Posts Tagged ‘The Golden Arms’

Satoshi Silvers: RIPSatoshi (Ronnie) Silvers died on the 17th of June, in 2011. He was crossing the road and was hit by a car which had failed to stop at a red light. Sure, he was not a household name, but he was in my household. Guitar player Satoshi Silvers was well known to Mr. Rockbrat, Cowboy Col and countless other fans in Japan and the USA, predominantly through his work with the Golden Arms, a Tokyo based band heavily influenced by Johnny Thunders and the New York Dolls. They existed right throughout the 1990’s. I was fortunate that I got to see The Golden Arms a few times, and became friends with them. In the wake of Johnny Thunders death, in the mid 90’s there was a small, but dedicated worldwide community of people who devotedly kept his spirit alive by playing music that was inspired by him. It was slash and burn rock ‘n’ roll, trashy riffs and a brimful of attitude. In the US, there were guys like Kevin K and Alan K, Rick Blaze, Jeff Dahl and the Trash Brats. In Germany there were guys like Nikki Sudden and Zepp Oberpilcher, France had Freddy Lynxx, and in the UK there was Brian Young. In Japan though – the torch was carried by a guy called Hiroshi Nakagome and his band The Remains. Pre internet, I corresponded by letter with Hiroshi, and he sent me some Remains cassettes and early 45s. The Remains morphed into The Golden Arms (go see the Sinatra film of the same name for reference) and they played around Japan during the latter few years of the 90’s. Satoshi joined The Golden Arms on second guitar, and he had a great style, and was a strong vocalist too. The band headed to Jeff Dahl’s studio in Arizona in late 97 and cut several tracks which would be released the following year as the band’s debut album, ‘Gimme Some Lips’. Stacked with Thunders style guitar, Satoshi Silvers really shone on this album, and he handled lead vocals on three tunes, ‘Fallin’, ‘Just Where You Are’ and ‘M.I.A’. ‘Just Where You Are’ in particular showcased what a good singer he was. When I was in Tokyo In 1998 and again in 2000 caught the Golden Arms live, at one of the Johnny Thunders ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ shows Hiroshi used to put on. The Golden Arms were great that night – as they always were live. I hung out with the band a fair bit and I remember getting up on stage and (drunkenly) sharing the chorus vocals with Satoshi on ‘Born To Lose’. I remember he gave me a ride back to the station. He was a genuinely nice guy. Whilst in Tokyo, I negotiated a deal with Hiroshi to release a new Golden Arms single. This 3 track EP was called ’Oriental Junk Sick’ and it came out in 2000 on Vicious Kitten Records. Over recent years, I lost contact with most of those guys, but I will always remember those days with great fondness. The Golden Arms were a great band, and Satoshi was a great rock n roll guitar player. May his memory live on forever through the rock n roll that he created. Rockbrat Radio will be playing a tribute show to Satoshi Silver next week. Look for details in the next few days. If you want to know more about The Golden Arms, go here.


Rock n Roll War promo poster, Volume 1 and Volume 2

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone since the release of the Rock n Roll War compilation CD’s. Prior to Rockbrat, back then, Cowboy Col was operating Vicious Kitten Records, an independent record label whose mission was to fight the war against the jive. I had the idea of releasing a compilation album and did a short list of bands I wanted and things just took off from there. Vicious Kitten Records, and the Vicious Kitten Zine before that, developed a good reputation, and most bands were happy to be involved. The idea was to make it a solid balls-to-the-wall comp, and it achieved that. I wanted to show case some of the best Australian bands to an international market – and similarly get some of those international bands some exposure in Australia.   The first volume of ‘Rock n Roll War’ had such quality bands on it as the Dictators, Sylvain Sylvain from the New York  Dolls, the Hitmen DTK,  Deniz Tek and Chris Masuak of Radio Birdman, Jeff Dahl, Pete Wells of Rose Tattoo, Nikki Sudden, The Trash Brats, Asteroid B-612, Brother Brick etc.  This first volume of Rock n Roll War sold well, and following its success I decided to branch out into the USA and try and develop greater inroads there. Vicious Kitten USA was born and was co ordinated by Rick Blaze out of Boston. The second volume of Rock ‘n’ Roll War was the only release on Vicious Kitten USA and it came out in October, 2001. A CD release party was held for this album in Boston, and artists who appeared included Mike Thimren (who used to play with Johnny Thunders for five years, on and off, between 83-88) the Ballbusters and Kevin K.  Rock n roll War volume 2 was dedicated to Johnny Heff of The Bullys, a New York City firefighter who lost his life on September 11. There is a great Bully’s track on the comp called ‘New York City Man’. Johnny Thunders and the Ballbusters also do a live version of ‘In Cold Blood’. There are songs by Nikki Sudden, Dave Kusworth from the Jacobites, Walter Lure, the Streetwalkin Cheetahs, Kevin K, Freddy Lynxx, The Golden Arms, Dave Cuneo and Jeff Crane from the Ballbusters, Mike Thimren, the Detox Darlings. Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys was gracious enough to provide a tune called ‘The Morning’s Gonna Come, which he recorded specifically for Rock n Roll War 2. Other artists on this 2nd volume included the Cartridge Family from NYC who featured Donna from the Cycle Sluts From Hell, two Italian bands, one called The Valentines and the other called Loose. It was a very strong and impressive line up. The intent was to do release a third compilation CD, but the funds were not there.  These were a lot of work to put together, but looking back, some killer bands were released on these two comps.  These compilations occasionally turn up on eBay. Go discover.