Shot in 2007 on the back steps of Casino El Camino (Sixth Street, Austin, TX.), this picture frames a hazy portrait of me and my pal, Frank Pugliese. Me? I’m a geek. Frank? He’s the iconic punk singer for San Antonio garage-blasters, the immortal Sons of Hercules.
The Sons and I go back to 1991 in our shared hometown of San Antonio when we used to party at their communal downtown home/rehearsal room. In a city that worshiped heavy metal, the Sons stood out like the Kinks with rabies and some serious do-it-yourself bowl cuts. Being a Ramones fan, I was immediately drawn to the Sons and would become immensely indebted to them for deepening my appreciation of the Stooges, Dead Boys, New York Dolls and countless lesser-known, garage-punk bands (including the Skunks who they cover below in the second video).
A towering figure both literally and figuratively, Frank is famous in Texas for not only being one of the true characters in the underground music scene (or anywhere else for that matter!), but also for opening the notorious 1978 San Antonio Sex Pistols gig at Randy’s Rodeo as frontman for the Vamps.
As a lifelong fan and friend for nearly two decades, I was long ago gifted with some rare Vamps 45s and vinyl singles from another of Frank’s previous bands, the Mystery Dates (not to mention a DIY Morlocks cassette of him croaking/shouting/sneering through the Suzanne Vega hit, “Luka”). Extra thanks goes to founding guitarist and lifelong friend, Dale Hollon, for being such a gracious gift-giver.
Earlier this year, I had the highest honor of writing the liner notes for the newest Sons of Hercules album, “A Different Kind of Ugly.” If you haven’t heard or seen the past or present Sons of Hercules, your rock’n’roll library is missing a book. A big book! A history book!
Look ’em up, check ’em out and thank the Sons of Hercules for punching holes in the garage.