Local Wire

Radio Birdman

Second acts in rock are mostly tiresome, so it would seem Radio Birdman's reunion is a completely unnecessary exercise by a band whose existence was nearly as obscure as it was brief. But nearly 30 years of mythologizing dictated the inevitable comeback. Such is the case of these Aussie proto-punks, who released just one proper LP (1977's Radios Appear) and disbanded in 1978 without ever making it to these shores — until last year, when a successful, 10-city tour made it clear that a full-on comeback was in order, complete with a CD (last year's Zeno Beach) and another quick go-round in the States, including the band's first-ever stop in the Valley. Deniz Tek, one of the genre's lesser guitar deities, remains the star of the show in the reformed Radio Birdman, which features four members from the seminal lineup. Tek is the Ann Arbor expat who took his love for all things Stooges, BÖC, and MC5 and turned them loose Down Under, virtually igniting the Aussie punk scene. Well into his 50s and an ER doc in Montana, Tek continues to kill in the mold of James Williamson and Fred "Sonic" Smith, as if he knows he's the last link to the iconic Detroit scene of his youth.
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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett