The Baby Snakes were very much a straight Roll'n'Roll band in Stones/New York Dolls mould, lacking sometimes in the song-writing department. Formed by Frank Rynne (from Arklow) and John Bonnie in 1985, both ex Those Handsome Devils. They opened their appearance at the Mega-Bash at the Ivy Rooms Dublin on 29 August 1985 with a cover of "Wig Wam Bam". They played a residency at the Underground in December 1985.
Bonnie left by the end of that year. His replacement was Ciaran O'Brien who stormed out of the studio during the recording of the "Sweet Hunger" LP because co-producer Paul Thomas was driving him nuts. This is how Brian Downey (of Thin Lizzy fame) came to play on that LP. O'Brien continued as the band's regular drummer.
Frank Rynne earned a bad reputation for slagging off certain other bands in the press. This period in the music scene in Dublin was marked by a lot of mediocre bands all vying to be the next U2 and a lot of clueless A&R people competing to sign them. The Baby Snakes released the "This City Sucks" live cassette and left Dublin for London where they remained until the break up 1993.
Manager Joe Ambrose's novel Serious Time (Pulp Books) is a fictionalised account of the bands days living in Brixton (the band in the book is called The Subliminal Kids, a reference to the first Baby Snakes EP). Nigel Preston (ex The Cult) became the band's drummer and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (of The Gun Club) was set to produce the group's next record in 1991 but Nigel landed in prison (for armed robbery) in 1990 and these plans fell through. On his release he became The Gun Club's drummer while remaining a member of the Baby Snakes. He died of a drug overdose on 1st April 1992. The band's last recording session was for BBC Radio in 1993.
Santides was the bands own label.
Frank Rynne currently manages the affairs of the Musicians of Joujouka and has produced several of their CDs. For more details check out www.joujouka.net and www.joeambrose.net
Lineup: Frank Rynne (vocals & guitar), Colin Byrne (guitar), Daragh McCarthy (bass), John Bonnie (drums).
Ciaran O'Brien (drums) 1986-88 approx.
Nigel Preston (drums) 1988-91 approx.
Niall O Sullivan (guitar) original lineup, co-wrote many of the early songs with Rynne but left in July 1987 to concentrate on painting. He played on the last recording session 1993.
Not to be confused with the mid-80s Swedish band.
Notes: Lineup: Frank Rynne (vocals), Colin Byrne (guitar) , Niall O'Sullivan (co-guitar on "Little Sisters"), Pat O'Brien (bass) and Ciaran O'Brien (drums). "Fade" polled #13 in Fanning's Fab 50 in December 1985.
Five live tracks recorded in 1987 including covers of the 13th Floor Elevators and Them. The lineup is listed as Frank Rynne (vocals), Daragh McCarthy (bass), Colin Byrne (guitars) and Ciaran O'Brien (drums).
Notes: Different recording of "Looking For Strange" which appeared on the Songs For Subliminal Kids EP. Lineup: Frank Rynne (vocals), Colin Byrne (guitar), Daragh McCarthy (bass), Brian Downey (drums).
Notes: Lineup: Frank Rynne, Alex Hooper, Axel and Jeff. Niall O'Sullivan appears on some tracks.
Notes: Four Johnny Cash covers, two recorded in mono. This EP was released in conjunction with a series of concerts of Johnny Cash covers during 1991 and 1992. Lineup: Frank Rynne (vocals, rhythm guitar), Alex Hooper (guitar), Antony O'Neill (bass), Tom Hopper (drums, except "Folsom Prison Blues") Nigel Preston (drums on "Folsom Prison Blues").
This film documents The Here To Go Show, an exhibition and festival celebrating the work of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, staged in Dublin in 1992. The festival was organised by Joe Ambrose, Frank Rynne and Terry Wilson.
The film includes footage of the Baby Snakes performing at the festival (the audio is overdubbed with a track from their last studio recording session). There is also a performance by Agnes Bernelle among others.
The exhibition included works by Mohamed Hamri (who brought Brian Jones to the Moroccan village of Joujouka in 1968) and a performance by The Master Musicians of Joujouka. Ambrose & Rynne became involved with the Joujouka musicians as a result of this festival.
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