Preview: If you don't Rocket From The Tombs, you don't rock Real NEO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/26/2006 - 05:31.

How would you describe (Rocket From The Tombs) show to someone that has never seen you playing live?

It is truly one of the great rock experiences you will have. We wouldn't bother otherwise. The people in this band do not belong together. Touring with this band has been the most miserable experience of my life. The only reason I do it is because what we do on stage is so satisfyingly hot.

RFTT have been described as one of the godfathers of punk, a kind of a bridge between the Stooges, hard rock and a more arty sound. What's your opinion about that?

RFTT was, in my opinion, not a punk band. We were a logical step along the progression and evolution of rock music. Our roots seem very obvious. People say the music is so angry you must be rebellious. Yeah, I don't know. It seems to me, as I remember it, what we were angry about was ordinariness. The mainstream rock bands who played in all the clubs were SO ordinary and unambitious, were satisfied with so little when there so much that could be done. That's what I remember. That doesn't seem too punk to me. But I'm not a chicken-hawker either.

What kind of reaction from the crowd did you get while touring? Which kind of feedback from your performances?

Audiences were stunned and extremely happy.


- David Thomas, of Rocket From The Tombs, Pere Ubu, and Cleveland


These quotes, from the liner notes from the 2004 RFTT Rocket Redux release of luminary Cleveland-honed, UK-based David Thomas, founder of globally significant Rocket From The Tombs (RFTT) and Pere Ubu, offer Clevelanders just a hint of what is in store for them tonight, July 26, 2006, at the Beachland Ballroom - the first show of RFTT's 2006 fast-track blast across the other words:

David Fricke, editor of Rolling Stone, wrote, "No on else in American rock, underground or over, in 1974 and '75, was writing and playing songs this hard and graphic about being f**ked over and fighting mad. No one else is doing it now."

Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Rocket From the Tombs is not just the great lost proto-punk band of the '70s. It's one of the best bands of the 21st Century too."

The Wire said, "Blazing amazing trails, they deserve to be celebrated, not consigned to a historical footnote."

And regarding recent recording of RFTT:

Les Inrockuptibles said, "A record of great historical importance, envisaging the Punk-Rock revolution..... Furious songs full of tension and of a surprising modernity that deserve being regarded alongside the best songs of the MC5, Patti Smith, The Stooges or VU on the list of the seminal non-mainstream rock bands."

Billboard said, "It's flabbergasting stuff"

The Village Voice said, "The darkest, most desperately unforgiving sound."

Enough said? No - I throw in my 2-cents worth now, and will gloat more tomorrow, after the show!

The first Rocket From The Tombs "redux" tour, in 2003, marked the BIRTH of a remarkable band... phenomenon - NO, RFTT is not a 1974/5 throwback anything, but a sophisticated invention of great musical genius in the ultimate historical context of knowing musicians, knowing music - coming from the hands of Pere Ubu, the Dead Boys and Television to you. RFTT in pure-Cleveland, from roots to bones, but more global, worldly and masterful than anything laying dormant in this tomb of a city - RFTT band members have changed the world of music all their (our) lives, as only masters of art may, and the outcomes of their art, seen and felt live, are Earth-shattering, as only the work of genius may be.


 I experienced the 2003 RFTT show at the Beachland and felt privileged to be part of a globally significant art moment, which is rarely a possibility here in NEO (the only other time I recall was the 2004 MoCA Tunick naked Cleveland shoot). Admittedly, I've been a big David Thomas fan since buying my first Pere Ubu albums, and seeing David and Pere Ubu blowing Clevelanders' minds, back in the late 1970's, when we were young, but, to me, while those early days of Dead Boys, livingly-dead flats, Drone and a real Pirate's Cove were magical, seeing what evolved from the genius of then into the global significance of David Thomas et al today - RFTT today - that is Cleveland at its very best, ever. How many products can you name from Cleveland that are the world's best? I can name three... David Thomas, Pere Ubu, and Rocket From The Tombs.

To learn more about Rocket From The Tombs, go here.

To learn more about all things Ubu Projex, go here.

Note, just like in creating art and music, since the early days of the Internet David Thomas has used techonogy more effectively and in ways more innovative than any musicians I can think of, so at Ubu Projex you will get an excellence sense of the man and music, and you'll learn a lot about Cleveland reality in the process.

Now, get psyched for the show, tonight, July 26, 2006, at the Beachland Ballroom

I'll see you at the Beachland tonight, if you are real NEO.

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