Wow. I came across this site whilst searching for an old schoolmate and this totally blew me back to the 80's; somewhere between innocence and total corruption. Mike T was my best friend's brother so we all got to do the cool roadie stuff: hauling equipment, getting into gigs for free, drinking free Rolling Rock. Well maybe it was cool at the time.
We did most of the Giraffe shows from the Zoo to the Cove too ... I forget that place behind Painesville Shopping Center. I still bump into Chris and Beth once in awhile running here and there.
We are all in different places living our live. Me, a computer jockey, now married with 4 daughters. Funny, my twin 19 year-olds are about the same age I was when I was a Giraffe. They do the new punk/skah thing downtown and all around and really dig it. They're into Punchline, Against All Authority, KattyWhompus, etc. Some pretty hip stuff.
One story I recall was the incredible van heist from the Agora in CLE. We were doing a show at the Agora and decided to park the van on Payne Ave. Big mistake. Show lets out about 2:30AM and the van is stolen! Bummer for Glen!
Other stories of lewd sex, drunkenness and sordid perverions will have to wait for another time.
Peace to All!
A Wild Giraffe
Tom Fallon uses the phrase "they'd blow the lid off the place" sometimes when we talk about old bands.
I have seen it first hand with three Cleveland bands - The Clocks, Vaguely Familiar and, of course, the Wild Giraffes.
I am not talking about some crazed punk moment where the room would explode with mind shaking sounds like the Pagans or Easter Monkeys could do, but of sounds that inspired every single body in the room to get up and dance.
And to think back to those times, it seems somewhat humorous to me. I started seeing the Pagans and the Giraffes quite regularly around the same time. A time when pop magazines were pushing questions like, "Are you punk or new wave? Do you wear a loose tie or leather? Talking Heads or Damned? Ramones or Costello? Do you Pogo or Rock Lobster?"
Pretty funny to look back on. In our town it did seem that there was a mini-war between the Pagans and Giraffes. Me, I loved going to see both (but I did opt for the black leather).
I saw the Wild Giraffes perform at the Cleveland Zoo, (I shit you not)...they were absolutely fantastic! Dave "Animal" Ivan and the crew bouncing up and down like pogo sticks on speed. Great songs and unbelievable energy....everything was painted yellow....the amps, the keyboards, Alan's drums, even their microphones.....I ran home and spray painted my Fender Twin, immediately . No question, I had to have a yellow amp like the Wild Giraffes!
These short stories revolve around the Giraffes, but they involve other bands they were playing with, this is 76-77.
#1 Edgar takes me to a small newspaper office in Euclid, and I meet some guy named Mike, a reporter or something, and he is playing with another band. Later that night at the Looking Glass, I see the same guy talkin
g to Chris King at the bar and walk to the john, and Chris is laughing his nads off.He tells me that Hudson took a wet bar rag, rolled it up, and stuck it down his pants. The Giraffes opened that night, and were their usual smokin rock&roll selves! Later I hear the intro riff to Secret Agent Man go to check out the Pagans, they're sloppy, but rockin, and there he is, Mr Newspaper with what looked like a Big Chuck special in his jeans, I mean that was some funny shit!
About 2 songs later he dumps a full beer over his head, no big deal , seen that a million times, but....the next thing I know the son of a bitch is BLOW DRYING HIS HAIR...ON STAGE! Total genius, and shitass funny!
The next story I'll tell is once again at the Looking Glass, with Pere Ubu, with our champion Giraffes playing the part of the funny mofo's. This is all for now, as i literaly type with 1 finger.
I was in the Pagans for a year and a half. We played with the Dead Boys, the Rubber City Rebels, Devo, Pere Ubu, The Wild Giraffes and The Nerves. A few of the gigs stand out in my mind. The Pagans headlined at the Willowick Community Center and the Wild Giraffes opened for us.
There were about 350 people there. The Wild Giraffes were an excellent original band with nice harmonies, good melodies and hooks; kind of a 60's retro, new wave band. The teenage crowd danced and enjoyed the group. The Pagans came on to a packed house, and we played our usual numbers and after two songs cleared out the place.
Everyone left after TWO SONGS! The Band was visibly upset. I had a couple of disastrous gigs with one of my prior bands, Milk, so I wasn't nearly as upset.