Dogs D'amour Errol Flynn 07

I don’t seem to have much luck with the girls these days
I think they find it hard to get accustomed to my ways      (Drunk Like Me)

Woah, woah, woah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, waoh, yeah
Woah, woah, woah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay       (Errol Flynn)

So what you up for tonight, dear friends? fancy some whiskey-sodden romantic regrets, a side order of bonhomie and a lick of loquaciousness all served up on a bed of rollicking hard rock and roll? good, because I do.  Welcome to Dogs D’Amour Errol Flynn*, welcome to 1989, welcome to the LP that I’m about 35% certain was playing when I lost my virginity**, welcome to the best LP Charles Bukowski never made.

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You know the drill by now, the Dogs were a scuzzy, sleazy British rock and roll outfit who sang wonderfully bedraggled songs of love, liquor and longing.  They took their rock from Hanoi, their and from the Faces and their roll from 70’s Stones, plundering them all for their look, along with a certain befuddled tramp’s dignity.  Lead singer Tyla, was a genius lyricist, living the life he wrote and writing the life he lived, hard.  They get lumped in with the Hollywood bands sometimes, but theirs wasn’t the music of slick strippers and fishnet-clad heartbreakers, it was about love and romance and how badly you can fuck both up when you’ve been drinking jet fuel for 9 days straight.  Example? Hell, check the song titles on Errol Flynn ‘Drunk Like Me’, ‘Goddess From The Gutter’, ‘Dogs Hair’, ‘Ballad of Jack’, ‘Princess Valium’ …

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But don’t take my word for it^, dive right in.  Crank up the title track^* and swagger along to the sound of all the young bucks at the beginning of the night, when you’re slamming the tequila (not vice versa), adventures are to be had and everything is loud, clear and possible:

You wanna be like Errol Flynn
Captain Blood was a whore
You wanna be like Gary Cooper
High on a horse
You wanna be like Lon Chaney
Howlin’ at the moon

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It doesn’t last of course, us doomed romantics know that already.  Just hit up, the quite beautiful, ‘Satellite Kid’ to hear the sound of a man wailing it straighter than he can still walk; hey darling, just because this drunk you met an hour ago, with the three-day stubble, soiled black velvet jacket and a sourmash smell slurs the marriage proposal, doesn’t mean he doesn’t mean it.  The playing on this one is spot on by the way, Jo Dog was an excellent guitarist, hitting all the right country notes to great effect.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, you might ask what’s so special about a wino howling his love songs to his ‘Goddess From the Gutter’, or the ‘Girl Behind The Glass’ – surely there’s a million scenes like this playing out late every Friday night?  that’s as maybe partner, but when it’s a cold Wednesday morning and the commuters are stepping over you to get their hustle on downtown, it shows a certain committment to say the least.

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Errol Flynn is an album I really love, from the ever-awesome artwork and lettering by Tyla on in, it creates a little world for you to go and visit, like all the best LPs do.  It isn’t a flawless album by any stretch, some of the production by Mark Dearnley sounds a bit dated, especially on the second side and a couple of the songs miss their mark (I’m looking at you ‘The Prettiest Girl in the World’), but for me this one is all about the overall effect.  It’s all I can do not to drink along with this one, luckily my willpower is adamantine*^ and I have to hold a job down, no matter how much the strutting T-rex-isms of ‘Dogs Hair’ warrant it.

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So raise a glass to the Dogs – Tyla, Bam, Jo and Steve James.  Raise a glass to the D’Amour and raise one final glass to the Satellite Kid.  Cheers Errol Flynn!

Sometimes I feel like I am dying inside
Love is like smoke, it disappears through the night
Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in your charmsv
I’m the satellite kid when I’m in your arms …

844 Down (in one).

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PS: My photography skills having deserted me this evening, I apologise for the shite photos of the LP cover – I haven’t done it justice.

PPS: Treat yourself:

*retitled King of Thieves in the USA and, oh, what do you call that big, often snowy, maple syrupy place above it? don’t tell me, it’ll come back to me.

**hey, I was otherwise engaged at the time and my girlfriend loved Dogs D’Amour.

^although I am totes omniscient and stuff.

^*an acoustic version of which was one of the very best things on their previous LP A Graveyard of Empty Bottles.

*^’adamantine’ doesn’t mean dressing up as a dandy highwayman by the way.

13 thoughts on “Gin Like Flynn

  1. Love that band. I only have ‘King of Thieves’ and the ‘Satellite Kid’ 12″ but even cooler than that I actually worked at a print shop around the mid 90’s, when I lived in LA. It was owned by a British guy, and Jo dog worked there briefly. Guy from The London Quireboys also worked there and we got along famously, really nice ‘guy’. I also met Bam around then. He had a band with his wife Share from Vixen called Bubble. Kind of a Pop/punk thing that didn’t really go anywhere. Those guys were all still trying to keep the hair alive in LA, but by then it was all Hip Hop and dance music DJ’s and ‘pay to play’ and way too many, mediocre young bands with trust funds.

    1. Sorry Jeff, I somehow missed this.

      Wow – that genuinely sounds like the coolest print shop in the whole world! The Quireboys were a big thing for me when I was about 17/18, nice to hear Guy was a nice fella.

      What were Bam and Jo like? I’ve seen both a few times I think and both are really good players too.

      I love Dogs D’amour more now than I did back then, they had the lot really and I really like their hard won wisdom.

      1. I didn’t hang out with either of them enough to say either way. They both seemed pretty cool. Jo was only at that shop briefly and Bam was just around the scene periferally while they were trying to do something with Bubble. I hung out with Guy at least a few times, went and hung out when he did a rock and roll dj set at some yuppy pub on the Strip once. I think The Quireboys have actually done some things in the past decade.

  2. Aware of the name, but aside from that I know nothing about them. I might have had a mate that liked them a wee bit, which is why the artwork seems so familiar… and the artwork is indeed impressive!

    1. I’m more into them now than I ever was at the time. They were a lot cooler than I ever realised back then. I take your point on Talking Heads too.

      1. Ever seen Escape From New York? on Wednesday nights when the young farmers are in for the cattle market (both literally and figuratively), it’s just like that – except without the walls.

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