Rocket From the Tombs | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Rocket From the Tombs 

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I'm not even going to try to promise that this will be good--but if you were ever a fan of America's punk roots, how could you pass it up? Founded in part by the talented Peter Laughner, a passionate Velvets and Iggy fan who wanted to ignite some of that wildness in Cleveland, this Ohio band debuted in 1974 and spawned both Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys; Laughner might have gone on to greatness as well had he not succumbed to drugs, depression, and finally liver failure. Last year Smog Veil Records released The Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs, a collection of vintage live and rehearsal tapes that show an inspired, hairy, chaotic band somewhere between Captain Beefheart and Alice Cooper, with a wicked edge of genius that comes through strongly on early versions of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" and "Final Solution." Previewing the current tour, front man Crocus Behemoth (better known as David Thomas of Pere Ubu) says, "The whole thing may blow apart at any moment so don't pretend you can see it next year....We have already broken up seven times in three rehearsals. We will not last long but during that time we will burn very brightly." In addition to Behemoth, this all-star lineup features Cheetah Chrome, original bassist Craig Bell, Pere Ubu drummer Steve Mehlman, and, poignantly, Television's Richard Lloyd in the Laughner spot. Wednesday, June 4, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Nikolai.

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