August 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!

It’s been a great summer!

Dead Freddie meets the Amazing Heeby Jeebies!

August 8, 2019, Montrose Saloon, Chicago, IL.  After a hiatus dating back to November 2015,  Chicago Punk Pop Phenomena Dead Freddie had the pleasure of opening a night of great live music at Montrose Saloon, a venue that has become a “must-play” location for local and touring bands, including the likes of John Langford and Spies Who Surf amongst many others.  The great talent is drawn in by the driving force of Eric Chial, who over the last 1-2 years has created a place that offers up live music, mostly rock, almost every night of the week.  As long-time admirers of the AHJ and their “vintage rock n roll dripping with hipshakin’ glitter and grit”, Dead Freddie was excited to share the bill on a beautiful summer evening on the great Nort’west side.  Everyone is looking forward to more collaborations in the not-too-distant future.

Dead Freddie Drummer/Guitarist goes to Pierogi Fest!

July 27, 2019

In what has become a tradition for the Beatles-Polka tribute band Sgt. Sauerkraut, the jolly revelers made their way to the 2019 Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN for three straight days. That’s a lot of pierogi and polka and beer! Dead Freddie musician and creative force Gintas Buinevicius wore a couple of hats, performing sometimes as drummer and other times as acoustic guitarist, because he’s good at both!  A great time was had by all and all are looking forward to returning in 2020.

Dead Freddie Drummer/Guitarist goes to Fest for Beatles Fans!

August 9, 2019

After the briefest of recoveries (following the Thursday night show with Dead Freddie opening for the Amazing Heeby Jeebies), Dead Freddie’s Gintas Buinevicius once again came to the aid of his friends in Sgt. Sauerkraut Polka Band at this ultimate Chicago local Beatles-themed event.  Ringleader Danny “Donuts” Raudonis and Gintas have been attending for the better part of 15 years straight, so they know a LOT of people that all love the Fab Four and their friends. Various configurations of the ‘krauts performed on each of the three days of the event.

Dead Freddie Drummer/Guitarist jumps in with Wiresky

August 23, 2019

Gintas has been a very, very busy boy this month! He joined up with his friends in Wiresky to play drums on a beautiful summer evening at the Filling Station in St. Charles, IL, on the outdoor stage. Barb Dahl Olson, Mike Croschere, Sean Behen and Dennis Dowd round out the line-up.

November 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter 

Hello, Fred Heads!

Dead Freddie Returns to Villa Park Punk Night

Dead Freddie returned to O’Neill’s Pub in Lombard, IL for Villa Park Punk Night XXXIX (#39) on November 9, 2019.  This time organizer Kevin Williams was ahead of the game and had the PA in place well before the arrival of the bands (For those who missed the June 2019 Newsletter, Kevin was unavoidably detained with car problems on 6/29, leaving Dead Freddie without a PA for 9/10ths of their set, which did not deter us from proceeding).  VPPN #39 featured five bands:

Haunted Humanoids.  HH are a guitar, bass, drums power trio, thrashing out punk with shades of Green Day in their loud, fast and occasionally melodic tunes.

Dead Freddie. We played second in the line-up, playing eleven originals in our designated thirty minutes.  The energy in the room elevates us, as it does all the other bands.  We were without the services of our bass guitarist Steve Foley, so Joe wood pulled out a few extra tricks to fill the guitar and bass ranges with a single instrument and a couple of effects pedals.  Sounded pretty cool!  It was also very cool to have trombonist Sam Streagerman in the line-up for the first time in a LONG time. Thanks so much Max Cherry (who does vocals, guitar and keys in Twin Jones and a cohort of Joe Wood), Rose Steagerman and the ever-present publicist, Radio Ruta Spencer.

Broken.  Like Haunted Humanoids, Broken was also a Guitar/Bass/Drums combo.  They hail from West Lafayette, IN and declared that this was there first sojourn and show in the Land of Lincoln.  All are college students.  An ethnically-diverse group (Tommy Choi-Korean, Sean Gomez-Latino and Chris Centrella-Caucasian), they made it work and played some fast, loud originals with some great hooks.

Eve Black.  The group lost their female lead vocalist Rani a few months back, but it did not hold back Ryan (vocals), Tom (guitar) and Alex (Bass).  They incorporated a prerecorded drum track (Nicknamed “Roland”) instead of having a live drummer and it sounded just right. Very high grades for musicianship!

The Rip Ups.  The closers for the night were a two-piece that called themselves The Rip Ups. They succeeded in creating a wall of sound with nothing but drums (Sean Matthews, A.K.A. Sean Ana)  and guitar (Willy Dee), with a sound the call “garagebilly” (garage + rockabilly) they generally hang out on the northside, but were fearless in migrating west to the hub of all things punk in the western suburbs and played a reflect that attitude.

Dead Freddie Drummer Takes on Saddleman Persona!

Dead Freddie drummer Gintas Buinevicius put on his boots and ten-gallon chapeau for a performance a Saddleman, opening for Dirty Green at The Outtaspace in Berwyn, IL on November 16, 2019.  Rooted in old country and honky-tonk he put on a fantastic set of nearly all originals, accompanied by Sean Behen (who commiserates with Gintas in Wiresky) on electric guitar.  The combo was pure magic. One of the rare covers that received the Saddleman treatment was “Transmission” by Joy Division.  Personal favorite? “Blame it on the Bourbon”.  Matt Derda and the High Watts were the headliners. They've created a unique sound that “captures the essence of Johnny Cash's Nashville and the grit of rock acts like The Replacements”. 

January 2020 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Happy New Year, Fred Heads!

 Dead Freddie Club Debut at Moe’s Tavern Chicago

Dead Freddie had their venue debut Moe’s Tavern in Chicago, IL on Saturday January 18, 2020.  It was the kind of night one might expect in mid-January in Chicago, frigid, with minus-20 below windchill factor. The deep freeze did not keep everyone at home, however, as a crowd of 50-60 filled the friendly confines of Moe’s Tavern.  Thanks to event manager and sound engineer JB Bartlett for being so welcoming to all the bands and getting the sound just right.  Moe’s now has a very cool green room back stage too-very nice!

Opening up the evening was Hey Hey Think Think.  With Kate Dickson on lead vocals and guitar, Yoko Yamamoto on keyboards and vocals, TJ McLeish on bass and vocals and Josh Stillman on drums, the group played a set of mostly originals shaped by David Bowie, Tori Amos, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure.

Taking the middle slot was Dead Freddie.  The line-up tonight included Gary Vacha, most recently of Headspins, making his performance debut with Chicago’s Punk Pop Phenomena.  He put on a workman-like performance, playing the songs they are meant to be played. Rounding out the group was Gintas Buinevicius on drums & vocals, Steve Foley on bass guitar and Donatas Ramanauskas on accordion and vocals.  We tore through our 13-song set and left the crowd wishing for more.  It was a real complement to us when members of Fire Cat! came backstage immediately following our performance saying “F*** You and F*** You and F*** You-how are we supposed to follow THAT?”  Thanks so much for Dead Freddie stalwart supporters Radio Ruta Spencer (WXAV) and Di Kulka (WLUW) for coming out, plus fans since birth Regina and Diana Ramanauskas.  And based on the reaction of the crowd, there are now more true believers of the Dead Freddie vibe.

The headliners for the evening was Fire Cat! Tonight’s line-up included Liam O’Brien- Drums/Vocals, Lou Pontillo – Bass, Tim Wayne - Guitar/Vocals and Justin (aka cheese) Saunders - Guitar/ Vocals.A Chicago pop punk quartet that invited Dead Freddie to join this bill-Thank You Fire Cat! Fire Cat! We first became acquainted with the group at a recent Villa Park Punk Night and looked forward to joining them for a show. They recently released their EP “Body Built By Beer” and those tracks were featured in their set, plus a few more nuggets from their catalog.  Great energy, great songs!

Dead Freddie Club Debut at Reed’s Local

Friday, January 31, 2020. Continuing with the theme of trying new things in the new year, Dead Freddie’s second show of the year also happened at a place we hadn’t played before. Thank you, Joel Hill, proprietor, for providing an opportunity to perform at this cool neighborhood bar on the great Northwest Side of Chicago.  Also thanks to Sam Edmonds, doorman/DJ/bartender, for suggesting The Rip Ups and The Coldies as other bands to fill the bill.

Opening the night were The Rip Ups featuring Sean Matthews on drums and Kevin (Willy Dee) on guitar, with their “catchy punk-a-billy” tunes.  Fast, loud and fun.  The Rip Ups are yet another band that we met through a recent Villa Park Punk Night and we look forward to joining up again soon.

Dead Freddie were next, in the middle of the three-band event.  Due to a sudden line-up shake-up, the line-up for Reed’s was Gintas Buinevicius on drums and vocals, Donatas Ramanauskas on accordion and vocals, Gary Vacha on guitar (his second show with DF) and Joe Wood filling in on bass guitar.  The set by Dead Freddie might best be characterized as a sonic maelstrom on a dark, stormy night, full of sound and fury. The packed venue made it very fun to play.

The headliners for the night were The Coldies with Kerlie on vocals, Krauto on guitar, David “The Kid” Rentauskas on bass and Coco on drums. They describe themselves as “a sludge lined Chicago based punk juggernaut full of muck and trying not to suck.” They certainly brought the energy to Reed’s!

July 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!
__Dead Freddie Celebrates Start of Summer at FitzGerald's”

July 2, 2019, FitzGerald's, Berwyn, IL. Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo Gintas Buinevicius and Donatas Ramanauskas returned to the "scene of the crime": on July 3, 2016. The Dead Freddie Acoustic Trio (with the aforementioned Gintas and Donatas and a certain Leonas Putrius) played their festival debut at the American Music Festival. What a great night to remember, but this night was to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited hot & humid Chicago summer. Torrential downpours in the hours preceding the Sidebar Open Mic failed to keep the diehard musicians at home, although some of the less dedicated did, making for an earlier than normal appearance (we're usually #14 or last, whichever comes first). We even got to play three songs: "Active Partition", "Save Me From Myself" and our mini-encore, "Mary's Waiting". Thanks to DF Publicist for making the trip to support and snap a few photos. It was great to see Kate FitzGerald (co-owner) lurking in the shadows too. Thanks to Jack Swain for hosting and Isaac for his fine Old-Fashioned cocktails. We'll be back soon!

Dead Freddie featured in “Draugas News”

Hot on the heels of the appearance of Dead Freddie in the Chicago Reader column Secret History of Chicago music by Steve Krakow, including coverage on WGN AM720 radio, the band was also featured in a 2-page spread in Draugas News-Lithuanian Worldwide News in English. The article penned by Audrone (Audrey) Kizys, went into greater depth than the condensed Reader article, expounding more on the roots and origin of the group as well as what is happening now with the current line-up. Thanks again to DF publicist Radio Ruta Spencer for pushing the Reader article to Draugas news. The article appears in the June 2019 issue (Vol. 7 No. 6) and will be available online in the very near future. We encourage all to check it out.

Dead Freddie Guitarist Opens for Jesus Jones with Discoveries of the American Scientific

July 6, 2019, WIRE, Berwyn, IL
"Jesus Jones are a British alternative rock band from Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, formed in late 1988, who recorded and performed from the late 1980s to the 2000s. Their track "Right Here, Right Now" was an international hit..." Wikipedia).

The well-connected Joe Wood, who fronts Discoveries of the American Scientific (a.k.a. D.O.T.A.S.) when not playing guitar for Dead Freddie, snagged this opportunity to open for Jesus Jones in a relatively small club setting. DOTAS had to pull in Steve Osterman, a local Chicago drumming legend to fill in for Dave Gallagher (away on tour) and he did a great job! Congratulations to Joe and the rest of the band for playing a great opening set!

 2019 February Newsletter

Two Great Shows For Dead Freddie in February!

 Dead Freddie Venue Debut at Wire, Berwyn, IL

Dead Freddie headlined the Happy February 2019 show on the first night of the month, organized by Joe Wood. Wire, in beautiful Berwyn, IL, is a beautiful venue for live music and we greatly enjoyed playing there. In support of Dead Freddie were: The Thin Cherries, Discoveries of the American Scientific (including Dead Freddie's guitarist Joe Wood), Umbra and the Volcan Siege. It was a slushy, sloppy, snowy night and still the hearty followers of all these bands came out to support local live music. Also thanks to Jonas Grigola for handling MC responsibilities, and Radio Ruta Spencer for managing the merch. It was great to see our LP producer Matt Mercado in the house and a big shout out and Thank You to Joe and Tomo Nagle. They printed photos of all the bands in advance and put them on display at the venue, free to anyone who wanted them. 
The Thin Cherries 
Discoveries of the American Scientific 
Umbra and the Volcan Siege 
Nagle Photography

Dead Freddie Newsletter for January 2018

Well, Dear Fred Heads,

 You have survived the cruelest month of January, with the cold, the snow, the darkness.  What better time to be indoors, like in a recording studio?

Dead Freddie scheduled not one, but two recording sessions at Sonic Palace, in Oak Park, IL.

January 6th

This session was on a Saturday, and it was a long one.  Studio owner, sound engineer and producer par excellence Matt Mercado of Mind Bomb fame, worked us hard and we returned the favor with a 10-hour tour of duty.  We worked through scratch tracks for six songs, followed by bass guitar tracks for the first quartet of tunes: “She Won’t Play House”, “Pocket Judy Crash Course”, “Mary Left”, and “Stage Brain”, leaving “Cartoon Woman” and “Princess Pilot” for our next session.  Gintas laid down some guitar tracks, followed by vocals sung by Donatas.  With bourbon and his significant other beckoning, Matt pieced together some rough tracks and sent us out into the cold, winter’s night.  Some very solid work indeed…

 January 24th

Our first taste of a mid-week session, falling on a Wednesday night.  After zeroing in a great sound for the Bass, Steve Foley got his tracks down in short order-like a real pro- for “Cartoon Woman” and “Princess Pilot”.  Gintas did guitar tracks, also for “Cartoon Woman” and “Princess Pilot”.  A bit weary, but excited to be there, Joe Wood composed some crazy rockabilly/metal riffs for “Stage Brain”, with some hands-on suggestions from Matt.  What came out of it two hours later will be a masterpiece in history of Dead Freddie.  To wrap up the session, Donatas completed vocal tracks for “Cartoon Woman” and “Princess Pilot”

 Our next session is planned for February 24th.  There are still numerous backing vocals, accordion and second guitar parts to be done, so we anticipate another full day at the Palace.

Certainly, we are constantly in communication with other bands and venues, lining up our next appearances, so please continue to follow our calendar on our website as well as on Facebook (, YouTube (yes, we now have our own channel at PLEASE VISIT AND SUBSCRIBE, Twitter ( and Bandcamp ( where you can acquire our EP, CD and digital download of our first 6-song release “If I Knew What I Wanted” as well as some miscellaneous merchandise-so GET SOME!

