Jimmy Harold and his wife Mary Anne in the Rat Room
Photo: Melissa Morganti Zizza
We lost a big one this week ... Jimmy Harold, owner of "The
Rat" has passed away.
It’s a measure of the man that despite being responsible for
the Rat, the most famous club in Boston history, the comments on Facebook
this week were mostly about Jimmy himself. If you knew Jimmy even for
a short time you can picture him now as you read this - he’s leaning
forward and digging into the story he’s telling. (See the photo
of him with Jan Collings - below right) Those stories were filled with
the love of what he did. For a guy who loves to tell stories he had
the perfect job at the perfect time.
interviewing him in 2006 it was obvious that he was a businessman.
To him people who went to the Rat were customers. As fans we just paid
our money and had a ball. Jimmy had to work the bands and bar and navigate
the press and police. Those times were crazy and Jimmy was the responsible
guy in the middle. We’ll never know the amount of trouble he worked
the club through.
He was such a business man that he went from owning the bar in the
basement, to owning the upstairs bar to owning the whole building. When
BU bought the area he reaped the benefits.
Being a business man wasn't all Jimmy was though ... he had a love
of rock and a willingness to take a chance. Jimmy had the courage to
book Mickey Clean and the Mezz which was more than a gamble, anyone
at the time would have called it foolish.
The club scooped up the bourgeoning punk groups before anyone else.
Getting the Runaways when they were red hot, booking the Damned before
they were known, taking a chance on the Police on a recommendation.
It may not seem risky now, but back in the day when punk scared most
people and it was denounced by politicians and community leaders, it
took balls to stand squarely with punk if you were a business. And Jimmy
Having been around from the beginning, and knowing Jimmy and the bands
that played the Rat, we often heard of their interactions and their
When we interviewed him in 2006 he was unaware of the projects that
involved the Rat. He didn’t know about the documentaries that
were being filmed at the time or the songs that had been written about
the club. In fact, he was shocked. We filled him in and soon after he
was involved, or at least informed of, future Rat oriented events. He
was at the
Rat Reunion in Davis Square in 2007 and showed up one year at the
Rat Beach Party in Hull.
Just recently he was at a Nervous Eaters show. A short while back he
also saw Frank Rowe at the Plough and Stars. In the photo below you
can see how he’s right in the middle of it and comfortable being
We were lucky to have Jimmy. He had the right combination of traits
that allowed him to grasp what was going on culturally and to create
a space that became a de facto home to bands and club goers for decades.
Saying “The Rat” is a shortcut for talking about punk in
Boston as much as saying any band name.
Just saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem enough. To get
some of the impact of what Jimmy Harold accomplish you can listen to
Live At The Rat. Hear the raw outpourings
of some of the Boston rockers. The music he helped continuers, the memories
of nights at the Rat are still vivid, our debt to Jimmy is ongoing,
his stories linger, his friendships endure and our love for the man
Miss Lyn, who worked for Jimmy in 1977 and has been friends with him
ever since, and basically lived at The Rat from 1975 to who knows when
...wrote her tribute on Facebook.
You can read that here.
Our condolences go to the family. Whatever sorrow we have is a shadow of what they are feeling.
If you are not on Facebook the name Enyinnaya Okezie
is probably new to you. For Boston music fans on the social site we
are all friends with Enyi. Enyi died last week. Enyi was a rabid music
fan and knew decades of rock and roll and had an opinion on it too.
He interacted with rockers on and off line. He was an example of how
Facebook can work in a positive way by connecting people with common
interests. A lot of Facebook friends are going to miss Enyi.
Douglas Thompson on Facebook memorialized him with this quote, “Enyinnaya
Okezie , the New York Rocker, The Nigerian Nightmare, or just Enyi ...
was funny, super knowledgeable, and also very kind and compassionate.”
Willie at the Rhumb Line Photo: John Keegan
Last week John Keegan went to The Rhumb Line
in Gloucester to check out Willie Alexander who played
a Thursday night with Billy Loosigian and bassist,
Dave Sag and drummer Steve Chagara,
The Wrecking Crew of Gloucester rhythm section.
