Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween!!

I'm really into this series of Japanese horror manga by Hideshi Hino lately. They are sick, perverted, violent and disturbing...and totally engrossing. Here's a little horror song for you all in keeping with the Stay At Home Bomb/Mom theme: Enjoy!
this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The More Things Change...

Here's one last question from the interview I just completed. It has particular relevance to me because I see the same things happening in this country that I saw happening in the 1980's, only now the mass media in this country is almost completely controlled by people with a ve$ted intere$t in maintaining the status quo. Even if you don't agree with me, you should still seek out some news sources from outside of our country so that you can gain a different perspective on what's happening here and abroad.

Q: You also went to Nicaragua in the early eighties to gain some new
experiences, would you tell us something about that time and if it changed
your views on certain things and how do you see the political situation in
the U.S. in the moment...?

A: My trip to Nicaragua changed me forever. It made me realize how few material possessions a person needs to be happy and it put me back in touch with the values that living in a consumer society can deaden in you, basic human values like caring about your neighbor.

I realized that the U.S. government has been bought by corporate entities that have little regard for Americans and even less regard for the rest of the world. Their sole concern lies in expanding their control over the economic systems of the world. Countries are either to be exploited for their natural resources or else they are markets for goods that are produced elsewhere and controlled by the corporations. These corporate entities only have one natural enemy and that is a well-informed citizenry focused on self-determination. As an American taxpayer and a corporate consumer, I am complicit in my own government’s efforts to block other people’s movement towards self-determination. That’s what my experience in Nicaragua taught me.

I think we Americans need to get serious about taking back our country and making it responsive to our needs and goals. What’s happening in America right now could happen anywhere when people get too complacent.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

Remembering Craig Lee

Another question from my current interview with a German website:

Q: Are there any special persons that you do miss a lot from ´the old days`, like for example Tomata du Plenty, Jeffrey Lee Pierce or Kickboy Face, people that were as far as I can judge about it, very influential for the L.A. Punk scene as for the evolution in music in general?

A: I miss my old friends now and then, but I try to live in the present. I’ve lost so many friends over the years that I try not to think about it because it could easily become overwhelming. I do miss Craig Lee. He was like an older brother to me. We used to annoy each other just for fun. He came up with different names for me, like “Babylonian Gorgon” and “Violence Girl." He used to call me his “Gordita” which means “little fat one” in Spanish. I’d do little things to piss him off and then when the veins in his neck started to pop out and his face was nice and red, I’d laugh and really drive him crazy. The angrier he got, the funnier he looked to me. So I guess we had a kind of dysfunctional relationship, but I do miss his friendship. I don’t think people realize just how important Craig Lee was to the development of the whole underground music and arts scene in L.A. Craig’s was one of the first and most creative voices in the punk, post punk and alternative club scenes. I hope I get to annoy you again, Craig! But not right away.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Yes...More Interview Questions - Darby Crash and Lee Ving

Here's some more of the lengthy email interview I'm still doing with a German Punk music website/magazine. The interviewer first translates his questions into English, then translates my English responses back into German.

Q-As ever in history, there are a lot of rumours about Punk and also about Punk in L.A., for example one of these rumours is that you did not get along well with Darby Crash from the Germs, in how far is that true and what was the point for you having trouble with him ? Which role did drugs play in the early L.A. Punk scene and which were the reasons for that situation?

Another thing I was always really interested in is gathering about the band FEAR as featured in the movie `Decline of the Western Civilization` they and especially Lee Ving must have been the most fucked up assholess around trying to bitch everyone, how much of it was real and how much was fake within that behaviour from the way you see it?

What about the Hillside Strangler, did he spread a lot of fear within the Punk Scene, especially after he murdered Jane King, a club regular at The Masque?... (question has been edited)

A: I met Bobby Pyn (later to become Darby Crash) early on. We became friends and used to talk on the phone. We were both very much interested in philosophy and ethics and would often have heated discussions. Darby was into Nietzsche and I liked Kant, so of course we clashed. But at first we got along more than we fought. We were drinking buddies and were both known for our stage antics. Between the Bags and the Germs, we probably had the wildest audiences of the scene and we did several shows together. As Darby submerged deeper and deeper into his persona of “Darby Crash”, he and I began to grow apart. My observation was that he began to have less real friends and instead surrounded himself with fans and followers whom he could use and control. I totally disagreed with this and we got into an epic fight over the “proper role of fans” one drunken night. Darby thought that people who could be controlled, should be controlled and he disliked the way I treated Bags' audience members as equals. I wanted to erase the line between performer and audience and Darby saw his role as an artist being closer to that of an idol.

In the last part of his life, I can only recall one person having the guts to stand up to him and tell him to his face “No Darby, you’re wrong” and that was Nicole Panter. I have to say that when I heard the news of Darby’s fatal overdose, I was saddened but really not surprised. It’s always hard to lose a friend.

