Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One Track Mind or Why Walter Lure is One of the Coolest Guys in Rock & Roll

Every legend needs a foil, a sideman who is talented enough to stand out but instinctive enough to know when to pull back. Walter Lure was all that and more when he joined and became an integral part of seminal punk band, The Heartbreakers. The original line-up was the equivalent to the Olympics of NYC punk; founder Richard Hell, who had recently skipped out of Television, Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders, both from the groundbreaking and newly imploded New York Dolls. Then there was the dark horse of the group, fresh from a local band called The Demons, Mr. Walter "Waldo" Lure. Richard Hell didn't stay too long, with Johnny and Walter taking over vocal duties and Billy Rath joining in on bass. It was a band of stars, but the one that has my love and undying attention has got to be Walter Lure.

Lanky-looking, with sharp features (the best eyebrows in the rock&roll biz!) and often dressed like a businessman who said screw it and became an artist (quite appropriate since his day job involves working on Wall Street), there is only one Walter Lure. I first noticed Lure in the wee hours of night, right before sunrise, one booze-soaked night when my then boyfriend, now husband Chuck threw on his VHS copy of “Johnny Thunders: Dead or Alive.” While I was already familiar with Thunders and some of the work of The Heartbreakers (thank you Rhino Records), getting to see the band in action was a gift. Trash rock at its finest and while no one in their right or wrong mind could deny the star power of Thunders, it was the figure of his rhythm guitarist that caught my eye.

Anyone who has seen Lure can understand why. He's the figure of a wise-ass dandy who is a born and bred rock and roller. The man's got the musical chops down, knowing enough to be dangerous but also being wise enough to not wank his ability. Even better, the cat's got a wicked sense of humor and is still playing great music nowadays with his band The Waldos. Now an elder statesman of punk, Walter Lure still has more rock and roll authority in one of his neck ties than anyone you're gonna see at your local club.

So you can have your phoney boloney guitar hero wankers and punk rock poseurs, because anyone truly in the know should have a special place of reverie for the man. Walter Lure is more rock and roll than any butt-rock beer commercial band or Elvis-guyliner-sneering-friendly-for-commercial-airplay wharf rat. 

1 comment:

  1. After a long workday, that was really enjoyable. No wonder he caught your attention. So glad you were able to post a video to accompany your memories. The music is GREAT, but he just came off so cool. Thanks for sharing, Heather.