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Stiv Bators

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Steven John Bator, known as Stiv Bators (October 22, 1949 – June 2, 1990), was an American rock and roll and punk rock vocalist and guitarist from Youngstown, Ohio. He is best remembered for his bands, Dead Boys and The Lords Of The New Church.

In the course of his career Bators was involved with a variety of bands beyond those for which he was best known. These short-term bands included Hormones, with Dennis Comeau and Andre Siva, Frankenstein, The Wanderers and The Whores of Babylon (with Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders). He also recorded as a solo artist with Bomp! Records.

It was as the lead singer and driving force of the Cleveland, Ohio based Dead Boys, however, that Bators helped pioneer the punk rock sound, look and attitude. The band quickly became a popular staple at CBGB’s, the music club in New York City’s East Village. The Dead Boys were featured in the independent punk rock film Punking Out (1978), Live at CBGB’s (1977) and Crash ‘n’ Burn (1977).

Following the demise of the Dead Boys in 1979, Bators began a tumultuous relationship with Bomp! Records and its president, Greg Shaw. According to Shaw: “hat he craved most was to escape the fetters of his Dead Boy image and win respect as a singer of contemporary pop rock. . . . in other words, he wanted to be ‘the thinking punk’s Eric Carmen.’”[1] To this end, and usually with first-wave punk rock veterans in tow, he recorded several singles, many of which were unreleased, and an LP, Disconnected, which was released in 1980. A retrospective album released in 1994, L.A. L.A. documented Bators’ efforts as a pop-punk singer.

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