Tuesday, January 31, 2017



Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Origins of Hippie and Hipster

 Alternative theories trace the word "Hip"'s origins to those who used opium recreationally. Because opium smokers commonly consumed the drug lying on their sides, or on the hip, the term became a coded reference to the practice] and because opium smoking was a practice of socially influential trend-setting individuals, the cachet it enjoyed led to the circulation of the term.
Note: Hippie derives from this and so does Hipster. In fact Hipster was a "dope"smoker in beatnik lexicon originally only to be generalized later.

Hipster or hepcat, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the early 1940s. The hipster adopted the lifestyle of the jazz musician, including some or all of the following: dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty and relaxed sexual codes.

Marty Jezer, in The Dark Ages: Life in the United States 1945–1960 (1999), provides another definition:

The hipster world that Kerouac and Ginsberg drifted in and out of from the mid-1940s to the early-1950s was an amorphous movement without ideology, more a pose than an attitude; a way of "being" without attempting to explain why. Hipsters themselves were not about to supply explanations. Their language, limited as it was, was sufficiently obscure to defy translation into everyday speech. Their rejection of the commonplace was so complete that they could barely acknowledge reality. The measure of their withdrawal was their distrust of language. A word like cool could mean any of a number of contradictory things—its definition came not from the meaning of the word but from the emotion behind it and the accompanying non-verbal facial or body expressions. When hipsters did put together a coherent sentence, it was always prefaced with the wordlike as if to state at the onset that what would follow was probably an illusion. There was neither a future nor a past, only a present that existed on the existential wings of sound. A Charlie Parker bebop solo—that was the truth.
The hipster's world view was not divided between "free world" and "Communist bloc", and this too set it apart from the then-current orthodoxy. Hipster dualism, instead, transcended geopolitical lines in favor of levels of consciousness. The division was hip and square. Squares sought security and conned themselves into political acquiescence. Hipsters, hip to the bomb, sought the meaning of life and, expecting death, demanded it now. In the wigged-out, flipped-out, zonked-out hipster world, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Truman, McCarthy and Eisenhower shared one thing in common: they were squares ... . [T]he hipster signified the coming together of the bohemian, the juvenile delinquent, and the negro.
 The new philosophy of racial role reversal was transcribed by many popular hipster authors of the time. Norman Mailer's 1957 pamphlet, entitled "The White Negro", has become the paradigmatic example of hipster ideology. Mailer describes hipsters as individuals "with a middle-class background (who) attempt to put down their whiteness and adopt what they believe is the carefree, spontaneous, cool lifestyle of Negro hipsters: their manner of speaking and language, their use of milder narcotics, their appreciation of jazz and the blues, and their supposed concern with the good orgasm."in a nod to Mailer's discussion of hipsterism, the United States'Cold War deployments of African American culture and personalities for the purposes of public diplomacy has been discussed as "hipster diplomacy".

Sexual rolesEdit

Some scholars, such as Eric Lott, describe this new philosophy as based on "the twentieth century reinvention of ... homosocial and homosexual fascinations."
A complex pattern of sexual relations emerged among the men—which, in a rather self-consciously literary fashion, they sometimes regarded as resembling the affair of Rimbaud and Verlaine. Like Rimbaud, they endorsed "the systematic derangement of the senses"—through intoxicants, meditation, and other forms of intense experience ("kicks")—as a means to reach states of expanded awareness.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


More fun facts...
Dave Grohl (who produced and played on their 2013 EP, If You Have Ghost). Generally speaking, the band has done more to bring blasphemous, religion-skewering devil rock to the mainstream masses than perhaps any act since Marilyn Manson rose from the swamps of Florida to declare himself the Antichrist Superstar. What's more, Ghost has done it while somehow keeping its members' identities under wraps (though, as with most things in this day and age, if you look hard enough online there are clues to be found). In the 1970s, Kiss at least provided us with (mostly fake) surnames to go along with their superhero alter egos; with Ghost, we are presented only with five cloaked and cowled Nameless Ghouls and their frontman, an "anti-pope" adorned in skeletal face paint, a papal mitre and plenty of inverted crosses while answering to the designation Papa Emeritus.

