Friday, April 5, 2013

The F & L Hall of Fame: Tina Lucchesi

Tina Lucchesi is the first individual performer to be featured in my hall of fame series. All four previous inductees have been bands. Clearly Tina was destined for this honor. She may be the coolest rock n' roller of my generation. As a drummer, singer, songwriter, and record label owner, she's had a vital role in a great many of my favorite records of the past two decades. She covered Holly and the Italians not once but twice - and lived to tell the tale. If I could erect a Mount Rushmore of modern day garage/powerpop/rock n' roll, she'd be up there with Travis Ramin and Louie Bankston.

Rather than attempt to list every band she's ever been in (an impossible task!) or expound on her abundant talents (been there, done that), I will instead list my top ten Tina band releases. These titles span all my years in the zine/blog game, from the mid-'90s through the 2000s to present day. I raved about most of these when they came out and love them just as much now. It should also be noted that on her label Lipstick Records, Tina released classic singles by such artists as The Fevers, Riff Randells, Candygirl, and Bitchschool. I often talk about what a golden period the late '90s and early 2000s were for punk rock, and truly it would not have been the same without Tina Lucchesi. And she's still going strong today!

Here we go!

10. Cyclops - "Eye Can't Take It" 7" (2012)
Tina + Jonnycat = Cyclops, a triumphant return to Tina's trashy garage roots. King Louie guests on guitar!

9. Top Ten- "Easily Unkind" 7" (2006)
Top Ten was probably Tina's most overlooked band. But as a huge fan of rockin' '70s punk, I was on board from the jump. This was their second single, with an excellent lead track penned by bad-ass guitarist Erin McDermott. Teenage Head and DMZ covers on the flip tell you exactly where this band was coming from.

8. Bobbyteens- Fast Livin' & Rock N Roll LP (1998)
Classic full-length debut from one of my favorite bands of the glorious '90s/2000s. Gonna get down!

7. Deadly Weapons- "You're So Selfish" 7" (2003)
Everyone thinks of Tina as the power pop/garage queen, but with Deadly Weapons she indulged her love for fast and furious angry punk. This was the band's second offering of nasty bad attitude punk fucking rock. And a cover of G.G.'s "Don't Talk To Me" iced the cake!

6. Top Ten - "Never Get Enough" 7" (2005)
Top Ten's first and best single. Check out the clip below!

5. Midnite Snaxxx- "Like Lightning" 7" (2010)
Killer debut 45 from Tina's current band, co-starring the illustrious Dulcinea Gonzalez. Still hoping the band's LP from last year will eventually get a digital release!

4. Bobbyteens - Not So Sweet LP (2000)
This album added a big dose of power pop to the Bobbyteens' budget rock meets '60s girl group sound. I'll have to check the books, but I think this was my album of the year for 2000.

3. The Trashwomen- Spend the Night With The Trashwomen LP (1993)
We all know how legendary the '90s Bay area lo-fi garage scene was, and this was one of its most classic LPs. Tina's on drums!

2. Tina and the Total Babes - She's So Tuff LP (2001)
When I first heard that Tina was collaborating with the great Travis Ramin, I'm pretty sure I busted a nut. Conservatively, I'd put this in my top five list of all-time best power pop LPs.

1. Bobbyteens- "Firecracker" 7" (1996)
Being a perpetual list maker, I have for many years kept a running list of the ten greatest rock n' roll songs ever made. One song that's always in the top ten: "Firecracker". Right now it's at #5. Not too shabby!

Yeah, I know: that's the mere tip of the iceberg! There are five more Bobbyteens singles plus the Cruisin' for a Bruisin' LP, a couple more Midnite Snaxxx singles, another Deadly Weapons 7" and full-length, a third Top Ten EP, and an additional Cyclops single that I easily could have mentioned. If a Time Life Tina Lucchesi box set ever gets released, the infomercial will have to be two hours long. But enough talk. How about some rock?! Click play and enjoy. It's Tina time!


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