Thursday, October 16, 2008

Frankie Venom

I spent many beer-fueled nights watching Teenage Head turn bars upside down during the late 70's and early 80's. On a good night, they were as good as a rock and roll band can get. I was a huge fan. Sadly, I've just learned that singer, Frankie Venom died today after a battle with throat cancer. He lived fast and hard for many years from what I've read.

One cold winter night in the mid 80's, I finished a 3 to 11 shift at the mill (Ontario Paper Co.) and walked down to Smuggler's Tavern in lovely downtown Thorold to catch the last set by Long John Baldry (they actually had some decent acts come through from time to time). I'm standing near the bar, halfway through my first beer, when I turn and realize Frankie Venom is next to me. He's by himself, beer in hand. I have no idea why he's there, alone at a dive in Thorold, Ontario watching Baldry. I say hello and tell him how much of a Teenage Head fan I am. He shakes my hand and promptly asks me "Got any drugs?" I didn't, and he moved onward, looking elsewhere for medication.

Bye, Frank. Thanks for some kinda fun. I enjoyed it.