Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1949, Stiv Bators (real name, Steven Bator) formed his first bands Mother Goose and Frankenstein, who transmuted into The Dead Boys – a ferocious punk band full of bleak but energetic nihilism and violence.
They moved to New York in 1976 and though they officially disbanded in 1978, there would be frequent reunions.
Bators moved to Los Angeles where he recorded demos with friend Jeff Jones (ex-Blue Ash) and gigged with Akron band Rubber City Rebels.
The first release from his demos with Jones was a version of The Raspberries‘ It’s Cold Outside which was released on Greg Shaw’s Bomp! label. A debut album followed in 1980 with the duo augmented by guitarist Eddy Best and drummer David Quinton.
After appearing in John Walters’ cult movie Polyester, Bators formed a touring band with Rick Bremner replacing Quinton. After the release of Disconnected (1981), Bators formed The Wanderers which had a short life before he formed Lords Of The New Church.
In 1987, Bators re-formed The Dead Boys for a single and in 1988 sang on a Lyres single.
He resurfaced in London in 1989 for a gig billed ‘The Return of The Living Boys’ but it was not until moving to Paris that he entered the recording studio again.
A new line-up included Dee Dee Ramone (who had to be replaced by Neil X from Sigue Sigue Sputnik before the sessions began), Kris Dollimore (ex-The Godfathers) and guest appearances from Johnny Thunders.
Tragically – with only six songs completed – Stiv Bators died on 4 June 1990 from internal injuries sustained after being struck by a car in Paris. The 40-year-old had been waiting outside a store for his girlfriend when the vehicle hit him.
Unaware that he was seriously hurt, he refused to seek medical attention. He died in his sleep later that evening.