Martin's Tribute Page To

The Dogs D'Amour & Tyla I stumble to my feet, stagger to the door,
I crawl towards the girl, fall back on the floor...

Dogs D'Amour, Last Bandit

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go to top of page Biography - Redskin Wine Section

How Come It Never Rains? Here I go again, another page for another favorite band I never saw live and only knew from the albums I found, yet they rank among my top three. The British band The Dogs D'Amour disbanded around 1994 after having received considerable underground recognition across the world in the 6-year career that followed their formative years. Since then, their legendary frontman - singer, songwriter, painter and writer Tyla - has to date remained an active solo artist while other members survived on the scene being involved with other bands and their own projects. The Dogs had their moments of fame but remain unknown to the larger public, especially here in the USA inspite a tour in the late '80s with Mother Love Bone. They have a bigger following in Europe, particularly in Finland, Sweden and their home country and left their impressions in Japan as well. Many a band has been inspired by them or came into existence because of them.
I blew a chance to see them live early on when I decided not to attend a Hunter/Ronson gig in Zurich, Switzerland (where I'm originally from) for whom they opened in 1989. I really wasn't aware of them until my best buddy introduced me to the release of "In The Dynamite Jet Saloon" ("Last Bandit" became an all-time favorite song of mine) and got hooked when "A Graveyard Of Empty Bottles" came out. I once subscribed to a lifetime membership with their official UK fan club but aside from the initial sign-up kit have not heard from them again...

Dogs D'Amour Band Photo The Dogs D'Amour came out of the mid-80's with a unique mixture of glam- and punk-influenced stonesy rock'n'roll and a do-or-die attitude. They've been compared to The Faces and The Quireboys but to me have more of an edge and are lyrically more convincing, not to mention the coolest artwork ever to adorn album covers and sleeves. Their album from 1988, (Un)authorized Bootleg on China Records, is a hard-to-find collector's item with only 2000 copies printed. It's an official compilation of songs they played live since 1983 and before they landed their major recording deal, an answer to the bootlegging that took place back then. The breakthrough was made with the 1988 album In The Dynamite Jet Saloon followed by an acoustic ballad EP called A Graveyard Of Empty Bottles the year after (limited edition of 15'000 copies), which was very representative of Tyla's poetic style of sad romance and booze - it still kills me every time I listen to it. If Charles Bukowski is the prose and poetry of the whores and junkies and lonely hearts, this is their song and music. Lyrics that romanticize the low-life, the blue, sad and forgotten. Fascinating and sometimes mysterious songs about Cigarette Mustang Girls, Baby Monoxide, Firework Girl, Mr.Barfly and such timeless lines as "I fell in love when I fell down the stairs into the arms of a girl that really cared" or "Princess Valium on a stallion through the panavision sunset of my heart". Now legendary Dogs D'Amour gigs are surrounded by tales of debauchery and destruction, unadulterated rock'n'roll antics and excesses.

Tyla cartoon art China Records right from start made a practice of releasing an array of limited edition singles, 12"s, picture discs and EPs featuring live and alternate tracks and Tyla's intriguing illustrations, something that was continued through the following album releases: Errol Flynn (renamed to King Of The Thieves in the USA for legal reasons), Straight (produced by Ric Browde) and More Unchartered Heights Of Disgrace. Special Japanese pressings became available. I don't know the band's stand on this type of marketing but I became a sucker for the collectibles as seen in my record collection. In 1997, Nectar Records released a 16-track Dogs D'Amour compilation called Skeletons which musically does not contain any surprises but excels with a booklet of insightful liner notes by Tyla and some nice band photos.

Jo Dog cartoon Back in time, a yet unknown Dogs D'Amour played their debut in London, England on April 12th 1983. The line-up consisted of Birmingham guitarist Tyla playing with Ned Christie, drummer Bam Bam, bassist Karl Watson and another guitarist, Nick Halls. Later that year they got to support the Lords Of The New Church after which Nick Halls was sacked and both Bam and Ned also left a couple of months later. Tyla became the vocalist and he and Carl engaged Dave Kusworth and Paul Hornby on guitar and drums. They headed for Finland where a cult following eventually led to a 1984 record deal with Finnish label Kumibeat that spanned a single and a now rare and sought-after album called The State We're In. In 1985 and back in the UK, they supported Johnny Thunders and Bam returned to replace Paul Hornby. Jo Dog took over for Dave Kusworth and the band signed a contract with the Japanese label Watanabe which, however, didn't result in any releases. Carl left and Mark Duncan came on, replaced again soon by Mark Drax for some gigging in Paris. Drax had a visa problem and in early 1987 Steve James superseded him. Finally, some major labels took notice of the band and long negotiations started during which the band issued self-financed singles which finally received airplay. Subsequently, China Records offered a firm deal.
Thus, the Dogs D'Amour surfaced with a line-up of Tyla (vocals, guitar), Jo Dog (guitars), Steve James (bass), Bam (drums) and ended with Darrell Bath (guitars) replacing Jo Dog on their last official album.