Dead Freddie June 2019 Newsletter

Dead Freddie Auditions for “Chicago Suburbs Got Talent”

June 5, 2019, Arcada Theatre, St. Charles, IL.  Chicago’s Punk Pop Phenomena Dead Freddie performed “She Won’t Play House” for the distinguished judges’ panel, including venue owner Ron Onesti as contestants in the “Chicago Suburbs Got Talent” competition.  Ron was very entertained by the tune as well as the pink suit coats that we donned for this special event sponsored by The Daily Herald.  While slightly less than the 15 minutes of fame assigned by Andy Warhol, it was ultimately cool to play on the big stage where so many great acts preceded us!

Dead Freddie Returns to “The Wizard”

On June 6, 2019, the night following the excitement of the Arcada Theatre performance, Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo Gintas Buinevicius and Donatas Ramanauskas returned to the studios of WZRD FM 88.3, “The Wizard” to play a few tunes and catch up with on-air radio personalities Alejandro Aguilar and Rick Martin.  The interview question that caught us a bit off-guard: “Who is your favorite “Dead Freddie? Freddie Prinze? Freddie Mercury? Fred Flintstone?”  Thanks to Radio Ruta Spencer for joining us, shooting photos and handling the video taping.

Dead Freddie featured in “Secret History of Chicago Music”

While at the CHIRP Record Fair on May 4th, intrepid Dead Freddie Publicist  Radio Ruta Spencer met with author/artist Steve Krakow, who twice monthly writes a short article and prepares a pencil sketch of “pivotal Chicago musicians that somehow have not gotten their just dues”, convincing Steve that the Dead Freddie story was one that needed to be told.  His work has been featured for decades in The Chicago Reader”, the weekly newspaper covering many alternative (to mainstream media) topics as well as a great calendar and reviews of local music events.  He did a wonderful job condensing a massive amount of background information to just over three hundred words, spanning the earliest origins of the band to the present.  The story hit the newsstands on June 20 and, as a bonus, Steve also sang the praises of Dead Freddie on WGN AM720 Radio on Saturday June 22 on Mike Stephen’s show “Outside The Loop”.  The played three DF songs and talked about the history of the band and it’s current activities.  Pretty cool!

Dead Freddie at Villa Park Punk Night

After making the acquaintance of the members of Chicago-area Punk band “Solution Unsatisfactory” at Cairo Ale House in April 2019, we were invited to be part of Villa Park Punk Night XXVII on June 29, 2019 at O’Neill’s Pub in St. Charles, IL. (Note: the earlier editions of this ongoing event originated at the VFW hall in Villa Park.).  We were loaded in and ready to go by 9PM, our designated start time, when we were informed that there had been a problem getting the PA delivered to O’Neill’s.  Dead Freddie decided to start their set, sans PA at ~10:45PM.  In retrospect, starting our set without vocal amplification was indeed a very punk thing to do.  The PA finally arrived just in time for our last two songs, so we could identify our band members and for our finale “If I Knew What I Wanted”.  After Dead Freddie, four more bands performed: Shanghai Theatre (all the way from Nashville, TN), 40 oz. Sidekicks, Rhetoric Vendetta and Solution Unsatisfactory, who ended their set just after 2AM!  A very Punk Night indeed!!

June 2018 Newsletter

Dead Freddie Pressing Vinyl LP at Third Man Pressing-Detroit!

The recording, after nearly six months at Sonic Palace, is done. Mastering by Trevor Sadler at Mastermind-complete. Mastered tracks now at Third Man Pressing (of White Stripes' Jack White fame) in Detroit to press our first 12-track LP, self-titled "Dead Freddie". We are looking at a late-September drop, so stay tuned!

Dead Freddie back at Cigars & Stripes

Dead Freddie returned to Cigars & Stripes in Beautiful Berwyn, IL on June 1, 2018. It was great to see a core of our faithful in the audience joined by some new believers from the regular C&S crowd. Plus, a few of those who attended made it a point to tell us that they had heard/read about us and just had to come see the real deal! Special thanks to our merch team Aušrinę and Rūtą and also to our good friend and venue owner Ronnie Lottz!

Gintas & Donatas of Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo visit Barb Wire Summer Bash

Gintas & Donatas were in attendance at one of the fabled music-bash parties on June 23rd at the home of Barb Dahl Olsen and Mike Croschere in Hillside, IL. In spite of Donatas being chased down the street by one of Hillside's finest, everyone had a blast at this confluence of Dead Freddie, Wiresky and Sgt. Sauerkraut musical ensembles. All who wished to perform were able to do so, including a short acoustic set by the Dead Freddie duo, with "a little help from our friends".

Dead Freddie venue debut at Debonair Social Club

Dead Freddie made their venue debut at Debonair Social Club at the epicenter of hipsterville, Wicker Park, in Chicago on June 29, 2018. Thanks to the fine negotiation skills of guitarist Joe Wood, Dig Engine, Discoveries of the American Scientific and Dead Freddie put on a hot show on a hot summer night in this beautiful club. It was great to meet Dig Engine and always a pleasure to team up with Joe Wood's other musical project (D.O.T.A.S.) Thanks much to all who feared not the heat nor impossible parking to come out to support live music!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July and enjoy your summer. Keep your eyes and ears open for more Dead Freddie!


January 2019 Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!
Dead Freddie closed out 2018 with a Bang!

Dead Freddie Shoots Two Videos at DZ Records

On January 20th, the Dead Freddie crew assembled on a cold Sunday afternoon at DZ Records in Hickory Hills, IL. Ben Arguelles and crew were very professional in their preparation and set-up. We cranked out "Cliché" and "Pocket Judy Crash Course" in no time at all!
We hung around after the video shoot to be part of the long-running podcast "Friends With Music" hosted by Matt Bauer to talk about topics ranging from where we individually had our first experience with music to recent band activities to what music are we listening to right now.
Thank You to Audrius Remeikis of Stormy Photography for coming out to shoot some pics and short video clips and to Dead Freddie Publicist and partner-in-crime Radio Ruta Spencer.

 Dead Freddie Gets Airplay on Local and Regional Radio!

Dead Freddie continues to receive regular airplay on WXAV's Alternative Sounds For Your Head as well as on WLUW's Razor & Die Show. Thank you for your continued support of our music! In addition, our college radio promotion, which started in November 2018, gave us spins on a number of other stations: Illinois Institute of Technology WIIT 88.9FM Chicago, Radio DePaul On-Line, Hartford, CT's Trinity College WRTC 89.3FM, Rockford, IL's The Eagle, 98.7FM, Chicagoland Rock on The Fox 103.9 FM (Thank You to Aldis Snow in "The Garage"), Seattle NPR KSER 90.7FM and many more.

 Dead Freddie performs at FitzGerald's Nightclub, Berwyn, IL

 The debut of horns at a Dead Freddie live performance happened on January 22nd at FitzGerald's Nightclub. We were invited by Open Mic Host Mark Bishop to be the featured artist for this once-a-month event on the big stage in "The Club". In addition to our core musicians Gintas, Joe, Steve and Donatas, we also added Sam Steagerman on trombone and Bobby Lark on trumpet. We filled our thirty minutes with some fantastic noise.

Dead Freddie May 2019 Newsletter

Fun Night at Miss Kitty's!

It had not been since September 2015 that Dead Freddie had made their way to the Miss Kitty Open Mic in Naperville, IL. Very much has the feel of a neighborhood bar, in part because all of the musicians that regularly turn up. So on May 1st, the Dead Freddie Acoustic Trio consisting of Gintas Buinevicius on acoustic guitar, Sam Stiegerman on trombone and Donatas Ramanauskas on accordion, ripped through a 5-song set, much to the amazement and enjoyment of those present. Had anyone ever seen a guitar-trombone-accordion combo? Probably not. Thanks go out to Radio Ruta Spencer for acting as photographer and Rose Stiegerman, who pulled a few people in with her. Had the pleasure of meeting Jack Bretall, formerly of Enuf Z'Nuff, plus many new musical friends.

8 May 2019 It's not always easy to take time out of our busy schedule for a lighter moment. Here we are in early May in Gintas's backyard. He's been working hard to whip it in to shape for the warm weather that is finally(?) coming!

15 May 2019 "Not Too Shabby Studios" (AKA Gintas's joint) is finally back upon and running. In between shows, we have been laying down some alternate tracks (acoustic, semi-acoustic) of some of our material previously released on our EP and LP. Stay tuned, and you just might hear them!

25 May 2019 Memorial Day Party. Gintas hosted his annual Memorial Day party and had many of his musical friends show up and even had a few jump up for an impromptu performance. We even got to play a couple Dead Freddie tunes. These masters picked right up and played along perfectly! Thanks for a hosting!

Also on 25 May 2019 : Joe Wood, Dead Freddie guitarist extraordinaire, rounded up his band Discoveries of the American Scientific for a show at Morose Saloon in Chicago. Also on the bill were Farewell Captain and headliners The Addisons. DOTAS played a strong set of their best stuff and had good sound. Cool joint. Dead Freddie played open mics here in 2015 and will be back in August to play a show with the Amazing Heeby Jeebies.

April 2020

Living in the time of the Pandemic

What more can we add to what is already an ocean of information (and misinformation) about the virus that has literally and figuratively taken ahold of all of our lives.  To those of you that are still working, be grateful and help all those that you possibly can.  To those of you dispossessed from what was once “normal”, we wish you the strength and spirit to hold on, as every day brings us closer to when we can all once again be together. Until then, stay safe!

How have all of you been coping?  “Corona” cleaning? Finally getting caught up on stuff you have put off for far too long?  Possibly just vegging out and getting some long-needed rest?

While the band has obeyed the social distancing guidelines and not had any rehearsals or shows since our return from Detroit in early March, we each in our own way continue to do things for the band, as ways to stay sane and stay busy.  Gintas in particular has remained the visible face of the band.  The streak has run to six Sunday night Virtual Variety Shows, where he cobbles together two hours of songs with little more than acoustic guitars and a puppet, each week getting better and better.  He plumbs the depths of his musical catalog and draws from not just Dead Freddie, but also Saddleman, Friends of the Moth, other non-categorized originals and a ton of great covers, some real crowd-pleasers and some obscure nuggets too.

We are planning on releasing a new video or two in the near future, so stay tuned!

May 2020

Living in the time of the Pandemic…continued


Gintas continues to carry the torch for Dead Freddie.  He has now played ten Virtual Variety Shows every Sunday night since the pandemic lock-down began in mid-March.  Please tune in on his YouTube page milkmandan63 every Sunday at 7PM for some live (via YouTube) interaction.  He will continue as long as anyone is watching, and the muse moves him.


We are heartened to learn that some of the lock-down restrictions will slowly be rolled back.  As Chicago’s mayor recently said, however, the re-opening of the city, counties, states and country will not be like flicking an on/off switch, but more like turning up a dimmer switch very slowly.  Proceed with caution.  Keep your distance.  Wear a mask. Wash your hands!


As we move into summer, we are already seeing outdoor venues starting to re-open and some are already featuring live music!  If you choose to support these events, it goes without saying that all safety precautions and guidelines should be followed.


Dead Freddie is currently planning their own “re-opening”.  While Phase One has been Gintas going solo, Phase Two will be some backyard or garage performances by Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo (Gintas and Donatas), sometime in the next 1-3 weeks.  Phase Three will follow with backyard/garage shows with the full band line-up, keeping  safely apart while playing together.  Not sure when we will all be able to gather in the basement, hopefully before the weather turns cold again in the autumn.


At this time, DZ Fest 2020, now scheduled for September 26-27, 2020, has NOT been cancelled.  If conditions permit a safe event, it will be great to hit the stage once again.


Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.


The bands we have featured so far:

Invisible Cartoons

Bumsy & the Moochers

The Amazing Heeby Jeebie's, 

South Side Exiles

Local H

The Crombies

Spies Who Surf

Off Broadway

40 oz Sidekicks


The Addisons

Bill Nelson & The Warning Signs

Eve Black

Dirty Green


Meanwhile, a residual of having more time from sheltering in place, Dead Freddie has recently landed a slew of album reviews plus a couple of biographical articles.  Here is a list of the links where you can peruse all the interesting things that others are saying about Dead Freddie!


We will be featuring these reviews, interviews and bios over the coming months.  Here is the first installation, written by Rebecca Collin, a journalist for Stereo Stickman.



“Dead Freddie” Dead Freddie

By Rebecca Cullen

13 May 2020

Long-time rockers Dead Freddie return with a bang to kick 2020 into shape and remind listeners that creative, intentional and immersive rock is still alive and thriving.

Blending the raw energy of punk and the expressive depth of tone more commonly found in eighties rock, with some superb songwriting that introduces a plethora of absolute anthems, this self-titled full-length project is an indie-rock dream to turn up loud. 

The bold and straight to the point Cliche starts things off, that punk rock energy filling the room as fast-paced guitars and drums rain down. It’s an instrumental aura that stands tall throughout the album, often bringing in a dash of Mad Caddies – the bounce, the horns, the arbitrary optimism and carefree performance (When I’m Bound an early example and highlight). Alongside this though, that leading vocal, and indeed the songwriting style and these stories, helps give Dead Freddie an authentic and engaging sound all of their own. 

As things go on, the band impress all the more so for their clear awareness and the eclectic, interesting arrangement of the collection. For example, with Mary Left we get a slightly more mellow yet creatively meandering set-up, and a vocal-line that tips its hat to Michael by Franz Ferdinand. 

The sound is great, really refreshing and the kind of thing you’d happily trudge through the mud for to catch a live show on the other side of the festival field (hopefully those days return to us sometime). 

Other highlights include Double Handle, a beautifully chaotic, call-and-response type anthem with some uniquely colourful solos. Conceptually this is one of many moments in which the band seem to tackle familiar concepts but in a new and revealing, clever way. 

Going To The Dance also stands out for its acoustic softness and the intimate, minimalist nature of the set-up. Great vocal unity during the latter half – a little Kaiser Chiefs-like it seems.

Pocket Judy Crash Course then stands out for its minute-long instrumental and the fine fusion of Gypsy-jazz and rock. Then we get the power and melodic satisfaction of She Won’t Play House – not to throw in too many comparisons, but this has a slight No Doubt vibe to it. As suggested, the eclecticism and variety throughout the album lets it really hold tight to your attention.

The final quarter brings some mighty high-energy, knees-up moments that again beg for you to witness them in a live setting. Louie’s Place and Stage Brain are particular favourites. Then at the very end, the acoustic passion of Save Me From Myself sees things get notably personal, laying bare vulnerabilities performance-wise and lyrically. 

A fantastic album, in short. Twelve original tracks that deliver hints of influence from across the board but seem authentically distinctive on the songwriting front – the band have their own writing style, and their musicianship is second to none. Brilliant. 

Visit the Dead Freddie Website for more information. Find & follow the band on Facebook.

Rebecca Cullen is a Cardiff (UK) based musician, writer & guitar teacher with an MA in Song Writing. She is the owner and editor of the independent music community & online magazine Stereo Stickman.

