Silke Berlinn is a "proto-punk" vocalist renowned for her exceptional voice and broad-ranging vocal abilities with rhythm-and-blues feel. She has been called the female counterpart to Mink deVille, and is often currently compared to Amy Winehouse. She began singing in Catholic girls' choirs at the age of 5, perfecting her style with the help of blues greats Charles "Blue Boy" Huff, one of Sam Cooke's original Soul Stirrers, Oakland's Hi-Tide Harris and Cool Pappa among others. Silke has been a student of voice her entire life, and her distinct vibratto-rich vocal style has been compared to that of Ronnie Ronette, Janis Joplin, Mary Wells, Tina Turner and, more recently, Amy Winehouse (with whom Addiction's guitarist, Eric Zodik, has been linked)
She began singing in proto-punk bands at the age of 15 when she left her home in NYC to join the original members of the Mink deVille band which was started by Robbie McKenzie, later known as Fast Floyd & The Famous Firebirds. Willie Borsey, Mink DeVille's lead singer, left Connecticut at Floyd's urging, to join Floyd in this new band. Floyd did not want to move back to NYC permanently and so left the Mink deVille Band, forming Fast Floyd & The Famous Firebirds with Silke & John Eppstein in 1979.
After recording "Bizarre" with the assistance of Bill Graham Presents, Silke & Floyd had a falling out (he began stalking her with a gun when she left him for Addictions guitarist Spike Mayfield (n. Keith M Dailidenas, aka Keeth Paul, Keeth Mayfield, seminal member of entourages, David Bowie; New York Dolls.)
Silke fled to NYC, followed shortly by Spike and the other members of The Addictions, which included, at various times Brendan Earley (Mutants); Steve Berman (Victims); Jerry Nolan (NY Dolls, Heartbreakers); Frank Infante (Blondie); Clement Burke (Blondie); Clarence Clemmons (E Street Band); The Hooters, drummer, Richie Spinoza; Luigi Scorcia (Johnny Thunders Band); Steve McKay (Iggy Pop); Ruben Siguenza (Mink deVille); and Manhattan Rob Walsh. Silke had a three-record contract with Columbia Records negotiated with former Blondie manager, Gino Riccardi, which she failed to fulfill due to having had a nervous breakdown in the late eighties.
She has been linked romantically with Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys); DeeDee Ramone (Ramones); Jerry Nolan (New York Dolls, Heartbreakers, Teen Age Lust); Fast Floyd (Mink deVille, Fast Floyd, Offs); & Addictions' guitarist, Keith Dailidenas (David Bowie, Richie Scarlett, New York Dolls, Teen Age Lust) Silke in known to warn those with potential romantic interest that "most of the musicians I get involved with die."
Silke has co-written songs with, recorded, played, and/or toured with the above artists.
Silke's as-yet unpublished memoir of her times in NYC as an Underground Punk figure is entitled "Queen of the Underground." Her first book of poetry, "Palace of Perversion" was published by Boston College in 1983.
She currently seeks representation for her memoir. A passage from her book reads:
Cheetah Chrome: "What's this?"
Silke Berlinn: "It's my wrist after the other love of my life (Keeth) slashed it with a straight-edge razor & i went to the hospital & got 60 stitches because when she got home that night, Vicki Schrott said i was bleeding to death because i went to bed after Keeth slashed my wrist, it was just a little love bite anyway, & Keeth & I played in bands together for the next 5 years anyway… but it is true, the slashing did end any thoughts I had of a guitar-playing career, which was a good thing anyway, because it never even started so I wouldn't have to sit around practicing guitar chords anymore trying to be a hardcore Patti Smith, it was a relief----i always fall in love with the weirdest people"
Artists We Like
Amy Winehouse, Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, Mamas & The Papas, Thunderclap Newman, anything Motown, anything Phil Spector, 60s garage band, Mink deVille, Bush, John Murry, Biggie Smalls, Cypress Hill, Naughty by Nice, GG Allin, Mary Wells, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Contours, Flamin' Groovies, Neil Young