OK, do you remember CBGB, the club in New York City that became the archetypal club for punk music and punks? Found at 315 Bowery Street, it was the birthplace of the punk rock scene in the States and would become known as a hardcore music venue as well.
Well back in 2003, Stronghold Group released two characters based on the sort of people that inhabited the CBGB space, one being Maxx, a singer, and the the other being Bad Apple, who is less clearly defined, though he too could be a musician — or a fan, or even perhaps a CGBG bouncer. One site claimed these are ‘extreme look-alikes of Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten’ but the manufacturer doesn’t say who they were based on.
They live in my office behind the Pub here at the Kinrowan Estate, as I find them amazing works. A mate of mine saw them in a shop in Toronto and surprised me with them saying in his note, ‘I got them for you as any interesting figures of musicians are rare indeed.’ Now understand that I’m not a fan of the music but I found the culture around it fascinating. And indeed I’ve encountered clubs like CGBG in Europe, even once helped book a Celtic rock metal festival in an Amsterdam punk club. I stayed for a few hours, had to have my hotel clean everything I had on including my boots. Yeah it was that nasty. Paid well, though.
Maxx, as you can see from the photo, is a skinny man with long legs and oversized hands. He’s a more of a caricature than Bad Apple. He’s dressed neatly in red pants, white shirt, and a bright yellow vest. His head’s really nicely done — yellow hair, oversized eyes, and a nice sneer. He’s got a very large safety pin through the lapel of his shirt along with lots of others elsewhere, including his tie.
The articulation on him is superb, some of the best I’ve seen. Hip, shoulders, and head swivel nicely but there are definitely poses where the they look better, i.e. the head looks better straight on as the seam between it and the neck doesn’t show; same applies to the hip.
Bad Apple’s a more complex character and one that has had a very bad day. Take a look at his photo — his head has nice spiked hair, lots of blood, a closed left eye where he got hit hard, and, of course, a sneer. With nice teeth! Maxx has no teeth, just a sneer, so this was surprising.
Other nice features are black painted fingernails with a two fingers on the left forming the fuck off salute so common to that scene. His nicely designed leather jacket is open so you can see his tattoos and yet more blood. His blue jeans, complete with one of three chains he has, are tucked into some of the largest shit kicking boots I’ve seen.
He’s got a lit cigarette between fingers on his right hand. Nice reminder of the way that CGBG and similar clubs smelled — lot of smoke, spilled cheap beer, sweat, and a few other things less legal.
Articulation is the same as Maxx, but, as I noted above for Maxx, he looks much better in some poses. I’ve got him with his fuck you hand over his head and the other just behind his back.
Maxx and Bad Apple are very impressive – well-worth their rather inflated price over a decade later on the secondary online market.