There’s a big hole torn in the side of punk history and it’s shaped just like Sonny Vincent, the guitarist and singer of New York City’s Testors, the great lost band of the ’76 CBGB’s and Max’s punk scene. For decades, Vincent and his indestructible brand of punk—the unlikely yet unforgettable middle way between Elvis Costello and the Electric Eels—were left out of all those ‘This Is The Way It Was!’ compilation albums and tell-all recollections, but after a series of very-hard-to-find albums showcasing tons of unreleased material, John Reis of Swami Records (and the Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and more) put together a definitive 2XLP set of Vincent’s Testors recordings—the album Vincent always deserved.
Vincent’s discography didn’t stop with the Testors in the 70s, however. Instead, he’s never stopped criss-crossing first the country and soon other continents in bands with gunslingers like Scott Asheston, Cheetah Chrome and Bob Stinson. (You can hear the Stinson/Vincent sessions on the recent Model Citizens LP.) Now armed with a young bunch of hard-ass punks as a backing band, Vincent is touring the U.S. playing Testors songs he’s never played out and discovering that he’s been building up a fan base out of people who don’t particularly care what the established history of punk is. He speaks now from a van somewhere in Mississippi.