Her creative work takes inspiration from soul, folk & blues music, often with an electronic or trip-hop influenced edge. Her writing online covers a range of topics from performance to home recordings to song writing and beyond, as well as offering detailed music reviews, interviews & events listings for artists, bands & producers from around the world – in the hope of helping them reach a wider & more attentive audience.

October 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter (slightly belated)

Hello, Fred Heads!

What a beautiful autumn we’ve been having, right up until the Halloween Blizzard of 2019!!

A Rehearsal Becomes a Meeting Becomes an Impromptu Open Mic Appearance at The Outtaspace

The rehearsal planned for October 17th washed out, so it became a meeting to discuss band business and events.  Business concluded, it was still early, so Gintas and Donatas took a ride to The Outtaspace in Berwyn to check in with Aaron Mitchell about our upcoming event with Dirty Green at his venue on Dec. 27th.  We completely forgot that Thursdays are open mic, arriving without musical instruments.  It was just about the end of the night, so Gintas was able to borrow a guitar and I simply vocalized, clapped and sang our two originals, “Mary’s Waiting” and “Save Me From Myself”.  Crazy, spontaneous fun time!

Dead Freddie Headlines DZ Records “An Intimate Hallows Eve”

A deluge worthy of Noah roared in to the Chicago area the morning of October 26th.  Nonetheless, intrepid bands and music lovers converged on DZ Records in Hickory Hills on that stormy night.  The conditions outside did nothing to dampen the mood indoors.  Ben Arguilles not only runs DZ Records out of his basement, he also opens his living quarters to guests coming to see the bands.  With room to move around, lounge and tipple a beverage upstairs between sets, everyone is then ready to head back down and pack in close to the band that is performing live.  The first band up was Daydream Review, a bit of shoe-gaze blended with some more upbeat material.  Next was Shi La Rosa.  Rachel Colonna, the lead vocalist, is destined to be a pop star with her beautiful voice and stage presence.  They did a very cool, slow-jazz version of “Monster Mash” to start their set and it only improved from there.  The third band, Pledge Drive, was an all-women punk rock outfit, channeling Blondie, Patty Smith and The Pretenders.  Of note was their diminutive lead guitarist Kelsey, who perched on top of her amplifier the entire duration of their set.  A Dead Freddie/Pledge Drive bill in the future is a certainty.  Finally, Dead Freddie appeared in various costumes:  Steve as a photographer, Donatas as a mad scientist, Gintas as Batman and Joe donning a full-on astronaut suit, including helmet.  Somehow, we all managed to avoid heat stress (due to the 100% humidity and warm conditions fueled by the weather and a basement packed with warm bodies) and play a great set.  Ben’s video crew even video-recorded our rendition of “Active Partition” Here is a link to that video (Thanks Ben & Crew!)

Dead Freddie Headlines Freaktoberfest #10 at Cigars & Stripes!

Just as we experienced a serious rain event the day of the DZ Records show, the day before Freaktoberfest brought a heavy, wet blanket of snow, rendering asunder the circus tent set up in the parking lot of Cigars & Stripes in Berwyn.  The tent was to be the main site of Freaktoberfest #10, but due to the extensive tent damage, the entire event was condensed and moved indoors.  Fortunately, by the time the doors opened for the event, the snow had stopped falling and thankfully, the Cigars faithful rolled in.  The event started with illusionist Ron Fitzgerald and his lovey assistant Miss India performing some mind-boggling and dangerous looking illusions, including swallowing a half-dozen razor blades, then retrieving them from his throat with a long piece of floss-how DOES he do that?  It’s magic, of course.  Once the tiny stage was cleared, Dead Freddie wedged themselves into the tight space and ripped through a one-hour set.  Once again, costumes were donned: Steve as a cool jazz bassist, Donatas as an over-aged “emo” kid (white face and “guy-liner” part of the look) and Joe reprising his astronaut outfit a second time, but this time, his pants under the suit did not slide down.  In spite of all of Ronnie Lotzz’s stress, he pulled off yet another great Halloween event, hopefully not his last, in spite of his threats-no time to quit now Ronnie! Thanks again for choosing Dead Freddie and being such a strong supporter of our band!

2018 September Newsletter

September Fun with Dead Freddie and Friends

 Gintas and Joe were involved in a couple musical side projects in September. Now, dockets are cleared for more Dead Freddie!

Gintas performed with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polk Band at Milwaukee Polka Riot on September 8th. Punk Polk at it's best, and may turn into opportunity for Dead Freddie as well! 
We now have friends north of the prepare for a Dead Freddie road trip!

Joe Wood and his musical project Discoveries of the American Scientific performed at the Lowland Bloc party, part of the All Senses festival in the Quad Cities on Sept. 30th. Waiting for the glowing reviews to start pouring in!

 Gintas Buinevicius and Ed Saulis performed as Friends of the Moth at the Beverly Arts Walk Sept. 29th. The dueling guitars and beautiful harmonies are always a pleasure to hear and behold.

Dead Freddie at Riot Fest Chicago (only to watch…)

 Riot Fest Chicago 2018. Donatas, Gintas, and Regina (Dead Freddie Utility Guitarist and Bass Player) were joined by Dead Freddie Publicist and WXAV Radio Personality "Radio Ruta" Spencer at the music festival that has punk, pop-punk, hard rock, metal and more. Great stuff by Blondie, Beck, Weezer, Elvis Costello, Johnny Marr, Twin Peaks, Matt & Kim, Alkaline Trio, Taking Back Sunday-the list goes on and on...

 Dead Freddie venue debut at Independence Tap Chicago

 Last, but not least, Dead Freddie made their long-awaited return to the stage at Independence Tap in Chicago on Sept 21. Met up with organizer Flabby Hoffman and also made a few more in the audience into Dead Freddie believers. With Dead Freddie were Boats and Entropy-both bands played excellent sets of (mostly) original music. 'Twas a great night. Special thanks to Radio Ruta Spencer and Ausra Rowell for the eternal support!

 Dead Freddie Vinyl LP at Third Man Pressing-Detroit!

 Recording and Mixing-done (at Sonic Palace, Oak Park, IL). Mastering-done (by Trevor Sadler at Mastermind Productions). Photos-complete (by Stormy Photography and Nagle Photography). Album Jacket and Sleeve Artwork-beautiful (by Gintas Buinevicius). Test pressing from Third Man Pressing-received! (Sounds GREAT!!!). Jacket and Sleeve Printing-in progress at Stoughton Printing (they do ALL the printing for Jack White's (of White Stripes fame) Third Man Records). A few short weeks until the vinyl is dropped (I know-we said that LAST month)! Stay tuned for record release event

SAVE THE DATE: NOV. 17, 2018 

2018 July/August Newsletter


It has been a busy summer for individual members of Dead Freddie. Donatas spent nine weekends and two weeks at Camp Rakas as part of a larger community service project to prepare the camp, then maintain it during the Tenth International Lithuanian Scout Jamboree, near Custer, MI

 Gintas performed with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band (a Beatles-Polka mash-up!) at Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN as well as at Fest for Beatles at the Hyatt Regency Rosemont Hotel, getting back to his Beatles-loving roots and kindred spirits.

 Joe Wood put the finishing touches on music he wrote and performed with his musical project known as Discoveries of the American Scientific, as well as record a music video with the group (with smoke machine operator Gintas Buinevicius) at Reggie's in Chicago. Dead Freddie and D.O.T.A.S. are looking forward to another collaborative performance in late autumn

 Dead Freddie Vinyl LP at Third Man Pressing-Detroit!

 Recording and Mixing-done (at Sonic Palace, Oak Park, IL). Mastering-done (by Trevor Sadler at Mastermind Productions). Photos-complete (by Stormy Photography and Nagle Photography). Album Jacket and Sleeve Artwork-beautiful (by Gintas Buinevicius). Test pressing from Third Man Pressing-received! (Sounds GREAT!!!). Jacket and Sleeve Printing-in progress at Stoughton Printing (they do ALL the printing for Jack White's (of White Stripes fame) Third Man Records). A few short weeks until the vinyl is dropped! Stay tuned for record release event details...

2018 October Newsletter

"Rock-tober" with Dead Freddie and friends

 Gintas and Donatas made a visit to FitzGerald's in Beautiful Berwyn on Oct. 2. As always, heads turned as we walked in, looking fine our black suits and white shirts. And, as seems typical, we were once again #14 on the sign-up list. In spite of an accordion malfunction, we performed a couple of our favorite Dead Freddie originals. Looking forward to returning on Jan. 22, 2019, where Dead Freddie will be the featured band to start out the Open Mic event in the club for a 30-minute set. Hitting the big time? Perhaps other gigs will follow?

 Dead Freddie returns to WXAV

Gintas, Donatas and Joe "Is This The Bus Stop" Wood traveled to WXAV studios in Chicago to participate in College Radio Day 2018 programming. We were with Alternative Sounds for Your Head on-air personality Radio Ruta Spencer. We did a live world-premier of a new song titled "New Injection" plus also gave WXAV the world premiere first spin of "When I'm Bound", from our upcoming LP release. Gintas met his young doppelganger, Anthony Lopez, WXAV Music Director.

 Dead Freddie Vinyl LP at Third Man Records-Cass Corridor Detroit!

The intrepid trio-Gintas, Donatas and Dead Freddie Publicist "Radio" Ruta-traveled to Detroit Oct. 26-28 to pick up our Vinyl LP, the self-titled "Dead Freddie" and to scope out record stores where the LP may be sold as well as some venues that might host Dead Freddie for future performances in "The D". Eddie Gillis (brother of Jack (Gillis) White?) himself loaded up our shipment at Third Man Records in Detroit's Cass Corridor, which is way less "sketch" than it once was. Dropped vinyl at UHF Records in Royal Oak and at Underground Vinyl in the basement of PJ's Lager House-a venerated rock venue near Downtown Detroit. 
Stay tuned for a separate newsletter focusing on the Detroit escapades! 

 Record Release Event!!!

With new Vinyl LP now in hand, we look forward with great anticipation to our record release event at a venue that is always welcoming of Dead Freddie. LP, CD and new Dead Freddie merchandise will be available for this very special event. To all newsletter readers: reach out to all your music-loving friends and have them join you! 
A special free gift to first 20 paid admissions. Code words: "Free Thing"

Date: Nov. 17, 2018 
Time: Doors 8 PM, Dead Freddie at 9 PM 
Cover: $5 
Admission: 21 and Older 
Venue: Cigars & Stripes 

6715 Ogden Ave. 
Berwyn, IL 60402

February 2020 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo at Community of Strangers Photo Project

Dead Freddie supporter and photographer extraordinaire Joe Nagle hosted his Community of Strangers Photo Exhibit at The Outtaspace in Berwyn, IL on Feb. 1, 2020. Photos of people Joe met at a northside Chicago grocery store wine bar who agreed to sit for a b&w portrait were the subjects of the exhibit. Some fine work indeed by Mr. Nagle! To enhance the visual component of the evening, live music was added to the mix. The Dead Freddie Duo, Gintas Buinevičius and Donatas Ramanauskas, headlined, supported by Steve Delisi (of Old Gloria) and Saddleman (with Gintas Buinevičius on guitar and lead vocals) sidemen Sean Been-guitar and Dennis O'Dowd-bass), with DJ Radio Ruta Spencer spinning tunes before, between and after the bands. The bands and DJ were very well-received by an appreciative and engaged audience.

Dead Freddie Club Debut at The Uptown Tavern in Westmont, IL

Saturday, February 29, 2020. It was an auspicious night of musical entertainment when Dead Freddie, Saddleman and Vessy Mink all made their venue debuts at Uptown Tavern, a crazy little neighborhood bar in downtown Westmont, IL. The place was buzzing even before the bands began and only got greater as the evening progressed. Vessy Mink opened up the musical proceedings, accompanied by Kevin Hill on drums and special guest Chris Anthem Wozniak on electric guitar. A scorching performance, in which they basically ignored their set list, playing mostly originals and a lovely cover of The Cure's "Pictures of You". Swinging from the punky stylings of Vessy to Honky Tonk Country came Saddleman, with Gintas Buinevičius performing with a couple sidemen, referred to as Lonely Outlaws (Sean Behen on electric guitar and Dennis O'Dowd on bass guitar). Saddleman performed clever, soulful and entertaining originals, with the exception of their finale, a haunting cover of Joy Division's "Transmission". Dead Freddie headlined the night, featuring a line-up that included Donatas Ramanauskas on accordion and lead vocals, Gintas Buinevičius on drums and vocals, Gary Vacha on electric guitar and, making his Dead Freddie performance debut, Karl Sperling on bass guitar. With the throng of patrons and supporters literally inches away from the musicians, the communion between band and audience was phenomenal. The vast majority of those present had never witnessed Chicago's Punk Pop Phenomena and truly engaged by dancing, fist-pumping and shouting throughout the set. Huge thanks to manager/barkeep Michelle for allowing us to put together this unique bill and perform at here place. FYI-she has welcomed us back in the future. You can count on us taking her up on that invitation!

February/March 2018 Newsletter

 Dead Freddie back at Sonic Palace Studio

Gintas, Donatas and Joe were back at Sonic Palace Studio March 12th and 17th, continuing to work with owner/sound engineer/producer Matt Mercado (of Daisy Chain and Mind Bomb fame) to complete recording and mixing of the first full-length Dead Freddie LP (as yet untitled), with excellent progress being made. Looking to do a few last tweaks, then complete mixing in April, followed by mastering of the tracks. Dead Freddie e-mail subscribers will get the inside scoop on the latest news and details on WHEN vinyl will DROP, so tell your friends to get on our list NOW!!!

 Dead Freddie at FitzGerald's Sidebar

Gintas and Donatas made it over to the Sidebar at FitzGerald's on March 20th. They opened with radio hit "Mary's Waiting" and also debuted a new bilingual (English-Lithuanian) song titled "Jeigu As Sakiau" (If I Told You). With a little work, it will be a real gem. Joe Wood also joined the fun, performing one of his Discoveries of the American Scientific titles, plus an interesting cover. Thank You Radio Ruta Spencer, our new Publicist for Dead Freddie, for joining in the frivolity that is Open Mic at FitzGerald's!

 Dead Freddie at Brauer House

 The BIG show for Dead Freddie was Thursday, March, 29, 2018 at Brauer House, Lombard, IL. While we have played the venue numerous time during Open Mic events, this was our first actual, full-length show at the high-profile club. 
Cat Man Dog opened, playing a tasty 45-minute set of original music with a few interesting covers in the mix, with their 3-piece ensemble: Stephan Jude-Violin, Ian Gill-Acoustic Guitar and Dave Zielinski-Cajon percussion.

They were followed by South Side Exiles doing what they do best: original old-school-style R&B/Rock. The players: Greg Nawrocki-Guitar & Vocal, Bob Raudys-Keyboard & Vocal, Eddie Grzyb-Drums, Nick Grzyb-Bass, Rick Cruz-Lead Guitar, Victor Sandri-Guitar-a real guitar wall-of-sound! 

Dead Freddie headlined the evening with a 21-song tour-de-force that covered a good deal of our catalog. With a crowd of 70-80 on hand, it was great to play to full room, considering it was a Thursday night.

