Monday, May 16, 2005

Hitman


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.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

isn't Terry Graham in that video too? ALso Spaz Attack is there in black with the red hair.
This is great to share with everyone.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm like all punk rock "Hobo Kelly": "I see Terry and I see Craig Lee and I see Spazz and I see..." And what the heck is that big white thing that comes flying down onto the stage after John crashes into everyone??? That place looks CRAZY!!!

Anonymous said...

you really had to be to be there to see how much fun it was those 2 nights!
I will never forget those 2 nights, they were fabulous!

Mela said...

dawns pictures are just wonderful!
wow.. cant wait to see more and read the interview.
greetings from vienna ....

xxx

Anonymous said...

awesome pictures dawn! brings back some good memories.

darkside777 said...

Is Spaz Attack is alive?

Anonymous said...

Great photos!
K

Anonymous said...

Great pics, hope to see more of them.

Anonymous said...

Dawn's pics really rock! Even if you weren't there they really grab what's going on! Can't wait to see more!

Anonymous said...

Dawn's photos are great. Hope to see more soon!

tg said...

Once upon a time and shortly after my baptism in the fire of W, I, along with Jane Drano, submitted an application to the Hollywood and Highland offices of the Bug Music empire to be aspiring fan club presidents. Jane, most creatively, presented a roll of toilet paper attached with all manner of plastic bits, scribble and the fermented flotsam of…Weirdness…to the Music Industry Man holding the purse strings of our beloved W in an attempt to woo and cajole and prove our felicity as the only and rightful El Presidente(s) of the one and only, authentic Weirdos Fan Club.

The band being present, we were encouraged to go forth and spread the Gospel of W amongst the heathens, but do it with our obvious creativity and spunky good natures. No, sorry, no money in the budget for a fan club, honorable though it was. That’s ok. We didn’t expect anything, but rather used the opportunity as a platform of affirmation, a public declaration of commitment as defenders of the faith and followers of all things Weird.

I daresay, Jane seems to have defended her faith for all these long years and I, too, though hidden behind cactus and jackalope, roam the earth a weird, tortured soul, avoiding wherever possible any hint of "common sense." None are mightier than the great, immortal Weirdos.

GV said...

Thanks for the positive response to Dawn's photos. We are just as excited about them as you are and will be posting more very soon.

You guys all know how we feel about the Weirdos around here...

darkside777 said...

if anyone is interested, I have a signed Weirdos single.
Let me know b4 I put it on Ebay...

Anonymous said...

what is a jackalope?

Anonymous said...

Steve Jones uses that word alot on the air on Indie 103.1 fm

Anonymous said...

Jackrabbit-antelope? Jackass-cantaloup?

Anonymous said...

rocking ass pictures Hope 2 see more pics in future.........

tg said...

Jackalope is a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope. It's a fictional creature of the Southwest. "B.S." is what one particular anonymous hides behind.

GV said...

Nice comeback!

Anonymous said...

how did you find Dawn?
thanks for sharing her photos with us.

Anonymous said...

I love this shot of John!!!! Just AMAZING!!!!!!! Tommy looks great too. Thank you!!!!! Marilyn

jb said...

I have had a copy of the video of what I think that clip is from for a number of years now and have viewed it many, many times. If it is the same one, it seemed to be for a syndicated "Eye on LA" or "Two on the Town" "lifestyles" type of show hosted by a middle-aged liesure suit wearing east coast wisecracking host.

Alice, my impression is that it is the closest to a "you are there" in the Masque type of footage that exists. I have some other b&w Masque footage (Screamers, Avengers - all shot for that UCLA student film), but it doesn't hold a candle to the Weirdos. Was there a better live band on the planet circa '77 or '78?? The footage says not by a long shot.

Not trying to do a "Blow-up/Blow-Out" on ya, but what is amazing is that not only is Terry up front and center, but I have freeze framed Darby in the crowd and others. My favorite moment is the interview which takes place while the Weirdos start up another song and the person interviewed is none other than Claude Bessey who says in effect(and it has been more than a few years since I have watched it), that "this scene will be over in 6 months . . . "

Man are we lucky this footage exists. When I get my blog up and running, I will do a blow by blow of the video and why, in an alternative universe, the Weirdos lp from 1977-1978 (that they never got the chance to make) would make the all time top ten list.

jb