Local Punk Rock Veterans Team Up for Latest Cleveland Steamers Album

Bassist Scott 'Cheese' Borger talks about the Cleveland's band's latest offering

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click to enlarge Cleveland Steamers. - Courtesy of Cleveland Steamers
Courtesy of Cleveland Steamers
Cleveland Steamers.
In 1981, Scott "Cheese" Borger joined the Pink Holes, a local punk band that was active until 1990, when their guitarist, Bob Richey, relocated to Los Angeles. While Borger took a brief break from music in the wake of the band's dissolution, he's been a steady advocate of the local punk scene, past and present, ever since he helped Mark Vocca with the Clepunk.com website that Vocca launched and put out a compilation of previously unreleased Cleveland punk songs in the early 2000s.

While the Pink Holes no longer get together for reunion shows, Borger has continued to write new songs with the Cleveland Steamers. The band's latest effort, 10 More Steaming Piles of Hit, a carefully crafted collection of tunes that Borger has divided into "love" and "hate" tracks, just came out. It features Borger on bass, Chris King on vocals, Meredith Rutledge-Borger on vocals, Nick Summa on guitars, and James R McWilliam on drums, harp and vocals.

In a recent email exchange, Borger spoke about the new album.

Talk about how the Cleveland Steamers first came together?
Back in 2011, Larry Lewis (aka Lair Matic) was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given about 6 months to live. Larry was a familiar face in the music scene here in Cleveland having started playing in bands when he was 15. I remember the first time I met him was at a Pagans gig at the Pirates Cove in 1979, and we became fast friends. After learning of his dismal cancer news, Larry wanted to record some last songs and recruited a band from among his friends which included Steve-O (Death of Samantha) on drums, Nick Summa (Floydband) on guitar and myself on bass. Larry died shortly after we recorded four songs of which we released two on a seven-inch under the name Lair Matic Assembly. There is a wonderful short film about those days on YouTube. It's called The Story of the Lair Matic Assembly ( punk musician, AK-47s, Broncs, Cleveland Confidential). After the project with Larry, I mentioned to the other guys involved I had some songs and wanted to record an album, so we stuck together and recorded the first Cleveland Steamers album shortly after.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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