John writes that: "Everything feels loose-limbed - pushed but
groovin’. .. Willie is all barrelhouse boogie-woogie, big splayed-finger
punked up block chords with a twist of ecstatic, righteous, tent house
revival pounding in case you missed Mass last week. Loosigian rides
shotgun. He’s smooth. His solos have an impeccable arc. You’re
in the backseat loving the ride...."
To see the whole review click the photo link below.
Guitarist Curt Florczak has left The Hi-End.
That group had just released a new single “Scene Queen”.
We first heard Curt in Greg Allen’s Fringe Religion
where his solos were standouts. The Hi-End is still going on and we’ll
be on the lookout for Curt’s next move and if you need guitar
repairs, Curt does that too!
Another band exit: Andy Excuse is no longer playing
bass for Kid Gulliver. He’s looking for a new gig if your band
needs a bass player.
Locals Key of Caustic have signed with Code
213 Records who identify themselves as “Home of the Hits”.
What hits? Well, listen to their artist The Penetrators
doing “Shopping Bag” below. If that low-fi fuzzed up garage
rocker is one of the hits – we’re with them all the way!
This week the Worcester Telegram gives a close critique of Motel
Black’s new album Humor Balance.
Critic Victor Infante dissects the lyrics of a few
songs to get a more nuanced look at the dark tone of the album. His
comment on the melody of the last song, “Single Stall”,
we think is also descriptive of the whole song, “…(it) rolls
like fog until it ultimately evaporates.” A few listens to this
album and you get into that noir mood yourself.
Barney Bubbles is an artist any punk will recognize.
He did the Generation X logo, some Elvis Costello illustrations, work
for Stiff and John Copper Clark. He now has a website with t-shirts
and cups. It’s a bit pricey because it’s from England but
you might want to take a look. His
online shop https://shop.barneybubbles.com/shop/categories/all/page/1
Bauhaus is on a World Tour from May until September, with some USA
They released “Drink the New Wine” their first song in
14 years!! It was inspired by the surrealists and was written using
the surrealistic method called "The Exquisite Corpse”. That
means the four musicians wrote their parts separately without hearing
the other parts – which are then mixed together. Hear
it on YouTube
Carissa Johnson is now working with Rum Bar Records so we get a new
song and video. The “Merry Go Round” video is set, yup,
on a Merry Go Round. The visual actually does reinforce the metaphor
as Carissa relentlessly walks through the horses.
The song has a heavy and thick sounding guitar at its base that we
love. It may be her best effort yet. All the elements of this song click.
Carissa does everything right, we’re just waiting for the general
public to wake up and take notice.
Stability is a band we’re first hearing here
with their video “Already Dead.” It’s cranking all
the way through. We want to hear more. A whole set of similar songs
would be killer. They describe themselves as a New England band.
We think “Indiana Line” by Crow
Follow was their best effort yet. The song careens like an
out of control rig. A scratchy radio transmission in the beginning is
They do a lot of tricks to depict this visually. There’s ample
use of animated chalk drawings that add a primitive touch. Ruby Viens,
Wayne Viens’ daughter is in the video. She delivers the intriguing
asides in the chorus that adds even more mystery.
The Pixies video of their whole set at Rockpalast
in Koln Germany in July is good viewing. It’s professionally done
so its clear visuals and sound. The new material like “Human Kind”
sounds good next to the classics like “Wave of Mutilation”,
“Monkeys Gone to Heaven”, “Gigantic”, “Here
Comes Your Man”, and “Where Is My Mind”
The Brain Eaters were an NYC 80's horror group. Pete
“Damien” Marshall, the guitarist for Samhain, was
in the group. They will be releasing an album that collects all their
7 inch and cassette material for the first time. In advance they've
made this video of “Ballad of Arcane” available. It was
filmed at CBGBs
“Animal” by More Kicks from London starts
on the bare side but strong with a bass lick. It takes it’s time
but by the end they have done up a nicely crafted and rocking tune.
