Dead Pyrates and Sonic Boomers


I know, I know. They don’t want to be called old, but they are, and so am I. I’m an AARP card-carrying member of the over-55 rock crowd, the ones no one wants, the sonic boomers. We were the first generation to grow up with rock & roll and it was in its teens when we were, which is why it was at its most potent in the 1960s and 70s and why that era’s music is the most resilient.

This embarrasses our children to no end. They may filch your old “Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll” t-shirt, but they do NOT want to know about your good times wearing it. Ah, and we get the last laugh. Really. We don’t care about hip or hot or receding hairlines or 10 extra pounds. Hell, we don’t even care about 20 extra pounds. We care about basslines that boom your heart back to 1973. We love ringing, stinging guitar that makes your eyes roll back in your head. We love drum solos. Well, some of us love drum solos.

We also love bands like the Dead Pyrates Society, especially if no one else does. If there was any real justice, these guys would be the toughest band in town, bringing the younger ones to their knees. Tearing up Antone’s on both weekend nights and smokin’ the Continental Club clean. There’s nothing nice or pleasant about their music, it’s just sheer, balls-to-the-mesa-wall Texas rock, an ungentle reminder of where music’s power comes from.

For the Pyrates, it comes in their individual histories. They're veteran heavyweights of Texas rock bands such as Krackerjack, Max Pageant, Slip of the Wrist, Gary Myrick, Smiley, Jack Morgan, and Tribe, while their national credentials include stints with Bob Dylan, Spirit, Paul Rogers, Jo Jo Gunne, Keith Moon, and Robert Palmer. Bassist Jimmie Randall, drummer Mark Hamilton, and guitarist John Staehely are formidable enough on their own, but it’s Joe Kennedy, whose ragged vocals are dead-on solid rock, with a swagger like Keith Richards’ Texas cousin.

The Pyrates hoist the Jolly Roger 8pm Thursday at Threadgill’s South, in celebration of their new self-titled CD. It’s nine tracks of the absolute best Rolling Stones- influenced rock since Eric Ambel’s killer Knucklehead, including the Girlie Action-approved “VP Confidential” (but not “Eyes of Texas,” sniff). It’s hard to beat the chance to eat Threadgill’s Pecan-Crusted Chicken and hear the Pyrates take no prisoners, but if you must miss that one (which means you’ll be missing the Howlin’ Wolf tribute at the Continental at 10pm, shame!), they also come ashore Friday, June 12 at Headhunters and Friday, June 26 at the Saxon Pub. No quarter guaranteed.

Just in case you missed it: Bret Michaels getting clipped by descending scenery after his “performance” at the Tonys.

Who laughed harder, the Broadway Gods who were appalled by his clumsy appearance on their stage, or the dozens of rejects from Rock of Love? It seems the rumor that the combination of hair extensions and his bandanna cushioned his fall is false, but Girlie Action is truly glad to know Bret is not seriously injured because I need another fix of the real Rock of Love, not those Charm School or Daisy things.

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More Dead Pyrates
Sometimes Rock Forgets Where It Comes From
Sometimes Rock Forgets Where It Comes From
Dead Pyrates rock the 17th century tonight at Lamberts

Margaret Moser, July 24, 2008

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