Shot in suitably cruddy fashion from a video camera somewhere back in the audience at a concert at New York's Ritz, the look turns out to be a good fit for the music -- Rock with slovenly but thrilling vocals and grungy, speeded-up, post-Chuck Berry guitar.
A little Rolling Stones, a little Glam and a lot of thrashing, slamming Punk. Cleveland's Dead Boys made two great albums in the late 1970s before imploding into legend. In 1986, original members Stiv Bators, Cheetah Chrome (a sizzling guitarist), Jimmy Zero, Jeff Magnum and Johnny Blitz reunited for this show. Introduced by Joey Ramone, they immediately take off on a fiery version of their best song, "Sonic Reducer," followed in short, sharp order by the likes of "Caught with the Meat in Your Mouth," "What Love Is," "Son of Sam" and a fantastic version of Iggy's "Search and Destroy." By the time it ends with a coyly nude, long-haired lead singer Bators closing a "Sonic Reducer" reprise, you feel as sweaty and exhausted as the band. The camera angle is perfect for watching the endless stage crashers climb up next to their heroes and then dive -- or get pushed by roadies -- into the throbbing crowd. I doubt this would actually be better if it looked better, as the charm is in the primitiveness. The one bonus feature is amusing: Bators being interviewed in 1980 by an unctuous Tom Snyder wannabe on his hometown Good Morning Youngstown.