Thursday, January 11, 2007
Whatever Happened To ............?
Possibly the first in an occasional series or may be just a one off, just have to wait and see. The idea came about after the Basement 5 post when I discovered what Richard Dudanski is up to these days. Shame on those of you that are mouthing Richard who? It may be true that the drummer, yes the one sitting at the back with what looks like chopsticks in their hands, is often not the best known member of the band. How many drummers can you name? I'm sure a lot less than you can vocalists or guitarists.
Dudanski learnt his trade alongside legendary Clash leader Joe Strummer in the mid seventies. By summer, 1979 he was behind the drums for PIL, and was present for part of the recording of the classic 'Metal Box'. This was the second punk figurehead that he was to play behind. As was to be with the majority of John Lyndon's drummers, he was not to last long and by mid 1980 his talents were being put to good use with basement 5. Since then he has been a member of The Raincoats recording 'Moving' with them and has recorded extensively with an outsider that deserves to be an insider, Tymon Dogg, again that Joe Strummer/101er's connection. For those of you either too young or too geographically removed to remember, the London of the late 70's early 80's was probably a lot more hip place than the swinging town of the 60's partly due to increased mobility, I can remember that it was not unusual to encounter and make friends with people from foreign lands, and so it was that Richard had met and married his wife a Spanish national. One thing led to another and in 1988 he moved to Granada in Spain claiming to prefer the life style, not that different from me really excepting that I'm no drummer! He has lived there ever since and has played with Por Si Las Moscas whose album was mixed by Strummer, with whom he kept up his friendship as Joe also had a soft spot for the Iberic Peninsula and would often spend part of his Summer there. A chance meeting with American exile and veteran of the Madrid music scene Tom Lardner led to the duo forming El Doghouse in 2004. And that just about brings us up to date the band gig as often as they can taking great pleasure in playing live and have released an album entitled 'In Heat' that can be purchased for the modest sum of 10 euros from their web site. Musically speaking it has more in common with his early days, if pushed I would describe them as being a heavy country blues with a heathy funky element present, check out 'Little Bit Of Jesus' or 'Ridiculous' to see what I mean. Of the 12 songs 11 are originals with a cover of the Stooges classic 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', the band said why not, I would say that a man with Dudanski's pedigree deserves to cover this song much more than many others that have done so.
Maybe you were fortunate enough to have been present when the 101er's reformed to play two tributes to Joe Strummer, after his untimely death in 2002, one in his native London and the other in Spain, guests included Mick Jones, Wilko and Jem Finer from the Pogues, well the man that organised these was none other than Richard Dudanski.
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