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|Birth name||Steven John Bator|
|Born||October 22, 1949|
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||June 4, 1990 (aged 40)|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, actor|
Steven John Bator (October 22, 1949 – June 4, 1990), better known by his stage name Stiv Bators, was an American punk rock vocalist and guitarist from Girard, Ohio. He is best remembered for his bands Dead Boys and The Lords of the New Church.
Music and film career
In the course of his career Bators was involved with a variety of bands beyond those for which he was best known, including Hormones, with Dennis Comeau and Andre Siva, Frankenstein, The Wanderers and The Whores of Babylon (with Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders). He also recorded as a solo artist with Bomp! Records.
As the lead singer and driving force of the Cleveland, Ohio–based Dead Boys, Bators helped pioneer the punk rock sound, look and attitude. The band quickly became a popular staple at CBGB, a music club in New York City's East Village. The Dead Boys were featured in the punk rock films Punking Out (1978), Live at CBGB's (1977) and Crash 'n' Burn (1977).
Following the demise of Dead Boys in 1979, Bators began a tumultuous relationship with Bomp! Records and its president, Greg Shaw. According to Shaw: "[W]hat he craved most was to escape the fetters of his Dead Boy image and win respect as a singer of contemporary pop rock. . . . in other words, he wanted to be 'the thinking punk's Eric Carmen.'" To this end, and usually with first-wave punk rock veterans in tow, he recorded several singles, many of which were unreleased, and an LP, Disconnected, which was released in 1980. A retrospective album released in 1994, L.A. L.A. documented Bators' efforts as a pop-punk singer.
After England's Sham 69 disbanded, Bators, now located in London, formed The Wanderers with Dave Tregunna, the Sham 69 ex-bass-player. The band came up with a concept album, called Only Lovers Left Alive (released in May 1981), along with two singles.
Bators formed The Lords of the New Church later in 1981 with Brian James of The Damned and Dave Tregunna of Sham 69. The Lords became notorious for their live shows. A devotee of Iggy Pop, Bators had developed a fearless reputation in his Dead Boys days and continued such antics with The Lords, the most famous being the time he reportedly hanged himself during a show. Bator's stunt went awry and he was pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. Nonetheless, Bator survived and The Lords recorded two more successful albums.
Later, the punk vocalist gained additional exposure through more mainstream film. In 1981, Bators had a small role as "Bobo" in the satirical John Waters film, Polyester. Seven years later, Bators made a memorable cameo appearance as "Dick Slammer", lead singer of "The Blender Children", in the offbeat comedy, Tapeheads, starring John Cusack and Tim Robbins.
In mid-1990, Bators died in Paris after being hit by a car. He was taken to a hospital but reportedly left before seeing a doctor, after waiting several hours and assuming he was not injured. Reports indicate that he died in his sleep as the result of a traumatic brain injury. Dave Tregunna said that Bators, a fan of rock legend Jim Morrison, had earlier requested that his ashes be spread over Morrison's Paris grave and that his girlfriend complied.
In the director's commentary of the film Polyester, in which Bators had a small role, director/producer John Waters stated that Bators' girlfriend Caroline confessed to him that she snorted a portion of Stiv's ashes so that she could be closer to him.
In 2013, an American made motion picture titled CBGB was released to theaters. Dead Boys were featured as one of the seminal punk bands that got their start at the CBGB club, and were first managed by Hilly Kristal. Bators is portrayed by actor Justin Bartha, best known for his role in The Hangover films.
With Dead Boys
- Studio albums
- Young, Loud and Snotty – 1977, Sire
- We Have Come for Your Children – 1978, Sire
- Younger, Louder and Snottier – 1997, Bomp! (Alternate mix album)
- 3rd Generation Nation – 1999, Bad Boy Production (Alternate mix album)
With the Wanderers
- Studio albums
- Only Lovers Left Alive – 1981, Polydor
With The Lords of the New Church
- Studio albums
- The Lords of the New Church – 1982, Illegal, I.R.S.
- Is Nothing Sacred? – 1983, I.R.S.
