December 2007

Live photos by JOHN KESSLER

From the mouth of the Dog Man himself (Loren Molinare): "Those were the best audiences The Dogs have ever played for!"

He was talking about the December 14, 15 and 16 shows at Heaven's Door, Red Cloth and Jam respectively. The pandemonium that ensued refreshed the memories of those lucky punters who took part in the near riot on The Stooges' "Fuji Rock" stage last summer. Their Detroit brethren The Dogs didn't disappoint, by offering up their own riot, Doggy Style, which left Beat Caravan bass player Shooji with a broken foot, my good friend Ryotaro with a near broken hand (ask the drunk guy if he remembers starting a fight in the mosh), and another crazed pogo popper who was left with two hands full of his $500 spectacles.

Opening with Motor City Fever (of which a 1971 recording was released for the first time on the Future Now Records tribute "Doggy Style") reminded the 150-plus Red Cloth audience where the band hails from. The power punk trio consisted of Loren (guitar/vocals), Mary Kay (bass/backing vocals) and Tony Matteucci (the band's drummer from the "Dog In The Cathouse" days filling in for original bad boy drummer Ron Wood, who, as Loren announced to the crowd, U.S. immigration would not allow out of the country).

It was instant pump and go from the first chords of "Are You A Boy, Or Are You A Girl?", the Barbarians' tune that The Dogs revved-up in the early '70s on the streets of Lansing, Michigan, while playing during the March 1971 student protest that shutdown Michigan State University. This was the event at which a lesbian leader hurled the incendiary oration referring to The Dogs as "cock rock" provocateurs!

Like the MC5, with whom they played at the Grande Ballroom, The Dogs' politics is as important as their music. As witness to the testimonial, when the band launched into "Fed Up", a mass of snarling smirks with raised fists beat the call to arms. Little did they realize that the revolution had just begun as each fist turned into exploding firebombs at the first hint of "Slash Your Face!"

Going back to 1967, Loren brought to Japan a true 1960's punk classic, "Beatin' The Floor", the first song written by the discontented then-16-year-old, which he hadn't played in over 30 years. As if that weren't enough, they followed with a brand new tune "You Can't Catch M"e, which witnessed great fanfare. The surprise motivator of the shows was "Tuff Enuff", a true punk classic that led the 70's punk rock procession into the history books and all three nights' audiences into slamfests!

The instant responses to the mere introductions of the song titles prove that the Japanese fans have been well weaned on The Dogs classic tunes. Spurting out the words "Younger Point Of View" brought massive cheers, wagging tails and garage hungry Pavlovian tongues.

With the release of "Doggy Style", The Dogs are gaining the respect they always deserved as seminal Detroit rockers. As we have seen the rising interest in other Detroit legends The Stooges, MC5, Sonic's Rendezvous Band, and so on, The Dogs are being viewed more and more as brothers in arms who survived the John 'Rock and Roll' Sinclair revolution, moved on to being founding members of the '70s punk revolution, and who continue today, fighting the good fight with eternal vigilance. They sacrificed everything to run free, while spitting the truth in the face of U.S.A. Inc.

The Dogs’ high-energy soul shaking lyrics speak the truth, only to leave the bare lies shining through.