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.