We would like to thank everybody that came out to support all three bands! It is always great to see our super-fans at our shows, plus it's always fun to meet new followers too!

September 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!

It was a great summer!

Dead Freddie goes to Riot Fest!

The 15th Annual Riot Fest in Chicago happened Sept. 13 -15th and Gintas, Donatas, Sam and publicist Radio Ruta Spencer were on the scene.  With excellent weather conditions 99% of the time, it was a great opportunity to soak in so much great music that encompasses Punk and everything that splinters from it.  Friday’s program included (amongst many others) Violent Femmes (and the gigantic saxophone), Flaming Lips and Blink 182.  Saturday’s highlights included ska legends The Selecter, The Struts and (personal favorite of Joe Wood) Slayer.  Sunday was particularly stacked with Nick Lowe, The Village People (with the combination mosh pit/conga line), Guided by Voices, The B-52s (final Chicago show forever(?)), Patti Smith and The Raconteurs (with Jack White of White Stripes fame).  Gintas says it so well when he states that Riot Fest becomes a true music community, not nearly as crazy as Lollapalooza.  Maybe 2020 will be the year Dead Freddie gets on stage???

Dead Freddie Drummer Plays at Milwaukee Polka Riot

Dead Freddie Drummer Gintas Buinevičius traveled to Milwaukee wit Sgt. Sauerkraut’s Polka Band to participate in the 3rd Annual Milwaukee Polka Riot.  The ‘kraut’s brought their “Beatles Meet Polka” zaniness to the Polka Riot stage along with six other bands that intersect at the Polka and Punk genre nexus.  Memorable highlights include (in addition to Sgt. SK) Apolkalypse Wow! (and their instant classic “Chicken Pot Pie”), Preomnor (think heavy metal accordion & drums doing Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) and The Polkaholics featuring John Hedecker (of Algebra Suicide fame). Post Polka the Sgt SK entourage ended the night at Koz’s Mini-bowl with 10 frames of bowling with a human pinsetter.  Only in Milwaukee.  Maybe 2020 will be the year Dead Freddie does the Punk Polka in Milwaukee???

Dead Freddie Returns to Chicago Lithuanian Center!

After a hiatus dating back to 1981, elements of Dead Freddie returned to the epicenter of Chicago’s Lithuanian community, the Chicago Lithuanian Center (A.K.A. Lithuanian Youth Center, A.K.A. Jaunimo Centras, A.K.A. “J.C’s”) on September 28th.  The Center invited the Dead Freddie Duo (Donatas & Gintas) as well as DJ Radio Rūta Spencer to be part of the rededication celebration of the improvements to the facility.  Thank You to Antanas and Rita Rašymas for the opportunity.  DJ Rūta warmed up the crowd and then the duo played a scorching acoustic set that included a popular Lithuanian tune “Kaip Gražu Miške” (How Beautiful is the Forest).  DJ Rūta kept things going afterwards, giving everyone a chance to catch up with old friends and make some new acquaintances as well.  Maybe 2020 will be the year we return to the BIG STAGE at J.C’s???

November 2018 Newsletter

 Hello, Fred Heads!
November 2018 was a HUGE month for Dead on...

 Dead Freddie Returns to WLUW's Razor & Die Radio Show

 On Nov. 9, members of Dead Freddie (Gintas, Joe and Donatas) along with publicist Radio Ruta Spencer returned to the studios of WLUW (Loyola College Radio) to perform and be interviewed by Razor & Die Radio Show host Di Kulka. We played a few songs acoustically from the LP, plus Di also played two tracks from the CD and we gifted her our beautiful Vinyl as well. We talked about making the album, how playing live is different than playing in the studio and future projects. Thanks again Di for having us on your show! And thank you Ruta for your unflagging support of the band!

 Dead Freddie Redux in Goldie's Garage!

Dead Freddie returned to Goldie's Garage on Friday, Nov. 16th. This is the radio program for unsigned bands run by Genya Ravan on Little Steven's Underground Garage on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. She played our lead track, "Cliché", from our new LP. Loved her comments, one of which was "love how the accordion is such an axe". We got a chuckle when she mangled the pronunciation of Donatas and Gintas, but kudos to Goldie for giving it a shot. Genya played "Mary's Waiting" on her program on 3/17/17 and said she was anxiously awaiting new stuff from Chicago's Punk Pop Phenomena-and we delivered. Maybe kick it up to regular programming...we shall see.
Thank You, Genya Ravan, Goldie's Garage and Little Steven's Underground Garage.

2019 March Newsletter

Two Great Shows For Dead Freddie in March

Dead Freddie made their venue debut at the Elbo Room in Chicago on Sunday March 10, 2019. A great place, with stages upstairs and down below, with excellent sound and lighting (Thanks to Brennan Mitrelka!) This was a showcase event with eight (!) acts. Dead Freddie had the sweet spot, playing third, when the crowd was at it's peak. Although we were down a trumpet, our trombonist Sam Steagerman made up for both horns with a vengeance! We had a great time hanging out with our die-hard supporters that feared not venturing into the city on a Sunday night, as well as meeting and chatting with members of the other bands. Neurotix totally tore it up as the closing act, literally smashing guitars and busting a cymbal. Nirvana meets the Who... 
Special thanks to Joe Nagle and Ruta Spencer for snapping some great photos and Rasa Ramanauskas for pushing the merch!

Elbo Room Chicago 
Julian Kerins 
Jean Atomic 
Nagle Photography 
Dystopian Echo 
Graham the Empire

Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo at Arcada Battle of the Bands

Donatas Ramanauskas and Gintas Buinevicius threw their hat into the Battle of the Bands at Club Arcada Speak Easy and Showroom on Tuesday March 26, 2019. The space is reminiscent of a 1920's bar with flapper girls plying cocktails to the patrons therein. The event is sponsored by Arcada Theatre and 1126 Entertainment. All genres of bands and solo artists are welcome. On this night, five bands and three solo artists gave their best: Vinyl Goods, Voodoo Children, Dead Freddie, John Finn, No Clear Way, Gala (solo), Bobby Midnight (solo) and Keith Robb (solo). Everyone performed brilliantly and I'm sure the judges had a difficult time assigning three acts to move on to the final round on April 17th downstairs in the main Arcada Theatre. Alas, even the accordion/guitar renditions of Mary's Waiting, Save Me From Myself and the Lithuanian favorite "Kaip Grazu Miske" (It's So Beautiful in the Forest) made the evening nothing more than a fun event. Super thanks to all the supporters that came, sang along, laughed (in Lithuanian) cheered and clapped, including "day job" work mates form INX International, our faithful omnipresent publicist Radio Ruta Spencer and super-fan Karan Schadenecker Payne. Maybe next time we bring the full fury of the full band??? 

May 2018 Newsletter

 Dead Freddie completes recording of first full-length LP!

Gintas & Donatas made final tweaks to tracks that will be on the Dead Freddie LP when they visited Sonic Palace on May 24th. Thank you to owner/sound engineer/producer Matt Mercado for guiding us through the process and providing valuable input throughout. Dead Freddie e-mail subscribers will get the inside scoop on the latest news and details on WHEN vinyl will DROP, so tell your friends to get on our list NOW!!!

As part of our roll-out for the upcoming Dead Freddie LP, we are preparing short video clips about each of the twelve songs. We visited some spots on the SW side of Chicago where Dead Freddie began, including the gangway that led to the back door that led to the basement where Dead Freddie Band rehearsed in the late '70's and early 80's. Be on the look-out for those mini-docs!

It will be a busy summer for Dead Freddie, mostly preparing for the LP release. Mastering will begin momentarily, followed by album art and vinyl pressing. Looking forward to doing a few radio spots as well, so stay tuned!

Please check out our frequent posts on Instagram as well as on Facebook!

Please write to us and let us know what YOU will be doing this summer!


December 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Happy Holidays, Fred Heads

"Let's Hope There's No Blizzard Holiday Event"

Dead Freddie Returned to the Cairo Ale House on December 13, 2019 and, thankfully, there was no blizzard, unlike previous dates in December 2016 and April 2019 (yes-we had a snowy, slushy mess on April 14th).  This was an early show, to make it easy for everyone to come straight from work to lend an "office party" atmosphere to the proceedings.  The line-up that came together was eclectic and of diverse genres, and yet, everything clicked.  THM NME, Wiresky, Dead Freddie and Bill Nelson & The Warning Signs comprised a bill of entertainment for what turned out to be a warm, supportive musical event for all involved. 

THM NME  After cancelling then uncancelling on the day of the show, Vessy Mink of THM NME took to the stage as a solo act. Shortly after her first song she remarked ""I wish I had a drummer", when Dead Freddie and Wiresky drummer Gintas Buinevicius obliged her wish, not knowing exactly what he was in for, and didn't miss a beat.  During the next song the request for a bassist went out and Dennis O'Dowd of Wiresky heeded the call with his masterly four-string skills.  Finally into the third or fourth song, Bill Nelson hopped up on the stage and picked up a guitar to fill out a full-fledged four-piece line-up.  Very fun to watch Vessy in action, when for her finale she made up a song on the spot based on audience suggestions.  Such a strong and brave performer is one Vessy Mink!

Wiresky.  The line-up for Wiresky consisted of Barb Dahl Olson on lead vocals, Mike Croschere on rhythm guitar, Sean Behen on lead guitar, Dennis O'Dowd on bass guitar and Gintas Buinevicius on drums.  Having seen Wiresky perform on numerous occasions over the last few years, I observed and heard a band that's truly honed their craft with excellent musicianship and excellent stories behind the songs, channeling the 60's and 70's rock'n'roll vibe in their all-original set.  Rock on!

Dead Freddie.  Gintas Buinevicius (drums & vocals), Steve Foley bass), Joe Wood (guitar) and Donatas Ramanauskas (accordion and vocals) ripped through their eleven song set of all-original DF material, receiving a warm reception and even some dancers!  We had great fun interacting with all the other bands and music lovers.

Bill Nelson & The Waring Signs.  Bill Nelson (acoustic guitar, vocals), Billy D. Williams (steel guitar), Timmy "The Kid" Stephenson (bass guitar), Jacob "Moose" Schultz (drums) and Bert "King Bee" Swiderski (harmonica) was the line-up.  Everyone loved the fantastic honky-tonk/country/blues/rock melange that they cooked up for their performance.  A great way to close out the four-band show!

Thanks so much to Tony and Andrew Massih for letting us put this show together and sound engineer Andrew Gallagher for making all the bands sound SOOOO good!

Dead Freddie Drummer plays with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band

Dead Freddie drummer Gintas Buinevicius once again joined up with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band on December 20, 2019 at FitzGerald's Sidebar as part of the sixth annual Christmas With The Beatles Fundraiser and Glove Drive.  In addition to the wacky and entertaining polka-sized versions of Beatles tunes, the line-up also included The Newbees (Cinncinatti, OH) and a DJ set by WXAV's Radio Ruta Spencer.  The event sold out and was a tremendous success!

How I came to be at the Mott the Hoople 74 Concert

I very recently attended the Mott the Hoople 74 concert at the Chicago Theatre on April 3, 2019.  I had purchased the tickets the day they went on sale, fearful of the show being quickly sold out.  By the time I got online that day, many of the tickets had indeed been sold, even with hefty asking prices of $79 and more.  I was fortunate enough to secure two ducats on the main floor, far left side, row J.  I didn’t know who would want to go with me to the show, but I knew that I would at least gain admission into the venue.

It has been some time since I have felt compelled to go see a concert with such high ticket prices. While I did not even give a second thought at the time of purchase, I just recently did give some thought as to why I felt so compelled.

It begins decades ago, in the days of my late teen years and even earlier.  It was, as for so many of us, the best of times and the worst of times. With the threshold of puberty finally crossed, there was a greater interest to do more with others in my peer group, especially after discovering that girls weren’t all bad.   Coming from a strong ethnic upbringing, in this case Lithuanian, there had always been contact with girls as many in our Chicago south side community belonged to the Lithuanian Catholic parishes, attended school on Saturdays to become inculcated in all things Lithuanian, including language, literature, history, geography, folk dancing and singing.  There were also the Lithuanian Sports leagues, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and other organizations, all of which were populated by children of parents and grandparents that had immigrated under difficult conditions to the US after the Second World War.  With the belief that there would soon be an international intervention to free nations that were swallowed up by the Soviet empire, the elders did all they could to keep the culture and language alive until that day arrived.

While emancipation took longer than expected (finally occurring in 1991), the ethnic community flourished, not only in Chicago, but also in other cities across the US and Canada, where many had been attracted in search of jobs and a decent living.  Among them, in addition to Chicago, were Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal.  In each of these cities existed all or many of the cultural and social organizations.  

One of these organizations was the Lithuanian Cultural Federation “Ateitis” (literally: future). Members were called “Ateitininkai” (followers of the future).  The foundation started Camp Dainava (near Manchester, MI, named after an ancient hilltop fortress) in the mid-1950’s and each summer runs various youth-based sessions, all of which revolve around strengthening the Catholic faith while maintaining Lithuanian culture and language.  While that was the stated agenda, when the teen camp had it’s 2-week session, there were other things on the minds and loins of the participants. Camp Dainava was a melting pot of youth, as it drew participants from many cities around the US and Canada. Most notable among these were Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, all geographically closest to the camp, all with relatively healthy memberships in the organization (although being a member of “Ateitis” was not a prerequisite for admission.).

During the middle weekend of the teen camp, the program directors always planned a youth dance. Teens pooled together their record albums; others brought stereo gear and speakers.  The youth of Cleveland were particularly savvy when it came to new music, being blessed with the radio station WMMS, at that time (and in retrospect) one of the most cutting-edge stations of the day, spinning a huge variety of music other, mostly shunning the Top 40 hits of the day.  The closest to this station that I know of is WXRT in Chicago, especially in its earliest days, when ratings mattered little but music quality and diversity mattered much.

And so it was that I was invited to crash the dance in 1974, along with three other friends who were not Ateitininkai either.  We drove out of Chicago on Friday afternoon and survived the crush of eastbound traffic headed for Indiana, Michigan and beyond.  We arrived at the camp just as the music was getting started.  The Cleveland contingent controlled the platters. Among them:  Changes One by David Bowie, The Hoople by Mott the Hoople, the Velvet Underground & Nico and Roxy Music.  We received an education in what was later referred to as “Glam Rock” that night.

This was the first time I heard Mott classics “Golden Age of Rock n Roll” and “Roll Away the Stone”, “Rebel, Rebel” and “Suffragette City” by Bowie.  It was a perfect storm of music, people and venue that created a life-long memory that has stayed with me to this very day.  I’m sure each of us has had that moment when the first notes or chords of a song just wash over you and make you FEEL.  

The hours following the dance were anticlimactic.  No hook-ups with the good Catholic girls were to be had.  Flaming shots of 151 rum left one of our group with second-degree blisters on his face.  Others suffered nearly as much drinking a very potent and super-sweet concoction of Hawaiian Punch powder dispersed in 151 rum.  Don’t remember where we slept as unregistered campers, just feeling groggy as we departed the next morning.  One of the Cleveland guys lent us a mix tape with much of the Glam Rock we had heard the night before.