It's first single from the band’s second disc, Punch Drunk,
out this September.
Looking for something new? This video “Season Premier”
by Baby Got Back Talk fits the bill. There‘s
a lot of familiar modern punk sounds in it but then the guitar playing
is a bit different and the vocals are very distinct. They are very harmonious,
smooth and clear. A whole album of this should reveal a new take on
In his most recent show Brian Young on Crash Course for the
Ravers played most the Live At the Rat
in memory of Jimmy Harold. The he played The Police
and The Cars.
Hear the show by going to the WMFO
schedule page hitting Crash Crouse for the Ravers on Saturday and
them hitting Archive on the next page.
Joanie Lindstrom on her Late Risers Show on Thursday
did a four song set of groups that played the Rat in memory of Jimmy
Harold. The lineup was: La Peste, Dead Boys, DMZ and Nervous
You can catch the show on the
WMBR LRC archives at click on the link to the Thursday 8/4 show.
We found this great fourteen minute clip of Thom Lane
RIP doing a show on WFNX from March of 1988. it was
posted back in May 16, 2012. Thom sounds very smooth on this. You get
to hear the music FNX was playing at this time and that’s a trip
in itself. Listen
to it here.
On Ron’s Monday Late Risers Club he played an
old live set by Cheater Slicks from the early 90s.
You can hear that by going to the WMBR
LRC archive at and hitting the Monday 8/4 LRC show.
Earlier in the show Ron played a song by The Irrational Library.
A lot of new songs are about things that could have been written in
the last few hundred years but The Irrational Library picks subject
matter that could only be written lately. That song is “The Algorithm”.
It’s an oddball arty punk song. The lyrics are worth checking
are on Bandcamp Hear it below.
This week Blowing Smoke with Twisted Rico gets the
story from Pete Sjostedt of Muck and the Mires and
formally the Ape Hangers.
Pete talks a lot about his growing up years. Musically, Cheap Trick’s
first album had a large influence on him. He has a complicated history
of bands. He ended up in Los Angeles, did lots of live shows but nothing
else clicked. He played with Johnny Angel for a short
time. There’s a few more turns and then the Ape Hangers forms.
They peak with their song “I Don’t Want to Live Today”
getting on the Empire Records soundtrack.
Pete talks about joining Muck and the Mires. He almost was in the original
line up but didn’t follow through. A few years later and he’s
More music from Today Junior is always a time for
celebration for us. They are one of our favorite new groups. The new
single “Hot Plastic” is in advance of their next album.
This was all done in their practice space.
The song starts with a few chords in a comfortable grove. The thing
is that the whole sound is just so them. The chords resonate only the
way they do it and the rhythm sort of rolls and stutters in their own
way. Its sounds beachy, summery and romantic. This is a good a time
as any to get familiar with Today Junior.
Locals Sunshine Riot have released “Parole Board”
preceding a forthcoming EP. The have an alt/indie sound. The song slowly
evolves and gets darker and darker as the lyrics unfold. Some of it
my get by you but when you get to the line “we have Methadone
now” it will get your attention. Everything seems to come together
at that moment and you realize this song is relating a bleak reality.
Apeland is a DIY space in Holyoke. They now have a
27 cut compilation album filled with groups who have played the club.
Bands we know and who have played Boston are the Prozacs, Worm,
Planet Mercury and Sky Tigers. The Worm song
is ten seconds long!
We’re going to spotlight Cry Havoc’s “Onslaught”.
It’s a ripper and reminds us of the gig we saw them do at the
Kool Kat Records are known as maybe the best spot
to find all things Power Pop. They've put their time into the 3 CD (63
cut) album POP AID - A Power Pop Compilation to Benefit
the Citizens of Ukraine. Support the Ukraine and get a
big pile of Power Pop. Buy
the digital on Bandcamp or get
the CD at Kool Kat Records
The one sort of semi-local group The Flashcubes (Paul
Armstrong from 1.4.5. is in the group) are included with a
version of “When You Walk In The Room”.