The Faking of the Golden Suicides and the D.C. Punk Connection

From Vanity Fair Article The Golden Suicides https://www.google.com/amp/www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/01/suicides200801/amp?client=ms-android-sprint-mvno-us

Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan first met in 1994. They were both part of the activist, “positive force” punk-rock scene in Washington (think Fugazi, Bikini Kill). He hung around with the band Nation of Ulysses, believed in punk as a philosophy. It was a macho, hipster scene. The women tended to stay in the background, dressed frumpy. Theresa called them “the hausfraus 2000.” She went to parties wearing sequined hot pants. Her boyfriend was Mitch Parker, former bassist of Government Issue. They had a song called “Asshole.” Sometimes she would take out her compact and apply lipstick when someone was boring her.

Miles Mathis Destroys the myth of these "Artists"  

NY Skinheads: The Beginning...By Rosemary's Baby,.,., I mean Harley Flanagan, I mean Rosemary's Baby...

NYC is known for being the first city in the United States with a Skinhead scene.

I was the first Skinhead in NYC. I got my head shaved in Ireland in 1980 by then Outcasts roadie Raymond Falls or "Fallsy" while on tour with the Stimulators. I was instructed to "teach America about Skins" and well, the rest is history. He, to this day claims me as "One of theirs" since my head was shaved in Ireland. So if you agree with him then the NY Skinheads started in Belfast Northern Ireland.

I wasted no time. I put out a fanzine with articles that I cut out from various British tabloids about Skinheads with photos of Skinheads. I shaved my friends heads. It went from maybe me and 3 or 4 friends to me and a dozen friends; within a year or so Skinheads had taken over the NYHC scene. 

MRR (Maximum Rock'N'Roll) a Punk magazine was one of the things that helped spread the Skinhead scene across America. They gave biased scene reports demonizing me and my friends and giving me and my friends a bad rep that helped distort the image and the reputation of Skinheads in the states. The more they wrote about us, the more notoriety the NY Skins had, the more other scenes tried to emulate us.

Before you knew it, it was all over the country. Then came the Heraldo Rivera show and things would never be the same.




Friday, January 27, 2017


Excellent work guys! Keep it up, you are doing a great job!

I don't want to consider that one of my Artistic Heros and alter egos, David Byrne is part of the system, but, after waking up and, breaking away from-

The Catholic Church
The Grateful Dead
UNITY Church - The New Age Movement
WIN/LOSE competition
RIGHT/LEFT politics
public education
belief in government
FIAT Money and debt as wealth
Terrance McKenna
Punk Music
The Rave Scene - EDM
Modern Music Festivals, including Lollapalooza
broadcast television
cable television
classic rock radio
80's music
corn - fast food - junk food
Timothy Leary
1960's counter culture
drug use
abstract expressionistic art

and so forth, nothing surprises me any more.

Anyway, I have been following you guys for long enough to say that I am on the same page and, agree with most of what you have discovered to be hoaxes. As such, I wanted to chime in with another piece of the puzzle, re: Mr. David Byrne, that, is kindof a BIGGE......

Look up and read the lyrics of his song, Dance on Vaseline. I won't spell it out for you here, but, I know you guys are smart and aware enough to understand what he is talking about there, re: WHAT started in OKLAHOMA.........like not wanting to spoil the plot to a movie, I will make sure not to rob you of this "Ah ha!" moment......

I'm taking back the knowledge
I'm taking back the gentleness
I'm taking back the ritual
I'm giving in to sweetness
Oh preacher man
Shoot me with your poison arrow
But I dance on Vaseline
I'm trippin' out
Workin' on a revolution
Gon' let the music in
I'm taking back the children
I'm taking back the ceremony
I'm taking back my offerings
I'm taking back what you mean to me
You're dangerous!
Shoot me with your poison arrow
But I dance on Vaseline
I'm slippin' out
Workin' on a revolution
Go'n let the music in
And war is all around us
The Gods are dead and buried underground
Your hollow Gods are burried underground
I was a silly putty
Your big ideas are useless to me now
My baby saw the future
She doesn't want to live there any more
It's lousy science fiction
Gets on your skin and seeps into your bones
You're dangerous!
Shoot me with your poison arrow
But I dance on Vaseline
I'm slippin' out
Workin' on a revolution
Go'n let the music in
Started in Oklahoma
You always think it happens somewhere else
This madness is attractive
Until the day it happens to yourself
& Power might seem sexy
But check her in the cool grey light of dawn
A legislative body
And all at once your lust for her is gone
& I'm trippin out
Workin on a revolution
Gon' let the day begin
We'll turn it out
Monkey time for evolution
Gon' let the music in

