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The infamous Hong Kong House

 

DID YOU KNOW: Darby Crash was born Jan Paul Beahm
on September 26, 1958.He died from a deliberate heroin overdose on December 7, 1980.

The hardcore LA punk scene, Darby Crash, Pat Smear and The Germs can be seen in the 1981 documentary Decline of the Western Civilization.

Article on Darby Crash

Darby Crash The Germs club flyer

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The Plugz flyer at the Starwood
The Plugz, 1980

Youth Brigade / LA punk rock

Youth Brigade LP

Germs : Darby Crash album

These original Data-Boy Music columns have been collected in a book with LOTS of new material and photos - it's the story of Data-Boy magazine and the LA Punk / Post-Punk scene!

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CONTACT BILLY EYE

Los Angeles Punk Rock billy eye & judy Zee la punk rock articles
Los Angeles Punk sceneThe New Wave is here
LA Punk Rock / New Wave / Darby Crash
October 7, 1980 / / / / / by billy eye

"I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic didn't mushroom and envelope the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive."
-
Grace Slick

llustration by Shawn Kerri

Punk Rock flyer Hello. I'm Billy Eye and I will be writing half of the rock and roll column for this magazine that nobody reads. I'll cover the downtown music scene and the illustrious Judy Zee will cover the Westside, and we'll both overlap in Hollywood.

The reason that Judy and Eye are sharing the honors here is because neither of us wants the sole responsibility of meeting another deadline every two weeks. So we'll see how it goes.

This may be our only article.

You'll know me when you see me out in the clubs, I'm in the darkest corner with a drink in one hand and one leg propped on the wall. I'm watching the bands, listening; not standing in judgement . . . I'll just offer my observations to you.

I have a deep appreciation for artists with the talent and guts to express themselves onstage, and I want to try to bring some of that enthusiasm from the club scene to you. And there is a lot going on right now.

Los Angeles punk flyer / The MasqueThe Underground

It looks like The Masque is dead. For a year or so, this dilapidated, spray-painted basement/dungeon in Hollywood was the underground place for punks to congregate outside of east LA and listen to music by bands like Fear, The Plugz, Black Flag, Circle Jerks and X.

Police and fire departments have shut it down for good, just as the scene was gaining momentum. A common tactic lately - punks are herded out of the club as it's closed by the fire department for overcrowding. Meanwhile a line of cops wait outside and start swinging their clubs at the young patrons as they exit. The next day it's reported as a riot but it's really a sadistic training exercise.

1980 L.A. TV interview w/ Black Flag's Chuck Dukowski on that very subject.

The Garage popped up in the hidden wastes of forgotten downtown Los Angeles to take the place of Masque, and it too may face extinction. The dark confines of an unused parking garage sets the stage for seedy fun and hardcore music, and The Garage attracts a seething crowd on the weekends. Don't be surprised by what you see, or who you see, doing what in the dark. More than just the music is hardcore, the scene is as well, the crowd is extreme in look, sexually-charged and ready for everything.

The Circle Jerks 1980

Al's Bar (on Hewitt Street Downtown) is a hangout for people who like their raw new sounds in a more intimate setting, it's dark and comfortable, and all the coolest downtown-scene bands play there.

There are also clubs opening for single nights to showcase the downtown and Hollywood bands as well. Vex happens among the ruins of Downtown LA, on Brooklyn and Cage, every other Friday. You can see Eastsiders like Los Illegals, The Stains, The Stilletos, Why Nut, and Thee Undertakers. It's a happening every time and draws a big crowd, brought to you by some of the guys from Los Illegals.

The Germs / Darby Crash

darby crash photoDarby Crash

Clubs like The Whisky and even the Troubadour have booked leather-clad-boot-jacked bands like one of my favorites, The Germs. The Germs' lead singer Darby Crash is known tear a club up if he's not restrained, patrons soon join in, fights break out and men's room toilets become gushing fountains.

Darby Crash & the germsOver the last three years, in addition to inciting actual riots, Darby (also known as Bobby Pin) is famous for cutting himself and flinging his blood across the audience, food fights and occasionally just singing to the back wall in a generally incoherent manner. That's why, lately, club dates have been so scarce for this popular band. The Starwood is about the only club in Hollywood that will book The Germs anymore.

Darby photo = punk rock / Darby Crash GermsDarby's wild drunken gyrating, spitting and vocal angst, combined with the furious guitar playing of the incredible Pat Smear, helped make The Germs the band to slam to, when a venue is brave enough to book them.

Darby crash magazineI understand that Darby Crash is trying to strike out in new directions and broaden his musical horizons. He played an excellent solo billed gig at The Starwood in August. Someone told me it was an attempt to distance himself from The Germ's raucous reputation, but it was Darby that gave them the rep!