The group named Jerry has Ken Stringfellow
(The Posies) helping with the song “Turn Away”.
Starbyrd gets kudos for doing up an anti-war song
titled “Stop This War” that is in line with 60s efforts
of the same nature, but they pile on reams of 12 string jangle.
Here's some good shows coming up .....
August 11, 2022 (Thursday) Salem
Wolves, Michael Kane & The Morning Afters at Notch Brighton-
Free Admission but they will be collecting non-perishable food donations
at the door -Show times 7-11 pm
August 11, 2022 (Thursday) The
Nervous Eaters are at the Music Room Gallery & Wine Bar
in West Yarmouth.
August 12, 2022 (Friday) Today
Junior, FEEP, Falcon Brunch at The Middle East Up.
August 12, 2022 (Friday) La
Armada (R.D./Chicago), Zeta (Venezuela), Neighborhood
Shit, Sick Minds, Born from Demise, Hard Target at Sammy's
Patio Revere Beach.
FB page. 7PM.
August 12, 2022 (Friday) Radio
Compass, Diablogato, Bird Language at Faces Brewery Malden
August 13, 2022 (Saturday) Summer
Shimmer at Once @ Boynton Yards - a full day and night of glam
rock and glitter! This Outdoor Festival has it all! Come out and support
your local musicians and vendors. There will be food, bar, live music,
PLUS Glam Karaoke with The People's Karaoke and a costume contest Glampionship
with trophies for the glammiest of them all.” also 8 local bands
including Gene Dante & The Future Starlets, The Jacklights,
Sapling, Linnea’s Garden, Weakened Friends, Happy
Little Clouds and The Pom Poms...this is an
all day event with vendors etc- FB
August 13, 2022 (Saturday) Vampire
Lounge - Goth Night at The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem with DJ
August 14, 2022 (Sunday) Murdoch,
Men and Volts, Meaghan Casey and the Latchkey Boys, Tyler Bejoian -
Midway Matinee Starts at 3PM.
August 15, 2022 (Monday) Time
and Place, Shepards, Pink Slip at Charlie's Kitchen
August 15, 2022 (Monday) Michael
Kane, Matt Demello, Ken Bousquet at The Midway
August 19, 2022 (Friday) Key
of Caustic, Flightless, Minx, Space Casino at The Middle East
August 19, 2022 (Friday) Messer
Chups, The Devils Twins, Damnation at Askew Provi, RI
August 20, 2022 (Saturday) Three
Hour Tour! with SCMF, The Dogmatics, and Barrence
Whitfield on a boat! 21+ $30. Boarding starts 3:30, departure
at 4:00 from Rowes Wharf FB
August 20, 2022 (Saturday) The
Fleshtones, GLiDER, & Tiger Bomb w/ Emcee DJ Brian
Young - The Magic Room - FB
August 21, 2022 (Sunday) Voice
Of Addiction, Brix'N Mortar, Blame it on Whitman, Color Killer -
3PM matinee at The Midway
August 21, 2022 (Sunday) Presidential
Disgrace (Bangor), Butch Baby (MA), Septic
Approval, East End Redemption, Skum City (nyc) for an afternoon
show at Sun Tiki Studios, Portland, ME- Starts at 5 and is only $7!!
August 25, 2022 (Thursday) Motel
Black, Little Fuss, The Daylilies at Notch Brighton -
August 26, 2022 (Friday) Heat Wave
22' w/The FU's, Worm, Kermits Finger, Rockin' Bob's Punk Band
and .... More TBA, At the C Note in Hull. FB
August 26, 2022 (Friday) Bone
Up Brewing Sixth Anniversary Bash! 3 days of music!
The Guilloteenagers, Blood Built Empire, Lesser Glow, and Worshipper.FB
event page is here.
