It all started way back around 1972 when the phone rang at the home of Bobby Dee Waxman. He had a friend Burnie Murray that played rhythm guitar, who had a friend Paddy Lorenzo that played bass.. Paddy and Burnie wanted to start a band and needed a lead Guitarist, which was Bobby. They all loved the Beatles and the music of the English invasion. (Merseybeat). A date was set and a band was started.


The band consisted of Bobby (lead guitar, vocals) Paddy (bass, vocals), Burnie (Rhythm guitar, vocals) and Donny (drums). This was not the Poppees but it was the start of the nucleus of a writing team that was to go through 2 bands and 40 years together. After playing cover music and some old blues for a few years, Bobby & Paddy decided to start a band that they could write for…. That band was The Poppees. After a few ads in the local paper and a few weeks of auditions Poppees band member #3 was found. Arthur Alexander was a left handed guitar player with a great knowledge of the underground music scene. Arthur was also a pro on the ins and outs of recording, all they needed now was a drummer. They tried a short stint with a drummer that didn't work out. Some of the first Poppees songs came out of this time period, songs like Jealousy and If She Cries.

Paddy, Bobby and Arthur were rehearsing on a regular basis and the songs were sounding great….but what were they to do with out a drummer? Arthur contacted Greg Shaw the owner of Bomp Records to see if he was interested in recording the Poppees, and Greg was! In fact he had a release window he wanted to meet. That window meant that the band had to record without a permanent drummer. Bobby was a drummer in his first band(after trying the sax for two weeks) but that was when he was 15. With that in their pocket, the Poppees and Greg Shaw with Craig Leon as their producer decided to record “If She Cries” with B-side “Love Of The Loved” (a song written by Paul McCartney) with Bobby playing drums as well as the guitar. The single was recorded in one day @ the House Of Music in NJ…. Greg Shaw had also decided to manage the Poppees, so the push was on for the drummer. Then came along Arthur Harris on drums, soon to be known as Jett. Jett's brother was a sound man with a sound company called See-Factor. He told the band about a new club in the city called CBGB.


Going to CBGB was the moment that changed the lives of all four Poppees. It was very early in the life of CBGB and the Poppees. The Band members soon became friends with all the new and unknown bands that played there…. bands like The Ramones, Blondie, Patty Smith and Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers. Max's Kansas City was another big club at the time. The Poppees became a regular at both clubs, headlining and opening shows for all of their friends. After a short time Greg wanted the band to record a second record using one of his favorite Poppees songs, “Jealousy”. Greg enlisted a member from one of Bomp's premier bands The Flaming Groovies' Cyril Jordan, he was going to produce the record. It was a magic combination. A great song with a great sound. Greg was now working on getting The Poppees a deal with a bigger record label then Bomp. He had gotten Seymour Stein of Sire Records interested in the group. The first mistake was about to happen. Greg was going to bring Seymour to a Poppees show at Max's. The Poppees were opening for Blondie that night. From the stage at the start of the set Bobby said “I'd like to thank our new record label Sire for coming tonight”. As he was going to soon find out Sire had not made a commitment and didn't want anything said at that point. All had almost ended before it had started…. but thanks to Greg's soft talk Seymour let the incident go and they were about to get signed to a major label. But Paddy, Bobby, Arthur and Jett being the outlaws they were didn't learn from that mistake. One day a few weeks later, the boys heard about a Ramones show at CBGB. The Ramones had been signed to Sire a few months before, so the boys in The Poppees wanted Sire to secure the opening spot on the show for them. But Sire said that they didn't get involved with who opened shows for any of their acts, and didn't want to do it for this show. With that the band went nuts and started a scene at Sire with the girl in charge of promotions, and that was it for The Poppees and Sire.

By this time a new sound had started to seep into The Poppees otherwise invasion sound, it was the sound of the New York City. Playing with the Ramones and The Heartbreakers and listening to all the other bands of the city made The Poppees start writing heavier songs, songs that were more citified. One of the first new sounding songs to come out of the transformation was to be a song that went on to be the theme song for a Bobby & Paddy band to come (The Boyfriends). The Ramones also recorded this song later for their Subterranean Jungle LP. The song was called “I Need Your Love”.

After years of trying, a disappointing situation with Sire, and an angry Greg Shaw, The Poppees broke up with Bobby and Paddy in search of a new sound. Arthur and Jett wanted to stay with the Mercy Sound. Arthur and Jett went on to start The Sorrows. Bobby went on to meet drummer Lee Crystal (who later was with Syl Sylvain from the NY Dolls and with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts) and find bass player Jay Nap to start The Boyfriends...


 

 

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