Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dirty Looks Rocked Erie in 1991

Dirty Looks, left to right: Ostergaard, Lidel, Pyers and Harris. Photo ©Debbi Lyon 2014.
Dirty Looks appeared at St. Boniface Community Center on Wattsburg Road in May of 1991. I interviewed lead singer Henrik Ostergaard for an article that was published in Showcase, the weekly entertainment supplement to the Erie Daily Times and Morning News, on May 23, 1991. Here are the highlights of the article:

Dirty Looks is playing in Erie and there's no need to pack up the car and travel to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, or State College to see them. This time, Dirty Looks will load the Marshall stacks into rental trucks and set up shop in Erie, between tour dates in New York and Toronto.

"We're really looking forward to coming, since we haven't been back for four years," said lead singer/guitarist Henrik Ostergaard. "Erie's sort of my hometown."

Dirty Looks has been on tour for the last two months. The band played Cleveland's Agora Theater on April 6, 1991 and about half the audience drove from Erie to see them. 

When Henrik Ostergaard lived in Erie several years ago, he was a member of the local rock band, Crossfire. It released one single 'Love On Demand,' on the Select Sound label. He then formed Dirty Looks, which also included ex-Harpo bassist Jack Pyers and local drummer Steve McConnell. Pyers recently rejoined Dirty Looks after a brief health-related hiatus. The current line-up also includes guitarist Paul Lidel and drummer Jim Harris, a New York City native.

Besides its tour, Dirty Looks has a new album coming soon on Shrapnel Records' Hard Rock series. Bootlegs is a collection of nine original songs, most of which were rejected by Atlantic Records, the band's former label. Some songs, like 'Fang and the Love Pig,' are given two-thumbs down just because a label executive didn't like the title. "'Fang' is a love story about a futuristic pig and a cat called Fang," said Ostergaard. The song has a Faith No More flavor to it.

The album's strongest track, 'Speed Queen,' was written before the Cool From the Wire album was released on Atlantic. It aired on Rocket 101's 'Homegrown Show' and Tommy Edwards said he had been getting lots of calls requesting Dirty Looks. Ostergaard has promoted the album with interviews on WERG-FM and WFSE-FM.

Why did Ostergaard license the master tapes to Shrapnel for the Bootlegs album? "Some people are rich. We have to do it for a living. We needed the money to live on."

The songs, which were recorded at Acme Studios in New York and Dodge City in California, mostly feature the line-up that played on the two Atlantic Records releases (Cool From the Wire and Turn of the Screw); Ostergaard, Pyers, Lidel and drummer Gene Barnett. Barnett went on to perform with Lillian Axe and Paul Lidel joined Dangerous Toys.

Henrik Ostergaard died on January 27, 2011. He was born December 11, 1963.

Find more fun facts and old photos of Erie-based bands and buildings on Old Time Erie.

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