August 26, 2022 (Friday) Kepi
Ghoulie + Friends, Bad Idea USA, Adult Learners at Faces Brewing
Co. Malden. FB
August 26, 2022 (Friday) Hambone
Skinny at The Shaskeen Pub, Manchester, NH.
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) Kids
Like Me & You (KLYAM) Spring & Summer Program at Morse-Kelley
Playground a couple blocks from the Armory. line up to be announced.
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) Phantom
Ocean, Orbiter, Minusworld, Thrust Club - 3PM Matinee at the
Midway Cafe FB
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) Neighborhood
Shit, Dead Low, Jerry's Got Jokes, Beyond Agitated, Blast Shield
at The Midway - night show ...with FREE Pizza and sponsored by Narragansett
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) The
Worst, Typhoid Rosie, Marianne Toilet and The Runs, Breaking Up
at The Middle East Up.
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) Bone
Up Brewing Sixth Anniversary Bash! Organ Meats, The
Weisstronauts, DnA’s Evolution, Benthic Realm, Attest, Sky Tigers,
and Crowfeeder. FB
event page is here.
August 27, 2022 (Saturday) Tiger
Bomb, Bad Larrys & Sapling at Marshall Wharf Brewing Co
in Belfast, ME FB
August 28, 2022 (Sunday) Bone
Up Brewing Sixth Anniversary Bash! Sunken City, Blue
Manic, DnA’s Evolution, North Star the Wanderer, and
Sexless Marriage. FB
event page is here.
August 29, 2022 (Monday) Shortest
Life, Bed of Razors, Beyond Agitated, Blast Shield at The Midway
September 2, 2022 (Friday) The
Woggles with Muck and Mires & The
Chelsea Curve at The Porch in Medford
September 3, 2022 (Saturday) Chris
Brokaw, Samantha Hartsel, Target and the Facilities (Rich Mirsky's
new band) and Kenne Highland's Airforce at The Midway.
September 3, 2022 (Saturday) Murphy's
Law with Reason to Fight and RISK
at the Shaksheen Pub, Manchester, NH -FB
September 4, 2022 (Sunday) Somerville
Rock + Roll Yard Sale in Union Square Somerville. FB
page for updates!
September 5, 2022 (Monday) Daniel
& Al’s last show w/ Dutch Tulips, Tatooine Punk Scene,
IWICSB at Charlie's Kitchen....see the FB
September 7, 2022 (Wednesday)Kids
Like Me & You (KLYAM) Spring & Summer Program with
Leopardo from Switzerland at O'Brien's
September 8, 2022 (Thursday)GUTTERMOUTH,
The F.U.'s, Wimpy Rutherford of The Queers, Baabes - FB
September 8, 2022 (Thursday)Zip
Tie Handcuffs, Talk Chalk, Going222Jail at O’Briens
September 8, 2022 (Thursday)
D.R.I at Alchemy in Provi, RI - FB
September 10, 2022 (Saturday)Key
of Caustic at The Flying Embers Tap Room (152 Hampden St, Boston,
September 16, 2022 (Friday)Dave
Herlihy, lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the legendary
Boston band O Positive is at The Burren.
September 16, 2022 (Friday)
The Loud Neighbors, Paper Tigers, Salem Wolves, Holy Hands
at Dusk Provi RI
September 17, 2022 (Saturday)Kids
Like Me & You (KLYAM) Spring & Summer Program at Lincoln
Park Somerville (near Union Square) more info to come.
September 17, 2022 (Saturday)Punks
For Pets with Joy Boys, Sleep Mode, Sourpunch, Musclecah,
Ghost Grrrl, The Debutantes, The Something Somethin’s, The Stigmatics
- at The News Cafe - early show starting at 1PM. Bring something for
the doggos and kittehs check the Donation
List on the FB page.
September 18, 2022 (Sunday)The
Dream Syndicate at the Crystal Ballroom - TIX
September 23, 2022 (Friday)
Soulside, Verbal Assault, Bedmaker, Wrong War at Once at The
Armory - 6PM!! . Tix
September 24, 2022 (Saturday)
The Superfonics have reunion gig at the Midway with Classic
Ruins and Shiny Beasts
September 24, 2022 (Saturday)
Supersuckers, White Dynomite at The Middle East Up.
