In 1974 while bands like The Ramones, Television and Patti Smith were starting to rock the Big Apple there was a punk rock super group having a very short career in Cleveland. Rocket from the Tombs existed for less than a year, never recorded and played a dozen or so gigs seen by maybe a couple of hundred people. RFTT spawned and provided material for The Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. They provided the first punk corpse in guitarist / songwriter Peter Laughter who died in 1977.
The band was started by singer David Thomas (going under the name "Crocus Behemoth" ) in May 1974 as a sort of comedy act. Other members of the original lineup were Chris Cuda, and Glen "Thunderhand" Hach sharing guitar duties bassist Charlie Weiner, with Tom Foolery playing drums. Enter A gifted and reckless guitarist& writer (for Creem Magazine) named Peter Laughner who showed up at some of these gigs. He began jamming with the band and joined soon after that in September.
Rockets became more musical lineup with the addition of Gene O'Connor (Cheetah Chrome), David Bell (bass) and Johnny Madansky (Blitz). Guitarist O'Connor had known Laughner before and been in a band with him. Drummer Madansky was also in a band with O'Connor called Slash. Bell had recently left another veteran Cleveland band, the Mirrors. This version of the band would make it's debut on New Years Eve 1974 blaze brightly for eight months and then go down in flames.
After they disbanded, the personnel split forming two bands. O'Connor and Madansky joined with singer Stiv Bators (who was a sometimes singer in later versions of RFTT) to form Frankenstein, which later became the Dead Boys. Laughner and Thomas went on to form Pere Ubu with bassist Tim Wright (RFTT's soundman). Laughner split after recording the two Hearthhan singles. He moved to New York where he almost joined Television and died in 1977, of acute pancreatitis brought on by years of drug abuse.
The Rocket's repertoire became some of both bands best known songs. The Dead Boys were got "Ain't It Fun," "What Love Is," "Down in Flames," "Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth" (done by RFTT as "I'm Never Gonna Kill Myself Again") and "Sonic Reducer"; Pere Ubu recorded "Final Solution," "Life Stinks" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo."
While they never released any singles or lps there is a 19 track cd that came out in 2002 called Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs that gathers the best of their live recordings. The cd is 74 minutes long with material drawn only from original sources and includes a 12 page booklet. If you'd like to pick it up or read reviews and see the track listing click on the above link.
While The Cramps as a band were not part of the Akron music scene the late Lux Interior was an Akron native. He moved to California then he and his lovely cohort Ms. Ivy spent 1973-1975 mutating in Akron where they came up with the Cramps concept while watching late night horror movies. They moved to New York where they went onto fame if not fortune. One of their early classics “The Mad Daddy” was an ode to a legendary local DJ.
My favorite from the lp is "Beer and a Cigarette" by Terraplane.
There was also a documentary film called “It's Everything and It's Gone” by Phil Hoffman.