Gino Luti of the U.S. Times (the Baton Rouge one) emailed me this:

I saw the Shitdogs in the Bayou in 1978 and was blown away! Not because they were great, not because they put on a hell of a show; But the whole scene was so fuckin’ cool at the time I couldn’t help but like it…You gotta understand Disco was still around and bands like Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and Styx were big with the rock crowd, so people like me who couldn’t stand either were hung out to dry. Along came the Shitdogs (I was too pessimistic to go see the Sex Pistols at the Kingfish on Perkins Road, couldn’t fathom they would be something cool. Oops, fucked up that time.) and I was hooked. They were completely ‘lais ser faire’ , loud and chose covers like “Pushin’ Too Hard”, “You Really Got Me” and laughed and spit beer and by God, knew how to have a good time.

A side note on how they got their name…. Wheelie Bloodtongue (the Bassist) told me they were standing on the corner of Chimes street one day drinking beer smoking ‘poodles’ and just hanging out…When this older lady drove by and over heard them fuckin’ with each other talkin’ trash, you know how that goes…and she called the cops. The cops arrived and sighted them for disturbing the peace or whatever and gave them all tickets and a court date.

When they showed up at court there was this old biddy and the cop who sighted them. The Judge asked the old lady what she heard that day and she said, ‘They were standing there drinking beer and cursing and carrying on like a bunch of animals’. ‘Yes, but what exactly did you hear them say?’ ‘They were cursing, you know, saying things like crap, hell and shitdog.’ Wheelie, Bozo, Izzy, and John all started looking at each other and saying ‘Shitdog? What’s a shitdog?’ than began laughing…Needless to say they paid their fines and left; But never forgot being accused of calling each other a ‘shitdog’.

Later that night I decided I needed to start a band and have that same sort of fun. The next week I rented a practice space up on Eaton St. in north B.R. and started running ads for guitar players, got a bunch of names
and then ran an ad for bass players then an ad for drummers. Once I got all that together I began calling one of each until I found a group that got along and could actually play. Hans Van Brackle was my first and last choice for guitarist and was with me the entire time we were a band. Snake, our bassist, and Buddy Bowers, our drummer, came after Hans and I had been gigging for about six months. Our very first gig was The 1978 Pontchatoula Strawberry Fest on the back of a flat bed truck. We later took over B.R. and were probably the most successful band that town ever saw during that period.

81 thoughts on “Gino Luti of U.S. Times gives Shitdogs testimonial

  1. gino is in west palm beach florida.
    he was on his way to heaven when his car broke down
    so he’ll pretend that he’s in heaven, while he’s in that town

  2. I’ve been in L.A. since 1990. I did a recording of the Shitdogs “farewell” show (not counting later reunion shows) at the Bayou. I set up my board next to the P.A. board, tapping off each channel, and did a stereo mix, using headphones to monitor. The LSU radio broadcast of the show was taken from the mono output of my board, since unfortunately they didn’t have a stereo feed to the station. I’ve always wanted to hear a tape of how it sounded on the radio (with DJ intros, station ID, etc.). I heard that DJ “Doctor Death” cut the broadcast short because it was running into the time slot for his show.

    e a r l

  3. Hey all you crazy shitheads send me an e. Maybe I’ll write back….someday. I miss all the stories and memories. We had the greatest little scene of any one horse town in the south. It was really a special time in all our lives. I even used to hear about people claiming to be a part of it when the fact was they were way late or never really there at all. Kind of like people claiming to be at woodstock. Oh Freak at the Greek. That was Beau Bahan and my brainchild. Yes mother fuckers it was our idea. Take that Chuck Steak. City of Women never did get to play and I will always regret that…not really, I have no regrets. Hey Bill hey Tom…How about KLSU or PRG as it was…tripping their balls off and playing music for the masses. Paul, Lois Lane, Sasha. George Zoomer bustin’ up in there with his From the Planet Moon, demanding Dr. Jazz to play it, “come on man, it’s as much Jazz as any of the crap you’re playin” He didn’t…I’ll be back with more bedtime stories later. In the mean time write me…But don’t expect a response I never have been very good at responding…Just remember I love you and it’ll be alright…

  4. I’ve still got a recording of part of the Freak at the Greek on a cassette tape. *Someday*, I will get it into a digital format.

  5. Hey Dave K, We might be able to put that recording to use…We’re putting together a Chimes Street project…Write me at the aove email…
    Gino

  6. Hey Gino,
    I was going thru swome old cassette tapes and saw “SANDY” as one of the songs on the mix. Really took me back to those days. I was a high school senior and college freshman during those times. Where can I get some MP3s of your music? I am dying to hear it again.
    Greg

  7. Yeah I was that Freak at the Greek too although I was a bit older than Fogle.
    Always will be. I think Electric Earl has his spray painted What 4? shirt on.
    I went to high school with Tim Prudhomme and he performed at the talent show and sang a song called “Tracy” I think. I still have my The Times button. The original name! Think it was at the Damn Shame gig they were throwing these around? Those Times shows were the best man.