Thursday, January 26, 2017





For several years Metzger hosted a talk showThe Infinity Factory, broadcast on Manhattan public-access television cable TV and distributed online through Pseudo.com. It was similar in tone and appeal to Art Bell and George Noory's paranormal Coast to Coast AM radio show, on which Metzger had also been a guest. Many of the interview subjects on this show would go on to be features in the Channel 4 series.
Metzger was the host of the TV show Disinformation, which aired for two seasons (2000 and 2001) on Channel 4 in the UK as part of their late night "4Later" programming block.[2][3][4]
According to interviews, Metzger was told just twelve days prior to the first specials' air-date that he would have to cut 50% of the material from the show in order to pass the USA Network's corporate lawyers' scrutiny. Those four shows have subsequently been released on a DVD with a second bonus disc presenting highlights of The DisinfoCon, a 12-hour event featuring shock rocker Marilyn Manson via pre-Skype video chat, underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger, painter Joe ColemanDouglas RushkoffMark PesceGrant MorrisonRobert Anton Wilson, and others.
Metzger created the Disinformation website in 1996,[2][5] and was able to regain control of the intellectual property rights and a $1.2 million investment by the site's original backer, cable giant TCI (now AT&T Broadband) after TCI CEO John Malone had demanded funds be cut off when news of Metzger's "anarchist bullshit" reached him.[1] In 1997 he co-founded The Disinformation Company, which joined with Avenue A/Razorfish, and became part of the RSUB Network until 2001.


He is the author of two books. Disinformation: The Interviews (2002)[6] features unedited interviews with several of the characters and thinkers who were guests on the series such as Douglas RushkoffJoe ColemanPaul LaffoleyGrant Morrison, Duncan Laurie, Peter RussellKembra PfahlerGenesis P-Orridge and Howard Bloom. "Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide To Magick & The Occult" (2004)[7] is an anthology of occult essays.
According to a footnote in Disinformation: The Interviews, Metzger is the uncredited male-voice interviewing Japanese pop singer Maki Nomiya of Pizzicato 5 on their song "This Year's Girl #2" (Matador Records EP CD: "5 x 5"). Metzger has also directed and produced several music videos in the 1980s for such New York "underground" luminaries as Bongwater[8] (their animated "Power of Pussy"), John Sex and others.






Post Modern Punk Gangs and the Destruction of The Suburban Dream

" The Hate was Fun, Destroying Things was Fun".


A Day With John Joseph

Life and diet advice from Iron man, singer of the Cro-Mags and former homeless acting Santa Claus John Joseph. Turned on to his eating habbits by H.R. of the Bad Brains as part of a job agreement in the 80's, John prepares a recipe from his book Meat Is For Pussies, consisting of "healthy" plant based protein like Gardien Crispy Chick'n.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Yippies Rocked against Reagan


A few little exerts from Dave Dictor of MDC book Memoir from a damaged civilization

"The Yippies, also known as the Youth International Party, were leftover radicals from the 1960s and 1970s. Based in NYC, founded originally by a collective that included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Paul Krassner and best known for disrupting the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, were joined in the '80s by a new young breed of activists, and some of them were hip to hardcore. MDC met Alan Thompson and Christy Robb, total activists who lived their entire lives trying to affect change.
The Yippies offered us a tour with a political subtext: they wanted to legalize or, at least, decriminalize marijuana and get apathetic marginalized youth (that is, punk rockers) registered as voters to help oust Reagan from the Oval Offices in the 1984 election. They let us help build the tour, and sometimes the shows themselves, with other bands. We could do our own shows between Yippie shows to raise money to put on the shows, and hopefully get the touring bands gas and food stipends....
Each community reflected the Yippie leadership of the different scenes....
Thousands of joints were thrown out into the crowd, and we experienced a grand old hippie activist time. Ben Mesel was the master of setting up protests and actions, and whenever the police overracted, he would be there filming it and then have a lawsuit that he would win...
The last Rock Against Reagan show for the year, which was a humdinger. Activist Dennis Peron put on the show. Whoopi Goldberg and Bodcat Goldthwait were the MCs, and the lineup consisted of Dead Kennedys, Contractions, and MDC. The show happened at Dolores Park at 18th and Dolores, a great place for a 10,000-person gig attended by a big crowd of San Franciscan punk, rainbow, gay hipster and bebop folks."

