Silke Berlinn, a “proto-punk” vocalist known for her broad-ranging vocal style, has been called “the Janis Joplin of punk rock” and has been compared with Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes and Tina Turner. She was singing in church choirs at the age of six. At age fifteen, when forbidden to join a band in NYC, she left home and hitchhiked to California. Upon her arrival in San Francisco, she was instantly recruited to sing in well-known blues bands (she was an unusual commodity: a white, East Coast teenager who could sing blues) with local blues legends Hi-Tide Harris; Anthony and Andy Paule; and Cool Poppa. She was mentored by Charles “Blue Boy” Huff, an original vocalist in Sam Cooke’s Soul Stirrers” while she worked in Cool Poppa’s band. While working with Cool Poppa, she met guitarist, Robbie McKenzie, who had started a band called Mink deVille, and who would recruit childhood friend, Willie Borsey. At the time Willie was living in Stamford, CT and married to Palm Beach Clothing heiress, Susan “Toots” Berman. Berlinn and McKenzie moved to NYC with Mink deVille, and the band began its ascent.
McKenzie had numerous warrants in NY State, got spooked by the publicity the band had garnered, and with Berlinn fled the state returning to California where they started a new band, Fast Floyd & the Firebirds. They recorded a single, “Bizarre,” backed by Bill Graham and Jerry Pompeli. Fast Floyd also was included in a compilation album that was comprised of 5 bands that were playing in San Francisco, Rocky Sullivan with the legendary guitarist John Cipollina as well as an undiscovered Tommy Tutone. The album, “City Lights” was released on Jupiter Records co-founded by Dennis Chuning. Chuning has recently formed CODE 213 RECORDS, Silke Berlinn’s new label.
Berlinn & McKenzie fell out. McKenzie had a violent temper and Berlinn feared he would kill her. She left McKenzie for Keeth Paul (David Bowie, NY Dolls, Richie Scarlett). Berlinn left Los Angeles with friends Vicki Schrott and Jill Hoffman (TARGET video.) Shortly afterwards she was joined by Paul, Brendan Earley (The Mutants), Franko St Andrew (The Offs), Steve Berman (The Victims) and fashion designer, Joann Berman (no relation) who became “The Addictions.” At various times, the band included Jerry Nolan (NY Dolls, Heartbreakers, Teenage Lust); Richie Spinoza; Luigi Scorcia (La Cosa Nostra, Johnny Thunder’s last band); Steve McKay (Iggy Pop); Ruben Siguenza (Mink deVille); and saxophonist, Manhattan Rob Walsh.
Berlinn has recorded with members of Blondie (Frank Infante, Clem Burke; Fountains of Wayne, Jesus & Mary Chain (Brian Young); The Hooters; Matt Lee Billy Idol (Matt Lee); The Germs (Don Bolles); The Mutants; Mink deVille; FANG (Sam McBride); The Screamers (producer, Paul Roessler) and Rolling Stones’ engineer, Brad Samuelson.
Silke Berlinn was signed to a three-record contract deal with Don DeVito of Columbia Records secured by one-time Blondie manager, Gino Riccardi.
Silke’s influences include Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, Thunderclap Newman, Motown, Phil Spector, 60s garage bands, Mink deVille, Tina Turner, Ronettes, Bush, GG Allin, Flamin’ Groovies, T-Rex, James Brown, and Wilson Pickett.
SILKE BERLINN: VOCALS
GARY KALUZA: GUITAR
GREG GENDRON: BASS
DUANE WAIDER: DRUMS
PAUL ROESSLER: PIANO & ORGAN
ORIGINAL TRACKS RECORDED AND PRODUCED BY
ROCK PRO STUDIOS
ADDITIONAL RECORDING AND REMIX PRODUCER
KITTEN ROBOT STUDIOS