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If you ever come across a list of the top punk songs ever and find that “Sonic Reducer” is not somewhere in the top twenty, throw that list away. The Dead Boys never achieved the crossover name recognition of the Sex Pistols or Buzzcocks. Was ever the f*ck-my-parents, fight-the-power ethos summed up so poetically as in that final verse:
I’ll be a pharaoh soon
Rule from some golden tomb
Things will be different then
The sun will rise from here
Then I’ll be ten feet tall
And you’ll be nothing at all.
Like many bands of their generation, the Dead Boys played CBGB regularly. So it was only fitting that when Patti Smith played the legendary venue’s final show, she covered the Dead Boys’ enduring hit. The show was broadcast on Sirius radio and an enterprising fan capture the recording. The fact that this three-hour marathon has never been officially released shows a true failure of capitalism.
Download: Patti Smith – Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover)
[audio: SOTD0610/SonicReducer.mp3|titles=Sonic Reducer|artists=Patti Smith]
Check out more Patti Smith at her website.