By MARIANO MIRAMONTES
Steve had a band in 1992 called Fantasy 7.
I don't know for definite if the band ever played their city of origin. Los Angeles, or if they ever played anywhere else, but they definitely played two shows at the Halley Discotheque in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 & 8th August 1992 .
Steve actually came to Argentina's capital city to produce and play on the debut album of a local punk rock band called Pilsen. With him he brought his Fantasy 7 partners; Mark McCoy: Vocals, Todd Hoffman: Bass, & Pete Kelly: Drums... When they got off the plane and appeared in the airport corridor I thought they looked like an Oi! band, they were all dressed in jeans and a flight jackets, and their hair was cut very short! Everybody was very surprised because in the last photographs we had seen of Steve he had very long hair.
The Fantasy 7 gigs were held the same weekend that Skid Row were playing at the Obras Sanitarias venue. Singer Sebastian Bach and his band mates were surprised and amazed about Steve's visit to Buenos Aires, they even invited him to join them on stage to perform 'Holidays in the Sun', which along with The Ramones 'Psychotherapy' the band would play live on stage. It never took place, although Bach & Co did go and see Fantasy 7 as soon as they finished their own set. There are rumours about Steve asking Skid Row for US $5000 for showing up on stage, and apparently Skid Row and their management refused. Personally I think $5000 is a fair enough price; not many bands get to have a Sex Pistol in their line up....
A five track demo tape (although Steve claimed the band had actually recorded ten tracks. Philjens Note: 11 tracks were recorded) of Fantasy 7 had a lot of airplay on local radio, especially on 'Rock & Pop Radio' - they were even invited into their studio for an interview on a late night show (from 12 to 3 in the morning), where they showed what a superb band full of energy they were.
It was a shame to see Fantasy 7 play such a small venue, it only held 1500. The support band was Loca... Despite all the promotion they got on the radio, only about 500 people showed up at the Halley, mainly because tickets were very expensive at US $26 each. Every punk in the city knew that a month later PIL, Die Toten Hosen and the Ramones would play for US $15. The idea of witnessing the New Yorkers for the second time, and John Lydon and the Germans for the first time, caught the publics attention more than seeing an ex-Punk turned Hard Rocker. The last people knew of Steve was the heavy metal 'Fire & Gasoline' album three years before...
Steve gave some interviews with the local media and he appeared in most of them wearing a Boca Juniors football shirt (Boca Juniors are Argentina's most popular club, it's also where Diego Maradona started in 1981). Fantasy 7 also made an appearance on a Sunday TV show called 'Ritmo de la Noche', hosted by millionaire journalist Marcello Tinelli, who owns Spanish second division football dub Badajoz. Unfortunately the band only mimed two songs, their own 'Hair Brain' and Steve's 'Freedom Fighter'. It was funny seeing Mark singing along to Steve's voice! They appeared with naked torsos and blue jeans, except for the singer who wore black leather trousers. While they played Steve would turn round and show his ass to the camera! The drummer kicked in the drums Keith Moon style. Afterwards the presenter Tinelli kicked them too, however, he slipped and fell to the floor! Very Nice, Ha Ha!!
Their two gigs showed F7 weren't "just another punk rock band", they sounded raw and wild, their music reminded me of (of course) the Sex Pistols. As well as Steve's powerful chords, which came out of his legendary white Les Paul with the girlie stickers, singer Mark McCoy also had a great image on stage. With his sarcastic comments and provocative gimmicks he reminded me of Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten. The rhythm section of Hoffman and Kelly was very good indeed. They also had a great image on stage, and both of them, along with McCoy, took the crowds spitting with humour. The group performed for just over an hour, and apart from playing 11 of their own songs they also played the Pistols 'GSTQ', 'Bodies' & 'Anarchy in the UK' in their set. That was when the crowd really went crazy and started to pogo all around the place! However, on the other hand, somebody threw a T-shirt with John Lydon's picture on it, and Steve wiped his ass with it!
Set List: Run / Hair Brain / TV Babies / Problems / Angelic Gorilla / Planet / Stranger in my Bed / Twisted / God Save The Queen / On And On / Bodies / Anarchy in the UK / America / Nobody's Dog / Spill my Blood
In 1994 Steve returned to Buenos Aires to produce Pilsen's second album, and also joined them on stage playing guitar on both Pilsen and Sex Pistols songs. He also sat behind the drums for one number. I had the chance to chat with him twice on his second visit. First he came on my radio show, however, it wasn't a very good interview because the two Pilsen guitarists came along with him, and spent most of the time saying stupid things, and making jokes while Steve was answering questions. Two days later I went to the studio where Steve was producing, and we talked more quietly. I noticed Steve seemed sick of producing and playing that day so I only spent a few minutes with him. The interview appeared in an issue of the old Punk Rock Magazine I used to do.
Thank you Steve for your support. I hope we meet again, pity I couldn't trace you when you came back to Buenos Aires with the Sex Pistols in 1996...
This article originally appeared in 'The Filth And The Fury!' fanzine. Reproduced with permission.
For more Kick Down The Doors information on Fantasy 7 click here.
All material ©1998/2002/2003 'Philjens'/www.cookandjones.co.uk