 

punk rock flyer If you want to experience hardcore for yourself, Black Flag will play the venerable Whisky on Wednesday, October 8 and their feral fury will be fully matched, no doubt, by opening act D.O.A. out of Canada.

Madame Wong's East and the Hong Kong Cafe (they are right down the street from each other) battle it out for New Wave-Punk scene domination in Chinatown; both clubs are booking the best bands they are presented with - including local favorites Fear, The Blasters, Angry Somoans, Youth Brigade and others.

x flyer / punk rock  los angelesOn Wednesday, October 15, look for The Brat, Hey Taxi!, and Thee Undertakers at the Hong Kong Cafe.

Well, that's kind of a quick overview of the landscape I'll be covering. One aspect anyway - I'll clue you in to the flipside of the scene in two weeks!
Now here is the lovely
and talented Judy Zee
with her take on things . . .

I'm hoping that enough of you out there in our reading audience have a fearless and total addiction as I (we) do to rock and roll & use the resource of the live club scene to constantly recharge your cells' supply of energy.

This past week I've just been treating myself with the fresh blue warm-sunned breezy skies and have been recuperating from the smog-ridden period recently when it was best to stay home.

The groups I did get to see at The Blue Lagoon Saloon and Blackie's this week are better left uncredited (for their music did no justice to my ears, therefore they are meaningless and better left out of this column). There are some great shows coming up in the near future that I'll be telling you about. Talking Heads on October 20th for one... I'll be there.

Will you? (maybe?) Well, Okay!!! See ya next issue!!


NOTE: Judy Zee devoted one of her articles to the death of Darby Crash in December, but it has not been found.



Punk Rock Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION

10-7-80 The first article, The Masque, Punk bands, Darby Crash & The Germs, The Garage

10-21-80 The Toasters, Great Buildings, The Go-Gos

11-2-80 New Wave nights in Hollywood, T.S.O.L, Shandi, The Smog Marines

11-16-80 Grace Jones, The Nobodys, Billy Sheets and the Elites, The Talking Heads

12-1-80 Hollywood Boulevard 'punks'

12-27-80 End of the year wrap-up, The Naughtie Sweeties, Dead Kennedys, Fear, punk riot in the OC

12-27-80 David Bowie as The Elephant Man

spinWORLDemail us!

 

1-05-81 Devo, Rock Against Racism

1-19-81 John Hiatt and The Toasters at the Starwood

2-03-81 Wendy O Williams, London aka Motley Crue, and Live Nude Girl

2-17-81 The Veil, Darby Crash death, Phil Seymour and The Textones

3-5-81 New wave night at the Odyssey, Ray Manzerek

3-19-81 The East LA scene, Hey Taxi!, The Rentz, The Plugz, The Detour, Human Sexual Response

3-19-81 Judy Zee on LA radio in 1981

4-02-81 Tonio K & Romeo Void, Oki-Dog, Flippers, A week in the LA clubs

4-16-81 XTC, Wall of Voodoo, Madame
Wong, and The Pop

4-30-81 U2 and Missing Persons

5-14-81 Billy Eye Rock Awards, Manakin

5-28-81 Missing Persons at the Topanga Corral

6-11-81 The Brat, Parapalegic Infants in Downtown LA and U2 in Santa Monica

6-25-81 Performance artist Adore O'Hare, downtown clubs, Red Wedding

6-25-81 Missing Persons in Westwood

7-09-81 Los Illegals, The Brat in Hollywood, Al's Bar, Johanna Went, Jerry Lee Lewis

7-09-81 John Cale live at The Whisky

7-23-81 Brave Dog, Stiff Little Fingers with Missing Persons, The Grandmothers

8-06-81 Bow Wow Wow, Malcolm McLaren, Mad Society, Ian Hunter , and the new psychedelia

8-22-81 Missing Persons, Jean Pierre Rampal

9-07-81 Filming at the Brave Dog, Red Wedding, Atomic Cafe, The Stains, Los Illegals, East LA bands

10-06-81 KROQ of the '80s, hardcore EPs, Missing Persons at The Whisky

10-20-81 West Hollywood & the end of The Starwood

4-7-82 New Wave Theatre, Aphotic Culture, The Waitresses and The Plimsouls

5-07-82 In the clubs, The Spoons, Nick Lowe, Madame Wong's West, Angry Samoans, Motley Crue

5-21-82 Interview with Terry Bozzio in 1982

8-27-82 Missing Persons, Red Wedding at the Whisky, Dream Syndicate, The Untouchables, The Go-Gos, Orange County hardcore

1-12-83 End of the year, Minutemen, Fear, Gun Club, Theoretical party, KROQ, Missing Persons

3-14-85 Red Wedding closes The Odyssey in 1985

1980's LA Punk Rock Los Angeles


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