September 25, 2022 (Sunday)Come
is doing their first home town show in NINE years at the Middle
East Up with Home Despot.
September 25, 2022 (Sunday)Amyl
and the Sniffers at Big Night Live on September 25 TIX
September 29, 2022 (Thursday)Early
Exit, Paper Tigers, Long Autumn, Robotic Hawks - Middle east
October 5, 2022 (Wednesday) Dr.
John Cooper Clarke at City Winery
October 7, 2022 (Friday)Joan
Jett Birthday show with Anrea Gillis & Friends
and Sue Minichiello & friends doing EVERYTHING
Joan Jett. At Sally O'Brien's
October 9, 2022 (Sunday) L7: Bricks Are Heavy 30th Anniversary at
Big Night Live FB
October 11, 2022 (Tuesday) Lion's
Law, Violent Way, Blood Stained Brindle, Battery March at Sonia
October 11, 2022 (Tuesday) Agent
Orange, Midnight Creeps and Gnarnia at Alchemy
in Provi, RI FB
October 15, 2022 (Saturday) Third
Annual Punktoberfest at Thirsty First in Lowell...check the
page for updates, bands etc.
October 20, 2022 (Thursday) June
of 44, The Thalia Zedek Band at The Middle East Down
October 21, 2022 (Friday)Key
of Caustic at The Square Root.
October 23, 2022 (Sunday) Dead
Boys with The Briefs and Suzi Moon
has been moved to Alchemy. FB
October 28, 2022 (Friday)FEAR
performing The Record in its entirety at The Middle
East Down - FB
November 5, 2022 (Saturday) The
Mahones, The Pourmen, The Gobshites at Askew in Provi.
November 12, 2022 (Saturday) SO/CAL
Punk Invasion 2022- Black Flag, The Dickies, TSOL, Total Chaos at
The Granite State Music Hall Laconia, NH -
November 17, 2022 (Thursday) The
Thigh Scrapers, Mad Painter, Doug MacDonald Band, The Stigmatics
at The Middle East Up.
November 20, 2022 (Sunday) Hardcore
Stadium presents - The Trouble at the Middle East Down
(alas this show is sold out)
CONTACT US AT....email@example.comSend us your gig listings, your anything
else ya got!! You want your CD reviewed?? Contact us for that too.
We bring you into the Rat Room at the Hotel Commonwealth.
Jimmy Harlold invited a group of scene veterans. It was a Rat reuion
with lots of stories exchanged. Get to see the room and the people.........
It appeared before us like a chimera and it's
still growing...it's the Pipeline 25th Anniversary celebration.
We interview mastermind Bob Dubrow about his background and
search for what motivates him as well as Pipeline history and
The Boston punk community comes out for a good cause.
Neighborhoods, Upper Crust, Dents, Dogmatics, Roy Sludge Trio, Ed
Moose Savage, Downbeat 5 and Classic Ruins raise some money and
rock the house at......
Thank god for 110 Instamatics or we wouldn't have a lot of our early Boston punk photos. Kathy Flynn used hers to get some pics of the Rat and The Club and she sent them to us to share with you..........
One of the interesting things in the early days of Boston punk was seeing the attention grow around us. One watershed moment was when we heard that a Time Magazine reporter was going to visit the Rat. We didn't like the resulting article. But you can decide. Take a look at the ....
Punk started 25 years ago. Did any of us think we would ever make it this far? Probably not, that was punk; nihilistic, "no future!". Here is a place to remember, and give a moment of thought to, those who didn't make it
The minute she hit the scene she was every male punk's heart throb. She was beautiful. She had a winning personality. She had a ...well...a...glow. That could be my heart talking because I, Blowfish, confess: I too am Judy's love slave. We didn't just love Judy, we worshiped her. So, now all of us members of Judyism have somewhere to meet and offer our prayers of unrequited love.