The NYC garage rock legends play Southport Hall tonight.
In 2007, writer Joe Bonomo wrote Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. In it, he tells the story of The Fleshtones that is also the story of so many rock bands who had bad timing, who maxed out, and who never quite became what people thought they could without really doing anything wrong. The band's shows in the '80s at Jimmy's during Mardi Gras testified to what the band could be. They were crazy, all night affairs with The Fleshtones playing on almost any surface that would bear their weight - in the crowd, on the bar, in the street, and occasionally onstage.
Throughout their career, they've been single-mindedly dedicated to making an audience move. At one New Orleans show in the '90s, singer Peter Zaremba crawled off the stage and into the crowd to grab one stationary woman by the ankles and try to move her feet. At a Saturn Bar show, they played on the balcony railing over their audience below.
The 2010 documentary on the band, Pardon Us for Living But the Graveyard's Full, addresses their perserverence in the face of audiences that have dwindled with time. Is it heroic or stubborn? Your call, but they continue to release new music including this year's Wheel of Talent.
"Jimmy's Music Club the Movie" has brought The Fleshtones back to New Orleans to play an early show tonight not at Jimmy's/The Willow but at Southport Hall. The show starts at 6:30 with The Backstabbers and Nick Name and The Valmonts opening. The Gentilly Brass Band will also be on hand to join The Fleshtones.