Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Women In L.A. Punk, Part XXII - Gerber, aka Michelle Bell

This interview was conducted over a year ago and I've been dying to post it ever since it was finished. Well, the long wait is over and it was worth it because Gerber has kindly allowed me to share some photos from her own scrapbooks.

All you people who keep asking me to interview Gerber can stop asking. It's finally here.

If you're at all familiar with the Germs, then you know that Gerber (Michelle Bell) was very close to Darby Crash. She went from being a muse to a musican and figured into several bands in L.A.

Gerber's interview appears exactly as she wrote her responses to me. I felt it was important to keep it just as it came to me - with typos and all - because it shows so much of her personality. I asked her if I should correct it or run it as it was and her response was as follows:

"fuck thr typos
thats me Yes
i chopped many a head
but Dennis from Social D
was the funniest
hrthought he ws gonna get laid like i a car
then he ran around all nite holding onto this one lil long peice I couldnt get off
he jssust held it all nite and tols story of woe
like that girl..... blah blah blah ...
they wwerent even a baand then
but he cmae looking for me next week
with a rod stewart spikey kindda cutt
suuper cutt
haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"

If there was an "It Girl" of the Masque, that would be Gerber. Like a punk Delilah, she claimed hearts as well as manes. Any party with Gerber in attendance was 100% guaranteed not to be dull.

In her interview, Gerber writes that punk "set me free to scream my truth...it needed to be screamed." Her interview answers, like Gerber herself, are all in CAPS. She was funny, feisty, unapologetic and in-your-face. And she still is.

Click on the Women In Punk thumbnail to read her interview:


SINN said...


Jenny Lens said...

Joy joy joy! I love Gerber. I will never forget first meeting her at a party. She was dating Dix Denney.

I asked her name, and repeated it, "Gerber, like the baby food?" She nodded and said something about being being a baby, except around the boys. She was maybe 15.

I have a lovely shot of her and dear departed Top Jimmy, smiling at each other at a party. Philly just wrote me from South America! She sent photos of her village and the children she teaches. Getting her to show her tits is really something! Cos Philly was always so reserved, a real British rose. Leave it to Gerber!

I love reading stories from people. They talk/write about their friendships and relationships, or memories of events and bands. I have either similar memories or better yet, wonderful photos that visualize those friendships or events.

Gerber is far brighter than ever given credit. I spoke with her for a few hours a couple years ago when we reconnected. It was a longer and better conversation than we ever had in the past.

She validates what I keep saying: LA punks were very bright, energetic and creative.

Where the hell is Mary Rat? We keep mentioning her. I have such wonderful shots of her! Everyone loved her, and as Michelle aka Gerber, wrote, so quiet. A truly graceful beauty who got along with everyone.

I just received a lovely Easter card from Gerber, pale purples and greens, a little boy and baby chicks by rippling water's edge. She has a knack of finding 19th-century cards for every holiday, often animated.

I love those cards. They were the first examples of 4 color printing, somewhat pale and so nostalgic and touching. Leave it to her to surprise us with old-fashioned e-cards.

Thanks again for convincing so many LA Punk Women to speak and for giving us the forum to do so!!

My love to all us LA Punk Women! Thank you Alice and Greg for your work!

Jenny Lens said...

Weirdos scrap book brings back so many memories! Thank you both for sharing it!!!

Great to see Jade's Generation X fanzine. She was such a Weirdos fan. I found great shots of Jade next to the stage at Weirdos, first Slash mag benefit, Larchmont hall, July 8, 1977. Found shots of her hanging outside Masque w/Gabby, Desiree and Zandra, Jade's late sister.

Too bad so hard to get our hands on her 'zine. Generation X.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, Gerber... I only met this character a couple of times back in '79/'80, but she helped set some very interesting things into motion for me - things that haunt me almost 30 years later! Things she does'nt know about, or even remember!

It's a great story, though, with all the right elements: love, romance,
jealousy, rage, drugs, insanity, suicide, hot sex in sleazy motel rooms, and an attempted hit by a goon squad sent by a certain L.A. publisher, because of his hose beast wife....

Great stuff that could only have happened in Hollywood, in the late '70's and early '80's.

Thanks Gerber, it was great! That crazy red head you hooked me up with at the Whiskey on her birthday back in '79, remains a major enigma in my life, that won't be erased any time soon.

Viva Gerber!

Anonymous said...

Things seem to be getting very strange around here....

"An attempted hit"?


buzzsaw said...

gerber caught my attention as a real cutie
and trudie plunger as well
just sayin'
i never have been to l.a.but the music has always fasionated me
i spent my time punk rocking around the midwest
i'm digging the live at the masque cds currently
thanks for the tunes and take care

Anonymous said...

Michelle my sister... I love you... And yes the pet onion was great....your Brother Steve