Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Waldos

When I first started seeing bands in Manhattan in 1993, I was impressed with was The Waldos right away. Tony Coiro, a big man with a goatee and a suit jacket played bass and sang. Walter Lure, a tall, slim man in a t-shirt, vest, bowler hat and tie played guitar and did some vocals. Both of them looked like they had done time on the real punk scene. Jeff West, a pale man with long, platinum heavy metal hair played drums. And Joey Pinter, at 5'8, was the shortest of the group. He played guitar and jumped around. A lot.

The Continental was mainly a punk rock n roll club with, at most, a $5 cover. Audience size could vary there from 3 people (the band's girlfriends/boyfriends) to over a hundred, standing room only. On Fridays and Saturdays the bands that drew the largest audiences played were scheduled to play at midnight, but often started at 1am. The Waldos always started at midnight. The place was always packed when they played. I took to dancing by the wall, next to the stage so I wouldn't get pushed from behind every time someone needed to use the bathroom, or, more annoying just push to stand in front, whether they got there first or not.

Walter Lure, left, and Joey Pinter 2007. Photo by John Nikolai
The Waldos played a lot of Johnny Thunders tunes, including Chinese Rocks, Born To Lose, Seven-Day Weekend. The band played loud, fast, real rock and roll. Joey did the Pete Townshend windmill move and hit his hand, hard, against the corner of the monitor* in the ceiling. His hand came back to the strings, bleeding profusely, and he continued to play with the same energy.

It was especially during the Thunders tunes when the crowd would get very excited. People would jump around. There was no mosh pit, but sometimes a very drunk man or two would climb up on stage and try to sing into Walter's mic. Joey would act like a bouncer then and try to push him back off stage. If that didn't work, he'd hit him in the head with the back of his guitar.

I was very impressed with his performance. There was so much action, and Joey was always in the groove and hardly missed a beat. I went backstage to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance. We ended up dating for about 6 weeks. During that time, I saw a lot of good shows, including Jayne County at Maxwell's.

I hung with them backstage. Joey was very quiet during the shows and so I talked with the drummer. Both he and Joey taught me a lot about music, everything from the construction of songs to how to set up a drum kit. The drum stuff came in useful later, when I met my husband, Scott Byrne, a very good drummer who played with Barbecue Bob, countless blues bands, as well as Instant Death.

*Monitors are speakers pointed toward the band so the band can hear themselves.

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