- The Method to Our Madness – 1984, I.R.S.
- Studio albums
- Disconnected – 1980, Bomp!
- Live albums
- Live at the Limelight – 1988, Perfect Beat (Germany, as Stiv Bators and His Evil Boys)
- Compilation albums
- The Lord and the New Creatures – 1983, Lolita (France)
- I Wanna Be a Dead Boy... – 1992, Munster Records / Bomp!
- L.A. L.A. – 1993, Bomp!
- Sonic Reducer – 1994, Editions Atlas (France)
- The Last Race – 1996, Bond Age (France)
- L.A. Confidential – 2004, Bomp!
- Do You Believe In Magyk? – 2015, Easy Action (Reissue of The Last Race and Live at the Limelight)
- "It's Cold Outside" b/w "The Last Year" – 1979, Bomp!
- "Not That Way Anymore" b/w "Circumstantial Evidence" – 1980, Bomp!
- "Too Much To Dream" b/w "Make Up Your Mind" (12") – 1980, Bomp!
- "Story in Your Eyes" b/w "Have Love Will Travel" – 1987, Bomp!
- "King of the Brats" b/w "Young Don't Cry" – 1995, Try To Understand (France, unofficial 7" – the B-side is a 1982 track by The Lords of the New Church)
- "Make Up Your Mind" b/w "Make Up Your Mind" – 2013, Ugly Pop Records (Canada, split 7" with David Quinton – the B-side is Quinton's 1981 solo version of the same song)
- Extended Plays
- Last Stand 1980 EP – 2013, Ugly Pop Records (Canada, 7", as Stiv Bators' Dead Boys – live recordings of "Son of Sam", "Third Generation Nation" and "All This and More")
- Other appearances
- Various Artists: Where The Action Is!, 1980 – "Circumstantial Evidence" and "I'll Be Alright" (Promotional sampler from Bomp!)
- Artists United Against Apartheid: Sun City, 1985 – "Sun City" (Backing vocals)
- Tapeheads, 1988 – "Mr. MX7" (Stiv Bators with the Zeros; featured in the film but not included on the soundtrack album)
- Lyres: A Promise Is a Promise, 1988 – "Here's a Heart" (Guest vocals)
- Michael Monroe: Peace of Mind, 2000 – "I Wanna Be with You" and "It's a Lie" (Backing vocals; 1985 demo sessions)
-  Archived January 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Hiljaiset Levyt: PUNKNET 77 – Stiv Bators". Hiljaiset.sci.fi. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Prato, Greg. "Stiv Bators – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Liner notes, L.A. L.A. CD.
- "Ramones: Interview With Michael Monroe". Kauhajokinyt.fi. February 14, 1997. Archived from the original on August 15, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "The Making of Sun City". africanactivist.msu.edu. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
- "Stiv Bators, 40, Singer With Dead Boys Band". New York Times. June 6, 1990.
- Jeremy Simmonds (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-55652-754-8. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Legs McNeil; Gillian McCain (2006). Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Grove/Atlantic, Inc. p. 426. ISBN 978-0-8021-4264-1. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Steve Birmingham (June 8, 2010). "Interview with John Waters about his new book Role Models". Dog Canyon Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Stiv Bators Releases at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Live at the Limelight at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Stiv Bators Discography at 45cat". 45cat.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Rate Your Music - Stiv Bators". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "King of the Brats". stiv-bators.tripod.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "The Lords of the New Church – Russian Roulette at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- "Stiv Bators & David Quinton – Make Up Your Mind at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- "David Quinton at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- "Where The Action Is at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Tapeheads soundtrack at IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
- "A Promise Is a Promise at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Peace of Mind at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Michael Monroe Recordings". finnmusic.net. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- Wolff, Carlo (2006). Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-886228-99-3
- Chrome, Cheetah & Legs McNeil (2010). Cheetah Chrome: A Dead Boy's Tale From the Front Lines of Punk Rock. Minneapolis, MN: Quayside Publishing Group, Voyageur Press, Publishers. ISBN 076033773X