DOGMATICS 1981-86 CD 1996
01 Sister Serena / 02 You Say / 03 MTV O.D. / 04 King Size Cigarette / 05 Gimme The shakes / 06 Pussy Whipped / 07 Good Looking Girls / 08 Hardcore Rules / 09 Shithouse / 10 Everything Went Bad / 11 Cry Myself To Sleep / 12 Teenage Lament / 13 Saturday Night Again* / 14 Drinking By The Pool / 15 My Little Sister's Got a Motorbike / 16 Thayer St.* / 17 Tell Me / 18 Public Service / 19 Rockabilly Ramble / 20 Sex Bomb.
Produced by Johnny Angel except * produced by Jonathan Paley.
Dogmatics: Jerry Lehane: guitar, vocals / Peter O'Halloran: guitar, vocals / Paul O'Halloran: bass, vocals / Tommy Long: drums + Johnny Goetchius & Brother Cleeve: piano (12 & 13) / Skin Tones Horn Section: Mike Evans: sax / Carlo Tacky: trumpet / Bill Murphy: trombone (01) / Johnny Angel: lead guitar (04 & 06) / Steve LeGrega: sax (05).
The Dogmatics were no different than any other talentless, self deprecating, beer swilling, girl chasing lunk-heads with guitars. They were young, selfless, and affable. Playing was the only thing that mattered. Money, of course, was unexpectedly welcomed but catching a girl’s eye, a free round of drinks, or simply completing a song in unison were their rewards.
The sound and sight of the Dogmatics was consummate, raucous rock and roll – three minute spurts of high energy garage slop-pop played by possessed rubber faced hooligans with manic fervor. Think Eddie Cochran meeting Johnny Thunders at a keg party hootenanny and shamelessly, though effectively, steamrolling through everything from Jimmy Reed to Thin Lizzy. It was intoxicating and uplifting. They took and then passed on to their audience punk rock’s most important message; “Hey I can do that”. It was an attitude they adopted and encouraged. Music didn’t have to be pretentious and idolatrous as it had become in the late 60’s and 70’s. It wasn’t meant to be professional, excessive and pretty, but rather like the Dogs themselves, reckless, volatile and ugly.
After paying their dues on the local club scene, the Dogs started gaining notoriety and a loyal following. People who saw them once tended to come back with their friends. They were quick witted, always teasing, but never malicious. They made as much fun of themselves as they did anyone else. Jerry was the instigator, always looking for an angle. He was the king of the pop hooks and girl songs. Pete snarled rockabilly grit while wailing on his telecaster. Paul brought in a touch of New York Dolls, social satire, and big fat bass lines. Tommy Long was the Dogs steady, fluid engine. With his sideways smirk and ever present smoke, he was the last line of defense in the occasional concordant collapse. Towards the end they were joined by JG “The Big Baby” playing mad, boogie woogie licks on the piano.
The Dogmatics helped create a strong sense of community and camaraderie within the Boston scene. Their Thayer St. loft in Boston’s South End played host to many a wild after hours party. If your band was in town, chances are you’d end up on Thayer St. Everyone from Blood in The Saddle, to The Del Fuegos, to The Replacements put in long hours of debauchery at the loft. It was a unique time. There was an abundance of talent, interest and support for musicians, fans and promoters. Bands such as Last Stand, Gang Green, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Scruffy The Cat, Turbines, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Lyres, The Flies, Cheapskates, Outlets, Neats, Future Dads, Classic Ruins, Mission of Burma, Negative FX, SSD and Stranglehold were but a few that made Boston “the place to be” in the mid-80’s. You didn’t dare stay home because you had no dough. There was always someone waiting with a cold beer and a plan to scam you in the door. The Dogs in particular had an uncanny ability to get twenty people through the door on a 4 person guest list and always conned the club out of enough “band beer” to lube everyone up.
1985-86 saw the band step things up. They scrounged the together enough gig money to put out their first single on their own Cat Records label which then led to two LPs on Homestead Records, “Thayer St.”, & “Everybody Does It”. The gigs got better too. Sharing bills with The Replacements, Los Lobos, The Bangles and Long Ryders, gave them inspiration to jam seven guys in to a van and hit the road, where they of course, made friends everywhere they went.
In October ’86, a few days after returning from tour, Paul was riding on the back of their roadie Eddie’s motorcycle when a tire blew out. Paul was killed instantly Eddie was OK. Most of the Boston rock community came together for the funeral. While some aunts might have been a bit freaked out by shaved heads and pierced noses, Paul’s mother was totally moved by everyone’s coming. Paul was buried with his bass and there was a bonfire jam on the beach near his folk’s house. The rock community (led by Lilli Dennison) also put together a benefit for Paul’s family at The Rat. Twenty plus bands played including Scruffy, Treat Her Right, Classic Ruins, The Turbines, Unnatural Axe, The Titanics, The Reducers, The Neats and The Oysters. A photo show of Paul was upstairs. Paul touched a lot of lives and his spirit still lingers. As T.K. said, “If you didn’t love him, you didn’t know him.”
Without Paul, no one had much heart for keeping the Dogmatics together. Jerry continued on in various bands (The Matweeds, Hotbox, The Hornets). Tommy occasionally joins him. Pete mostly plays acoustic, drunken Irish music – torturing his family with his concertina playing… Kate Roper, Jeebs, and Jerry
Liner Notes from The Dogmatics 1981-86 Compilation