Friday, May 27, 2005

Kari Krome - Women in L.A. Punk XI

We're up to #11 in my series of interviews with influential women in the early L.A. punk scene. Can you believe it?

This bi-weekly installment of close encounters of the female kind is with none other than Ms. Kari Krome.

Kari Krome's interview came about quite by chance. A few months ago, when some of the remaining members of Castration Squad were toying with the idea of a reunion, Tracy Lea received an email from Kari Krome, asking about the group's plans. Given Kari's role in creating the seminal all-female rock band, The Runaways, we were very impressed and intrigued. One thing led to another and I quickly prevailed upon her to do an interview for my website.

Click on the image below to read Kari's interview and enjoy!

Photo of Kari Krome copyright SACRED DOGS ENTERTAINMENT / Used with permission.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dances With Crones

I spent last Saturday dancing with crones. Before you think I've become an ageist and am slandering women of a certain age, let me tell you about my experience.

My Punkoustica bandmate, Angela asked me to join her on a couple of songs at her sister’s 60th birthday party, so I agreed. I wasn't sure what to expect. I guess I assumed that the party would be mostly older folks and might not be terribly exciting, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. I’d never had the opportunity to be around so many older women in a festive setting. Some were married, some single, some divorced or widowed, but regardless of their marital status they all behaved in a way that showed they were not concerned with what anyone thought about them. These older women seemed to have a much stronger sense of identity, individuality and confidence than is typically found in younger women.

When the music started playing and these women got up to dance, they weren't dancing any recognizable steps. They simply moved their bodies along with the music. They twirled, jerked, jumped and gyrated with such carefree enthusiasm that I was irresistably drawn into their circle. I imagine that the energy I felt in the midst of that circle must have been something like the energy that witches tap into with their own dance rituals. The sense of power, wisdom, and creative energy swirling all around that dance floor was like magick. Looking into their eyes, I sensed that these women could own the world if they wished, or turn you to stone if they chose to. Being in their company allowed me to feel the full strength of womanhood, and it gave me something to look forward to as I mature and learn the wisdom of the crone.

The word "crone" is often associated with the image of a shriveled old hag, usually one bent on evil-doing. I suspect that this has more to do with the Roman Catholic Church's attempt to malign the ancient Goddess cults and pre-Christian religions than anything else. In our own culture, we perpetuate this negative association with female aging by focusing almost exclusively on young women as the symbols of femininity. "Crone" has become the word society uses to express disdain for older women, but in reality, Crone should be the image for self-assurance, self-empowerment and self-knowledge that comes with age. Crone is the fulfillment of life experience and wisdom and should be revered.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Happy Birthday, Joey

There's nothing I can say about the influence of Joey and the Ramones that hasn't been said a million times already. Instead, on the occasion of Joey's birthday, I thought I'd share a spoken word piece by a group called Too Much Girl. What could be better than sharing a piece of lemon meringue pie with Joey Ramone?

The Joey Episode

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Scooter Makes Good

For those of you who don't live in L.A., you may not be aware that we just elected our first Latino mayor since 1872. That's a pretty big deal to those of us who are of Mexican American descent.

It's even more special for me because I went to high school with the new First Lady of Los Angeles, Corina, pictured here with her husband, our new mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.

Oddly enough, a few months back, I ran into Corina at Trader Joe's. We chatted for a bit about what we were doing because we hadn't seen each other in about thirty years. She told me she was a teacher and reading specialist. A couple of days later, I got an election mailer that had a picture of the mayoral hopeful and his wife and I thought, "that looks like Corina." Duh. Her name in high school had been Corina Raigosa (see below) and the couple had agreed to share both surnames upon marriage, hence Antonio Villar became Antonio Villaraigosa. I think that's really great, except Alicia Velasquezarmendariz would not fit on my driver's license.

Corina was one of the first people to befriend me when I transferred from Garfield High into the all-girl Catholic high school, Sacred Heart of Mary. We were known as the Scooters and our mascot was an elephant. Don't ask me why, because I don't know.
Anyway, I was known as "Ziggy" in those days, a reflection of my love for David Bowie and my all around weirdness. I've posted Corina's senior picture alongside mine, for your amusement. The writing on my picture is my own. I didn't have very many friends, so I wrote to myself, "To Alice, You're the best friend I ever had and I hope it will always be that way. I love ya, Ziggy."


Monday, May 16, 2005


Here's a little treat for you all: a teaser clip of The Weirdos, performing Hitman live at the Masque in 1978 for a taping of a T.V. show about the punk rock craze. It's hard to hear with the poor sound quality - keep in mind that the Masque was really a big basement with terrible acoustics - but the audience reaction should give you some idea of just how powerful this band was. On a bad night, the Weirdos were amazing. On a good night, they were untouchable. In the audience that particular night were lots of Masque regulars, including at the front of the stage Karla Maddog, the awesome drummer for the Controllers. She's wearing a raincoat, getting pummelled and fighting for her life...and probably loving every second of it, as we all were. In a different clip I saw from the same video, I noticed the photographer, Dawn Wirth taking photos of the Weirdos. Here's one:

Photo of John Denney of the Weirdos by Dawn Wirth.

Coincidentally, I just recently got in touch with Dawn after 25 years. She will be a featured interview in a few weeks, and she will be allowing us to publish some of her rarely seen photos from the early punk days, like this photo of Tommy Gear of the Screamers. Dawn has some amazing shots which we can't wait to share with you. Thanks, Dawn!

Photo of Tommy Gear of the Screamers by Dawn Wirth.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Punk Sex Symbols

Terry Graham = Johnny Depp? You be the judge. This is for all the Terry Graham fans out there. We had no idea he had so many. Either that or Terry has been feverishly posting as "anonymous"!

Speaking of sex symbols, we are pleased as punch (and why exactly is punch so damn pleased?) to announce the posting of the latest in a series of interviews with Women In L.A. Punk, Trudie!

Click on the thumbnail to read an interview with L.A.'s Favorite Punk.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

We're getting ready to move into a new home, so we have to get rid of some things that I've had packed away for years in the garage and underneath the house. One of the boxes we came across today while putting things out for a yard sale contained more rare stuff from the early punk days in L.A. Once again, my mother had saved these things from the trash can (unbeknownst to me) and stashed them in a cardboard box along with other keepsakes, like this photo of the two of us:

We'll be posting some of the things my Mom saved in the archives shortly, but we wanted to give you a peek at what we just found today:

A Weirdos Songbook from 1977

A flyer for the FIRST Bags show at the Masque, 1977

Some old issues of Flipside.

More old's Terry Graham.

So, once again thanks to my Mom, we have a lot more to share with you in the weeks and months ahead. Remember to be nice to your own Mother!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

No, I'm Not Asleep At The Wheel

No new posting lately because I'm caught up in all kinds of drama involved with moving. We're looking for a new home and between work, house-hunting and daily life I haven't had time to post a new blog entry.

Yes, I went to see Gloria Trevi recently and she was AMAZING! Better than I had even hoped for. Suffice it to say that she had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. I also saw a great movie last week called Kung Fu Hustle which I HIGHLY recommend. I absolutely loved it.

The website is due for some updating and my webmaster tells me we have a lot of new "old" photos and videos to post; I will announce them here so don't worry about missing them. Also coming up in the weeks ahead: Women In L.A. punk interviews with Trudie, Kari Krome, Dawn Wirth and possibly Penelope Houston (c'mon Penelope!). Right now, we're featuring an interview with Theresa Kereakes. Check it out!

Theresa Kereakes

Stay tuned and I will write more soon...zzzzzzzzzzz