GINA HARLOW & THE CUTTHROATS “XXX LIVE ON STAGE XXX” LP (NYC- CUTTHROAT, 1979)
This one is posted by request for Silvia who posted some comments on the site and, it turns out, used to be good friends with Gina Harlow in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I had this LP in my posting queue but good thing she requested it because God knows when I would have finally gotten around to putting it up here. ‘Cuz, to be honest, there was some better sounding stuff that I felt more motivated to share before this ‘un. You see, despite the album title that hints at X-rated content, the semi-nude picture of Gina Harlow on the front AND the menacing sounding band name, I would NOT call this a KBD type of record. Which is not a bad thing in itself of course- who listens to KBD stuff all the time, anyway? This LP is obscure and rather rare ($350 recently on eBay, anyone?)- two traits common to KBD stuff- but is not an over the top, wild, raw record that I associate with the term “KBD” (for that I reference The Mad’s I Hate Music, The Maids’ Back To Bataan, Mentally Ill’s Gacy’s Place, etc, etc).
Musically, I would say that this Gina Harlow is rather tame, fun, bouncy kind of stuff with a garage-y feel to it especially in the guitar. The rawest part of the entire record for me comes halfway through the FIRST song, near the 2:10 mark, where this brief snarling guitar noise pops up for a little while… and then disappears and the band goes back to the smoother garage-y vibe. The raw guitar pops up briefly again on the speedy second track, seemingly out of nowhere, and then disappears again for the rest of the record unfortunately. I think my favorite track is the catchy “I’m Hot and Wild”- I find myself humming or whistling the chorus, and it grew on me after a few listens. Lyrically, some of the songs are kinda graphic- on “I’m Hot and Wild” Gina pauses and asks if there are any guys with oversized phalluses in the audience (gasp!). Tracks 3 and 4 have more sex talk in ’em too. But they are sung in a rather straight-forward, matter-of-fact way instead of being screamed or sung in a bugged out manner which, for me, would have been more in-your-face and over the top. And there is a kind of cheesy vibe on the chorus to songs like “Mama Is A Bag Lady”, but in a likeable kind of cheesy way and not a cover-your-ears-and-run-away manner.
There is a sticker on the front that says this was recorded live at the famous venue Max’s Kansas City. Er- while I don’t deny that it was recorded live, I am hearing some overdubbed crowd cheering added to the beginning and end of most of the songs that tries to make it sound like the place was fucking packed and that people were going absolutely bonkers for Gina and the boys that night. But the crowd noises suspiciously fade out and disappear. Perhaps they were really playing Max’s that night to a handful of quiet folks who stood around and passively watched them play (?). Maybe it was a Tuesday night (?). If someone who was there can prove that the loud crowd noises are authentic to the recording of this LP, post some comments and prove it to me. Or if you have any more info about the band and/or details about their rare record to share, let me know that too.
Gina was the bass player and sings on some of the tracks. MB (is this Michael Bateman from N’Leans?), the reviewer of the LP on CollectorScum, mentions a rumor that Gina was a porn star but Gina responded back and dispelled that myth by saying that she did “appear as a dancer- being interviewed for a porn flick, in the movie Skin Flicks“. A quick search on the interweb pulls up a review of the 1975 flick and a promotional poster here. Hell, there is even an entry for it on the Internet Movie Database which lists the release date as 1978 and credits Gina Harlow as a Dancer not a “performer”. Whatever, these details are not important…
Gina’s MySpace page mentions that now goes by Gina Davis, is almost 50, lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and has (had?) a business called FancyWraps that made shawls and capes for the women folk. There is one vintage photo of her from 1980 on there playing live at Max’s which looks to be one of those glossy promotional photos. The MySpace page also states that the Cutthroats were around in “the late 70’s and early 80’s” but no specific dates are given. Did they break up in 1982? 1985? How many copies of this LP were pressed? Must notta been many- or many surviving copies- because a $350 price tag is pretty steep and way out of my league.
I also found a 2003 article from something called Fly Magazine in which Gina is briefly interviewed– it states that she took time off from playing music to raise some kids in the 80’s but then got more into the “management” (!) side of music (a term which makes me cringe sometimes). This next article from 2006 has nothing to do with Gina Harlow but scroll down to the 7th comment at the bottom from someone named Marinade Dave, and he recounts some memories of seeing The Cutthroats play live in the late 70’s. I also found a Webshots photo album of some photographer named ffranzos2006v1 who included a few photos of The Cutthroats along with lots of vintage shots from the late 70’s NYC scene of more overground bands like The Dictators, Heartbrakers, etc.
Thanks for John for the rips of this LP- you have hooked me up recently with some of my want list items for which I am very grateful.
I’m Hot and Wild
Teri, Teri, Teri
Ripped T Shirt
Mama Is A Bag Lady
Running out of Love
Begging For a Job