THE DOGS contacted me and said they're back together - which should be good news to all fans of the old Detroit sound and 77-punk rock -
and did I wanna do a piece on them? Of course I did! They only released two 7"s in the old days and, again, the original copies have become collectors' items only -
I think the 2nd 7'' - Slash Your Face - is going for something like 500 USD now. There are some
reissues available now (see Discography - fuckin' hell, the site's turning into some kinda promo thing for Dionysus/Bacchus Archives) as well as a new ep coming out soon!
Anyway, check them out. THE DOGS range from kick-ass rock'n'roll to good old punk rock. They did gigs with bands like MC5, AC/DC and The Ramones.
They weren't really accepted by the Hollywood Punk crowd 'cause they didn't have that weirdo look and they played
too much rock'n'roll.
You know all those new bands that say they're into MC5 and The Stooges? Well, they should get themselves some DOGS records too! This interview with Loren Molinare (gtr/voc) was made in July 2001.
- You formed the band in Detroit '73, right?
- We really formed The Dogs around 1969 in Lansing Michigan, it was Art Phelps on drums, and myself on guitar. We were just high school kidz. Mark Kay was the last to join up with us on bass. It took awhile for us to get a grip on putting the band together but we were influnced by the MC-5 and the Stooges, Amboy Dukes, Alice Cooper - the cool Detroit bands. It was all about playing with Marshall stacks real real loud. Art quit in 1970 and Ron Wood joined the band - he was a real trouble maker, kinda of a Scott Ashton kinda of thug - great for the band.
- Why did you move from Detroit to LA?
- Well, we really moved to NYC first in June of 1973 and lived in the lower east side of new york. We were playing gigs with the Dictators and Television and Kiss, The Fast, at places like Max's Kansas City, The Coventry and the Club 82 and the Electric Circus. It was a great experience to be in NYC in those days, the New York Dolls had just been signed so it was pretty rocking, but I think we had our hearts on going to Hollywood. It was very hard to survive in NY very expensive we did not work day jobs. LA seemed to be the place to go.
- What was it about John Sinclair that made you write that song - did you feel he had lost what he once stood for?
- Well John was a major influence on us because of his Rainbow and White Panthers Party and all the rock and roll propaganda of anti establisment stuff. But after awhile I felt he turned into the people he was fighting against, but to give him credit he was a major mover in the developing the detroit scene, as far as the feds go in the song 'John Rock' it says- : 'Ask the CIA see what they gotta, gotta say'. He was a polictial pawn after while with the cops.
- Were you ever involved with the White Panther Party (or the Rainbow Party) and that scene? Do you feel they accomplished much?
- Well we read all the papers and bought all the logic, but when it came time to play benefits to raise money for John's court costs. The Rainbow people would never let us play, one time we drove from Lansing Michigan to Ann Arbor to storm the Rainbow Peoples house, because we could not get call backs or anything about us The Dogs wanting to play the benifit concerts for the John Sinclair Defence fund. I think they thought we had cow shit on our shoes because we were from Lansing? Anyway it was good for us because it gave us a more of a punk attitude, the mutant backlash to the Rainbow People. I feel they did get the community together for the time involved in bringio blues and jazz and rock and roll all together with a political savvy.
- You did gigs with Ron Ashton's New Order, didn't you?
- We did do 2 gigs with the real New Order - Ron Ashton's cool band. It was great because Dennis Thompson from the MC-5 was the drummer and we sorta of knew him from gigs in Detroit, he was cool. I remember Ron being a nice guy and supportive of the Dogs - there was one show at the Venice Pavilion on Venice beach with them that was great. I don't remember why they broke up. Jimmy Recca, the bass player, was a great guy too.
- And you opened for AC/DC?
- Yes we did play with AC-DC at their first American shows at the Whisky on sunset strip for 3 nights 2 shows a nite it was in 1977 or 78. I thought they kicked everybody's ass- they rocked really fucking hard. I even drank whisky with Bon Scott, he was a really nice guy - no rock star bullshit there.
- Did you do gigs with any of the new California Punk Rock bands in 1977, or did they all hate you?
- The california punk bands of 1977 - well I think they thought the Dogs were a little too mainstream, maybe like Aerosmith or something. I didn't understand it, I mean we were totally into the MC-5 and the Stooges so it was a little strange. It got to the point where I thought it was too elitist so I wrote the songs ''Slash your Face'' and ''Fed UP'' as a backlash to the LA punk band thing. It seemed weird that they thought we were old wave. But isn't it true that rock and roll is about rebellion so the punkers rebelling against The Dogs is kinda of funny now to think about. But there was alot of bands we were friends with like the Motels and the Pop - Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks and Greg Ginn of Black Flag was always at our shows. Also there was the Controllers - Alleycats - the Skulls - X - Rubber City Rebels, all cool and crazy people.
You were managed by Lou Bramy, what was that like? He was the manager of fuckin' Journey and Y&T, what was he doing with a band like yours?
- Wow' It is funny that you know of Lou Bramy, well we met Lou thru Jimmy Robinson who was a engineer at the Record Plant in LA who was producing The Dogs. Lou was the one who was responsible for the Dogs live at the Mabauhay Gardens recording. But he was great, he really belived in the Dogs.
- Was there only the 2 7"s released or have I missed some records? Have you got your copies of Slash Your Face left
or did you sell them to some collector?
- About the 7'' singles, well we released ''John Rock'' in 1976, one of the first indy singles out of the LA scene, then in 1978 we released the ''Slash your Face'' ep on our label Detroit records. That is when we toured England and Ireland in 78 and 79. I do know that Slash Your Face was on the Killed By Death bootlegs, also the Saturday Nite Pogo on Rhino, a track called Younger Point of View. I only have a couple of copies of the Slash Your Face record, there was only a thousand of them, and I think about 4 to 500 were tossed in the dump.