As 90's Nostalgia Returns, Vice Magazine Reglamorizes Trainspotting

A movie that did wonders for promoting Drug and Rave Culture in the 1990's is being dusted off and rebranded as a Patriotic movie about Scotland.....


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Punk Singer: The Kathleen Hanna Story

Kathleen's mother's most cherished piece of advice, " Don't trust anyone, not even your mother. "

Laurel Canyon to Punk Rock, a revealing synopsis of the history of Whisky a Go Go


Riot On Sunset

How punk and new wave resurrected Hollywood’s legendary Whisky a Go Go in the 1970s

By Greg Renoff
In early 1975, Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go was on the rocks. The famed Sunset Strip nightclub, which during its late 60s and early 70s peak had played host to acts ranging from The Byrds and The Doors to Led Zeppelin and the Beach Boys, faced serious financial problems. Record labels, which had used the Whisky as a key platform for promoting their rising rock acts, now turned their attention to securing warm-up slots for their new artists on arena and stadium tours. The economy, too, had gone south, with inflation making it difficult to keep ticket prices down.
Another blow came from the presence of newer and hipper Hollywood clubs, like the Starwood and the Roxy. “We can’t get big crowds regularly,” owner Elmer Valentine told the Los Angeles Times. “We are competing with every little rock & roll club and every concert.” In March, Valentine, a former Chicago cop who’d held an interest in the nightspot since 1964, conceded defeat. He announced that he’d decided to convert what was once the nation’s premiere rock club into a disco, of all things.

During its late 60s and early 70s peak Whisky a Go Go had played host to acts such as The Doors and The Byrds
After a few lackluster months of business, Valentine dispensed with the trendy dance format and shuttered the club. He’d then begin leasing the Whisky to some enterprising gentlemen from back East who’d offer up cabaret entertainments like sex-themed shows and musical comedies, to little acclaim. On rare occasions, rock promoters put on one-off shows at the Whisky, such as in September 1975 when the pioneering female rock group the Runaways took the stage at the historic venue. But by late 1976, the once-proud Whisky had no relevance when it came to rock, and in fact, seemed destined to go to seed.
Despite the Whisky’s decline, Valentine never gave up hope that he might find a way to return it to its former glories. In the summer of 1976, Valentine rang up former Spirit manager Marshall Berle. “Around that time,” the angular Berle recalls, “I got a call from Elmer asking if I would help him re-open the Whisky.” Berle, who’d maintained personal and professional relationship with Valentine since 1964, was happy to assist.
In the weeks that followed, Berle and Valentine began hatching an audacious if not improbable plan to bring the Whisky back to life. Instead of booking well-established performers backed by major labels, they’d feature emerging local bands, most of whom lacked record deals, at the club. Unlike the commercially successful acts that had built the Whisky’s reputation, these groups played abrasive music that was generally unsuited for mainstream radio. By the fall, Valentine was all in on this scheme: he’d revive the Whisky by turning the nightspot into the headquarters for Los Angeles’s burgeoning punk and new wave scene.

Kim Fowley and friends in his limo, December 1978

Soon after Berle heard from Valentine, he called Runaways manager and Los Angeles music entrepreneur Kim Fowley. “I got a hold of Kim,” Berle recalls. “I said, ‘Look, we’re going to reopen the club later in the year. I’d like you to produce some shows.’ Of course, he loved that idea.” Berle knew that the intense, six-foot-five Fowley would immediately reach out to L.A. scenester and promoter Rodney Bingenheimer, a diminutive man with a distinctive pageboy haircut, and get him on board as well. This pair was sure to have their finger on the pulse of what was next in rock music and know which local street bands seemed poised for a breakout.
The duo didn’t disappoint. By the early summer of 1976, punk and new wave had come to the fore in New York and London, and had begun creeping into Los Angeles. Bingenheimer and Fowley started spotting growing clutches of teenagers dressed in ragged denim and stained leather, hanging in the parking lot of the Sunset Strip’s Rainbow Bar and Grill. They’d talk to these street kids about the bands they were forming and groups from back East and overseas, like the Ramones, Blondie, and the Sex Pistols, that they all dug. The pair, too, kept abreast of the inchoate scene’s undercurrents through Runaways’ guitarist and vocalist Joan Jett, who’d come to identify with it.

