Walter Lure and the L.A. Waldos

WALDOS REUNITE…..JOEY PINTER AND WALTER LURE: “Ain’t nuthin’ like the real motherfuckers” (-WALDOS fan, Geordie Pleathur is always excited to see Pinter and Lure gracing the stage together…)
Photography by Alan Rand

“New York City has been taken away from you. So my advice is, find a new city.” (-Patti Smith)

Everything in this day and age has gone Bizarro-World. It’s all backwards, upside down. How fucked up is it that L.A. has a better punk rock scene than NYC??? While NYC is permanently infested with legions of repulsive and obnoxious rich people telling each other they still have a clue, while callously disassociating from the majority around them, who live in squalor and pain and austerity, and endless war, and most of the so-called punks of today are primarily focused on showing off their allowances, all the money they got from their mamas to afford all those overpriced leathers and shoes, a hand full of die-hard statesmen from the true punk era, continue to express actual emotion and experience through their music. JOEY PINTER is one such survivor. On the surface, he would seem to have more in common with old blues, or country and western artists, than the skinny-jeaned tattoo brigades, because he is carrying on the story-telling tradition of the roots genres, until he cranks up his guitar, and blasts out the fieriest, scuzziest, white hot licks this side of Jeff Drake, or Jimmy James, or Spencer P. Jones. He may look stately in his pinstripe suit jackets, but he’s obviously still got a glass breakin’, juvenile delinquent heart. Unflinching abyss starer, JOEY PINTER, has had a helluva life, it’s quite a story. He’s one of those aging vets I can always relate to, because he was always there in the shadows, when the raw power rock action was really shakin’, but due to one twist of fate, or another, he never made it as big as his friends. He played with all of your famous celebrity heroes from C.B.G.B.’s and Max’s Kansas City, his resume’s a roll-call of all the idols and dolls we still faithfully wear around on our t-shirts. He shared stages with cult-band, The Fast, Jayne County, Walter Lure, Johnny Thunders, on and on. His garagey street-punk band, THE KNOTS, “almost” signed to a major, back when Seymour Stein was scoopin’ up all the sleazy Bowery bands like the Deadboys. The Knots had much in common with the Deadboys, Dictators, Ramones, Heartbreakers, and Boston’s Real Kids. They made one of the quintessential 45′s of the era, and boasted one of the best songwriting guitar-players on the scene. It’s a cruel trick of bad timing and hard luck that PINTER isn’t always spoken about in the same reverent tones reserved for his more famous brethren-guys like Chuck Berry, Johnny Ramone, Keith Streng, or Cheetah Chrome. Pinter’s dangerous, volatile, emotional guitar playing is in league with all of rock’n'roll’s most elite vanguard. Standing in the front row at old Waldos gigs as a kid, I remember thinking how much more potent and threatening Pinter’s haunted playing was, compared to all the day-glo pink wearing, hair-metal dudes and goofy dope-clowns who were still stumbling tragically around the stage, back then.

One thing that made Pinter great was he was always his own man, he had his own style, and flat-out refused to be some sadly derivative, cliche’ mongering, glitter monkey, like so many others we can all name, who stand in line and pay a cover to step into some dead guy’s blue suede shoes while performing stale karaoke, while the city burns. Joey Pinter often cites Bolan, Bowie, Hunter/Ronson, Pete Townshend, and the Stones as his primary influences, and he effortlessly brings lifetimes of his own unique perspectives, observations, highs and lows to all his crackling performances. He was always the one with the most authentic rock’n'roll authority, on stage. This guy or that guy, all self-proclaimed legends, may have had a more effective marketingcampaign, but Pinter was the one with the soul. He’s possessed and blessed with a timeless coolness, like John Lee Hooker, or Willie Deville, ya know what I mean? Goofy bubble-gum kids in purple jackets come and go, but J.P. is the one who always delivers the pizza while it’s still hot, as it says in the Torah.

In the Waldos, he played his guitar scissor legged and windmilled and threw long shadows like Ron and Keith, but his impeccable, tasteful playing was doubtlessly informed by his checkered trail of setbacks, disappointments, fuck-ups and heartbreak. He was in a Dollsy teenage gang called Brooklyn Trash, way back in the day, who promptly left NYC in the proto-punk era, determinedly storming rock’n'roll hotbed, Ft. Meyers, Florida…to make it big in show business. He wrote and played on one of the catchiest, coolest singles of the seventies,with the Knots, but few of my own shag headed cronies seem to know his name, in spite of the hundreds of mix-tapes I made ‘em over the decades. The WALDOS classic “RENT PARTY”, produced by Andy Shernoff and released on Sympathy was one of the best L.P.’s in Long Gone John’s gigantic catalog of underground bruisers, some have suggested the band and label could have been more savvy in how they marketed their soulful party rock to a youthful demographic in the metal years. This was a powerhouse band and important LP that deserved to be accompanied by cool, rebellious, streetwise, merchandising, advertising, videos, and derelict teen targeted leather jacket artwork. Who wouldn’t want a WALDOS “RENT PARTY” official zippo lighter? Where is my WALDOS “RENT PARTY” switchblade comb? My WALDOS “RENT PARTY” official brownbag street corner all night harmonica? Even bands like the Throbs and London Quireboys got a more energetic promotional shove than these Lower East Side underdogs, but that’s the disadvantage of being on a boutique label with a limited budget. Whatever mistakes Joey Pinter supposedly made in his life, according to the squares, by devoting himself to the pursuit of bohemian rock’n'roll excellence, instead of suburban middle-class respectability, it is crystal clear that he was always trying to do right in the moment, whether he was doing blue collar labor, or entertaining sweaty throngs of enthusiastic punters. It’s not his fault that corporate executives, overstuffed moguls, and producer hot-shots weren’t hip enough to document his substantial talent more often, as he’s always had a willingness and desire to share his ability with others. The Waldos used to blow much younger bands off the stage, and they often still do.