- About the tour of England/Ireland, how did that turn out?
- The tour of England came about out of the frustration of the LA scene for the Dogs coming to a dead end. By that time I think the Masque scene was going strong, so we felt we needed to go to England and check it out. It was great at first, all the shows were pretty rocking, the management that brought us over there pulled the money and then we hit the skids, I mean we were having to crash at peoples houses, no food and it was the winter. So it got to be rough. We had released the Slash your Face ep to support the tour and was getting some good press in Sounds magazine, I think there was a bad review from a show at the Hope and Ankor in Islington from the Melody Maker Mag, it said the Dogs were a cross between the Black sabbath and the Waltons?? That goofy TV show in the states, anyway we came to Detroit pretty busted and broke. I don't really remember playing with any UK punk bands at the time.
- When did you split up and what did everybody do after that? Wasn't someone in a band called Canary or something like that?
- We split up around 1980 for awhile. After we came back from England we were on the skids, kinda brought in some other people for awhile - chic singer types ala Pretenders kinda of vibe - it didn't work out. Went thru a name change - called Attack - also Ron Wood quit the band. We did a cool 4 song vinyl release on Hotline records called Uptown Thinkin, with a new drummer Tony Mattucci. We started calling the band the doGs once again recording a bunch of songs - one of them is the tune ''Dog In The Cathouse'' that ended up on the ''Fed Up'' cd on Dionysus. In the meantime I started jamming with the band Little Ceasar who ended up getting a major deal on Geffen in 1990. I think around 1988 I stopped the doGs because we were not getting signed. Looking back it was a sad time for me to end the doGs. Mary is the person in Kanary with Tony on drums and Leslie Knaur on guitar. We are playing with them in Phoenix this Sat.
(This question added Oct 2002:) - Is it true that Sid Vicious jammed with band on Jan 13 1978 in LA?
Yes it is true Sid jumped on stage with the Dogs at the Whiskey a go go and tried to take Mary's bass but she did not let him play it.. We had Tony Sales on stage singing with us doing I Wanna Be Your Dog by the Stooges, it was crazy and true.
- With all the gigs and everything - why was so little released?
- There are still some recording's that I am going to release. I just got the tape that was recorded in 1977 at the record plant in SF at the Pit. And there are hours and hours of live stuff, there is even a recording with Wayne Kramer jamming with the doGs on the song John Rock. So I am sure over the next year or so there will be more music coming out.
- Are there any new bands that you really like?
- I really like the Peeps from Az and the Wongs - Motorchrist from LA - I have not heard a whole lot of new punk bands from Europe.
- Why have you reunited the band now?
- Well Lee Joseph at Dionysus wanted us to play with the Contollers at the Dogs record release party last nov of 2000. So we got together for that show with Tony on drums, it was great, it was like we never went away. It was still a powerful rock and roll band. I thought we would only do the one show but it was so much fun and then we started to get offers to do some shows with the Rotters and some other cool bands at the Garage in Hollywood. We have Ken Mundy on drums with us now, he was in the OC punk band Atomic Boy. The audience is a new generation of young people, a lot of them seem to know who the doGs were and still are - it is amazing. I think alot of them are record store types. Yes we are writing new songs - we just recorded a single for Dioysus called ''Class Of 1970" - it rocks.
- Did Dionysus approach you about the Fed Up LP and the Slash Your Face re-issue?
- Lee from Dionysus approaced me for a long time to release a cd and vinyl of a Dogs release. What we came up with is the Fed Up cd - alot of it had to do with a guy that lives in Japan, his name is Detroit Jack, he is a rabid fan of the doGs and punk bands from all over the world, he really got me to think that we should release the old and new doGs music. Myself and Lee from Dionysus are re-releasing the Slash your Face 45 with the original art for every one to buy and check out, also the new 45 called Class Of 1970. Also check out our website for cool and unrelesed photos and swag stuff www.thedogsrock.com.
- Yeah, I read about some guy in Japan releasing a Dogs CD (Captain Trip rec?), did that happen or is Fed Up out instead?
- We were going to release a CD on Captain Trip but we decided to go with Lee at Dionysus Records. I knew Lee from years ago and I really like his trip at the label. He has been great.
- Any chance of you touring Europe?
- If the right tour or gigs came thru for us it would be great. Maybe if we could plan it we could do a tour in 2002. We would need some help from people over there with all the logistics. WE WOULD LOVE PLAY IN EUROPE, I think it's some of the best fans of Punk and rock roll in the world.
THE DOGS DISCOGRAPHY
John Rock / Younger Point Of View 7" (Dynamic 1976)
Released without a pic sleeve. A-side also appeared on V/A bootleg LP Bloodstains Across California, B-side on D.I.Y. – L.A. Punk Scene Compilation plus a different version on the 1978 V/A LP Saturday Night Pogo, both on Rhino records.
Slash Your Face / Fed Up / Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl 7" EP (Detroit 1978)
A-side also appeared on V/A bootleg LP Killed By Death #1. The whole EP is to be officially re-released in Aug 2001 by Dionysus/Bacchus archives.
Tough Enough / John Rock 7" (Brain Transplant 1998)
Recorded in 1978 so B-side version is different from the first single.
Fed Up! LP/CD (Dionysus/Bacchus archives 2000)
Compilation of previously released and unreleased stuff.
Class Of 1970 7'' (Dionysus/Bacchus archives 2001)
Forthcoming single with new songs!
(Note that there were other bands called The Dogs, one from Iowa and one from France,
who've also appeared on some ''rare punk 7''s'' V/A compilations).
Back to The Index Of Interviews