Joan Jett and Rodney Bingenheimer backstage at Whisky a Go Go in 1977

Then in August, the Pasadena-based KROQ hired Bingenheimer to spin records for four hours on Sunday nights across the AM and FM airwaves. “I went right into punk,” he told Billboard. “The first thing I played was the Ramones. I could play anything I wanted.” He’d be the first DJ in L.A. to play Blondie and the Sex Pistols too.
Soon after, unsigned L.A. bands began to pass demo tapes to him, which he’d play on the air. Some of these bands, like the Motels, the Dogs, and the Pop, had recently put on their own gig at a Hollywood hall, billing it as “Radio Free Hollywood,” in protest against the lockdown that soft rock and disco had on the airwaves.
As autumn arrived, this new movement continued to take shape. But Pleasant Gehman, then a teen who was fixture on the nebulous scene, emphasizes that punk in Los Angeles was a far cry from what it would become in the years that followed. “That time in Hollywood is really hard to explain to people who weren’t there,” she observes. “It was an amorphous, general rock & roll scene. It was informed by stuff like glitter rock and heavy metal like Blue Öyster Cult. [New York proto-punkers] the Dictators, if they’d been on the West Coast, would have been in that scene. Local bands like the Quick and the Dogs were more like punk precursors. Anything we liked was never played on the radio, so you had to see it live. So there were a lot of great local bands here. But they couldn’t easily be classified.”
L.A. punk fashion in 1976, too, bore little resemblance to the outrageous fashions that came to define the movement in the years that followed. Gehman says, “Almost no one we hung out with was old enough to have tattoos. Nobody had piercings yet. It was just jeans and leather, and maybe a little bit of some sparkly, glitter stuff. Sometimes girls would wear slips. But before the punk look started coming together with leather jackets and safety pins, the aesthetic was like 50s hoodlum with a little bit of 70s fashion thrown in.”
As momentum built on the street, Valentine made his move. In mid-November, Valentine announced the club’s reopening in the pages of Billboard, stating, “I feel that punk rock, which is so hot in New York now, may well be due to hit Los Angeles.”
On Thanksgiving weekend, that proposition began to be put to the test when the Whisky once again opened for business as a rock club. With Fowley serving as MC, the nightclub featured two local (and Fowley-backed) new wave bands: The Quick; and Venus and the Razorblades. With teenagers filling the room, the Whisky’s resurrection had begun.
Just days later, the scene’s eclectic nature was on display on the Whisky stage when Berle and Fowley paired Venus and the Razorblades with a decidedly un-punk rock band from Pasadena, Van Halen. Berle, who just weeks earlier had caught a sold-out Van Halen concert in Pasadena, had hired them to play the club.

