Pennyblackmusic Presents: Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) - With Hector Gannet and Andy Thompson @The Water Rats, London, Saturday 25, May, 2024

Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
Hosted at the Water Rats London , Saturday 25th May, 2024. Doors open 7:30pm. First band on at 8:00pm; Admission £15 on the door or £12 in advance from We got Tickets
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Pete Berwick - ‘Too Wild to Tame’: The story of the Boyzz:

  by Lisa Torem

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Pete Berwick - ‘Too Wild to Tame’: The story of the Boyzz:


In her 'Raging Pages' book column Lisa Torem enjoys fellow Midwesterner Pete Berwick’s biker band tribute book, 'Too Wild to Tame: The Story of the Boyzz'.

The Boyzz a Chicago band who were part and parcel of the thriving late 1970s Midwest music scene, along with the legendary Cheap Trick, among others. They thrilled fans and record labels with their bombastic riffery, their hold-no-prisoners drumming, and their succinct lyrics and flick-the-bird attitudes. This book’s title references the band’s 1978 vinyl showcase by the same name: ‘Too Wild to Tame’. Sadly, the album didn’t sell well enough to secure a second go-round with Epic Records, but thankfully, fans caught on and it became a coveted underground classic. Known locally as a “biker band” The Boyzz featured the cast-iron tones of vocalist “Dirty Dan” Buck, bold guitarists Mike Tafoya and Gil Pini, bassist David Angel, clever keyboardist Anatole Halinkovitch and drummer Ken Cooper. Their amazing story could have been forgotten, save for fan and ally Pete Berwick, a quadruple-threat singer-songwriter, guitarist, film actor, and writer, who took a deep dive into the sturm-und-drang and razor-sharp beauty of this band's trajectory. In Berwick's remarkably detailed book, he chronicles the band members' daydreams and casualties with the clear eyes of a Maltese Falcon-esque screenwriter. His first-source and second-source material seamlessly provide the human side to The Boyzz’s history. Reading about a hard-working Midwest band whetted my appetite. Some argue that an ambitious American act has to go to the east or west coast to secure a future, and that those who stay have a rougher ride ahead. That this band remained fiercely loyal to their local fan base was impressive. I loved the time-capsule feel of the book. The band’s rise to fame came about through old-school promotion and analogue recording techniques in the days before social media befriended up-and-coming heroes, allowing them to self-promote without major funding. While Berwick's unique narrative relies at its core on excellent reportage by way of riveting insider pull quotes and quips, the reader also benefits from the artist's own years of hard-knocks in a merciless business. Every hopeful and seasoned artist should keep a copy on the shelf. Don't get me wrong, it's not that coming-of-age band stories haven't been told, but few have been told with such humour, candour and unexpurgated grit. Moreover, top notch images move the story along at fever pitch. You'll want to know even more about the music, the scene, and the life-long fans that this band cultivated after reading this book. Hats off to Berwick for making this so.

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Interview (2020)
Pete Berwick - Interview
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Pete Berwick’s triple-threat status is fully explored in his first Pennyblackmusic interview with Lisa Torem.

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