It's taken 10 years of begging. They always resisted doing a reunion. Finally, they're doing it.
On Dec 23, 2011, Cleveland indie-rock legends Death of Samantha will reunite to perform at the Beachland Ballroom. It will be the band's first show in 21 years -- and the first time in 25 years with the original line-up:
Doug Gillard: guitar, vocals;
David James: bass, vocals;
John Petkovic: vocals, guitar;
Steve-O: drums, stage props.
From 1983 to 1990, Death of Samantha helped usher in the American indie-rock movement. The band released three highly regarded albums and an EP on Homestead Records, a NY-based imprint that pioneered the indie-rock sound. Death of Samantha toured and performed with bands such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Iggy Pop. The Smashing Pumpkins opened for them. Guided by Voices were inspired by them.
But it's the band's debut that has lived on in rock infamy -- when the band played a Ground Round restaurant in Parma Heights, Ohio. According to Wikipedia: "Petkovic was an employee at the chain restaurant at the time. His position was terminated for the impromptu gig that caused families to walk out, bills unpaid and food left uneaten on the tables."
It was the first of many controversial shows -- which included stunts such as the drummer Steve-O coming out of a coffin after the performance of a full-on funeral, pallbearers and all.
Death of Samantha will perform songs from its entire catalog, which began with "Amphetamine." The 45 was released in 1985 on St. Valentine's Records, a label that operated as a collective. After breaking up in 1990, the band resisted requests to reunite or to even have its back catalog reissued.
Members had gone to pursue other projects. Some played in bands such as Cobra Verde, Gem, Guided by Voices, Nada Surf and Sweet Apple. Some played synth-pop. Steve-O spent time in Memphis where performed as an Elvis impersonator.
On Dec. 23, 2011, they'll reunite at Beachland Ballroom.