Tyla self-portrait with Gretsch Tyla continued and continues as a solo artist with performances primarily in Europe and steady releases of solo albums. I've also noticed him credited on the "Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth: Jacobites" USA album The Ragged School (1986, Twin Tone Records) and he contributed "Teenage Lament" to the Alice Cooper tribute double album Welcome To Our Nightmare (1993, Triple X Records).
As for the other band members, Dave Kusworth teamed up with Nikki Sudden and also lead and leads his own bands, The Bounty Hunters and The Tenderhooks. Darrell Bath and Mark Duncan can be found on "The Crybabys" album Where Have All The Good Girls Gone (1991, Receiver Records) together with Honest John Plain formerly of The Lurkers and The Boys. Mark also appeared on several Vibrators albums. Darrell (with Honest John and his former Boys bandmate and ex-Hollywood Brats Casino Steel) later played on Ian Hunter's Dirty Laundry (1995, Cleveland International). Bam was part of the original Wildhearts lineup and appears on Ric Browde's book/CD combination While I'm Dead...Feed The Dog (1997, Coment Publishing).

Tyla boot art There is one Dogs D'Amour bootleg album I know of called "Another Girl, Another Planet" (after a song title by The Only Ones) but I'm sure there are many more as well as video bootlegs. Both the band and Tyla have been officially captured on video too: A hodgepodge release by the fan club, a special CD/VC edition of More Unchartered Heights Of Disgrace with a 15-minute tape titled "Visual Delights Of Honour & Obedience" and a Tyla acoustic solo gig in New York titled "More Acoustic Heights Of Disgrace - Live In New York" (distributed by himself). Also, a Dogs D'Amour video clip and two Tyla interviews can be found on volumes #3 and #13 of the "Hard & Heavy" video magazine (the one on #13 is longer and more interesting).
Tyla's solo efforts focus on honest, dark and sad ballads about life and feature more of his artwork and poetry. He also made it a habit to put a personal, insightful message on the inner sleeves of his solo releases.

Bam, Steve, Tyla, Jo Dog I'm kinda bummed never to have seen The Dogs D'Amour in their prime - it seems as if their risen star has crashed and burned in only a few years - but I continue to cherish their albums, style and class. Bam, Jo Dog and Paul Hornby now live in Los Angeles. Dave Kusworth is still Nikki Sudden's other half in The Jacobites. Bam formed a new band called Bubble with wife and former Vixen bassist Share, Jo one called Sonic Boom after doing some sessions with Gilby Clarke and touring with Andy McCoy and Junkyard. Darrell recently worked on a blues project with ex-Quireboy Spike called "Take Out Some Insurance". Steve James is in England where he roadies for "The Levellers" and builds his own line of guitars. Tyla got married and after spending time in Sweden has moved to Barcelona, Spain while still touring, writing, recording and painting.

Well, it's been almost four years since I started this tribute to one of the greatest bands I never really saw in concert, the only memories coming from finding their records and embracing them as if I had found a secret that couldn't be shared outside of my room, but as 2000 draws to a close, The Dogs D'Amour are once again! Alive & kickin' Tyla, Jo Dog, Bam & Share just released Happy Ever After and touring plans are ahead.


go to top of page Discography - Solid Silver Section

'Empty World' vinyl label

For a variety of singles, 12"s, limited editions etc. see the Dogs D'Amour section of my online record collection. Tyla is under his own heading.


go to top of page Sound Clips - Satellite Kid Section

...Hellfire and brimstone and the preacher,
The Kilburn kick, the Texas drawl,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now so you shall be...
So Once Was I
...He loved the most beautiful girl
In the mist of wine,
Last kiss through a cigarette smoke,
And she quietly slipped off the edge of time
Bullet Proof Poet

click to play WAV file
The Last
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So Once
Was I
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Jet Saloon
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Victims Of
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Here (108k)
click to play WAV file
Proof Poet
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Target Of
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Lament Of
Sound samples in Windows WAV format, 11Khz 8-bit mono


go to top of page Interview With Tyla - Bullet Proof Poet Section

The following interview with Tyla was conducted in March 1997 by fax after an arrangement with Revolver Music. Thanks a ton to both of you!

  • Martin: How long have you been drawing and painting? Can your art be seen anywhere other than on album covers?
    She was pretty pretty once... Tyla: I've been involved with art ever since I can remember, I sold my art before I sold my first record, which was back in 1983. I have a Web page on the Internet at Candid Arts. (See 'Illustration' in 'Artist Database')
  • Martin: Did you ever meet Charles Bukowski? Has he inspired you to become an artist/musician/poet or did you first become an artist and then discovered his work?

  • Tyla: I never met Charles Bukowski, though I did live in Los Angeles for three years. He inspired me to carry on long before anyone had heard of him or myself in the U.K.

