Bobby Porter was the granddaddy of the Pittsburgh Punk scene and he was a long time friend of mine. He passed away last week from complications due to cancer.
A few things to set the record straight once and for all. Bobby was the baddest mother cruncher EVER to front a band in this area. Yes Bobby was OUR urban legend, our brother from another planet. He dared to be different. Bobby fronted the bands Otis and the Red Z, Thin White Line and Young Lust. Thin White Line also became Short Dark Strangers, which managed to do two tours of Europe.
Bobby was that short Black, dancing , singing soul man who turned Pittsburgh inside out with his gut wrenching vocals whenever and whereever he sang .Bobby grew up in the Hill District singing in the church. After high school he joined the Marines and was dispatched to Vietnam. Bobby was an oft miss-understood Vietnam veteran who you would never quite understand unless you sat down and had a couple of shots with him. I did this on many occacions.
I first met and heard Bobby at WYEP when I was the Program Director/Music Director in the late 70's. His band played many times on the air in that dank basement at 4 Cable Place that was sometimes filled with the smell of beer, herb and whiskey from the airstaff and musical guests.
WYEP was the showcase for the Pittsburgh music scene by providing an outlet for local bands. Some of them in the mainstream but most of them new, creative and on the edge. At the time the commercial stations were not playing Punk, Reggae, Hip-Hop or Blues on the air. We were the on air home of Pittsburgh Punk with the likes of Harry"thewire" Wagner, WT, Frances Volpe, Sue V, Gail and Concrete Window and a few other extraordinary talented volunteers.
I became friends with many of those folks on the scene back then and we remain friends over thirty years later. Our creative spirit has never died and neither will the raw energy that Bobby injected us with. My brother was a great passionate man who rose out of the civil rights movement as I did, seeking out to edradicate social injustice through his art and actions.
It was very ironic to see Corey Glover the other day on stage with Living Colour. Corey reminds me of Bobby as he pre-dated that band.You see, Bobby never got that same chance to shine in the national/international spotlight at the same level but he kept on rocking till the end.
Bobby as in the case of many musicians we know did not have all the resources available to help in his time of passing. His long time companion is trying to come up with the funds to carry out his last wishes.
Joe Davis has generously offered to print THE ORIGINAL Thin White Line T-shirts at his cost for the next 2 weeks, The T's will sell for $10. for sizes S-XL, and $1.00 extra for each extra X. All $10. profits are to go to Bobby Porter's fund directly.Anyone interested just follow this link:
Also...If anyone would like to send a direct donation to help bury Bobby Porter you can send it to his companion Nigel at:
Ms. D. Swat, 3383 Monroe, Pittsburgh PA, 15213-1045.
Nigel is actually her middle name and she would like to thank everyone for their generosity and thanks you all in advance