Skydog Records

Record Label / Publishing / Artist Management
Rock / Punk / Garage
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The Skydog label, run by consummate music fan Marc Zermati in Paris, issued it's first release, the FLAMIN' GROOVIES 'Grease' 7" e.p.,in May 1973, pre-dating Stiff Records by over 3 years. To distribute it Zermati, who ran his 'Open Market' record shop in Paris, went into partnership with fellow Frenchman Larry Debay of the Paddington 'Bizarre' shop to form 'Bizarre Distribution' selling mostly US garage music from bases in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, forming perhaps the first independent distribution.

An earlier incarnation of Skydog, with Dutch partner Pieter Meulenbrocks, issued a legit, royalties paid version of the Hendrix / Morrison / Winter recordings 'Sky High' in 1972, but ended after Pieter bootlegged a Velvet Underground tape 'Evil Mothers' given to Marc by Lou Reed and Brigid Polk. Zermati then issued recordings by US visionary KIM FOWLEY, an M.C.5 single and album and from the thriving UK r&b scene of the time, DUCKS DELUXE and THE TYLA GANG as well as 'More Grease' from the Groovies.

Then in 1976, he released what was the fourth album from IGGY & THE STOOGES, 'Metallic K.O.', a classic, memorable recording of thing eggs and glasses thrown by Hell's Angels gave him a new aue Stooges confrontational last gig. Iggy had been out of the limelight since '73's 'Raw Power', and the sound of kamikaze Iggy dodgdience in the embryonic punk crowd, the album defining Iggy as a punk originator, and selling 100,000+. Involved in the early stages of punk, in 1976 Marc organised the legendary 'First French Punk Festival', giving THE DAMNED, EDDIE & THE HOT RODS a crazy wild weekend in the South of France.

Paris festivals in '76 had THE HEARTBREAKERS hot off the 'Anarchy Tour', and then a 'Second French Punk Festival' in '77 was much bigger, with The Clash, The Damned, plus The Jam who wouldn't play!.

Debut singles by The Damned and MOTORHEAD were released, also a Stranglers single was scheduled but in the melee never released. The catalogue expanded over the years, with albums from the NEW YORK DOLLS, the Johnny Thunders/Wayne Kramer collaboration GANG WAR, Liv Tyler's mum BEBE BUELL, and two more IGGY POP albums and singles. Hanging out with artists led to helping them out and eventually tour management, and Marc arranged tours of Japan for artists such as Big Audio Dynamite, Johnny Thunders and Happy Mondays. Making many contacts in Japan, today Marc is the Far East tour representative for French acts Daft Punk and Air amongst others. Skydog continues with new rock'n'roll releases scheduled for 1998, still with a rabid fan's passion ('we should sign The Hellacopters from Sweden'). Skydog Records has, for a quarter of a century, been the embodiment of the slogan 'VIVE LE ROCK'N'ROLL!'.

Alan Hauser
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