I was fortunate enough to play bass for the Dead Boys for the Punk Magazine Benefit at CBGB 5/4/77. They'd already moved to NYC, but didn't have a bass player yet. I'd seen 'em the week before at CBGB with The Dictators, and thought they were the most exciting band I'd ever seen. Since they didn't have a bassist, I offered my services. They invited me to audition the next week at CBGB, and I hitch-hiked from my hometown, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to do so. Naively, I just showed up at CBGB and, luckily, they were there. They brought me backstage to a filthy little room where they had a small amplifier. Cheetah and I both plugged in and the rest of the band took turns suggesting songs and we would tackle them. After about an hour of playing everything from "Eighteen" to "Jumpin' Jack Flash," they offered me a gig, playing there that night! They taught me 3 of their songs and the plan was to bring me up at the end of their set. We all went to Joey Ramone's apartment to get ready for the show, and it was there that the band grilled me as to my drug habits (they were all boozers and, with the exception of Cheetah, who they begrudgingly allowed to smoke pot, were adamant that there be no drug use in the band). I was already excited at the prospect of playing with The Dead Boys, and at the legendary CBGB no less, but had no idea just what an historical night it would be! When we got there I was told that it was a benefit for Punk Magazine, and the bill included Patti Smith, Blondie, Richard Hell & The Void Oids,Suicide, the Paley Brothers and David Johansen as MC!!!!
Toward the end of their set, Stiv announced me: "You might've seen him in some movies on 42nd street..." and we ran through "Little Girl," and "Down In Flames." Then they brought up The Dictator's Ross the Boss for our grande finale, "Search & Destroy."
After the show, the band told me that I was officially the new Dead Boy! Debbie Harry made a point of coming over to congratulate me. Obviously I was thrilled. I went back to my efficiency apartment in Harrisburg, packed all my shit up and waited for them to contact me. After two long weeks, Jimmy Zero called to tell me they decided to take their old Cleveland pal, Jeff Magnum. Undaunted, I formed my own band, Tina Peel, and moved them to NYC a year later. I stayed friends with Cheetah and Stiv,who even brought his parents to see my band, the Fuzztones, when we played the Ritz in the mid-80's. Stiv was a fan of the band and arranged for us to tour with The Lords of The New Church in 1983. When we opened for The Damned at London's Hammersmith Palais in '85, Stiv brought an array of stars backstage to meet us, including Mike Munroe, Lemmy, and members of Killing Joke and Girlschool.
Rudi Protrudi Los Angeles 2004