With regard to drugs in the scene, when the scene started in the Masque, it was mostly alcohol. Drugs were around, but it was mostly pot, speed, maybe some coke. Heroin did not come into fashion until around 1979 and then it hit the scene hard. I always avoided drugs as much as possible, preferring alcohol. People who were close to me got very seriously into heroin, and many of them are now dead. I think heroin had some kind of a glamorous aspect to it that might have appealed to some, also many of us (myself included) had the youthful idea that we wouldn’t live much past 22 years. We just couldn’t see a future beyond that and punk rock was very much a youth movement at that time. I personally did not have a death wish, but I do remember feeling that nothing could touch me because I was young and fearless. That attitude might have caused some people to take chances with drugs that ultimately led to their demise.

On the subject of Lee Ving, I can only speak from personal experience, and he has always been a perfect gentleman around me. He has always been unfailingly polite to me in person – I’m not kidding. I think that if Johnny Ramone could be a Bush Republican, then Lee Ving can certainly be as conservative as he seems and still be a punk. I don’t think that being a punk equates with being a liberal, even though I consider myself somewhat of a liberal. In some respects I find myself to be quite conservative and reactionary. I’m definitely not in the “turn the other cheek” camp. If someone attacks me, I kick ass first then ask questions later. I suspect that much of Lee’s onstage behavior was designed to get a strong reaction from the audience. He tried to engage the audience by provoking them - just like I did - but he did it in his own way.

Regarding the Hillside Strangler, I was aware at the time of the killings but I didn’t worry about it and I honestly don’t believe that many of the Masque regulars were overly concerned about it either. I never met Jane King or at least not that I can recall.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Unfinished Business

Self Help Graphics

Las Tres will be opening the musical portion of a great show at Self Help Graphics in East L.A. this Saturday, October 16. Click on the flyer above for more details. The admission is $10.00 at the door and a portion of the proceeds will go to Self Help Graphics, which has been at the heart of the Chicano arts community for over twenty years. Those of you who know a bit of L.A. punk history might recall that it was the site of the original Vex in the early 1980's. A lot of history will be on display at this show. Some great musicians are involved, many of whom you would not get a chance to see outside of a major concert venue, so please come down and bring your friends and family along. It will definitely be a thought-provoking and fun event.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

More Interviews...

I've been doing an email interview with a German music website/magazine and it's one of the more involved interviews I've done. I'll post some of the questions and answers here first, then eventually move them to the website archive. Oh and here's a nice little set of photobooth shots of the Bags (minus Craig Lee - we haven't come across his photo yet) that we just dug up from the basement. The pictures of Terry and Rob appear to be from the set we did for the back cover of the original Dangerhouse 7", which is going to be re-released very soon on Artifix Records. I'm not sure when the shots of Pat and me were taken. Lest anyone think I'm ignoring Craig, I will dedicate an entire blog entry to him in the near future, along with some old pictures of him I just had developed from slides.
The Bags
Q-The L.A. scene was often (accused)by others for being, compared to New York or the U.K. (scenes), built up by kids out of middle class families, who had nothing to worry about and for whom punk (was)just a phase that they (were) going through. In how far would you say is this true and do you think that punk has to be specifically connected to some kind of class, origin, style or
behaviour ?

A-I think that’s total bullshit. There are different economic levels in any major city. I grew up in a poor, working class, crime-riddled part of Los Angeles called East L.A. Growing up with economic comfort was definitely not my experience. In any case, I don’t believe you have to be poor to be punk. There are plenty of narrow-minded conformists at every economic level to rebel against. The other side of the coin is that growing up punk in Los Angeles afforded me the opportunity to meet and work alongside kids from all different walks of life. Certainly, my Bags’ bandmate Craig Lee was from a more privileged background than me. He would write lyrics using words that I did not even know how to pronounce because his education was superior to mine. He never held it against me or made me feel inferior. If anything, I recall the early L.A. punk scene as being egalitarian. Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Gays, Lesbians and Straights all lived, loved and worked together to create their own community. We were united in our opposition to the mainstream culture.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A VERY Quick Update

Las Tres will be opening a show with some of the most creative L.A. punk and underground artists at the old Vex (Self Help Graphics) in East L.A. on October 16, more details can be found at Please be sure to come early to check out the work of some great artists, including Diane Gamboa!

Stay At Home Bomb has been busy too, we're really trying to finish the recordings of our newer songs so we can get those over to Danny at Warning Label for an official release ASAP! Stay At Home Bomb is confirmed for two So. Cal shows with the hard rockin' U.K. band, Girlschool. Judy & Sharon are especially thrilled to play these shows since they've loved Girlschool for years. The Knitting Factory in Hollywood will be an all ages show and the Casbah in SD is 21 and over. More info soon.

Lastly, Castration Squad is still rehearsing and writing new material. All of the members of CSquad are full time moms in addition to being in other bands - Dinah Cancer is very active with her band, The 45 Grave Robbers - and we all have major time commitments elsewhere, so it's slow going. When we're ready to do our first show, you'll read it here first!