This month commemorates 25 Year since Stiv Bators, Lead Singer of the Dead Boys and Lords of the New Church, was hit by a bus in Paris, and died of internal injuries.
An infamous bad boy of Rock, and a true icon, Stiv is remembered by Volume & Tone's Co-Founder, George Tabb.
“I’m taking your shoes away,” explains the road manager of The Lords Of The New Church.
“What for?” asked Stiv Bators, the singer of the rock group.
“So you don’t run away and almost miss a show like last night,” explains their manager, who looks to be at least ten years younger then the elfish singer, who was so tiny and skinny he would regularly roll himself up into a little ball inside the bass drum of his old band, The Dead Boys.
“Aw, fuck you,” says Stiv, all five feet one of him and about 98 pounds, “really?”
“You can’t keep fucking up and putting your band’s jobs, never mind mine, in danger. The label would have all our heads!” says the manager, like it’s his one billionth time explaining this to the tiny vocalist, who sometimes resembles an evil seal when he balances a mic stand on his nose along with his bubblegum.
Stiv sighs in agreement and gives the guy his little pointed elf boots.
“The socks, too!” says the manager.
“Fucking really?” yells Stiv.
“Naw, just fucking with you,” says the guy, “lighten up”.
With boots in hand, Stiv’s manager walks away. As he does, Stiv Bators motions for me and my band, Roach Motel, to approach. When the manager is around the corner out of sight, we do.
“Meet me around the back explains Stiv,” as he rolls his black jeans down over his once boot covered black socks.
“Huh?” I ask him.
We are at the Holiday Inn in Gainesville Florida and it’s only about 95 degrees at midnight. Never mind the humidity.
“Meet me around the back,” says Stiv again, a bit agitated.
I tell him I don’t know what he’s talking about.
“Meet me at the back window of my motel room,” the now half-snarling little demon barks at me, “Obviously I’m only on the second floor so I can jump.”
“But the bathroom window is tiny,” says my girlfriend, Natalie, and it only opens a few inches.
We had once stayed there because neither of us could get rid of our college roommates for the evening.
The bathrooms were nice and clean, and even had the “Welcome To The Holiday Inn” paper banner wrapped around the toilet seat which gave the place instant class.
In our teenage brains at least.
We make our way to the back of the motel and sure enough, we see Stiv’s little head poking out of the window of room number 221.
“Catch,” yells Stiv in a sort of whisper as he throws down a small duffel bag full of clothes, and whatever else he may need for the evening.
As I catch it, I feel a couple of big bottles clink together.
It’s a good thing I didn’t drop it.
“Okay,” says Mr. Bators, “here I come”.
With amazement, we watch as Stiv sucks in some of his gut and twists his head more sideways than humanly possible.
Bob, the singer of Roach Motel and I look at one another and at the same time say, “The Exorcist”.
Then Stiv shimmies and winds his way through the tiny opening of the tiny window. He slithers like a baby snake until he is completely out and hanging by his little hands.
“Catch me!” he exclaims, and before we have time to even think, he’s falling toward us and somehow, all five of us caught him before his shoeless feet hit the ground.
“Alright,” exclaims Stiv Bators, “Now, let's go Party!”
Stiv Bators with George Tabb & Bob Fetz, Roach Motel, 1984