Cheetah Chrome was born Eugene O'Connor on February 18, 1955, in Cleveland, Ohio. He became the guitarist of the Dead Boys, which relocated to New York in 1976 and was among the first wave of punk bands at CBGB & OMFUG. The Dead Boys split in 1979, and Chrome played in several bands, occasionally reuniting with the Dead Boys and also with his earlier band, Rocket from the Tomb. In the 1990s, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he now lives with his wife and son. Chrome authored an autobiography, Cheetah Chrome: a Dead Boy's Tale from the Front Lines of Punk Rock, published in September 2010, and became the Creative Director of A&R/Director of Special Projects for the Nashville-based Plowboy Records in February 2012. The company released his first-ever solo EP, Solo, on October 8. The forthcoming movie CBGB’s features Cheetah being played by Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter films) and a cameo by Chrome himself.
The second annual CBGB’s Festival welcomed many veteran musicians to the New York stage, and Chrome was among them. At the Left Field Bar tonight, Chrome performed with backing from guitarist Pete Marshall (Iggy Pop, Samhain), bassist Enzo Penziotto (Joan Jett) and drummer Frank Ferrer (Guns N' Roses, Psychedelic Furs). In an eclectic set, Chrome mixed his old punk songs with his new country-tinged tunes. His singing was hoarse and barely audible, and his musicians worked around repeated problems with their amplifiers shutting off, yet for the small yet faithful audience, Chrome made up for these limitations with punk-like passion. The end of the set was Chrome at his most memorable, featuring a short blast of fast and furious songs like the Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer.” Tomorrow night Chrome will perform a CBGB Fest show at the Bowery Electric with other punk legends Lydia Lunch, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Richard Lloyd (Television), Andy Shernoff (Dictators), Tuff Darts and others from the original CBGB’s era.
Visit Cheetah Chrome at www.cheetahchrome.com.