Exclusively interview with Andy Jay former guitarist of Killer Kane Band

(August 18 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE STORY OF KILLER KANE BAND by Andy Jay, through 15 questions

 

 
Hello Andy. First of all I'd like to thank you for the rare photo of Killer Kane Band which you've sent exclusively for waspfire.gr
and for giving me this interview of course.
 
1. So, let's start talking about the birth of Killer Kane Band
 
Basically, I received a phone call from Arthur when I first arrived in California mid 1975.  I was hanging out at the pool at my Mom's house in the valley. You see my old band  "Motor City Bad Boys" Just broke up.  I took a plane from Detroit City to Sunny California. Never left either. Still live here. We hung out with New York Dolls, and other bands like Dead Boys back then. Anyway, Arthur told me he was assembling  a new band  and mentioned this guy Blackie who had songs written and I should meet up in Hollywood. Arthur liked my guitar playing.  He said I reminded him of Johnny Thunders. I had a 1955 Les Paul Junior and got those same nasty raw killer tones & more!  We jammed with this drummer named Jimi Image and the rest is history.
 
2. What were the probabilities of making success playing in a rock band in the late 70's and early 80's? Was it harder or easier than today?
 
Interesting question.  Probably harder than today as any idiot band can make it today if they have a cool look.  Well, maybe not? Back then we did okay as we had a following because of Arthur being a former New York Doll & Blackie known for his on stage presence. Even I was known being former original lead guitarist from Motor City Bad Boys back in Detroit, Michigan.
 
3. How many gigs had Killer Kane Band played till it broke up and what places had you visited (if you still remember)?
 
I remember several gigs in and around town. The top gig though was at the old "Starwood Club" in Hollywood 1976. EVERY BAND OF WHO'S WHO back then played there. For example: Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Devo, Damned, etc.. From what I do remember we were Top Bill and shared the stage with The Hollywood Stars & Ron Ashton's New Order.  After gig our dressing room was packed. I vividly remember guitarist from Y&T telling me he dug the show & of course my guitar playing.  It was crazy. Our roadies found all sorts of nutty stuff on stage after show. Some girls bra, girls phone numbers on napkins , broken beer bottles, I think I still have original sign welcoming us that was scotch taped on dressing room door somehere in storage?  We also played at Myron's Ballroom  in Hollywood with the Berlin Brats and some other bands. We played a small really weird gig at The Old Sundown Saloon in Venice Beach, California September 17th, 1975.  We were loud as shit got drunk and almost got thrown out!  Places visited?  New York City.
 
4. Did Killer Kane Band have any special show at their concerts, or the band was just playing the songs?
 
Well, Blackie came out of a replica built jail at Starwood show.  I remember he spit out fake blood and  was spitting all over the place. He was a bit theatrical.  Rest of Band just played along.
 
5. Were the people interested in coming to your shows?
 
HELL YES!!
 
6. Please let me know about Killer Kane's 7'' EP which was released in 1975 by Whiplash records. Is it true that Arthur released it without permission of the rest of the band?
 
From what I recall is that Arthur did send off to someone overseas. Maybe that's how it made it on to v/a comp " Sons of The Dolls " on New Rose Records then later on Teichiku cd in Japan. Both formats way out of print now. Rest of band INCLUDING ME was pissed off as we got NO MONEY for recording. I wish I could of got at least some kind of payment. Shit, still am wondering to this day... The recording was done late at night basically live in one take .
 
7. Who wrote the songs in Killer Kane Band?
 
Blackie mainly.  A few by Arthur.  As you may well know  Arthur has since passed on.
 
8.  Were there any other tracks except the ones which were included in the EP?
 
 No.  Sadly the only recordings were those 3 tracks on Whiplash records.
 
9. What was the track list at your shows apart from the songs of the EP?
 
Blackie of course had and probably still has the set list. I do remember some of the tunes.
 
Stranded in the Jungle (New York Dolls)
Poor Little Fool (Ricky Nelson Tune)
One Night (Elvis Presley Tune)
 
10. Did all the members of the band get along well or were there any conflicts?
 
Well, what band doesn't have conflicts?  Yes of course we yelled  and screamed at each other. Blackie had to have things done his way . My guitar licks had to be done my way,  In between, Arthur was drinking allot. I actually played bass on a few tunes at live shows.  Sadly, Arthur was an alcoholic but overcame his problem. Blackie & I got drunk on several occasions.  One time he got thrown out of the Rainbow on Sunset Blvd Hollywood, I walked out.
 
11. Why Killer Kane Band broke up?
 
Lack of interest, Not enough money being made.  It was at that time in late 1976/ early 1977 Band broke up.
 
12. Did you regret for participating in Killer Kane Band?
 
No Way.  Had lots of fun.  Lots of girls .  It was cool as cool could be.  Back then, didn't need much money and didn't care. In today's economy I would be dead on the streets
 
13. What did you do after Killer Kane broke up?
 
Been in the music business since . Worked at Warner / Elektra / Atlantic Records Dist. in 1980's  and in and out of various import distribution companies. 
 
14. Are you still involved in music industry?
 
Yes. More recently played and recorded on soundtrack for a film called Zombie Farm. Coming out on DVD sometime this year. I played a bunch of acoustic slide guitar and Twangy Surf type background music for film.
 
15. Do you have any contact with Blackie nowadays?
 
No. But if he wants to contact me fine. I'll take him out for a Brew for old times sake.
 
Andy, I'd like to thank you for one more time for your interview and the rare photo of Killer Kane you have sent me.
I really wish you all the best
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