Friday, January 28, 2011
Exclusive: Remaining members of Spector 45 prepare for final show on Saturday
The band, fronted by the punk rocker who died on New Year's Day, will play in his honor one last time.
DEEP ELLUM A troublemaker. A rebel. A punk rocker. A hellion. Frank “Frankie 45” Campagna, Jr., was all of these things during his short yet influential 24 years of life. He was a mischievous entertainer on and off stage as the front man and guitarist of Dallas greaser punk trio Spector 45. He was also a strong advocate of Deep Ellum, where he performed at, frequented, and tended the bar at venues like Club Dada and Amsterdam Bar.
“Frankie was the son of Deep Ellum,” close friend and Spector 45 drummer Anthony Delabano told Pegasus News. “He had grown up there in the streets. He was always proud of Deep Ellum. He would fight anybody who talked shit about it; he would set them straight. If Frankie could have talked to everybody who said bad things about Deep Ellum, I think he would have convinced them all that they were wrong.”
Frankie was also a son, a friend, and most of all, a musician. He led the Deep Ellum music scene towards a long-needed revival with his slicked up hair, tattoos, and his greaser punk attitude.
He was also a rebel without a cause -- or perhaps a rebel for a specific cause: local music and the part of Dallas he called home. “He is the James Dean of Deep Ellum. He will be forever young,” said his dad, Frank Campagna, a well-known Deep Ellum muralist and owner of Kettle Art Gallery.
His bandmate Delabano knew Frankie since grade school. From then, Delabano said, “I knew he knew what he wanted. He knew he was going somewhere.” Spector 45 was formed when Delabano and Frankie were just teenagers, and the band had yet to land a recording contract. Frankie’s father said the band was "next on the list" for a record deal with a local label before Frankie’s death on New Year's Day.
The band had booked shows throughout January, including this Saturday night, when the remaining members of the band will perform their final show under the Spector 45 moniker. Frankie’s long time friend Cody Bigham will take on the task of lead vocals and guitar in Frankie’s place. Bigham is “the best guy to fill Frankie’s shoes for the show,” Delabano said.
The band agrees that the show is as much for the fans and people of Deep Ellum as it is for the band. It's also for the singer who started it all.
“Spector 45 is Frankie. The band is a thing to be remembered, but it is something that is going to be with Frankie forever,” Delabano said. “The only way to embrace Frankie as a friend – the only way to embrace his legacy – is through music. We by no means are going to play Spector 45, but we are going to do our damnedest to make sure it sounds close to what is was. It is just as a reminder. I don’t want anybody to forget Frankie.”
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