Faster Pussycat in Detroit

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Monday, November 15, 2010 @ 3:08 PM

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By Steve Urenda, Transplanted Detroit Rocker

OK, let’s be honest here, we’ve all tapped our toes once or twice to the well known Faster Pussycat tune “Bathroom Wall”, and that tune more than any other cemented the style and sound of one of LA’s best known sleaze rock acts of the late 80’s. As a transplanted Detroiter (I grew up on the strip in LA) when I heard they were coming to town, I thought this would be a great chance to re-live some classic pussycat moments. And I would have, had the real Faster Pussycat showed.

Unfortunately two nights ago, what we got was Marilyn Manson I mean Tamie Downe as Marilyn Manson, standing at the mic bloated and Nazi-esque, with a constant lit cigarette a la Dean Martin, and a band of hired guns who sorta knew the tunes, and sorta played in tune, sorta. To their credit – the best guy in the band was their hired Bass Player, who told me earlier in the evening that “those guys don’t even talk to me” when we asked how long Pussycat would be playing that night.

The band opened with the classic intro PUSSY PUSSY PUSSYCAT tape as the curtains opened up to reveal the Gestapo standing crossed armed and pasty white (I mean SERIOUS face spackling) as the band lurched into a very slow, ˝ time “Bathroom Wall”. The new version of bathroom wall was arranged like a funeral dirge, but the holly intro was played (intentionally) so slow that both guitar players (there was not a Greg Steele or a Brent Muscat to be found anywhere) had a hard time keeping the lick in key. Picture taking the record on that opening lick, and dragging your hand across the vinyl so that it plays in slow time and sounds like mud. That was your opener. Tamie sang it in a wicked half assed Marilyn Manson style, between drags on the cigarette while his face melted under the lights. The crowd was not only taken back, but they could not find a rhythm to headbang to, it was that slow.

The rest of the night didn’t get much better. They “sorta” tore thru a few old gems (I admit they did a very good job on their ballad “House of Pain” and Tamie’s classic rasp vocal was spot on) and concentrated on mostly new tunes, which to me, sounded laborious, like nobody really believed in the songs, especially the band.

By the way I forgot to mention that Faster Pussycat’s Limo was a rented, small sized Winnebago van, seriously. That’s not meant as a slam on the band, but it does reflect the hard times were going thru, although I don’t think Motley travels by Conversion van Winnebago. The highlight of the night I have to say, was in the local Detroit opening bands MediSin Wheel and 60 Second Crush, who came to play, sounded completely kick ass, and went after the crowd much more effectively than Pussycat did. MediSin Wheel had the bar screaming from the first song onward, but people actually started leaving in droves midway thru Pussycat’s gig. I don’t think Tamie noticed though, the light from his swastikas was getting in his face spackled eyes.

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