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Scene Turns 40: The 40 Most Memorable Concerts of the Last 40 Years

Looking back over four decades of shows for Scene's 40th anniversary

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The Dead Boys

Agora Theatre

March 22, 1977 

Most Clevelanders — even those in the underground/punk scene of the mid-'70s — wouldn't have picked chaotic loudmouths the Dead Boys for a breakout band. Even the other bands in that scene just wished they would stop being obnoxious and go away. Fat chance. Singer Stiv Bators, guitarists Cheetah Chrome and Jimmy Zero, bassist Jeff Magnum, and drummer Johnny Blitz unleashed their recorded mission statement, Young, Loud and Snotty, on Sire Records in 1977. That same year, they headlined a show at the Agora, a big step up from smaller clubs — like the Pirates Cove and the Viking — they'd played in their earlier days. The band thrashed and sneered its way through tunes like "Sonic Reducer" and "What Love Is," while Bators drooled copiously, rolled on the floor, and rooted around in his unzipped pants. But they saved the best for last: Bators' role model and the band's inspiration, former Stooges frontman Iggy Pop, staggered onstage to join his protégés in a rendition of the Stooges' "Search and Destroy." (Pantsios)

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