...as 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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
2000, Basement Boy Records/King Outlaw (BBR-068, "Dogs Dinner" limited edition)
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!
Excellent Japanese site, great Dogs discography, Galleri Greger with Tyla artwork
A Swedish site that has grown into the largest Dogs/Tyla info repository on the Web!
Beautifully written biography and excellent take on what the Dogs are all about
A very detailed discography and some Tyla art
Dogs D'Amour t-shirt artwork and some cool early live photos
A Japanese Tyla fan site including Dogs D'Amour and Bubble info
Andrew Cantwell's Tyla & Dogs site featuring history, discography, poetry, artwork
Rare MP3s, bootlegs, photos, news by Oscar from Spain
Quite decent band bio and discography...
...which cannot be said of Tyla's solo entry...
From the main page select illustration and then Tyla
Official home page
Courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music
The hangout for Dogs and Tyla fans with several band members signed up
Brian has some live Dogs and Tyla gig photos on his site
"Will" is a sound engineer who has worked with Tyla
Official site of Bam & Share's band Bubble
Biography, albums, audio samples, bulletin board
Home of Tyla's solo album "Double T"
The Ultimate Band List's Dogs resources
The Ultimate Band List's Tyla resources
Italian poetry site with cool Tyla and Bukowski content
The best source at the moment. Often praised and commended on the Dogs Yahoo group.
Lists a small selection of Dogs albums (go to catalog/discs and do an artist search)
Authorized reseller of "A Piece For The Wicked"
Offers several albums including "Gothic" and "Skeletons". Do a search from main page.
Probably one of the best places for rare Dogs material if you're willing to pay the price
Web Search, Online And Miscellaneous
Very cool Dogs-influenced band from Indianapolis. Tyla even designed their logo.
Browse comments that people left about this page
Features about 50 items, many with cover scans
A Dogs D'Amour tribute band from Finland
This site wouldn't be complete without a link to the bullet proof poet: Charles Bukowski
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.
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.