Currently reading this new book and am enjoying it greatly.
MacDonell writes a self-effacing story of his blurry punk rock coming-of-age in LA punk’s first wave, circa 1977 and beyond. He writes for Slash, he befriends Black Randy, he passes out on his own front lawn.
Read a full interview with the man here, and pick up the book here or here.
*** Update on July 30th: I got really tired of this book in a hurry. Never mind what I said earlier. Here’s what I wrote on GoodReads:
This started out with a bang, and I was all-in….and then quickly descended into a litany of “I was so wasted” drug stories, one after the other, ad nauseum. Really, is there anything more boring that someone’s drug memoir? It gets extremely tiresome about halfway in, by which point I’d lost all my interest and was totally deadened to this guy’s mistakes and motivations, which seemed to revolve around destroying himself as quickly as possible, while making everything into a “party” no matter the day or hour.
The connection to the ‘77-’78 LA punk scene – which is what I though this would be about – is tangential. MacDonnell’s PCP freakouts and blackouts take place at or near The Masque, Whiskey, Canterbury House and so on and so forth, but it’s more an insight into one man’s drugged-out stupidity than it is an illumination into anything new or different that we don’t already know about that scene or era. Music is barely existent in this book and resides in the background of dozens of drug stories. Huge yawn.
BLACK RANDY & THE METROSQUAD, from the insert that came with the Dangerhouse complete 45s collection put out on 2xCD by Munster Records.
I’m a little late sharing this gem from Waitakere Walks with the people, but check out this photo of the harmonizing 1977 LA punk rock barbershop quartet, “The Four Perps”. (I just made that up, riffing on JB’s write-up on The Four Preps).
Left to right, we have Kristian Hoffman from THE MUMPS; John Denny from THE WEIRDOS; Bobby Pyn from THE GERMS, and Tomata Du Plenty from THE SCREAMERS. Apparently they’re backing up Black Randy & The Metrosquad at The Masque. Maybe you were there?
This is a photo of ARTHUR J & THE GOLD CUPS live in Los Angeles at the Masque 1978, taken from a very early issue of Flipside. They never recorded, but they frequently turn up in descriptions of wild Masque life.
Description of the band, courtesy of Stompbeast blog:
Depending on who you talk to this was a pioneering “punk rock big band” who was 20 years ahead of its time or a “godawful” absurdist joke. Name came from an amalgam of infamous local haunts for male hustlers: Arthur J.’s was a “big chicken hawk hangout” on the corner of Highland and Santa Monica Boulevard; The Gold Cup was “a sleazy coffee shop” located on Hollywood Boulevard and Las Palmas near the punk club THE MASQUE and its attendant squatter’s tenement THE CANTERBURY and was the subject of the scum-punk song “Trouble at the Cup” by DANGERHOUSE RECORDS chairman Black Randy. Considered by some to be the house band for The Masque, as it first emerged out of jam sessions at the club. The club’s owner BRENDAN MULLEN played drums. Quasi-Gold Digger backup singers wearing cowboy hats and toy pistol holsters dubbed The Cupcakes. Aptly named frontman Spazz Attack (a.k.a., “Craig Allen Rothwell”) was known for successfully executing 360 degree flips in the middle of a song. He playing Devo’s famed Booji Boy mascot (“a bizarre adult infant freak with pre-adolescent sexuality and Yoda-like wisdom”) in the band’s videos for “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Peek-a-boo” and later was a dancer on David Bowie’s 1987 Glass Spider tour. (Rumor was he was coached by dance guru Toni “Mickey” Basil.) Lead guitarist Geza X known for his art-damaged surf guitar and trumpeter Hal Negro known for being a trumpeter in a punk band. Famed for its Cuisinarty mixing of influences: name-checking ORNETTE COLEMAN (whose song “Themes from a Symphony” they covered), Sun Ra, George Clinton and James Brown along with the New York Dolls, T.Rex and The Sex Pistols. Also may have pioneered the hipster practice of the Ironic Cover Song: from the Green Acres theme to the “Cal” Worthington used car commericals. Evolved into the pioneering LOUNGECORE band Hal Negro and the Satin Tones, with the Cupcakes evolving into the Playboy Martinet-aping Punk Bunnies.