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The Godawful Nymphs

I’m currently reading Keith Morris’ highly entertaining memoir “MY DAMAGE”. He’s a legendary gadfly and roustabout who sang for Black Flag, Circle Jerks and a variety of lesser lights, and he’s been a man on the quote-unquote scene in Los Angeles for four decades.

I’ve just finished the part that takes place in the late 80s, in which Morris gets sober and tries his hand at “managing” a couple of LA soon-to-be buzz bands, The Hangmen and The Nymphs. Ah yes, The Nymphs.

What a train wreck. I saw them play at the Anti-Club in LA around 1988 or ‘89, opening for someone I’d come to see whom I’ve now forgotten, and was sort of excited to check them out because Manfred Hofer of The Leaving Trains was in the band.

Their frontwoman was an instantly unlikable – if gorgeous – prima donna named Inger Lorre. She’s popped up in rock scene tell-alls of various sorts since then, starring in her own depraved 90s passion play of LA sleaze, drug abuse and reputation-chasing. She and the band were less than zero at the time, not even a buzz band yet, and yet she strutted & preened & vamped her way through a couple of songs before everything totally imploded.

She started screaming at the guys in her band, for what transgression I don’t know – and then stomped off the stage. They coaxed her back, and they started another song, and then in the middle she just lost it, and went off on the band again. Dropped the mic, screamed herself hoarse, and then completely left the club. The band thought it was hilarious.

Mind you, it was wasn’t the heshers and hair farmers she’d later recruit to be in her dumb band. These were regular fellas like Mr. Hofer of the ‘Trains. They giggled to themselves – clearly, they’d seen this before – and waited for her to return. When she didn’t, they ripped out a short version of “Interstellar Overdrive”. She didn’t come back, so they stopped.

That was my experience with the godawful Nymphs. Thanks to Mr. Morris for reminding me that they’d existed.

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I digitized a 1987 live tape I’ve had since, well, 1987 of THE LAZY COWGIRLS, live in Los Angeles at the Anti-Club on 2-15-87. This was a few months after I’d first been blown away by their live show, and the same year that I began going to every single one of their shows, whether it was two hours away in LA, six hours away in San Francisco or right in my then-hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. 

I saw them live for the first time in September 1986, and I remember my jaw thudding on the floor and my making a vow to follow them like a pilgrim for the next 3 years (mission accomplished). I missed this 2-15-87 show, I think, but our pal Eric Stone recorded it on a trusty handheld and let us dub off the tape. I’m not sure if I’m quite as impressed now, 26 years later, as I was then – I mean, “Green Acres” and “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”?? Please. Yet you can hear what a ballistic garage punk powerhouse they were, no question; absolutely one of the great live bands of their era. Just right-click to download the show.

Download THE LAZY COWGIRLS – Live at The Anti-Club, 2-15-87

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This is from a 1988 LAZY COWGIRLS show live at the Anti-Club in Los Angeles, scanned from Australian fanzine B-SIDE in ‘89. Their shows there and at Raji’s were blessed monthly events that carloads of folks from Santa Barbara, where I went to school, would caravan down for. 

See the dork with the stern look and the Radio Birdman shirt? That’s me. See the smiling, bespectacled dude to his right? That’s my cousin Doug Miller. I assure you, I was having a mirthful time – slammin’, stage divin’ and getting in fistfights.