So, it was many of these memories (the good, the bad and the ugly) that flooded my consciousness as I waited for Mott the Hoople to hit the stage on April 3, 2019.  It was their first tour of the US since 1974.  Chicago was the third of the only eight dates across the Midwest and east coast on this tour, which Ian Hunter intimated would be his last.  I feel lucky to have seen a musical icon of my youth.

One of the last comments that Ian Hunter uttered at the very end of the two-song encore was how he remembered his first show in Chicago, at the Aragon Ballroom in 1970, when Mott the Hoople opened for Ten Years After and B.B. King.  As it turns out, my significant other on our ride home recalled seeing B.B. King with some high school friends at the Aragon that year and did not even realize who the opening acts were!  She beat me to seeing Mott by four decades.  Funny how things work out…​

November 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! Locking Down-Again!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  Let’s be thankful for a sea change in our government and that every day we get closer to an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

With the weather turning colder, it looks like we have shut down the outdoor lounge and/or garage, putting a temporary hold on additional livestreams, club shows, rehearsals and band meetings.  We continue to hone our skills and learn new material in our homes until we figure out how to resume safely indoors or out. 

VVS Lives On!
Gintas continued his run of Sunday night Virtual Variety Shows, with three more amazing episodes during November! He continues to sprinkle in some Dead Freddie gems into his repertoire, always fun to hear the songs sung in a different voice. Check him out on YouTube at Milkmandan63 at 7PM Central Time (US). Also, if you missed any episodes, they reside on his YouTube channel for you to get caught up.

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

Affluent Bums (November 5)

Saddleman (November 12)

Beach Street Cheetahs (October 19)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

If you missed any of these posts, you can scroll back on the Dead Freddie FB page and check them out!

Dead Freddie Album Review


Article released 16 May 2020

By Keith Profeta

Who says punk rock is just for kids? Once the power of the energy-laden genre has its teeth in you there is no escape. Punk bands, on the other hand, are not known for their longevity. Our recent find Dead Freddie took the standard time off but has since reformed to create fresh sounds and continue the fun.

The band dates back to 1980 when two lifelong friends, Donatas Ramanauskas and Vainis Aleksa, after being sucked into the punk scene by legends such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Ramones. They knew that is where they belonged and Dead Freddie was born. As is the case of so many Punk bands, the flame burned fast and hot, dying out by 1982. Life got in the way. College, marriages, kids, and day jobs put the band on indefinite hiatus. But there is no holding the punk gene down. In 2012, Dead Freddie came together again with some fresh faces and a fresh take as Chicago’s Punk Pop Phenomena.

The most recent release by the band is the self-titled Dead Freddie album. The vibe seems to still be alive and well. The high energy sound is kept fresh by taking elements from Garage, Glam, Ska, and Power-pop and meshing them all together for the new Dead Freddie sound. The distorted guitars and group Oi vocals that start the opener “Cliche” let us know that there is no slowdown in the new music. Other genres creep in that shows off the mass of classic influences the band has taken in over their years.

The drum heavy “Mary Left” keeps the energy maxed out as the pounding beat will jump start any hearts open to the music. The group chorus has that classic punk effect of causing the listener to want to sing along and be part of what is happening here. “Double Handle” keeps this rolling as well with some exotic instrumentation thrown in for good measure.

The fun is contagious on “She Won’t Play House”. Another track that will have you singing along by the second verse. This gets even stranger with “Stage Brain” as noises seem to come from everywhere, even a punk rock accordion. 

By the time we get to the closer “Save Me From Myself” it seems that Dead Freddie is ready to let us off easy with a mellow number that provides a head swaying effect with acoustic guitar strumming,  accordion pulls and no drums. This is the break we all need to let our hearts return to a normal beating pattern. Relax, but not for long.

Keep up with more energy from Dead Freddie at:
Web: www.deadfreddie.comOctober 2020

March 2020 Dead Freddie Newsletter

We Are Apart But Not Alone!

Dead Freddie Goes To Detroit!

After months of starts and stops and more starts, Chicago's Punk Pop Phenomena made their Detroit-area club debut on Saturday March 7, 2020 at Kelly's Bar in Hamtramck, MI, near the heart of Detroit.  "Ham Town" is a very diverse cultural and ethnic community in addition to a home to a cluster of live music venues, annually hosting the Hamtramck Music Festival.  The festival hosts over eighty bands spread over a dozen small venues over the course of two nights, supporting the local live music scene like no other event.  Too bad we missed it by a week-it would have been cool to check out some other bands while we were there. However, OUR event at Kelly's, a true neighborhood punk dive bar, started with Regina Ramanauskas performing as her solo act "Kicked by a Hand" featuring some of her peppy original material, a couple of fun covers plus crazy multi-song mash-ups too.  She really ignited the crowd.  It was a great honor and surprise to have Jonas Berzinskas play just a couple of tunes for the crowd.  He traveled from Ann Arbor to be with us, where he lives and runs a radio show out of Washtenaw Community College.  Following Jonas was a stripped-down Hope Orchestra, featuring Michael King on electric guitar, Gary Sosnick on acoustic guitar and old friend and long-time Dead Freddie supporter Asta Jurgutis Piestys on vocals.  It was their first public performance in years, but you couldn't tell by the way they played their songs, mostly new material to be released soon on their yet-to-be-titled CD.  Can't wait!  Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo with Gintas Buinevicius (guitar and vocals) and Donatas Ramanauskas (accordion and vocals) played a few songs that lend themselves to simpler arrangements.  These included "save Me From Myself", the Lithuanian-English bilingual "Buk Su Manim" (Be With Me) as well as the Lithuanian song by Vytas Kernagis "Kaip Grazu Miske", always a crowd-pleaser!  Finally, the crowd of around fifty people got what they came for when the rest of Dead Freddie hit the stage.  Gary Vacha handled guitar duties, Karl Sperling on bass guitar and Sam 'Steagasaurus" Steagerman on trombone.  The tiny stage just made for a literally and figuratively tighter band performance with a set list that focused on all the Dead Freddie favorites.  Before we knew it, it was just about midnight! A gig thank you to the large Lithuanian contingent that were not afraid to journey from the comfort of the western 'burbs, to the handful of old work associates from Flint Ink and especially to the band members, significant others and publicist that took on the "big ask" and made the trip from Chicago. A very special thanks to Asta, who had to twist a few arms to get her bandmates to play!  Finally, thank you to Blake Batterman, owner/proprietor of Kelly's Bar, who relinquished control of his establishment to an unknown band from Chicago, when many other places in the Detroit area declined, and to bartender Kim, who served the horde all night long singlehandedly.  Will we ever go back? Well...

Surviving in the Time of the Corona Virus in 2020

What a wonderful afterglow we all felt (and perhaps a hangover that required a "recovery I.V."?) coming home from Detroit.  Friday night at the Blackhawks vs. Redwings game, Saturday morning running around Eastern Market followed by mini-recording sessions at Third Man Records' Cass Corridor location, lunch at the ORIGINAL Buddy's (Detroit Style) Pizza followed by a fantastic, successful night at Kelly's Bar. Those experiences got us all revved up for what was to come next: prepare for shows at the Chicago Lithuanian Center in April, opening for a a latin ska punk band at Brauer House in May, a possibility to open for Off Broadway at FitzGerald's in June. Learning some new Dead Freddie material and maybe a few covers to keep things interesting.  All those things were put on hold when the "shelter-in-place" order came down on March 16th in Illinois and many other states as well, in order to "flatten the curve" of the spread of the novel corona virus COVID19.  Plans for a live social media performance by the Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo were squashed when further restrictions were put in place that shut down not just bars and restaurants, but other "non-essential" businesses and very serious "social distancing" guidelines were announced. Travel for anything other than groceries and medicine were highly discouraged.  To support this policy, Gintas ended up doing two solo shows from his basement, pulling out all the stops with comedy bits as well as songs by Dead Freddie, Saddleman, Friends of the Moth and other meaningful covers, chosen to reflect the mood of our current situation.  His performances on March 21st (Dead Freddie Variety Hour #1) and 29th (Virtual Variety Show) made our time apart just a little easier to bear and inspired us to prepare for the time when we can jam together once again.  Until then: stay safe, stay clean, stay home.  See you on the other side!February 2020 Dead Freddie Newsletter


Hello, Friends!

We could say that we have been just soooo busy rehearsing, playing shows and doing radio appearances that we have had a hard time coming out with our second are some 2017 highlights!

Dead Freddie started 2017 with a new guitarist, Joe Wood, in the line-up, debuting at a Mardi Gras fundraiser in early February. Let's just say he passed the audition with flying colors!

The group did an in-store appearance at Val's Halla Records (Oak Park, IL) in early March. We were honored (and just a little nervous) by the attendance of Mimi Betinis of Pezband. Thank You Val for hosting! 

We made our first appearance at Reggie's (Chicago, IL) in late March. Thanks to Elle Quintana (talent booker) for getting us on the same bill as seminal San Francisco Punk group The Dickies! A real rush playing in front of a full house of punk afficionados and rubbing elbows with punk legends!

Dead Freddie had their song "Mary's Waiting" played on 3/17 on the "Goldie's Garage" radio show by host Genya Ravan, a program on SiriusXM Satellite radio station Little Steven's Underground Garage. How cool is that? This song is also to be included on Goldie's year-end compilation!

We had great fun participating in our first Record Store Day event, back at Val's Halla Records, in mid-April. The catch was that bands had to play cover songs, something we rarely do. We challenged ourselves playing a powerful set of David Bowie tunes!

Ronnie Lotzz, owner of Cigars & Stripes (Berwyn, IL) gave Dead Freddie a shot at playing a Friday night show in late April. Very cozy confines, many regular patrons and a traveling contingent of Dead Freddie supporters made for an excellent debut at this famous venue!

Radio time! Dead Freddie on WXAV Chicago, with host Radio Ruta Spencer's program "Alternative Sounds for Your Head" on May 10th. We had fun playing some acoustic versions of DF tunes with interesting between-song banter. Thanks Ruta!

Dead Freddie checked in with the Richard "Flabby" Hoffman Radio Extravogonzo on QUE4 Radio Chicago on May 6th. Always whacky, always fun-Thanks Flabby!

Dead Freddie acoustic trio were on the radio at WLUW Chicago with Di Kulka, host of the Razor & Die show on June 9th. We had an opportunity to play a few songs and talk music in general with the always-bubbly Di. Thanks for having us on the air!

The Dead Freddie acoustic trio traveled to the home of 103.9 The Fox in Crystal Lake, IL on June 27th. Aldis Snow is host of the weekly program "The Garage", which features local, unsigned bands. He loved our stuff and we had a great time talking about our music. Thanks Aldis!

It's always fun to play the Underground Lounge in Chicago. We teamed up with a couple other bands on June 3rd and rocked the house, introducing a new song for our loyal fans who made it to the show!

We had a great time playing our first performance at Phyllis' Musical Inn on August 4th as part of long-time Dead Freddie supporter (and occasional photographer) Joe Nagle's photo exhibition.


Dead Freddie teamed up with Kicked by a Hand (Regina Ramanauskas) and Geneva's own North of Center for a rare triple bill at EvenFlow Music & Spirits. Great turn-out and crowd enthusiasm-that really makes it fun!

Dead Freddie was invited back to Cigars & Stripes on Oct 25th to perform at the annual Freaktoberfest event. Where else would the "warm-up" act be Kim Chee the Fire Dancer? Excellent crowd, beer and food. Thanks Ronnie Lotzz!

Session1 at Sonic Palace (Oak Park, IL). Recording 6-8 new songs for Dead Freddie's second EP with Matt Mercado (of Mind Bomb fame) on November 18th.

Session 2 at Sonic Palace. None other than Max Crawford (Poi Dog Pondering) added his horns to a couple of tracks. A real pro! Also, the scoreboard keeper at Wrigley Field! Looking forward to Session 3 in early January 2018, when we plan on finishing the remaining songs for our second EP (or will it be an LP???) Stay tuned and follow at

August 2020

​Life with COVID 19 Continues and We’re Doing OK!

Gintas continued his run of Sunday night Virtual Variety Shows, with, count’em, four episodes during August!  He has developed a small, but regular following for his program, with an occasional assist from Radio Ruta Spencer.  He has added a regular feature, Cocktails 101, during which he demonstrates how to make some popular drinks.  He continues to find classics and obscure covers from the rock and pop genres, spanning over five decades to engage and entertain us all.

Dead Freddie Semi-Acoustic Quartet Live Show and FB Livestream_15 August 2020

On a beautiful summer evening, we gathered in the outdoor lounge for a live show, streamed on Facebook, with Gintas and Gary on, respectively, acoustic and electric guitars, Karl on bass guitar and Donatas on accordion, with Gintas and Donatas sharing the vocals.  It was the first public performance for the foursome since our March 2020 trip to Kelly’s Bar in Detroit, MI.  Even without drums, the songs were very dynamic, with excellent interplay between the two guitars. Our live audience was very small: Radio Ruta Spencer keeping track of “the board” (FB comments”, Audrius “Stormy” Remeikis taking photos and Karan Schaudenecker Payne modelling our new Dead Freddie work shirts (Thank You to you all!). The next-door neighbors, Chris and Denise were celebrating Denise’s 29th(?) birthday and cheered us on from over the fence. And back-fence neighbor Janet Vanverst finally made it over and really enjoyed our music from a socially-distant area.

Dead Freddie Members with Sgt. Sauerkraut’s Polka Band_8 August 2020

Dead Freddie members Gintas Buinevicius and Karl Sperling, being the versatile, genre-bending musicians that they are, returned to service with Sgt. Sauerkraut’s Polka Band in South Haven, MI. They participated in a virtual Fest for Beatles Fans event, which would normally have taken place in Chicago this same weekend.  So, it was still possible to have a little fun, virtually, playing their polka-ized Beatles parody songs plus enjoy the beautiful summer weather and some time afterwards on the mesmerizing Lake Michigan shoreline.

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

The bands we featured in August:

Black Sand Armor (6 August)

Pezband (13 August)

Johnny Automatic (20 August)

Aweful (27 August)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

If you missed any of these posts, you can scroll back on the Dead Freddie FB page and check them out!

Dead Freddie Album Review

Prepare for a Garage-Glam-Power-Pop-Punk Extravaganza, Dead Freddie’s Self-Titled New Album is Now Available!

by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman 

11 May 2020

Chicago Punk Pop Phenomenon Dead Freddie originated in the year 1966 when a group of Cub Scouts organized to raise funds for the Lithuanian Scout Movement.

As a result of that experience, Donatas Ramanauskas and Vainis Aleksa became lifelong friends. The band, Dead Freddie, formed in 1980 after a 1978 epiphany brought about by the music of The Ramones, The Clash and the Sex Pistols. In the true spirit of punk, the band burned hot, it burned fast and the fuel was burning out by 1982.