  8. ahhhh the good ole days…. what 4, shitdogs, the zoomers, the times, bahan, sasha, prg (before klsu), the bayou… brings back fond memories. first time i walked up to the bayou i saw gino outside with a mohawk taking a hit then he went in and the times turned the place out. next day i had a mohawk and i was a punk for life. from u2, rem, iggy pop, pych furs, english beat, etc, there was no better place to be than in BTR in the late 70’s and early 80’s. i’d put the times up agaist any of them!

  9. A question for anyone checking back: did the Counting Crows song, ‘Hangingaround” remind anyone of an old Bobbo song, with a lyric about ‘bopping around’, I think.. ? Just me?

    Hey, we’ve got creaky memories, and personal agendas up in the attic! Let’s get a screenplay out of this old mess, while simultaneously stamping out entropy and being responsible for our own orgasms.

    Sean Penn IS Izzy Fugdup, in BR-80
    in Redstuck

    Skype it out.

  10. During my tenure at WPRG/KLSU the Shitdogs were quite often the cultural event of the evening; a culture for which proper antibiotics have not yet been found, but culture nonetheless. I lost count of the KLSU nights at the Bayou where they were featured. Although the last hour of my Tuesday night show was blues, the Izzy Fuggedup and the boys did regularly find their way onto my playlists.

    Hmmmm. I’m smiling. Good times and good people.

  11. And another thing…who could forget the marvelous flyers announcing the Shitdogs gig schedule as drawn by Demon and, of course, a Pangolin Production. Right up there with the “Just Say Mo'” party of lengend!

  12. someone just posted this over on a Louisiana garage rock thread. It’s obvious that this applies to you guys too:

    emilie smart says:

    June 23, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I’m at the public library in BR. We’re trying to grow our Baton Rouge Room archive and have started collecting material about bands, booking agencies, venues, record companies, musicians… The BR music scene has been vibrant and important through the years and it needs to be documented. We have a real archive that can preserve, protect, and provide access to donated materials for future generations. This is an important project. If any of you have anything you’d like to contribute or can point me to people who might be willing to contribute, I’d really appreciate it. My email: esmart@ebr.lib.la.us

    Thanks for your help! Emilie

  13. I can’t think of better times than when I came to LSU in ’79 and got to see Gino swinging those elbows and rocking the house. Mother’s Mantle was still cool with Babs and the Cold, Shitdogs, and the Bayou was always good for a good time whether anyone was on stage or not. I’m a fucking 48 year old lawyer now, and would trade it all to go back then with my old girlfriend, my buddies and endless party favors. You were the man, Gino, and always will be. Jim.

  14. US & The Times are now documented with contracts, publicity, tape masters of album recordings, photos, notes from Gino etc. All in the Baton Rouge Room of the downtown Baton Rouge Library 4th floor. Most defintely the best rock n roll band to come out of BR. Hey The Times knocked Tears for Fears out of the #1 spot on the Univ of Pittsburgh radio station in 1985. uck.uck. uck… grunge archives of the real good ole days of Chimes St. Times, Dash Rip Rock, Dick Nixons, Shit Dogs, What 4, Lower Charkras RULED, never to be outdone…at least yet.

  15. Johnny P. is threatening to put together a Times webpage…Music, Pics, Articles, etc. Also Times recordings on something called CDBaby… Keep your eyes peeled…

  16. hey there Gino…some of the best times ever was seeing you guys play at the Bayou, cooking with you at Poets, and laughing my ass off at your crazy antics. I have a son named Gino, not really named after you (since Gino was my dad’s name), but we (Sue and I)definitely thought of you when we chose the name which was 18 years ago! We still have and still play our Times album, it’s getting rather worn out. We’ve been in Memphis for ever it seems like. Let me know about the Times webpage.

  17. My last US Times show was there at the Varsity. One of those reunion gigs.
    I parked in front of the Library and rolled 5 fatties. put 4 in my wallet and sat out behind Highland Coffees (when it was still on the corner) to smoke the other one before I wandered across Highland road into the chaos.
    Got busted instead. After spending too long at the Highland Road Precinct the cop gave me a ticket and sent me back to Chimes street.
    I made it into the Varsity just in time to see the band finishing their last song.
    Ohhhhhh…what memories.

    And Yes Blake…the BRPD killed Crazy George while he laid on his back on his bedroom floor. Proof that throwing rocks at a Baton Rouge cop car is a capital offense.

  18. From what I read on Facebook there is gonna be some sort of Chimes Street Reunion on Memorial Day weekend 2010. Details are pending but there is still time to make plans. Folks who hung out there in the ’70’s and ’80’s are sending their RSVP’s already. What are we gonna do without the Bayou? Stand around outside like I always did?
    If you have a face book account here is the link. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=16452722727

  19. hey y’all!

    im from “europe”(yes, it’s true!) and a huge shit dogs fan!
    i’m currently plannin’ a southern(nola, baton rouge etc.) vacation and would love to see some “old spots”” etc. mebbe even meet one of the ‘dogs.

    deathtrap0815@ymail.com

    thx!

  20. I found the US Times album on iTunes. Got it in digital form in Feb 2015. I want to know how much the band gets for my download???

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