Uncategorized

Well, this is something of a find – a good-quality audience tape of the very first FLESH EATERS show at Los Angeles’ Masque in December 1977…! Are you kidding me? I would have given my right arm for this thing at any point during the past 30 years, and it’s just been sitting there since May waiting for all of us to listen to it.

Thanks to Jon Hope for hipping me to this site Noise Addiction II – I’ve barely even dug through it yet and have already found that the site is just bursting with LA punk and oddities from the 70s and 80s. Don’t mind me, I’m over here shoving files into my piehole.

So the Flesh Eaters, in their very first show, still sound searing and raw on most tracks. This was from Chris D.’s “screaming” phase, which you can read him disowning in our own Dynamite Hemorrhage #1 fanzine, which has a lengthy interview with him about this era. The tape contains their cover of the Magic Band’s “Plastic Factory” as well as another cover I can’t place right now….can you? The tape cuts out just as the monstrous “Automaton Bombs” is just getting locked and loaded.

I can help a little with the song titling as well. Minus the one I don’t know, here’s what you’ll hear:

FLESH EATERS – live at the Masque, December 21st, 1977

  1. Disintegration Nation
  2. Agony Shorthand
  3. Police Gun Jitters
  4. Plastic Factory
  5. Achieve That Reject
  6. Brain Time
  7. title unknown
  8. Jesus Don’t Come Through the Cotton
  9. Automaton Bombs

Download the thing here.

Uncategorized

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?

Uncategorized

A book about punk rock in late 70s/early 80s Southern California – absolutely impossible for me to resist. I did hold off for three years on Dewer MacLeod’s “KIDS OF THE BLACK HOLE” because, at first flip, it appeared to be a dissertation-level sociological study of suburban evolution in Reagan-era Los Angeles, threaded with warmed-over punk rock history – a history I’m well-familiar with, given that LA punk & its offshoots circa ‘77-’83 is my favorite era of music anywhere, ever. My initial take on this was not very wide of the mark, I’m afraid, though it was just interesting enough – and I mean just – for me to finish it all the way through. It’s not that MacLeod’s a poor writer per se, because he’s not. He just writes like he’s needing to turn this in as a paper to a professor who could never understand the paradigm-busting pleasures of Southern California punk rock, so the book is larded with all sorts of half-baked sociological theory in parts, when it’s pretty clear that what MacLeod really wanted to do was give you a slam-bang killer overview of the music he loved and loves.

So what you get is a conventional start-to-finish chronological story of how LA punk developed out of the glitter/glam mid-70s, exploded in Hollywood, branched out to Orange County and the Valley, got violent and faster, and then fizzled out. What bugs me is how much MacLeod relies on second-hand source material, like old Slash Magazines and the oral histories already written about this scene, and adds so little of his own recollections and stories to it. The interviews he quotes aren’t, by and large, interviews that he did, but rather interviews from Flipside, or Slash, or NoMag. I mean, that’s a book that you and I can write tomorrow, assuming a decent-sized heft to our personal 70s/80s fanzine collections.

I’ll admit, there was at least one new-to-me nugget in here that hadn’t popped up elsewhere. My pal Jerry from Orange County has told me some pretty hilarious stories of a goony early 80s punk rock gang from the small OC suburb of La Mirada called the “La Mirada Punks” – the “LMPs”. They made this book! Hooray LMPs! Chris D. and the Flesh Eaters, one of my all-time faves as well, also merit a couple of short paragraphs, which is a goddamn miracle considering how shut out they’ve been from previous texts. I truly wish there had been more insider dope and less haven’t-I-read-that-somewhere-before moments.

That’s not the worst of it, with all due respect to MacLeod. The book will start talking about hardcore punk pit fighting among bandana-wearing morons at TSOL and Adolescents shows, for instance, and then screech to a halt for an overview of gangs in America – “greasers” and Zoot Suit-wearers in the 50s and so on – to put it all in its sociological context. It’s boring, it’s unconvincing, and again, it reads like a college essay. Then the book gets back on track again with some cool Germs and Black Flag stories or discussions of the Great Punk Scare of 1981, before the cycle repeats itself. In no way would I recommend this book as your intro into LA punk history; for that, I’d follow a path through “Hardcore California”, “We Got The Neutron Bomb”, “Violence Girl” and the outstanding “Lexicon Devil – The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash”. THEN, if you’re not satiated – I’m still not, by any means – then you should find a used copy of this one, and approach with caution.

Uncategorized

Here’s a strange little collage piece of 1978-79 Los Angeles punk rock at The Masque, featuring all your faves like The Bags, Germs, Controllers, Go-Gos, Black Randy & The Metrosquad, Weirdos, Screamers, X, Eyes, Dils, Flesh Eaters, Dickies, Skulls and so on.

Taken from an early Flipside fanzine.

Uncategorized

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.