Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

January 10, 2013

True punks

Andover couple back performing punk rock again

She’s a boomer and proud of it.

“I love this chapter in life. I like to learn and to keep interested...these are the best years,” said Karen Payne-Taylor, who has the perfect job - she runs the BoomerVenture program at the Center at Punchard behind Town Offices.

But what a road it’s been for Payne-Taylor and her guitar-playing husband, Christopher Payne-Taylor. The couple used to play in a punk band together named Karyn Satin and the Bedsheets. It was the early 1980s when they dreamily left Florida in hopes of making it big as a punk band in the Big Apple. Their fourth-floor walk-up on Manhattan’s lower east side was so hip, just like their friends. Included were members of the band the Ramones, a man named Cheetah Chrome and a woman named Elda Stiletto, who played a mean bass guitar and was good friends with Deborah Harry (a.k.a. Blondie), they said. They hit the big clubs like Maxim and CBGB, and took all sorts of low paying jobs to cover the rent.

They played and rehearsed their hard punk music in a cellar studio called the Pit and listened as their musical friends delivered loud, dark lyrics about love, lust, pain and spirituality.

“It was the first generation of punk and it was reckless,” said a now very different Christopher Payne-Taylor, while sitting in the living room of his comfortable home on Summer Street.

Sharing those memories from some 30 years ago made the couple laugh a lot and sort of helps to explain why they are back in the saddle, so to speak. They love to perform music.

There’s no Karyn Satin or Pit practices or fourth-floor walk-ups. The couple has regrouped and is performing gigs around Andover using their real names. They still practice in a cellar but it’s a quaint music room in the basement of the pretty house they own in Andover.

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