Akron punk rock pioneer Buzz Clic is coming home. The Hudson native was the lead guitarist for the Rubber City Rebels that shaped the Akron Sound of the 1970’s. Clic, who left for Los Angeles with the Rebels decades ago, is playing one show Friday night at Jilly’s Music Room with his band, Buzz Clic Adventure.
For this week’s Shuffle, Buzz Clic and Brittany Nader of The Devil Strip talk about the past and present.
Nader wrote an article about Buzz Clic for The Devil Strip that talks about punk rock's roots in Akron. "The Rubber City Rebels were an important part of that. And it started at this small Akron venue called The Crypt that gave these bands a place to perform."
“The Crypt was the beginning,” Clic says.
It began with a cover band
At the time, Clic was in a Top 40 cover band called King Cobra. They covered bands like KISS, wearing bright costumes, platform shoes and tossing around their long, brightly-colored hair. “We had been covering these bands note-for-note trying to perfect these songs.”
Meanwhile, Clic says King Cobra started hearing about the punk rock movement that was taking shape in New York City, at iconic club CBGB's. And, they started integrating the sound into their shows.
Rockers become club owners
The Akron Sound took off when Clic and his band mates found themselves running The Crypt.
“The owner said King Cobra was the only band that ever makes any money at this club and he said, ‘You should just take it over.’ We said, ‘Well, OK!’”
Still, running a club was tough for a bunch of musicians with no business experience, and The Crypt closed about six months later.
Rubber City Rebels are born
But, it paved the way for The Rubber City Rebels.
"We had played a song called 'Rubber City Rebels,' one of the first batch of songs that we wrote. We were talking to Stiv Bators from The Dead Boys, he said that song is a theme song; you'll play it every time you play."
So, Clic and his band became The Rubber City Rebels, and in 1977, released From Akron, a split album with The Bizarros that gained them national attention.
"The first place we went was CBGB's and we opened for The Dead Boys there." Then, the band packed up and relocated to Los Angeles, where Clic has lived ever since.
Buzz Clic Adventure
The Rebels released a self-titled album in 1980 and 'Pierce My Brain' in 2002.
"We're one of those bands that come and go. In between, when we weren't doing anything, I was recording songs all this time.
Clic describes the sound of Buzz Clic Adventure as American hard rock. They've released four albums.
Place in punk rock history
"I had no idea we had a place in history," Clic says.
"We're more legendary than we are famous. We've toured Europe. We've been to Japan. We've been all over the United States. We've put out records. We've been on major labels, independent labels; we've put out our own records. We've had T-shirts, buttons, all of it.
"And being in a band, you never think you're getting anywhere and you never think that you've made it. So you don't notice that you have a place in history or that some body cares."
Buzz Clic Adventure, featuring Buzz Clic on lead vocals/guitar, Dan Nastro on drums and Ryan Saul on bass, plays a free show at Jilly's Music Room, Friday at 8:30 p.m.