Mysterians. Banana Splits meets Steppenwolf. One can easily imagine this record appealing to folks across three, maybe even four generations. The mop-tops are fueling the stoner van up for more farout escapades with braless hippie chicks and will remind all my old cronies of “Third Eye” era Redd Kross. Aquarian bubblegum. Stone classic! Please come see me, in the Citadel. We need more stuff like this on the radio. I guess I’m showing my age here ’cause I’m neither a rich old baby boomer with satellite radio, or a hipster kid with the handheld download gadgets, so I kinda miss the years when you could still enjoy some decent rocknroll on the left of your dial. Tom Petty and those Gin Blossoms dudes who ripped-off poor Doug Hopkins all wish they were currently still writing songs like, “I Don’t Think I’m Getting Over You”, which is sheer agonizing heartbreak set to beautiful Byrds-like pop with a primo ready for a.m., toe tapping sheen. Then, the lads from Youngstown who shook the world tear it up, sweaty Betty, screamy, live early Beatles style, and you recall when Lizzy got Dizzy and Lucille liked to ball. “Johnny Sincere” is the name of the hit single.

If all Frank had done was played in Blue Ash, his rightful place in rocknroll history would have likely been secure, but he went on and on to ceaselessly continue to deliver fresh sounding pop and punknroll in some of the most essential underground bands of all time. The Stiv Bators band on Bomp! were one of the ace-est bands of ever, ever, ever. As good as the Pretenders or Only Ones, in my book. They made so much GREAT music that totally got played in all my apartments growing up, everyday. For years. Me and all my friends just loved that poppy Stiv Bators stuff, it was absolute perfection to us. I used to have the singles, the e.p.’s, all of it, but that was a long time ago when I was passing through, and still had collections of things, before I lost it all twice. Frank was a fill-in Deadboy when Seymour Stein insisted they go skinny tie new wave and for various reunions. He was in Club Wow, with Billy Sullivan, Jeff West, and Jimmy Zero–who were also excellent with winning, sunny melodies ala the Flamin Groovies or Plimsouls. Like the Fleshtones always say, there is no such thing as “was”. Frank Secich “was” and is, one of the best rocknroll songwriting motherfuckers around, his cool style and always stirring songs made some of us think we could become our own punk rock heroes, IN SPITE of our being from Indiana or Michigan or Ohio. We already knew we needed a band van to escape in. We wanted to travel out to Hollywood and get discovered by Greg Shaw like the Stiv Bators Gang!! If only it was as easy as they made it look! We were going crazy working at Captain D.,s, and Little Caesars and giving every cent to the landlord, but at least a band house was still attainable, back then. We had bonfires in the back yard, blasted records through the P.A., and nobody complained because we were on the edge of town with nobody around. Lenny Bruce had a spoken word record cut about Lima, Ohio, where he describes being bored out of his mind on tour, and how you go to the park, and see the cannon, and that’s it. You’ve had it. That’s all there is to do. Mark Twain said, at the end of the world, you wanna be in Cincinnati, where they are always ten years behind. Ohio really, really does suck hard. It’s in these deadend places where music becomes so important to the weary few. When it’s all you have. Columbus is overpopulated with all the jock dicks from all over rural, small town Ohio whose parents take out huge loans so they can roam menacingly in drunken packs with big scarlet and grey zeros on their chests, intimidate freshmen and eagerly light frathouse frontyard couches on fire and turn cars over when they lose a fucking football game. Venus Flytrap would have probably gotten shot by white, racist cops. Les Nesman would have probably become Mayor. Ohio is batshit rightwing–every bully who ever brandished a bouncer flashlight and mercilessly picked on your arty friends in school owns multiple homes and bars and restaurants now, while over half the cool kids are dead and forgotten, and the rest are unrecognizable behind the rigorous demands for absolute conformity and dedicated assimilation. No room for misfits or eccentrics–this is Fratboy USA, where they rig elections and root for Coultergeists and quote Bill O’Reilly like he’s some kind of expert. Hopelessness is in the air and the warpigs are gloating. You see elderly men wobbling around on junk store kid’s bicycles because they all have D.U.I.’s, it’s the only industry-a bar and a cop cruiser on every corner. It’s no wonder all those Dayton bands got hooked on crack. Dayton is the pits of the world. They just shot an unarmed black man for picking up a toy gun at the Wal-Mart in Dayton. Ohio sports. Bands who got signed out of Ohio in the nineties were usually glorified cover bands with rich parents, trading on unknown songwriter’s original music and cheesy R&B covers, Ohio has produced the most serial killers and Presidents, and it’s unsurprisingly now home to the Rocknroll Hall Of Fame, which has inducted Madonna, James Taylor and Billy Joel…but not Mott The Hoople, the MC5, the Cramps, Cheap Trick, or the NY Dolls, or the Stiv Bators “Disconnected” band. Of course, some outstandingly cool bands have come from Ohio. Rocket from the Tombs, Cinderella Backstreet, Pere Ubu, Rubber City Rebels, the Customs, the Pagans, Gibson Brothers, 68 Comeback, Ronald Koal & The Trillionaires, Chrissie, Peter Laughner, Stiv, etc., but folks there are still plenty brainwashed by talk radio, sports, and cable tv to worship uniforms and flags and authority and to hatefully spurn and revile anything different. Sinead O’Connor will tell you the corporate elite are “trying to murder rocknroll”. She ain’t lyin’….Foo Fighters are pretty much all that’s left of it on the bigmedia airwaves. The sports fans listen to all that fanatical rightwing hatespew on talk radio all day and on Fox tv at night, and sadly, most of it seems to stick. The violent “Call Of Duty” style video games still use loud heavy rock, but you otherwise mostly hear the sad remnants of grungy nu metal, horribly slick faux R&B bullshit, Painfully contrived commercial country, or bubblegum techno on the airwaves, now. Gwen Steffani’s many songs about shopping. Beyonce, Miley, Minaj, all the say nothing hooker pop that’s supposed to empower tweens to want to sleep with older cologne wearers and own more belongings from Target. Meanwhile, “A Dark-Haired Girl In Piccadilly Circus” transports you back to 1965 or 66 when birds wore those big hats like Marrianne Faithful and Anita Pallenberg and were up for adventure, and seeking enlightenment, before Nixon’s dastardly drug war, before the banksters destroyed the economy, before the police state sucked the joy out of everything. Some hot brunette in a miniskirt wants a bite of your ice cream cone! Remember what it was like getting picked-up by friendly girls on the street? Long time ago when we was glam. Those were different times.


