Ohio is the home of rock ‘n’ roll, but the validity of that statement always seems to be brought into question. There’s a laundry list of reasons why “the heart of it all” and “the heart of rock ‘n’ roll” are synonymous. The Godz is one of those reasons. Since their formation in 1976, The Godz has been known as one of the hardest-rocking, hardest-working bands in rock. Before they were even signed to a label they toured as an opening act on KISS’s “Love Gun” tour, along with Cheap Trick. Their work got them noticed by Casablanca Records, and in the summer of ’77 they released their self-titled debut album. The Godz would continue to blow away anyone who came to their shows for the next 35 years. The four-man lineup has changed a number of times, but one thing hasn’t changed: the creative force at the center of the chaos. Eric Moore’s name has become synonymous with The Godz, not just for his musical abilities but for his attitude as well. Musically, he’s influenced by bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Rolling Stones and Dave Clark Five. Moore admires these British bands trying to recreate the Chicago blues sound — but those guys weren’t American, where the style was born. He says it takes “church music, blue-collar stuff, the blues” of the United States to really dig the vibe. He took that sound, sped it up and got it dirty. Besides being the heart of The Godz, Moore works on other projects regularly. He’s constantly recording material for the Eric Moore Band and material he sells to Nashville song factories to pay the bills. “I write every day, play guitar every day,” he said. “It beats working.” This ethic of doing what he loves has seen him on tour with not only KISS, but Metallica, Alice Cooper, Yes and Motorhead. Moore’s attitude is a reflection of his life. “I don’t see international boundaries. I see tribes.” He feels safer surrounded by one-percenters than he does in a white-collar, middle-class room. It’s well-known that he carries guns and rides a motorcycle, but not because he’s looking for trouble. He’s just looking to party. The thing is, “it’s a pretty polite society when people are armed.” Still, he has gotten into his fair share of trouble. When asked about the now infamous shooting of a stage monitor, he immediately prefaces the story with, “I warned them. More than once.” As the band was practicing and sound checking, a blown monitor continued to get on his nerves. After repeated attempts to get the crew to fix or replace it, he finally left the stage, announcing, “If I walk on stage and this monitor with a blown horn is still here, I’m shooting it.” He returned to find things in the same state and proceeded to do exactly what he promised. The monitor was replaced out of absolute necessity after that. Years later, the bullet he used to shoot the monitor was returned to him. He still keeps it as a memento. Another story that reflects The Godz’s spirit is less violent, but just as impressive. Years ago, when .38 Special was scheduled at the Civic, the venue was having trouble moving tickets. Of the 3,000-person capacity, only 1,800 had been sold. The Godz were broken up at the time, but that didn’t stop Moore from pulling through. Once a deal was made, The Godz were put on the bill and the remaining seats quickly sold out. The Godz, now partially made up of unrehearsed younger musicians, showed up at the Civic only to find that, as a union house, they weren’t allowed to set up the equipment themselves. They walked in the back to find Moore warming up to the Supremes, still on a high from winning a dance competition with producer Mike Clink. (Clink worked with the band and later on Guns ‘n’ Roses’s debut, “Appetite for Destruction”.) With 30 minutes before the show, it seemed as if nothing was really happening. Everyone started getting nervous, especially when the show opened with the band’s backs to the audience. Then the band blasted in to their first number and first one guitarist and then the other turned to face the crowd. When Moore finally spun around, everyone in the house was on their feet. Pandemonium in the aisles. That just shows that nothing should be expected when The Godz are involved. A man who carries a gun, wears a motorcycle helmet while protesting helmet laws, wins dance contests and warms up to Diana Ross numbers can’t be pigeon-holed by anyone. The newest incarnation of The Godz (Moore, Nikki Storm, Heidi Helser and Vinnie Salvatore) are still rocking regularly wherever they go. These Midwesterners have spent much of their careers working the White Chitlin’ Circuit, between Nashville and Detroit with bands like Foghat, Molly Hatchet and Akron’s own David Allan Coe. In the warm months they play shows “where there are a whooole lot of motorcycles.” Moore, whose doctor has proclaimed him “in pretty good shape for a man in his 80s,” doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, either. (No, he’s not even close to 80.) “You are the sum of everything that’s touched you,” the rock rebel philosophically proclaims. So he plays out as often as possible and parties as much as he can. Make sure to catch The Godz’s next party of a show when they open for the Pat Travers Band at the Tangier on March 26. Tickets are $25; show starts at 8:30.