Fast forward through decades of college, marriage, kids, and jobs to the year 2011. It was that year the band was approached, or challenged, to play a fundraiser for the movement. Despite other band members saying no to this opportunity, Donatas couldn’t resist. He brought together a group of younger and older musicians to prepare a set of Dead Freddie material.

The new lineup includes: Gintas Buinevicius on Drums, Guitar and Backing Vocals, Gary Vacha on Guitar and Backing Vocals, Karl Sperling on Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals, Sam Steagerman on Trombone and backing vocals and Donatas Ramanauskas on Lead Vocals and the occasional Punk Accordion.

Packed full of energy, intensity, and charisma, Dead Freddie deliver an unrelenting wall of infectious sounds that are guaranteed to pump you up in the modern age while staying true to the essence of Punk’s spirit from the 60s and 70s.

This album is meant to be turned up as loud as possible. Your body is meant to and will be moved. Your spirits will be boosted and your mood refreshed. In fact, Dead Freddie might get you so fired up you could find yourself turning your living room into a mosh pit.

Infused with meaningful history, loved by audiences at clubs and festivals, supported by radio stations locally and beyond, Dead Freddie creates timeless music and a timeless experience that is highly enjoyable, energetic and potentially addictive.

I highly encourage you to jam and support the new album.

Listen to Dead Freddie on Spotify.

Connect on the official website.

Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman  is an Indie Hip Hop artist from Tennessee, now in Sacramento. Writer for Indie Music Also, CMO of UL, a boutique digital distro and publishing admin firm.

Vol. 1

2016 Great Year for Punk-Pop Phenomena!

Hey Everybody!

Welcome to the first Dead Freddie Newsletter!

Thanks to all our families, friends and fans that came out to our shows and supported us in the social media. If not for you, we'd still just be playing in the basement...

The biggest news of the year for Dead Freddie is the release of their debut EP titled "If I Knew What I Wanted". Six songs of pure Punk-Pop essence. (See the end of the Newsletter for details on how to get yours!)

In addition to recording, Dead Freddie was also selected to perform at the American Music Festival at FitzGerald's in Berwyn, IL on July 1st. What an honor and thrill it was to hear, see and rub shoulders with the many notable musicians that perform there every year. Of course, we played a not-too-shabby set as well!

Another big accomplishment of ours was the big win at the Battle of the Bands organized by great local promoter Bob Cozza, at Danny's on Douglas in Elgin, IL on March 2016. Of 10 bands entered, Dead Freddie played first-an impossible position to win such a contest, with so many bands continually raising the bar, and we won nonetheless. The cash prize helped finance our recording time in June 2016 at Bricktop Recording Studio in Chicago.

The band did their first "long-distance" show when they traveled to Cleveland, OH in August 2016 to perform at the prestigious Beachland Ballroom Tavern. We played a great set for a big crowd, along with two fine Cleveland bands: Prison Snitch and Tufted Puffins.

In addition to live shows throughout the year, the group also appeared on the radio three times: at WXAV FM88.3 in May with Radio Ruta Spencer, at WQUE AM1680 in July with the fabulous Flabby Hoffman and finally, in August at WJCU 88.7 with Marius Juodisius, in Cleveland, the home of the Rock'nRoll Hall of Fame (which we visited while in town!). And now, with an EP in hand, we are looking forward to many more appearances on radio and maybe even TV!

While we are still re-vamping our website, no online sales! If you want an EP: send $15+$5.95 shipping, check payable to Dead Freddie USA, LLC; for CD: send $5+$3.95 shipping to Dead Freddie USA, LLC, 1507 Meadows Rd., Geneva, IL 60134. And YES-that is translucent blue vinyl!!!

©2019 Dead Freddie | 1507 Meadows Rd., Geneva, IL 60134

Dead Freddie April 2019 Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!
Great Show at Cairo Ale House!

The last time that Dead Freddie performed at Cairo Ale House in West Chicago, IL was December 2016, the night of the single biggest snowfall of the 2016-17 Winter season. Not THAT big of a surprise, just a bit of a pain driving to the show. However, a full-blown snowstorm on April 14, 2019-well, that was a little out of the ordinary-to say the least. However, Dead Freddie was not going to miss an opportunity to play with their Pop Punk heroes This Obsession, who were kicking off a mini Spring Break tour. Also appearing were CHX Collective and Solution Unsatisfactory, both stalwarts in the local punk scene. Another thing that made this show special was that we had a special guest drummer, Malik Temple, recruited by our trombonist Sam Steagerman. This allowed Gintas Buinevicius, who usually handles the drumming chores, to move to the "front line" and wail on the electric guitar. Everyone, musicians and audience alike, had a great time hearing some great local, live, original music before rushing home to watch Episode 1 of the final season of the TV show "Game of Thrones"
Special thanks to This Obsession to adding us on to this special bill; to Ruta Spencer for snapping some great photos and Rasa Ramanauskas for pushing the merch! And an extra big Thank You to Malik Temple for making the drive from Kankakee, IL. A true professional!

July 2020

Keeping On…the masks & social distancing…and MUSIC!

Gintas made it to Virtual Variety Show #17 on his YouTube channel Milkmandan63.  He is going further afield musically with his cover song selections, plus inserts originals by himself, Saddleman and Dead Freddie.  He has no plans for ending his Sunday night run anytime soon, so long as he feels there is a need to fill the void created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Impromptu Musical Social Gathering_11 July 2020

Steve & Linda Wroczynski, long-time mavens of Fest For Beatles Fans, whence they came to know Gintas Buinevicius and many in the Dead Freddie family that overlap, made their annual pilgrimage from La Salle, IL to wonderful Westchester. While the duo handled the bulk of the backyard musical extravaganza, others took turns joining them or playing on their own to give them a little break.  Gintas & Donatas stepped up to do a couple Dead Freddie tunes, with Karl Sperling adding a little extra guitar and vocal from “side stage”.  It was a great evening for the dozen or so socially-distanced attendees, with great music, plus great food supplied by Gintas with Dead Freddie publicist Ruta Spencer, as always, lending a helping hand.

Dead Freddie Acoustic Quartet Facebook Livestream_22 July 2020

Gintas, Gary, Karl and Donatas had their first rehearsal all together since late February on July 17, 2020.  In between extended bits of conversation( a LOT to catch up on), we did actually practice some songs!  Based on this first blush of success, we scheduled our next rehearsal for Wednesday July 22, 2020.  This rehearsal was also attended by Dead Freddie publicist and WXAV radio personality Radio Ruta Spencer.  She had come to do a short interview with the group (for a future WXAV podcast) and convinced us to do a mini-livestream on Facebook as well.  Just two songs (“Mary’s Waiting” and “Debonair”) but enough to let the world know the band is (slowly) coming back.  Stay tuned for date & time of podcast!  Thank You Radio Ruta!

Dead Freddie featured on Ramshaw Records (UK) Release

Ramshaw Records, a small record label in the northeast of England, included the Dead Freddie original “Going to the Dance” on their compilation titled “15 Moments of Summer”, which dropped internationally on 3 July 2020.  Since then, NWCZ Radio (Tacoma, WA, USA) played our track on 18 July 202 and more spectacularly, the entire compilation, including our song, was also played on 25 July 2020 on 107.8 Black Diamond FM (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK).  Stoked about the new plays!  Thank You Ramshaw Records!

NWCZ Radio

107.8 Black Diamond FM Dalkeith (Edinburgh) Scotland UK.

Ramshaw Records

Dead Freddie featured on “PTB Band of the Week”

To keep the “Punk the Burbs” vibe alive (the 2020 event has been postponed to 2021), Caitlyn Rose, one of two primary organizers of the event (and dynamo front person of Bumsy and the Moochers-Ska Punk band of Chicago), Caitlyn started dropping a weekly blurb about local Chicago bands (kind of like what Dead Freddie does already, but the more the merrier).  The selected group on 27 July 2020 was none other than Dead Freddie!  Here is the quote about the band: “Classic 70s punk with different waves of ska. A Chicago band that has their own sound. Love the unique vocals and unpredictable songwriting. 
Favorite tracks: “Louie’s Place”, “When I’m Bound”, “Mary’s Waiting”

Thanks for the shout out!

Punk the Burbs Illinois

DZ Fest 2020 has been cancelled.

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

The bands we have featured in July:

Vessy Mink (2 July)

Thin Cherries (9 July)

Sleeping Under 47 (16 July)

Sgt. Sauerkraut Polka Band (23 July)

The Selectones (30 July)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

Dead Freddie Album Review

James McQuiston, editor of Neufutur magazine, gave our LP a nice write-up on 3 May 2020.

by: James McQuiston

3 May 2020

CLICHÉ is the first effort off of Dead Freddie’s new self-titled LP, and it immediately calls back to acts like The Stranglers and The Adverts. Melodic pop-punk with driving beats and a robust bass line sound absolutely timeless here, while the passion and charisma of the lead vox will immediately draw fans in to the rest of the disc. When I’m Bound begins with some Cars-esque keys and a hint of ska-infused horns. The rapid tempo will keep fans on the edges of their seats, while the chorus tells a story out of The Misfits or Aquabats’s playbook.

Going To The Dance is an interesting composition on this album. It’s the band’s first foray into a longer-form single on the release. The bit of extra time that Dead Freddie give themselves here yields considerable dividend. There’s a bit more plumbing of pub rock and AOR styles with just a hint of the earliest goth acts (e.g. Siouxsie and the Banshees, 45 Grave) that can be picked up here.

Pocket Judy Crash Course has a bit of a pirate-punk meets hardcore-punk style. Imagine a jam-up of the Nekromantix and Gogol Bordello alongside some of the intense bass work of Jay Bentley. She Won’t Play House is one of the high-water marks during the second third of the album. Mix up a bit of rockabilly with Fear and you’ve got an idea of where Dead Freddie is hitting on SWPH.

Cartoon Woman keeps the same bouncy sound of Pocket Judy Crash Course, while Princess Pilot has a delightful instrumental/vocal/clap dynamic. Save Me From Myself winds things down with a wistful, longing sound. Little more is needed to conclude this release than a guitar and touching vocals.

Top Tracks: When I’m Bound, Going to the Dance, Save Me From Myself

Rating: 8.6/10

April 2018 Newsletter

Dead Freddie back at Sonic Palace Studio

Gintas, Donatas and occasionally Joe were back at Sonic Palace Studio April 2nd and 17th, continuing to work with owner/sound engineer/producer Matt Mercado (of Daisy Chain and Mind Bomb fame) to complete mixing of the first full-length Dead Freddie LP (as yet untitled). We are 99% done, maybe needs just a tweak or two, then on to mastering. Dead Freddie e-mail subscribers will get the inside scoop on the latest news and details on WHEN vinyl will DROP, so tell your friends to get on our list NOW!!!

Dead Freddie at Stormy Photography

On April 15, 2018 Dead Freddie made the trek to Stormy Photography in historic downtown Lemont, IL for an extensive photo shoot with photographers Audrius Remeikis and Ed Leipus. It was a first-time experience for the band to be photographed for publicity and publications, including cover art for our upcoming LP. Tons of great shots and lots of fun. It will be tough picking out the best-of-the best...

Dead Freddie at Nagle Photography

On April 22, 2018 the band met at the photo studio of Joe Nagle, who just happens to be a lifelong friend of Dead Freddie member Gintas Buinevicius AND a world-class photographer. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we headed outdoors to Bridgeport, Chinatown and Bronzeville to take a wide variety of location shots. To be used for publicity, publications and LP cover art. Thanks Joe!

Dead Freddie at WXAV

Radio Ruta Spencer once again kindly invited members of Dead Freddie to appear on her radio show "Alternative Sounds For Your Head" on WXAV FM88.3. On April 25, 2018 Gintas Buinevicius and Donatas Ramanauskas were live and on the air playing acoustically, with guitar and accordion, selections from Dead Freddie's EP "If I Knew What I Wanted" as well as from the yet-to-be-named LP. We had an opportunity to talk more about our summer plans and final steps to the release of the LP amongst other topics. 
Thanks again, Ruta, for having us on your show!

Dead Freddie at EvenFlow

We had a great turn out at EvenFlow on April 27, 2018. Regina Ramanauskas, performing as "kicked by a Hand" started the show with Kesha covers, mash-ups and some of her wonderful originals too. Dead Freddie followed in the middle of the line-up playing selections from our EP "If I Knew What I Wanted", but mostly material form their soon-to-be-completed, as-of-yet-unnamed LP. 
As always, North of Center rounded out the evening's entertainment with there great mix of 60's, 70's and beyond covers plus just a few of their originals (play more of them next time NoC!)

June 2020

Moving Forward-Virtually and at a Distance!

Gintas made it THIRTEEN straight weeks before finally taking a week off from his Sunday night Virtual Variety Show on his YouTube channel Milkmandan63 to give his vocal cords a chance to recover!  He continues to push his limits looking for nuggets to please his faithful audience while including originals by himself, Saddleman and Dead Freddie.  He plans on resuming in July, so stay tuned!

Dead Freddie Duo_The Garage_Episode One_12 June 2020

Like that first time every spring (except this one), when you have the confidence (courage?) to put on the shorts and t-shirt and head outside, Gintas & Donatas carefully prepared for their first side-by-side (with a 6-foot gap in between of course) appearance since early March.  To further ensure social distance and good air circulation, we decided to do our acoustic set live from his garage.  Gintas has been working hard to organize the space with his plethora of tools and other “stuff” and finally reached a point where we could both fit with the requisite spacing, a small P.A. and amplifiers.  With some effort, we figured out how to set up a smartphone on a tripod and start the Facebook Live stream. We were a little rusty, but did OK and even got a few people to watch the live stream, with a few amusing and endearing comments!

Dead Freddie Duo_The Garage_Episode Two_27 June 2020

We had so much fun going our first Facebook Live stream, that we decided to go for an encore.  And since some shelter-in-place have been slightly loosened, we had a small audience properly spaced and seated under the canopy in the driveway, facing the garage and us. The “Magnificent Seven” gave us a better sense of how the music was going over, and it seems it went over quite well from their reactions.  Thanks to Radio Ruta Spencer, who kept a running tab of all the comments coming in on the Dead Freddie FB page, announcing them to the audience and performers.  Thank you Gintas for providing the pre- and post-performance treats and beverages in a very socially-responsible way.  The twelve song set was a balnce of Dead Freddie favorites, , Dead Freddie deep cuts and even a few covers, including the currently-topical “Police & Thieves” (a song by Junior Murvin later covered by The Clash”.



At this time, DZ Fest 2020, now scheduled for September 26-27, 2020, has NOT been cancelled.  If conditions permit a safe event, it will be great to hit the stage once again.

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

The bands we have featured in June:

Fire Cat!

Fresh Hops


Woolly Rhinos

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.


It was just about a year ago when Steve Krakow (a.k.a. Plastic Crimewave) featured us in his biweekly column in the Chicago Reader on 20 June 2019, The Secret History of Chicago Music, followed by a short Dead Freddie feature on WGN Radio show “Outside The Loop” with Mike Stephen and Steve Krakow, Episode #662 on 22 June 2019.