One of the most charming things about Frank’s current crew of highly literate, intellectual power popsters, DEADBEAT POETS, is that they celebrate weirdness and spontaneity and have this keen eye for eccentricity, they unearth all the cool folklore from the fringes, appreciatively explore abandoned amusement parks and retell old stories passed down through generations of shifty curmudgeons, slit eyed old carnies, bowling alley attendants, and talkative barbers with ugly old blue tattoos, in these sadly decaying, blue collar factory towns. My main memories of Cle are mostly limited to the depressing bus station and taking trains through there and being shocked by all the Detroit like junkyard ruins that seemed to be covered with soot from Kentucky coal mines. SOMEHOW, these DEADBEAT POETS weren’t completely brainwashed by all that two toilet and biggest hot tub machismo and constricted thinking, like all too many of their flagwaving, moron neighbors, to the south. The North-Eastern cities must be way more tolerant, ’cause everybody I knew that stayed in the Buckeye state ended up either dying tragically young-countless suicides, or becoming guilt ridden, self loathing, superstitious, college sports obsessed, church people. Dutiful car washers, who work like slaves all week, only looking forward to washing their car on Sunday. The pressure to get religion is huge, which wouldn’t be so bad but the religious people are so often the creepy predators and howling sports people, rightwing whackadoos, ya know? Whoo. Reinstate Pete Rose, already. The whole system is corrupt. The Poets find hope and redemption through their own joyous noisy garage band basement hi-fi bean bag and headphones subculture. “The Bag I’m In” is probably my fave song so far on the new album, their musicianship is really stunning. You can imagine them playing outdoors and people of all ages dancing. They really are so good, like Cheap Trick good-they really know how to do it and every song gleams. Youngstown’s impeccable DEADBEAT POETS are older cats raised on folk, sixties bubblegum, British Invasion, West Coast country, vintage psychedelia, punk rock-all of it and their Beatlesque songs are a mixture of every genre, a myriad of influences. In my day, we called it, “new music” or “college rock”. In the 90′s Wilco era, it became, “Americana”, DEADBEAT POETS songs tend to be a lot catchier then a lot of the other bands who are Byrds and Kinks derivative. They certainly have more of an emphasis on smart, picturesque lyrics like Paul Westerberg, Tom Waits, Warren Zevon, or Elvis Costello. It probably comes from having more then one songwriter, this band is musically all over the map-travelers. Frank produced Pete Drivere and John Koury’s band, the Infidels, before forming Deadbeat Poets together, Terry Hartman was in Backdoormen, and there is a rich display of songwriting here to rival the Beatles. I can dig it. “Where’s my suitcase?” Their song, “There Ain’t No One” is upbeat car music for still foxy moms in new vehicles who like Ryan Adams and shit. NPR rock. I suppose Wilco or Lenny Kravitz couldn’t afford to risk getting shown-up by DEADBEAT POETS, if they took ‘em on the road with them, but their audience would doubtlessly adore them, if only they could receive a proper introduction. Maybe they should go through one of those yuppie online dating services. Alas, you can only find Deadbeat Poets loitering around the coffee-shop, writing in their notebook.