  • Martin: What tours of the USA have you done, both solo and with the Dogs? How much time have you spent in Los Angeles and New York?
    Tyla: The Dogs did only one major U.S. tour. I have played solo shows in New York and CA.
  • Martin: What's your involvement with Nikki Sudden? I've noticed your work on some of his albums? You two seem to have similar traits.
    Tyla: I have played guitar on one Nikki Sudden LP.... That was enough for me.
  • Martin: Why did the Dogs break up?
    Tyla: The Dogs broke up because that's the way fate dealt the cards that day.
  • Martin: How would you "label" (sorry for the term) your and the Dogs' music? It seems to be a unique style, glam, punk, hard rock, ballads, poetry...
    Tyla: Dogs music is my music played by different souls.
  • Martin: Do you see yourself more as a musician or more as a lyricist? Is the music the vehicle for your lyrics or the other way around?
    Tyla: I see myself as me and what ever takes my fancy that day.
  • Martin: What or who are your musical influences?
    Tyla: Everything blue, forgotten and greatly overlooked is my influence.
  • Martin: In "Princess Valium" you mention "we get letters from Tucson, 200'000 years ago". What inspired that? It sounds cryptic but also fascinating. Do you have any ties to Arizona?
    Tyla: I started writing 'Princess Valium' in Germany and by the time I'd got to that verse I was in Arizona. Though I do remember a girl with a yellow Mustang, who I broke a promise to....
  • Martin: Any chance you'll be touring the Southwestern USA sometime? I'd love to see and meet you!
    Tyla: There's always a chance...........

This interview was reprinted with permission in the Finnish fanzine Get Down To 69, issue 2/97.


go to top of page News - Wretched Gretsch Section

  • March 2001: The new Tyla album "Double T" has been released on Spank Records. This double CD package features outtakes and previously unreleased material from the Libertine and Nocturnal Nomad sessions plus some home-recorded songs, a total of 20 tracks on the first disc. The second disc is a multimedia CD-ROM with video footage, MP3 files and photos, all wrapped up nicely in an interactive menu adorned with Tyla artwork.
  • October 2000: The awaited new Dogs album "Happy Ever After" so far has been released in Japan on Crown Records. Tyla now lives in Barcelona, Spain. The Dogs also finally have an official site at
  • July 2000: Bubble lineup change: Eric Stacy out, Dino Everett (Streetwalkin Cheetahs) in... The tribute album "Bullet Proof Poems - The (Un)Authorised Dogs D'Amour Tribute Album" on Nick Barolo's Desert Inn Records is now totally sold out.
  • August 1999: On an excursion to L.A. accompanying the Beat Angels, your Webmeister and the band met up with Bam & Share where these pix were taken:

    Bam outside the Martini Lounge Beat Angel Brian Smith and Bam in the studio Share, Bam, Brian Smith at Sunset Palms Motel

  • June 1999: The Dogs have reunited! The line-up consists of Tyla, Bam, Jo Dog and Bam's wife Share and an album is in the works for release in late 2000 and will probably be followed by extensive touring.

    The Levellers want you to know that Steve James is now building the most wonderful guitars and has indeed built a beautiful Les Paul-style guitar for the lead singer of the Levellers who said: "This is my boy dream guitar - the guitar I have always dreamed for - and it was hand built by Steve James of the Dogs D'Amour". He was well chuffed.

  • September 1998: Tyla has drawn the cover for the Backyard Babies single
    "(Is it) still alright to smile?"


    Recommended "insider resources" for infos beyond the scope of this section:

    The #1 place for fans to gather:Dogs D'Amour Yahoo! Group
    The most detailed and dedicated site:K-J's Dynamite Jet Saloon
    The freshly established official site:www.DogsD'


go to top of page Related Links - Gypsy Blood Section

'I Don't Want You To Go'

This site wouldn't be complete without a link to the bullet proof poet: Charles Bukowski


go to top of page About This Page - Smokin'N'Warm Stoly Section

The band biography was pieced together with the help of my album collection and bits and pieces that I had stored in memory. I continue to add to it with the help of you dedicated folks out there. I hope that it is not grossly mistaken and realize that it's lacking in detail to some extent. I need to point out that I want to keep this a single Web page - lively, current, informative and cool but not branching into a site format with additional picture, article etc. pages.
The graphics and sound clips on this page were scanned and touched up by me. While this may infringe on copyright laws I have no other intensions than to document, express and pay tribute to this great band. The early band history was rephrased from an article by Linda La Ban.
Thanks go to the people who have contacted me since I put this page up and who have contributed anectodes, articles, other insight and most of all - enthusiasm! It's good to see that kind of support out there! You know who you are...

How Come It Never Rains...

P.S. I am not interested in selling any of my albums but if you have a (legal) item to offer, you may be at the right address. Please don't ask me where to find Dogs/Tyla albums. What I know that is online is already in the links section. Most of the catalogue is out of print. All I can say is: check your used record store, search eBay or record collector mags, ask around on the mailing list, check where you usually get your hard-to-find music at.

...It Only Pours When You Fall In Love
"I said you remind me of Lesley Ann Downe, she said who is she what does she do
I said it doesn't matter now, just keep being you" (Heartbreak)

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Last updated December 19, 2004 by Martin Mathis, e-mail

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