October 2020

Vote!  And be careful out there!

Gintas continued his run of Sunday night Virtual Variety Shows, with three more amazing episodes during October!  Love the songs, the banter and, of course, Mixology 101.  It wouldn’t be a Sunday night without VVS!  Check him out on YouTube at Milkmandan63 at 7PM Central Time (US).

Dead Freddie Semi-Acoustic Quartet Live Show and FB Livestream from the Outdoor Lounge_10 October 2020

Dead Freddie returned to the outdoor lounge in beautiful Westchester, IL on a perfect, cool autumn evening.  In spite of the chill in the air, the group played a blistering set (see below) that lasted just over an hour, consisting mostly of Dead Freddie originals plus a couple of new covers thrown in for good measure. Thank You to the tiny, socially-distanced VIP guest list plus tireless support team members who were treated to what may be the last performance for the foreseeable future, as autumn turns to winter, making outdoor shows difficult and indoor shows risky (Thanks pandemic).

Louie’s Place
In Between Days (The Cure)
My Friend Flicka
Hey Boy
Hole in My Soul
Devil is in the Details
Mary’s Waiting
New Injection
She Won’t Play House
Būk Su Manim
Active Partition
No Matter What (Badfinger)
Save Me From Myself
Kaip Gražu Miške
If I Knew What I Wanted

Police on My Back (The Clash)

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

The Queers (October 2) (NOT local, but played a line-up with locals)

The Polkaholics (October 8)

Royal Son of a Guns (October 15)

OD Jo (October 22)

The Rip Ups (Oct 29)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

If you missed any of these posts, you can scroll back on the Dead Freddie FB page and check them out!

Dead Freddie Album Review

Dead Freddie by Dead Freddie


Active in the Chicago-area pop-punk scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s, back then they went by the moniker, Dead Freddie Band, and branded themselves as Chicago’s Punk-Pop Phenomenon.

Fast-forward forty years, several iterations of the band (which included a slight tweak to their name, dropping “Band” and going with the simple, Dead Freddie), and when the dust settled it left a current makeup which includes:  Gintas Buinevicius (drums, guitar, backing vocals), Gary Vacha (guitar, backing vocals), Karl Sperling (bass guitar, backing vocals), Sam Steagerman(trombone, backing vocals) and Donatas Ramanauskas (lead vocals, punk accordion).

Following up the 2016 EP, If I Knew What I Wanted, is their eclectic and spirited full length self-titled LP, Dead Freddie.

HERE’S WHAT WE DUG THE MOST…Opening this raucous affair is, Cliche, a throwback punk piece that immediately feels like the Ramones cut a track with early-era Green Day. Donatas Ramanauskas’s delivery is confident and on point and displays a veteran punk character. The track is total fun and has crossover appeal to those who think they don’t like punk…

“When Jesus comes again he’ll have his hair greased back
And all of the children will be ready to attack
They’ll pull out Grandpa’s Maltese Cross
And then they’ll really sing ‘cause they felt the loss
Every day is so cliché, every day is so cliché…”

High-octane horns and guitars create a gloriously goofy tribute to S&M’ers everywhere in, When I’m Bound, which has a very Goldfinger-esque energy to it.

OUR FAVORITE TRACK… An endearing and youthful tale of young co-eds long ago, the contrast between the acoustic guitars and the punk melody in, Going To The Dance, has a distinct Tarantino soundtrack vibe to it. It’s our favorite on the album.

Classic, minimalist pop-punk in, She Won’t Play House, creates a killer break-up track with just enough spunk to make you chuckle as you leave your lover (love the claps in the chorus)…

“I got my ducks lined in a row
It seems this tear’s too big to sew
And if I could I would keep driving down this road
But what’s the point when it’s all about to explode
She won’t play house…”

Digging the tone and panning in Cartoon Woman’s nostalgic solo at 1:40.

OUR “OTHER” FAVORITE TRACK… The left-field acoustic ending in, Save Me From Myself, gives us a substantive glimpse into the depth of Freddie. However, this melancholy piece of nostalgic regret is not a downer, it’s simply telling the story as it is…

“But all I do is hide inside
As my heroes stand in mirrors and search for truth
And those aware pretend to care and steal from my youth
You’re not talking about my generation anymore…”

IN CONCLUSION…A totality of fun. Wildly enthusiastic. Perfectly and wonderfully verbose. A talented brand of cross-over punk. Dead Freddie’s self-titled album offers both the fun and the skill, the humor and the jam, the accordion and the guitar! In this 12-track nod to pop-punk, this group has not only created a wildly creative collection of multi-rock-genre songs, they’ve executed said songs in a charismatic and professional manner.

Excellent performance credits. Engaging writing. Pro-level production. And, let’s not overlook Ramanauskas’s Bowie-esque timbre and absolutely non-weathered ability to front this high energy bunch. In sum, what we have here is a punk-lover’s dream, particularly for those who love slightly nuanced jams which are slightly left or right of center. Give Dead Freddie a listen below.

WHO’S LOVECHILD…? David Bowie meets Goldfinger…

December 2018 Newsletter

Hello, Fred Heads!

 Dead Freddie closed out 2018 with a Bang!

 Dead Freddie Returns to QUE4 Radio's Flabby Hoffman's Radio Extravogonzo

 On Dec. 1, Gintas and Donatas along with photographer Joe Nagle returned to the madness that is the Flabby Hoffman Radio Extravogonzo. Needless to say, Flabby was in fine form, entertaining us as much as we entertained him and his staff. We put them to work playing percussion instruments (sleigh bells, pogocello and wood blocks) on our first song "Princess Pilot", We then taught the group how to laugh in Lithuanian during the song "Kaip Gražu Miske" (by Vytautas Kernagis). And our Warholian fifteen minutes of fame evaporated once again.

Dead Freddie Debuts on RealPunkRadio!

Dead Freddie made their radio debut on the Internet Radio Show "Tommy Unit Live" originating in Brooklyn, NY on 12/5/18. Tommy chose one of our most-punk songs (of course) to play, i.e., "Cliché". Gintas and Dead Freddie publicist Radio Ruta Spencer actively participated in the on-line live chat room, giving Tommy an even better idea of what Dead Freddie is all about!
How cool is that? We will need to revisit Tommy frequently!

Birthday Party for Gintas Buinevicius!

Our multi-instrumentalist and creative engine celebrated his birthday with over fifty friends at Joe's Tavern in Brookfield on December 7th.
Dead Freddie, with Gintas on acoustic guitar, Steve Foley on Bass and former Dead Freddie Bassist, Nick DuBois improvising on drums,entertained his guests with a handful of songs, followed by Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka band, Steve & Linda Wroczynski (who performed two of Gintas's compositions beautifully) plus elements of Wiresky, Time Bandits, The Ralleys as well as musicians from the annual Fest for Beatles. Thank You to Radio RutaSpencerand Danny Donuts Raudonis and the rest that made it a spectacularly fun night not just for the guest of honor, but for all that gathered to celebrate!!

 Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo at House Pub

Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo Gintas and Donatas made their venue debut at the House Pub in St. Charles, IL. Always a draw for interesting and diverse musical talent, this audience had never encountered the Dead Freddie vibe. Thanks to DF Publicist Radio Ruta Spencer for acting as photographer/videographer/microphone holder. And a special shout-out to Greg Nawrocki of the South Side Exiles for coming out to support. Perhaps a Dead Freddie/South Side Exiles show at House Pub in 2019? Stay tuned... exiles

Chicago's Punk Pop Phenomena at The Outtaspace

Dead Freddie was full-force at their venue debut at The Outtaspace in Berwyn, IL on Dec. 28, 2018. We were the opening act for Royal Son of a Guns and closers South Side Exiles. Friends from near and far came out to support all three groups. Starting with Punk Pop, then moving to Psychobilly and finishing with straight-up, hook-laden original rock, it was a great combination of genres. These three bands will definitely need to do this again! Thanks to DF Publicist Radio Ruta Spencer for handling the merch table and shooting some photos and video, and to Jonas Grigola for posting some excellent videos of our performance. And finally, thanks to Aaron Mitchell, proprietor, for supporting live music and the arts in beautiful Berwyn, IL!

December 2019 Dead Freddie Newsletter

Happy Holidays, Fred Heads

"Let's Hope There's No Blizzard Holiday Event"

Dead Freddie Returned to the Cairo Ale House on December 13, 2019 and, thankfully, there was no blizzard, unlike previous dates in December 2016 and April 2019 (yes-we had a snowy, slushy mess on April 14th).  This was an early show, to make it easy for everyone to come straight from work to lend an "office party" atmosphere to the proceedings.  The line-up that came together was eclectic and of diverse genres, and yet, everything clicked.  THM NME, Wiresky, Dead Freddie and Bill Nelson & The Warning Signs comprised a bill of entertainment for what turned out to be a warm, supportive musical event for all involved. 

THM NME  After cancelling then uncancelling on the day of the show, Vessy Mink of THM NME took to the stage as a solo act. Shortly after her first song she remarked ""I wish I had a drummer", when Dead Freddie and Wiresky drummer Gintas Buinevicius obliged her wish, not knowing exactly what he was in for, and didn't miss a beat.  During the next song the request for a bassist went out and Dennis O'Dowd of Wiresky heeded the call with his masterly four-string skills.  Finally into the third or fourth song, Bill Nelson hopped up on the stage and picked up a guitar to fill out a full-fledged four-piece line-up.  Very fun to watch Vessy in action, when for her finale she made up a song on the spot based on audience suggestions.  Such a strong and brave performer is one Vessy Mink!

Wiresky.  The line-up for Wiresky consisted of Barb Dahl Olson on lead vocals, Mike Croschere on rhythm guitar, Sean Behen on lead guitar, Dennis O'Dowd on bass guitar and Gintas Buinevicius on drums.  Having seen Wiresky perform on numerous occasions over the last few years, I observed and heard a band that's truly honed their craft with excellent musicianship and excellent stories behind the songs, channeling the 60's and 70's rock'n'roll vibe in their all-original set.  Rock on!

Dead Freddie.  Gintas Buinevicius (drums & vocals), Steve Foley bass), Joe Wood (guitar) and Donatas Ramanauskas (accordion and vocals) ripped through their eleven song set of all-original DF material, receiving a warm reception and even some dancers!  We had great fun interacting with all the other bands and music lovers.

Bill Nelson & The Waring Signs.  Bill Nelson (acoustic guitar, vocals), Billy D. Williams (steel guitar), Timmy "The Kid" Stephenson (bass guitar), Jacob "Moose" Schultz (drums) and Bert "King Bee" Swiderski (harmonica) was the line-up.  Everyone loved the fantastic honky-tonk/country/blues/rock melange that they cooked up for their performance.  A great way to close out the four-band show!

Thanks so much to Tony and Andrew Massih for letting us put this show together and sound engineer Andrew Gallagher for making all the bands sound SOOOO good!

Dead Freddie Drummer plays with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band

Dead Freddie drummer Gintas Buinevicius once again joined up with Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band on December 20, 2019 at FitzGerald's Sidebar as part of the sixth annual Christmas With The Beatles Fundraiser and Glove Drive.  In addition to the wacky and entertaining polka-sized versions of Beatles tunes, the line-up also included The Newbees (Cinncinatti, OH) and a DJ set by WXAV's Radio Ruta Spencer.  The event sold out and was a tremendous success!

December 2020
Happy Holidays! 2020 is almost DONE!

It’s been a bittersweet year for Dead Freddie and friends.  So much pain with a global pandemic, political upheaval and social inequality, balanced with a measure of joy from more time spent at home with loved ones, getting long-delayed things done and time to reflect on all things for which we should be thankful.

The tides are turning.  Anti-COVID vaccinations are starting to happen.  It seems pretty certain now that we will have a new president in January.  Pivoting on those two major events, it becomes more possible for other changes to take place as well-maybe even the re-opening of music venues for live shows (as trivial as that may seem in light of other calamities)?

A Great Start to 2020
After a strong finish to 2019, Dead Freddie pushed into the new year full of energy and ambitious plans.  We confirmed our participation for DZ Fest 2020 and were on the short list of candidates for 2020 Polka Riot Milwaukee.  Both of those would have been great fun, but alas,  these now await our arrival in 2021!

 In January, we played two shows. The first was at Moe’s Tavern in Chicago on January 18, which, as it turns out, was the coldest night of the Winter. It was great to reunite with our friends from Fire Cat and also share the stage with Hey Hey Think Think.  We would also like to thank Reed’s Local in Chicago for putting us on a bill with The Rip Ups and The Coldies on January 31st.

Gintas & Donatas performed as the Dead Freddie Acoustic Duo on February 1st, opening for Saddleman, Gintas’ old-school country music project, at The Outtaspace in Berwyn, as part of Joe Nagle’s “Community of Strangers Photo Project”.  We bookended the month, closing it out on leap day, Feb. 29th, at The Uptown in Westmont, IL, headlining a bill that started with Vessy Mink and followed by Saddleman.  A packed house, it was so much fun to play to such a high-energy audience.  It was a great way to bring together our current line-up for the first time: Gintas Buinevicius-drums, Gary Vacha-guitar, Karl Sperling-bass and Donatas Ramanauskas-accordion & lead vocals-prior to our first road trip since 2016!

After some last minute juggling of line-up and logistics, we drove to Detroit for the weekend of March 6-8, 2020.  Early on March 7th, Gintas & Donatas made it to Third Man Records/Cass Corridor, where they recorded “Mary’s Waiting” and Gintas did “Detroit I’m Leaving You”, a Saddleman tune dedicated to the Motor City.  That evening, the full band, including trombonist Sam Stiegerman, gathered at Kelly’s Bar in Hamtramck (Detroit) to play with Al Berznaskis, Kicked by a Hand (Regina Ramanauskas) and Hope Orchestra.  Very gratifying to have a nice crowd show up to support Dead Freddie and the other performers.

And then the Pandemic hit…
It was mid-March, a week after our return from Detroit, that the government-mandated COVID-19 lock-downs began in earnest.  We abided, and delayed further rehearsals and performances for a few months.  A good time to get into our own little bubbles and work on learning new covers and originals and spend more time with immediate family.  It was also at this point that Gintas began his weekly Virtual Variety Show, streaming live on his YouTube channel Milkmandan63 every Sunday night, performing a crazy combination of covers, originals (Dead Freddie, Saddleman, Friends of the Moth), TV show jingles and old commercial jingles.  He also introduced a fun feature called “Mixology 101”, where each week he instructs his audience on how to prepare a different cocktail. He has become his own twist on Lawrence Welk, with his combination of music and humor.  As of this writing, he has done 35 Virtual Variety Shows and plans on continuing for the foreseeable future.

