Solo career

After Dead Boys fell apart in March 1979, Stiv did a few demos in Cleveland with Frank Secich (ex- Blue Ash guitarist) - a guy who he grew up with in Youngstown - and in April 1979 they moved to Los Angeles. Stiv's main reason for moving to L.A. was to get rid off his image as the Dead Boys front man. He wanted to be respected as a singer and musician and he had a strong vision of the music he wanted to make next.

After Dead Boys broke up and Sid Vicious (bass player of Sex Pistols) died Stiv was a little depressed at that time. The depression came out as a song called "The Last Year" which really differs a lot from Dead Boys material. He recorded also another song - "It's Cold Outside" - which was one of his favourites from the 1960's and was originally performed by the Choir in 1967.

In L.A. Stiv met Greg Shaw who was - and still is - the leader of Bomp Records. Seeking to escape from the punk stereotype into more challenging music, Stiv signed to Bomp Records largely because of Bomp's powerpop image (with which he was in complete accord), giving the label some of its most enduringly groovy sounds.

The first single ( "The Last Year / It's Cold Outside") was released in May '79 and it got quite good reviews. That success encouraged Stiv and Bomp to continue their collaboration. So Stiv and Secich went back to Youngstown to work on new ideas. They recorded a demo "I Stand Accused" which was originally performed by The Glories but because Elvis Costello did his own version of that same song at the same time Stiv decided not to release it.

At one night in January 1980 Stiv had a spontaneous jam session at Paradise Studios with Kim Fowley (ex- Runaways), Jimmy Pursey (ex-lead singer of Sham 69) and other local musicians. They recorded three songs - "L.A. L.A." (which was a rewriting of Richard Berry's "Louie, Louie"), "Tropicana Blues" and "Factory Boy". Those songs were left unreleased until Bomp Record released them on "L.A. L.A." collection in 1992. That session was the first time when Stiv and Pursey met and they immediately found out that they had a lot in common. That connection led one year later to the fact that Pursey called Stiv to England where he joined The Wanderers and made one great album with them.

The rest of the year 1980 was devoted to writing and recording the album "Disconnected" which was produced by Thom Wilson. Just like the single, the album departed from Dead Boys' sonic attack. It is a tremendous album of melodic rock tunes. Playing down his outrageous side, Stiv's first solo record maintains an dynamic punk persona while replacing garage-punk with thoughtful music that owes power pop a sizable debt.

Stiv had definitely found a new direction for his music with Secich. His band on that album included Frank Secich (bass), David Quinton (drums) and Georgie Harrison (guitar) and with that line-up they did some gigs in L.A. "Disconnected" was the only official solo album Stiv ever completed.

In 1981 Stiv appeared in John Waters comedy called "Polyester". His character was "Bo-Bo Belsinger" - a boyfriend of Divine's (" Francine Fishpaw") daughter.

After the release of "Disconnected" Stiv quit the band and moved to England where he formed The Wanderers with ex- Sham 69 guys Dave Parson and Dave Treganna.

After The Wanderers broke up in 1981, Stiv formed The Lords Of The New Church with Dave Treganna on bass, Brian James on guitar (ex- Damned) and Nick Turner on drums (ex- Barracudas).

Stiv Bators was born on 22nd of October 1949 in Youngstown, Ohio, USA. He died on 3rd of June 1990 in Paris, France at the age of 40.

(c) www.stivbators.com


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