Both Stateside and abroad, there's been a buzz since 2008 about The Godfathers' first round of touring in nearly 20 years. They're heading to Chicago on Saturday for a show at Metro promoting their limited edition album, "Hit By Hit." It's a re-release of the original album plus an additional disc including b-sides and previously unreleased material.
The Godfathers first emerged in 1985, successfully combining alternative garage rock with a U.K. flair. By 1987 they were on their fourth world tour, and by 1989, their last U.S. tour, they hit 76 U.S. cities in four months.
These days they have renewed their rock n' roll vitality and are bringing their timeless music back onstage. The original members reunited in 2008, began touring, and celebrated their CD release with their hugely successful St. Valentine's Massacre show at London's Forum. The economic crisis put a damper on a U.S. tour this year, but chose to bring the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" show to Chicago.
We caught up with The Godfathers' Peter Coyne from his London home, and he spoke about the different genres that have been applied to their music.
"Whether one calls it Brit rock or garage rock, it's really all rock and roll. That's the point of it after all, not labels or categories," Coyne said.
The Godfathers aren't your typical 80s band. If you look at their old band photos, you'll see a group of well-dressed, well-coiffed guys. Hardly what you'd expect after hearing songs like "Love Is Dead".
"See that's it. Never judge a book by its cover. We enjoy looking smart, but out comes classic rock n' roll music with lyrics that can be [rough] or offensive. Turning things upside down a bit. Never falling for stereotypes. Things are not always how they appear. We believe in putting on a great show, presenting ourselves well, and playing great rock n' roll."
So, what makes the St. Valentine's Day Massacre show legendary? At their first St. Valentine's Massacre show, they brought an old Tommy gun. Filled with blanks, Coyne released shots into the air, sending people ducking for cover, running out, or frozen in shock. The show became a tradition (sans machine gun), drawing crowds from around the world for their annual show, which became larger each year.
So did the band choose Chicago as its only U.S. stop because of our connection to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre?
"Well there is a that, but honestly it's because we have always loved the Chicago audience. Without a doubt, no fluff involved or any of that, this city has been great to us. Our first time here was at the Cabaret Metro (the previous name of The Metro) and we are delighted to play there again," Coyne said.
Fayth Koga is a member of the NBC Chicago Street Team.