The Fleshtones : the band drinks for free since 1987

CHEF de STUDIO, Laurent | 23 juin 2017 |

Living Legends of the American Beat get "Vindicated" at London's Dirty Water Club


Forty years ago in Queens, New York, Keith Streng and his buddy Marek Pakulski discovered some guitars in a basement of a house they were renting. They didn’t know how to tune strings or finger a chord, but they dug Rock & Roll and R&B, which was hard to find in the mid-1970s pabulum on Top 40 and FM radio. They picked up those guitars, found some cheap amps, and started banging out noise. By ’77, local drummer Lenny Calderon was on board as the steady drummer.

flask-fleshtones_1.jpgOne day Peter Zaremba, an art student friend with long bangs, a harmonica, and a manic vision, dropped by the house, grabbed a mic, and named the band The Fleshtones. They rehearsed by throwing locally legendary parties in the basement of that house, dosed with fuzz guitar and trash cans full of their signature cocktail, the Blue Whale, inaugurating a bacchanal that continues to this day. Manically covering obscure songs and offering their own nervy originals, they debuted at CBGB in May of 1976.

Zaremba remembers, “We were very wound up and blasted out our handful of songs at a ridiculously fast tempo. Still, people liked us and some even danced along, an unusual event at super-cool CBGB’s. We were invited back for another audition. Finally, we were a real band.” Laughs Streng, “We were horrible at CBGB! But we still passed. Hilly Kristal said to us, ‘You guys aren’t really that good. But there’s something there’.”

In the late 1970s, The Fleshtones earned a local following and played often in Manhattan at CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Later, they found a favorite venue at Club 57 on St. Mark's Place. The Fleshtones were the first band to be booked or to play at several famous venues, including Irving Plaza and Danceteria in Manhattan, Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey, and the original 9:30 Club in Washington D.C..



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