Soon after the masterful “RENT PARTY” was released, all those legends started dropping dead all at once around them, just like in the Jim Carroll song, and our stalwart guitar-star, J.P. did jail-time for trumped-up, jive-ass charges, for merely defending his home from aggressive intruders, and like it says in “Goodfellas”, while you’re “away”, all your sexy “Rock Scene” bar friends forget all about ya. How do you recover from that? Imagine the pain one must endure: ‘dude makes one split-second, false move, in a bad state of mind, and all his laughing friends vanish like smoke. Railroaded, grieving, abandoned, wrongly incarcerated. All this, plus always perpetually worrying about his kids. Talk about “cursed, poisoned, condemned…”, or “Scarred For Life”!

It’s a damned shame that underground music impresario, Greg Shaw from Bomp! Records has left this world, and all the other right-on, old indie-label honchos like Long Gone John have gone into retirement after breaking the terminally over-rated White Stripes mainstream, because Pinter is one of those still vital die-hards, like Pat Todd from Rank Outsiders, or Honest John Plain from the Boys, who are still writing and performing new, fresh, dynamic, original rock’n'roll that the fans deserve to hear. Where are the discerning indie-labels that should be energetically promoting this kind of punk rock to new generations of excited, leopardskin Creeper wearing kids who read “Vive Le Rock” and “Sons Of Dolls” magazines? Long Gone…like John. Lifelong show-biz insiders like the venerable scenemaker, Peter Crowley, sing his praises. Glam bands like the Saviors and Dirty Eyes have cited his influence on their music. Bands like the Devil Dogs and New Bomb Turks cover Joey Pinter’s tunes. Everybody you know is saving their pennies for that reissued Heartbreakers boxset.  Meanwhile, a reunited Walter and Joey will be playing at the Fourth Annual Johnny Thunders Memorial on the West Coast, hosted by your friend and mine, Roy J. Morgan, and featuring The Waldos. Walter will have original “Rent Party” guitar slinger Joey Pinter on smokin’ lead guitar along with Dino Everett, Joe

Jennings and Roy J. Morgan backing him up. PLUS the legendary, one and only, original punk band, the Zeros with all original members, Dirty Eyes, the Crazy Squeeze, Devil Dogs West, Prima Donna, Telephone Lovers, Black Mambas, the Electric Children, Dave Dalton, There is also the possibility that some special guests might be added to jam with Walter and Joey.

Tix are available now at $12 pre-sale, or will be $15 at the door. Saturday April 20th, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. until 2:10 a.m. It happens at LOS GLOBOS 3040 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90026. People are already laying their clothes out for the big night out. There is obviously a lot of excitement in the air.

Joey Pinter will also be reuniting with the devilishly charming, stripey-tied, Walter Lure, for another gig in the Big Easy. Tell your mama, tell your homeless drinking buddies. Send ‘em all to see the stopless, topless, bead slingin’ non-stop Waldos rave-up at: Siberia 2227 St. Claude New Orleans, LA 70117 March 30th where Walter Lure and Joey Pinter will once again be remembering those golden days backed by Danny Reid and Bryan Barberot.

Walter Lure still has that Heartbreakers glint in his eye and mischievous love of performing. Joey Pinter is still at his peak as an always insubordinate, incorrigible, truth-tellin’, flame throwin’ rocknroll outlaw. He still has that crabby, Lou Reed-curmudgeonly attitude, but Joey Pinter and his astonishingly supportive and devoted rocknroll wife, have made a home for themselves on the sunny West Coast, amidst all the trendy, spray-tanned yuppies and new agey nouveau riche that any native New Yorker naturally despises, instinctively. When Uncle Walter visits, all the cool kids come out and it’s always an old-fashioned, good times, frenzied pogoing, boot-stompin’, feather boa flauntin’, all night partyin’ special event. Recent years have also seen Joey Pinter backing his pal, Billy Rath, and guest-starring with the totally ace NY JUNK, as well as appearing with loads of cool Hollywood rockers like Billy Burke from the Humpers, Roy J. Morgan from the Excessories, Dino Everett from Bubble, the Crazy Squeeze, etc., etc. Currently, he’s been in the studio with Sorrows power-pop legend, Arthur Alexander, but in a ruthless, pay-to-play world, it’s always a challenge to self-finance the costs of printing, promotion, studio-time, gas, phone-bills, plane tickets, hotel rooms, and guitar strings, while simultaneously, struggling with medical bills and others’ needs one may wish to support. Anybody who I still talk to knows I’m forever bitching about the outrageously jacked-up, obscene amounts of money shit-hoarding E-BAY collector-scum are always paying one another for all the records I wrote about in the eighties that have long since been confiscated by many ex-girlfriends; and the black concert t-shirts now in the custody of my many former guitar-players. There’s something desperately wrong with a world where pretentious assholes can exchange old punk records for thousands of dollars, while the guys who wrote and recorded those unforgettable anthems still have to constantly fret about rent and smokes. Gutter-Punk Blues-man, Joey Pinter, is still tougher than you. Ain’t nuthin’ like the real motherfuckers.

Together, Walter Lure and Joey Pinter bring the defiant spirit and Lower East Side soul of C.B.G.B.s to your favorite local watering hole. Don’t cry for the heroes and friends we’ve all lost on the road to rock’n'roll. Whenever Joey and Walter are there, and you and me are there, so are all the rock’n'roll ghosts!