On Friday night, downtown Akron venue Musica will play host to a night of musical remembrances.
The concert will be a combo platter featuring a celebration of the old downtown Bank Nightclub and a tribute to Stiv Bators, the late punk icon and Northeast Ohio native. It’s also a chance for reunited “party band” the Sodbusters, a supergroup of players from the Akron-Kent scene of the late 1970s and early '80s, to get together and rock and have fun.
Bators, who died in 1990 after being struck by a car in Paris, was known for his wild, kinetic stage persona and the accompanying music from his punk band the Dead Boys and the new-wave-leaning Lords of the New Church.
The Stiv “RIP” Bators Band consists of Frank Secich, David Quinton, Eddie Best and George Cabaniss. It was this version of the band that recorded Bators’ 1980 album “Disconnected” — the only solo album released in his lifetime — with the album’s power pop sound considered a departure from his previous work as a punk rock madman.
The reunion was sparked by the recent release of the documentary “STIV: No Compromise, No Regrets,” which had its world premiere at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque in March. Following the screening, members of the band took part in a panel discussion.
“We got to talking and thought it sure would be fun to play together again. And that sort of coincided with a similar sentiment from the Sodbusters,” said Cabaniss, who played guitar and co-wrote on “Disconnected.” "Since none of us are getting any younger, I thought, well, we should probably do this sooner than later and that was the impetus.”
Though Cabaniss has played songs from the “Disconnected” album with his many other bands, this will be the first time since the early 1980s that the actual “Disconnected” band will play all of the album’s songs.
Cabaniss recalls the recording process — quite a bit of which took place on a basketball court next to the studio — as a tough one.
“It was recorded mostly at night. We’d get up at 6 p.m. and go eat at Taco Bell and then go record all night. It was kind of brutal, actually, even for young people. It was a tough regimen, keeping bad hours and not having a proper diet,” he said.
For Friday's show, Cabaniss said he’ll play with six different configurations of musicians. Besides the Bators Band, which will perform second, and the Sodbusters, who play last, Cabaniss is also part of the opening melange of bands that include members of Orange Ruffians, Village Idiots, Bad Dudes and Cabaniss’ new band, the Psyclones.
“We’re the warm-up,” he said.
The Sodbusters include Mike Hammer, Scott Winkler, Kal Mullens and Johnnie Teagle who all played in Bank-era bands Teacher’s Pet, Hammer Damage, Rubber City Rebels and the Walking Clampetts. They will close out the night with songs from their respective bands.
Cabaniss said the night should be fun for the musicians as well as the folks who spent quality time at the Bank back in the day.
“I can’t wait to see everybody,” Cabaniss said.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3758. Like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml, and follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