The last time Spector 45 took to the stage to play music, it was under the most tragic of circumstances. Shortly after the turn of the new year in 2011, the beloved Dallas punk band played their last show at Club Dada — as a tribute to their fallen leader, Frankie Campagna, who had just committed suicide. Weeks later, bassist Adam Carter was also gone, and Spector 45 never played another show.
That all changed (sort of) last month when the remaining members of the band — all nine of them, from the band's various incarnations — got together for a special tribute show at Three Links. They didn't pretend to be Spector 45, per se; they even billed themselves as .45 instead. But the idea was to give the band the sendoff that it truly deserved.
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And boy, did they ever. It was a night of gnarly punk riffs, moshing, spilled beer and blood, and even some fire breathing. Both friends and fans of the band were able to join together with those who'd never gotten to the see them perform when they were still a proper unit. It was a night few in attendance will soon forget, and Dallas Observer Music Editor Jeff Gage was there, camera in hand, to capture the celebration in all its drunken glory.
"The last time these songs were played, it was in a memorial context," says bassist Ryden Anderson, who played in Campagna's pre-Spector 45 band Anth'm, in the video. "I don't think anyone was happy with that." (The interview was done at the F.O.E., once everyone had, uh, had some recovery time.) If this is the last we wind up hearing from Spector 45 — and at this point, there are no plans for further performances — then they can say goodbye on far happier terms.