On September 13th, 2016, just three days ago, I saw Cheetah Chrome play at Howlers in Bloomfield. Cheetah was in the legendary proto-punk Rocket From the Tombs with Cleveland weirdos that would go on to split into Pere Ubu and Dead Boys, Cheetah being part of the latter. The Dead Boys were fronted by the bony, gyrating Stiv Bators until they broke up in 1979, with Cheetah providing guitar alongside Jimmy Zero with Jeff Magnum and Johnny Blitz as the rhythm section. Afterwards, Cheetah moved on to doing session work, getting clean, moving to Nashville, and starting a family. The Dead Boys had a short reunion in late 2004, but it didn't last since Stiv Bators had passed away in 1990.
In 2011, I saw Cheetah Chrome play with Rocket From the Tombs. The band was great, but the opening bands were disappointing. You can read about that show here.
The show on Tuesday at Howlers was similar to the show with RFTT back then: the opening acts were not that interesting to me. I guess that's the point, - to see the big, cool touring super rockstar peeps. I think the show was a little disjointed.
During "Amphetamine", Cheetah replaced one of the standard lines with "Stiv is shooting at the moon". He looked solemn in that moment especially, though the whole song is like that. The big dude made a point that the spot next to me was HIS spot to dance in. It was total passive-aggression. Whatever. Cheetah's band was great. My only criticism is that the other guitarist was a little too loud.
After the show, there were some more attempts to rile me up, but those guys went away for once. I got some pins and a tour poster from Cheetah, and he signed the stuff I brought. We talked a little about the RFTT show in 2012. Cheetah is fair and kind, though he is still rough around the edges. It was good to speak with him again, especially because at the RFTT show I jumped on stage to talk with him out of excitement. It was kinda rude. Anyway, I was very tired before the show, but I'm glad I went even with the bullshit.