Re-emerging from the bubble…
With the coming of Spring and warmer weather, Gintas once again set up his outdoor lounge plus carved out room in his garage for safe spaces to rehearse and perform.  Making good use of Facebook livestreaming, they performed for the first time in the garage on June 12th and again on June 27th.  By mid-July, Gintas, Gary, Karl and Donatas began a series of performances in the Outdoor Lounge on July 11th, August 15th and October 10th.   The owner of The Outtaspace (Berwyn, IL), Aaron Mitchell, invited Saddleman and Dead Freddie to play a patio show and September 12th, our only public venue performance since Detroit.  Wearing of masks, social distancing and enforcement of limited capacity took little away from the fun we had playing in front of a live audience once again.

Winding down and looking ahead…
After a beautiful summer and early autumn, it was time to shut down the Outdoor Lounge and Garage.  After our last show, Halloween-themed, in mid-October, we once again have withdrawn to our own safe spaces.  We are considering plans on how to safely rehearse in the Westchester basement (or elsewhere), using a combination of masks, shields and spacing to be able to once again resume band activities.  We have a backlog of new material, plus more fun covers to try out.  Perhaps a new EP CD to get out something fresh in a promising new year?  Let’s hope…

Until then Stay Safe!

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

CherryHead (December 3)

Get Up With The Get Downs (December 10)

Neurotix (December 17)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

If you missed any of these posts, you can scroll back on the Dead Freddie FB page and check them out!

Dead Freddie Album Review
Big Takeover Magazine_Issue #87_November 2020

By Jack Rabid. Editor/publisher
Big Takeover Magazine, 356 4th St, 2nd fl., Brooklyn, NY 11215

This Chicago pop punk band is rooted in that town’s original late-’70s punk scene, even before Strike Under, Effigies, Naked Raygun etc., but somehow, have only been releasing records more recently. Their sound is full of the Windy City’s over-the-top-hard-punk-with-melodic-undertow tradition, and rarely strays from said formula. That said, it’s just plain great then as now, and it’s fun to listen to these two records just to see how they’ve grown. The IIKWIW six songer features material from their 1979 set–all of which smokes!—and DF follows in its predecessor’s footsteps. Great!! ( 2020

September 2020

The Pandemic Is Real-But There is a speck of light at the end of the tunnel of COVID!

Gintas continued his run of Sunday night Virtual Variety Shows, with three more amazing episodes during September!  Love the songs, the banter and, of course, Mixology 101.  It wouldn’t be a Sunday night without VVS!  Check him out on YouTube at Milkmandan63 at 7PM Central Time (US).

Dead Freddie Semi-Acoustic Quartet Live Show and FB Livestream_12 September 2020

We were honored to be invited to perform at The Outtaspace (Berwyn, IL) with special guests Saddleman, by Aaron Mitchell, proprietor (as well as the leader of his band Dirty Green). The arrangement at ‘Space places the musicians inside the gallery, facing out towards the outdoor patio via a large roll-up garage door, allowing for excellent viewing and sound while maintaining social distancing and other safety guidelines.  Saddleman, featuring Dead Freddie’s own Gintas Buinevicius on acoustic guitar, Sean Behen on electric guitar and Dennis O’Dowd on electric bass.  Recently out of the studio where they recorded ten tracks, they played a tight set of original songs plus some very interesting rock’n’roll covers with that special Saddleman twang.  This was the first show for Dead Freddie at a public venue since early March 2020, but with a couple private backyard lounge/garage shows in Westchester, the band was ready to play.  Even without drums, the set was a blend of fast/slow, loud/quiet, originals/covers.  It was also gratifying to have the maximum allowable crowd (~25) come out to support the bands.  Thanks again to Aaron Mitchell (owner), Angelina Coon (waitstaff) and Christopher Demonk (sound engineer).

Dead Freddie also continues to support local bands with a weekly feature on Facebook (Thursdays 7PM is when the scheduled posts hit!) so be sure to check them out, comment and share.

The bands we featured in September:

Kicked by a Hand (September 3)

This Obsession (September 10)

The Usuals (September 17)

The Turdles (September 24)

We’ve played with these bands in the past, or would like to, in the future.

If you missed any of these posts, you can scroll back on the Dead Freddie FB page and check them out!

Dead Freddie Interview


July 27, 2019

By Audrone (Audrey) Kizys

What do you really know about that guy who once lived down the block? Especially if he’s older and your paths didn’t usually cross. He seemed like a regular guy growing up in the 60s and 70s on Chicago’s southwest side, in the Lithuanian enclave known as Marquette Park. The years rush by, and then you see him again at a Lithuanian event and say hello in passing. That guy was my one-time neighbor Donatas Ramanauskas. When I ran into him, years later, he was involved with the Lithuanian Scouts. He was married with two grown daughters. He seemed like a good, clean-cut, responsible  man leading a normal, low-key life. I would never have guessed that he had another, not so ordinary, existence!

It was Ruta Grigola Spencer who notified Draugas News that a Lithuanian band named “Dead Freddie” was featured in the June 18, 2019, issue of the Chicago Reader. (The Chicago Reader is an alternative weekly newspaper, covering Chicago’s music, theatre, and art scene.) The piece was titled, “Lithuanian American power poppers Dead Freddie defy their own demise.” Dead Freddie was featured in a section called “Secret History of Chicago Music – Pivotal Chicago musicians that somehow have not gotten their just dues.” A line art drawing of the band members accompanied the article. There he was, my ex-neighbor, Donatas Ramanauskas, and another guy I knew, Vainis Aleksa. I had no idea!!! 

So, I contacted Donatas to get the full story. It all began with a hugely popular 70’s rock band, KISS, and their tribute band named Mist. They inspired Ramanauskas and Aleksa to start their own group. Ramanauskas (vocals) and Aleksa (guitar) started playing in 1978 at community events as a cover band, playing songs from The Who, The Beach Boys, Iggy Pop, and the like. In 1979 the group was fully formed adding members Juozas (Joey) Mikužis (drums), and brothers Vitas (bass guitar) and Algis (lead guitar) Plioplys. Jeff Wolowiec, a friend from Quigley South High School in Chicago, came up with the name. No hidden meaning – they just needed a name. Most importantly, Ramanauskas said, the name should not begin with the typical “The…” And so Dead Freddie was born. 

All the original Dead Freddie members shared a Lithuanian heritage and participated in Lithuanian activities: folk dance groups, youth choirs, and Lithuanian Scouts. Most attended, the then-functioning Nativity BVM school and the Donelaitis Lithuanian Saturday School. The latter school was located in the McKay public school across the way from Lithuanian Nativity BVM Parish. 

The band members learned Lithuanian folk and patriotic songs at the Donelaitis School. Their musical tastes developed with time: they followed radio’s top 40 hits and then later WXRT – 93 FM radio, a still respected Adult Album Alternative (AAA), Blues/R and B, Soul radio station. In addition to playing the guitar, Vainis Aleksa was the group’s principal songwriter. The original band was influenced by the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Ramones. Currently, the band’s influences are more varied, covering Punk, Metal, Classic Rock and Country music. Donatas Ramanauskas, the group’s vocalist and occasional songwriter, also plays the accordion, initially incorporated into their music in 2016. Dead Freddie is presently considered to be a Punk Pop band with some SKA influence. Punk is a louder, more aggressive form of Rock music. The pop influence makes it more melodic. SKA, according to Wikipedia, originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and is a precursor to reggae, combining elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American Jazz. A unique sound for sure! 

Success – not Excess

The first Dead Freddie performance took place on April 8, 1980, at the Lithuanian Youth Center (Jaunimo Centras a.k.a. J.C.’s) in the Gage Park neighborhood. Also featured was another local Lithuanian band, Lazy Axe. Its members included Al Kupcikevičius, Vytas (T.D.) Markevičius, Jonas (Jon) Aleksa (brother of Dead Freddie’s Vainis Aleksa), Stan Pawlak and Roger Staudohar. 

A few months later on July 4, 1980, the band performed at the now-closed Knights of Lithuania Hall on 44th Street in Brighton Park. The 6th International Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival was in full swing in Chicago that weekend. After 10-12 hours of rehearsal, with another long day of rehearsals scheduled the next day, about 600, still energetic Lithuanian folk dancers and their friends, from all over the world, crowded into the Knights Hall. Records must have been broken since the occupancy limit for the Hall was about 200. Dead Freddie’s exposure grew. They went on to perform at the annual Lithuanian Days on 69th Street. Other gigs included the famed Cubby Bear, Huey’s and the Marquette Theatre. By 1982 the two founding members, Ramanauskas and Aleksa, got jobs outside the music world. They left Chicago for Detroit and Germany, respectively, and the group disbanded. 

I asked if the band had any issues with alcohol or drug abuse, which is sadly common in the music world. Seeing friends go down that road had an impact on the band. Ramanauskas also credited their Lithuanian Scout training, with keeping them on the right track, especially the 10th rule: “Skaistus ir Blaivus” (Remain Chaste and Sober). 

The Revival

In 2011 at the Lithuanian Scout camp Rakas in Custer, Michigan, Laura Lapinskienė reminisced about Dead Freddie and suggested they play again. Aušra Petry dared Ramanauskas to get the band together as a fundraiser to help defray the cost of a planned Lithuanian Scout trip to New Mexico. However, none of the original members, except for Ramanauskas, were able to return. So, new members were found. In 2011, the lineup included Ed Saulis (who played through 2016), Tom (Mulz) Mulhern (through 2013), Regina Ramanauskas (Donatas’s daughter who plays intermittently) and Terrence (TJ) Petry (through 2013). 

In 1966 Ramanauskas and Aleksa were selected to be part of a small Lithuanian cub scout choir led by Faustas Strolia and Vytas Gutauskas. The Album “Tra-Lia-Lia” was released in 1968 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Scout Movement in Lithuania and internationally. On the cover (Left right, top row): Robertas Kėželis, Donatas Ramanauskas, Vainis Aleksa, Algis Mikėnas, Juozas Ivanauskas. Bottom row: Eugenijus Kriaučeliūnas, Lucius Aleksa, Henrikas Varaneckas, Antanas Eringis, Audrius Gutauskas. The album is still available for purchase at the St. Casimir Fest held annually at the Lithuanian World Center in March.

I had the opportunity to chat with TJ Petry about his playing with Dead Freddie. In 2011, he was a high school junior and was already in a band when Donatas Ramanauskas recruited him. Ramanauskas was TJ’s Lithuanian Scout Troop leader, so how could he say no? Actually, it was an easy “yes.” TJ likes Punk and Heavy Metal and said the experience was a blast. The other young band member was Regina Ramanauskas, also in her late teens. When I asked him about groupies, TJ laughed and said, Donatas Ramanauskas’ wife Rasa was a loyal supporter. He recounted that during their second performance the band dedicated a song to her. TJ had to leave the group when he went off college as the four-hour drive every Saturday for practices would have been too much. TJ just saw Dead Freddie perform in December 2018 at a club named Cigars and Stripes in Berwyn, Illinois. He recalled that the band sang a Lithuanian folk song “Kaip Gražu Miške” (How Beautiful it is in the Woods) to the mostly American crowd. It was well-received. The song refrain “ha, ha” got everyone singing. Dead Freddie has two other Lithuanian songs in its repertoire: “Ant Kalno Mūrai” translates as “Stone Castle on the Hill” and figuratively “Warriors on the Hill.” It’s about a young man and his friends riding on horseback to court a young lady only to be rebuffed. The other Lithuanian song, “Trys Milijonai” – “Three Million” is Lithuania’s sports anthem, rooting for the underdog, and refers to the approximate population of Lithuania. 

Here’s some breaking news: a new, original Lithuanian love song, written by current band member and songwriter, Gintas Buinevičius, will soon be introduced. Buinevičius, who joined Dead Freddie in 2013, is pictured at the far right in the Chicago Reader’s line art drawing of the band members offering a link between the original five members and the current band lineup. 

Over the years, other band members included Ziggy Mikužis (Joey’s brother) (2012- 2013), Julius Lie­tuvninkas (2013-2015), Leonas Putrius (2013-2016), and Nick Du Bois ( 2015-2016). Max Crawford of Poi Dog Pondering, laid down trumpet and trombone on two songs on Dead Freddie’s self-titled LP “Dead Freddie.” Others performed for one show. Interestingly, both Putrius and Buinevičius had seen the original Dead Freddie perform in 1981, never thinking they would one day be part of the group. Another interesting connection: Buinevičius also played with Lithuanian singer/songwriter, experimental/piano rock, eclectic musician Vyto B in Vyto Beleška’s Virtual Reality 2009 line up. Vyto B was also featured in the Chicago Reader’s “Secret History of Chicago Music” in the September 4, 2013, issue. 

Current lineup

The current Dead Freddie lineup includes Stephen Foley and Joe Wood (both of whom joined in 2016), Gintas Buinevičius (joined in 2013) and the one original member, Donatas Ramanauskas (since 1978). Buinevičius and Wood have played in a few bands together, including The Repeats and The Spindles. 

 “Dead Freddie”.

Dead Freddie has been playing at various clubs mostly in the Chicagoland area including Fitzgerald’s, Underground Lounge, and Live Wire. Most recently they performed at O’Neill’s Pub on June 29 in Lombard, Illinois. They opened for Off Broadway in February 2019 and The Dickies in March 2017 at Reggie’s Chicago. An out of state show in 2016 took them to the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. 

On the Air

The band has made quite a few live radio appearances including WXAV (St. Xavier U), WZRD (NE Illinois U), WLUW (Loyola U). They have gotten radio play on SiriusXM satellite radio station “Little Steven’s (Van Zandt) Underground Garage, on the monthly Friday Night show “Goldie’s Garage,” hosted by Genya Ravan. Their songs “Mary’s Waiting” and “Cliché” were featured with positive reviews by the host. They were also featured on June 22, on WGN Radio on the Mike Stephen Show – “Outside the Loop.” Steve Krakow, the author of the Chicago Reader article, discussed Dead Freddie on air. You can hear the full interview on Dead Freddie’s Facebook page, posted June 23, 2019. 


Dead Freddie has two music releases: a six-song EP (Extended Play) “If I Knew What I Wanted” (2016), recorded at Bricktop Studios, Chicago, and a 12-song LP (Long Play) “Dead Freddie” (2018) recorded at Sonic Palace, Oak Park, Illinois. Heads up: they self-funded these releases and are looking for an independent label to pick them up. 

The Dead Freddie LP was recently reviewed by Mike Tomano’s  Music is My Life, who wrote, “An excellent collection, produced by the always musically adventurous Matt Mercado.” (Mercado is a sound and mixing engineer and owner of the recording studio, Sonic Palace. He was also a band member of Daisy Chain, Mindbomb, and Supermercado.) 

Today a measure of success for Dead Freddie is competing successfully for recognition with other younger musicians. Plus, they’re having fun. You can acquire Dead Freddie CD’s and vinyl records through CD Baby at or directly thru their website: 

To find out more about the group, follow them on Facebook and  sign up for their newsletter. Check them out live: upcoming performances are on August 8, 2019, at Montrose Saloon in Chicago and on October 26, 2019 (a Halloween themed show) at DZ Records in Hickory Hills, Illinois. To book them for your specialevent, contact Donatas Ramanauskas at