I’m Dancing with Death: The Forgotten Glam Punk of Lou Miami & the Kozmetix
Lou Miami was a punk rocker from Boston, Massachusetts. His band, the Kozmetix, played around locally, but rarely toured. They were regulars at popular night clubs like The Rathskeller (“The Rat”), The Channel, and the Inn-Square Men’s bar. The band formed sometime in the late-seventies and released two EP’s: Lou Miami & the Kozmetix in 1982 and Rituals in 1985.
Lou was a spectacle. His style was flamboyant and glam, with a touch of goth esotericism and a gritty punk demeanor. My favorite description of him is that he was “sort of a cross between Iggy Pop, Boy George, Devo and Helen Reddy.” I’d also throw in a little Richard Hell, Lou Reed, and Joey Ramone. Lou had an obsession with the allure of sex symbol and actress Jayne Mansfield – particularly her humor and rumored involvement with Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan. “The occult doesn’t have to be depressing,” Lou once said.
Lou Miami covers ‘Monster Mash’
Having opened up for The Cramps and spun heavily on Boston’s WERS 88.9fm and the short-lived (but influential) music video channel V66, the Kozmetix didn’t receive much notoriety outside of the Boston scene. Before MTV, Lou recognized pretty early on that video would be a tool to expose a band and display its concept. Lou took mime lessons from a former 1960s go-go dancer and found it important to be an “entertainer” while on stage. The Kozmetix created WAY more video “content” than most bands today, especially in a pre-iPhone, nearly pre-MTV era. They even made more than one video for certain songs.
The Kozmetix fizzled out of the local scene sometime in the mid-eighties, when it was believed that Lou had gotten into witchcraft up in Salem. He died of heart failure in Los Angeles in August 1995. Thank you for everything, Lou.
Get a taste of the fabled Lou Miami below:
‘Dancing with Death’
‘(I Live With) Ghosts’
‘Mack the Knife’
‘Mary, Mary’ cover of The Monkees. Live at The Space, 1979
‘To Sir, With Love’ cover of Lulu on Boston’s Channel 68, 1981
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Super-early video of The Police performing at legendary Boston rock club the ‘Rat’ in 1978
Rare pix of Anton LaVey performing Satanic rites, cavorting with Jayne Mansfield and Forry Ackerman
New documentary about Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey from the makers of ‘Room 237,’ a DM exclusive!
Posted by Bennett Kogon