Here’s a rare and long-dormant artifact of classic Cleveland punks in a once-in-a-lifetime configuration. In the late ‘90s, guitarists Jimmy Zero of the Dead Boys and Jim Jones of Pere Ubu (RIP 2008) formed the Whining Maggots with members of obscure but high caliber CLEbands like New Salem Witch Hunters, Death of Samantha, Easter Monkeys and Prisonshake. The band name was likely cribbed from a line in No Cure For Cancer by Denis Leary, of whom Zero was a fan, and the group played exactly one show ever.
The band was organized by Zero to serve as the draw for a benefit, the beneficiary being noted independent filmmaker Robert Banks, who needed funds to complete a work in progress (I’ve forgotten which film it was, but I think it was probably “Jaded”). Banks was making his living as a life-drawing model at the time, so he appeared at the benefit nude, and donors scotch-taped cash to his body all night. As the evening wore on, other folks got it into their heads to get naked too. It was quite a time. Frankly, I got so hammered that night that 18 or so years later I’m getting a fierce hangover just watching this video.
The set was a high-spirits covers affair, largely comprised of classic proto-punk tunes nobody in the band probably needed to spend much time learning—it was surely stuff they all cut their teeth on anyway—and some old songs by the Easter Monkeys, one of the bands with whom Jones played before he ascended to Pere Ubuhood. Other notables here include drummer Scott Pickering of the bands Prisonshake and Gem, the latter being the group that spawned Guided By Voices’ Tim Tobias and Doug Gillard, and who originally wrote and recorded GBV’s very popular single “I Am A Tree.” Also present was John Petkovic of Death of Samantha and Cobra Verde, who’s made a bigger name for himself as a member of Sweet Apple, his band with J Mascis. Here’s the set list as best as I could piece it together, the video follows. By the way, I didn’t notice any of the aforementioned nudity in the video, so this should be safe for work, at least on that count.
1) Funtime (Iggy Pop) 00:00
2) Satellite of Love (Lou Reed) 04:57
3) Underpants (Easter Monkeys) 08:40
4) Cheap Heroin (Easter Monkeys) 11:26
5) Shake Appeal (Iggy and the Stooges) 14:46
6) I Am the Walrus (Beatles) 17:52
7) TV Eye (The Stooges) 23:20
SERIOUSLY obliged to VidMag Productions for making this video available, and to messers Pickering and Petkovic for the memory jogs I badly needed in order to get this post together.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Irene:’ New Pere Ubu video is eerie and gorgeous
Death of Samantha: Great ‘lost’ ‘80s underground band returns
Mike Watt stars in new Sweet Apple video: a DM exclusive premiere
Never before seen photos of Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys, 1976. A Dangerous Minds exclusive