Terry Hartman, Pete Drivere, John Koury, and Frank Secich make music that has one Beatle boot in seventies radio rock–driving music, you know, like, uhh…Cheap Trick, Big Star, early Costello, and Tom Petty’s new wave era, and the other in the instantly memorable acid rock of all those wonderful sixties pop-art singles. I have always liked these guys’ lyrics-”Sunglass City”, “A Darkhaired Girl From Picadilly Circus”, “Vodka Is The Loving Tongue”, “Madras Man”, “No Island Like The Mind, No Ship Like Beer”, they always have the feel of a shoebox full of vintage postcards you bought at the flea market. Little glimpses into a stranger’s life that somehow seems so intimately familiar and immediately recognizable. “Falling without Annette” is a lyrical, psychological romp through regrets and lamentations and insecurities and second guesses while trying to sew the hole back together after that breakup that really broke you. “Lezbo Hotel” is fun storytellin’ folk, and “School For Dictators”, probably about the secretive SOA is like “Born To Raise Hell” Cheap Trick with a Lords Of The New Church or Wanderers-like social conscience. Amazing band!


I never figured it was an accident they quit showing music videos on television. Music is a powerful tool for social conscience, and corporate America is all about social control, to paraphrase Stiv Bators. If DEADBEAT POETS songs were played as frequently as R.E.M. and U2, or even say, the Smithereens and Dramarama were, in the eighties, they would doubtlessly find a broad audience of people who like good songs. It’s tough to even get regular college or public radio rotation, nowadays. Ever since the 90′s media consolidations and bullshit unreality programming took hold, right after the “alternative” marketing hoax, every radio programmer and record store owner get to play like they are these bleeding stigmata martyrs and whine about how they are competing with Wal-Mart and Urban Outfitters and social media and cable; and therefore, doing everyone some favor by not exclusively pimping this week’s version of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, but the truth is, if you genuinely love music and have that big soapbox, you owe it to the rocknroll people not to push any manufactured, assembly line garbage and gimmicky, gutless, nephew rock and expect any of us to nod along and pretend that shit tastes good. Most of those sold-out paychecks only insult their audience, at this point. Payola’s supposedly illegal but I’ve been told it takes a about a half a million to get a song on the radio. It’s only natural that Deadbeat Poets have found their most receptive and enthusiastic following amidst the on-line power pop bloggers, garage punk maniacs, record convention people and Little Steven’s Underground garage listeners. “Staircase Stomp” was a big hit with the over forties, and hip kids who love the younger bands like The Cry and The Biters. Many of us are still enjoying “Circus Town”, and “American Stroboscope”. Songs like “Who Is Hiernonymus Bosch & Why Is He Saying These Terrible Things About Me” and “The Post Modern Razor Wire Showdown” are always clever enough to be appreciated by your cynical intellectual music snob friends, but poppy enough to induce spontaneous kitchen dancing with your hot girlfriend who’s wearing your fave Runaways t shirt.

I always get excited by any authentic artists who invest genuine memories and thoughtful insights into their songwriting. Most people can’t be bothered to even write a halfway decent lyric anymore. Nobody has anything to say, apparently. DEADBEAT POETS will take you on a sonic ride through different decades and remind you of your youth, your lost loves, and point the way towards new adventures.”Hallelujah, Anyway” is a must have if you belong to the real rocknroll album culture.

A ++

The Spanish Blue Ash 7″ Ep’s (featuring Halloween Girl) are now available for American and Canadian customers at Get Hip and internationally at You Are The Cosmos