David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen onstage in 1978
Van Halen’s first appearance at the Whisky made for some awkward backstage scenes before the gig. Venus’s guitarist, Roni Lee, remembers that Van Halen’s heavy rock vibe initially turned off her whole band. She says, “So when Van Halen came in the Whisky, nobody knew who they were. These guys? Their pants are too tight. They weren’t wearing black. They were showing their chests. They were still into the glam rock stuff, and they weren’t in the Hollywood scene.”
Gehman, however, says that in 1976, at least, she and her friends had a different take on this kind of pairing. “There was this whole gray area in L.A. before punk became quote-unquote ‘official’ in 1977. Now nine times out of ten, if it was Hollywood, Pasadena, or the Valley, it was Van Halen playing with someone who’d later be known as a new wave or punk band. So we just loved them. They were always fun. Back then, the classifications, which became so important a few years down the line, didn’t matter, because it was amazing live music. We didn’t think we were metalheads or punks. We just liked these bands because they were good bands.”
By late December, Valentine and the others sensed that the punk and new wave movements seemed ready to break wide open in Los Angeles. Fowley, perhaps the most unsung scene maker in rock history, wasted no time in hyping the Hollywood music movement. As he informed readers of the Los Angeles Times, “We have 15 bands who are heavy metal or punk rock or street-rock. Everyone is capable of drawing at least 500 people on a word-of-mouth level… There is a definite Liverpool starting here in Los Angeles. These are the ones you will pay money to see two or three years from now at the Forum. Now is the golden time.”
Critics too, like the influential Robert Hilburn of the Times, took note of the fact that the historic Whisky had come to serve as the highest-profile platform for this new wave of rock in Los Angeles. “For the first time in years,” he wrote in January 1977, “there is the trace of a rock scene again in Los Angeles. It’s only fitting that it be headquartered at the Whisky.”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers pose backstage at the Whisky, 1977 (with Van Halen graffiti adorning the wall behind them)
Meanwhile, the club’s brain trust made plans to capitalize on the venue’s early success by booking bands from out of town. Berle recalls, “Elmer and I had lunch in Hollywood every day. We’d have a calendar and go over it, and we’d try to fill in all the open dates.” Major labels like Sire and Chrysalis had begun contacting them, looking to use the newly hot Whisky to break their ascendant acts on the West Coast.
“We started to do these shows for record companies,” Berle says. “If a record company wanted to showcase a band, for whatever reason, we’d book them. We came to cater to all the labels.” Around this time, Valentine made another smart move by hiring the late Michelle Myers, a Fowley protégé with tremendous eye for talent, as another booking agent for Team Whisky.
By early February, the Whisky featured its highest profile act to date when rising new wave stars Blondie, with a young Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in support, performed a multi-day stand at the club. Photographer Jenny Lens, whose work vividly documented the LA scene, wrote in Punk Pioneers, “Debbie [Harry] walked onto the stage wearing a Humphrey Bogart beige trenchcoat, black beret, and holding a New York paper announcing freezing weather.” As the set continued, she unbuttoned the coat to reveal an outrageously tiny black dress and thigh-high black leather boots.

Deborah Harry taunts the Whisky crowd in 1977

Out in the crowd, Dee Dee Ramone, whose band was scheduled to play the club the following week with Blondie, watched the show. “Blondie was really good that night,” he recalled in his autobiography. “Deborah Harry was smashing… all the boys were crowding the front of the stage, trying to get a look up her skirt at her white bikini briefs.”
After the set ended, Ramone headed toward the upstairs dressing rooms to congratulate Blondie on their fantastic L.A. debut. But as he reached the top of the stairs, Ramone had his first encounter with a man who would later produce the Ramones’ 1980 effort, End of the Century. He wrote, “My way was blocked by a man holding the red velvet curtains at the top of the staircase together so as not to let me pass through. This man I can only describe as resembling Count Dracula himself. He was dressed in a batwing-type cloak. He had a black beard and a moustache which gave him a devilish appearance, and his dark aviator shades gave him an aura of menace and mystery. Later I discovered this man was the crown prince of darkness himself, Mr. Phil Spector.”

“The crown prince of darkness himself, Mr. Phil Spector”

Phil Spector, as Ramone and every other pop music fan knew, was a legendary producer and songwriter who had racked up an unparalleled string of hits in the 60s. But on this night at the Whisky, he looked unhinged and acted like a maniac. After a tense conversation, the dressing room door cracked open, sending Ramone and Spector spilling into the room. Once inside, Ramone locked eyes with a radiant Deborah Harry, wearing nothing more than a bra and panties.
After Ramone departed, Spector worked to convince the members of Blondie to let him produce their next album. Gary Valentine, then Blondie’s bassist, recalls, “He made everyone else leave the dressing room and launched into a long and meandering monologue, peppered with remarks like, ‘Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?’ whenever one of us wanted to say something. He wouldn’t let us leave and had his bodyguard stand in front of the door.”
In the wee hours of the morning, Spector persuaded guitarist Chris Stein and Harry to accompany him from the Whisky to his Hollywood mansion. Harry recalled that the night was anything but unmemorable. “He trapped us in one room for a while,” she wrote later. “We couldn’t move around. If you stood up he wanted to know where you thought you were going.” Harry took this all in stride, saying later, “I love nutty people and I am really attracted to them. I sang some songs [and] Chris played guitar” for the producer before he finally let them depart.

Deborah Harry and Chris Stein at the Whisky in 1979

To keep the club active during the summer months, Myers and Berle asked Fowley and Bingenheimer in June if they’d serve as ringmasters for a series of shows that would feature the latest crop of unsigned, local punk and new wave bands. The pair quickly agreed.
The following Sunday, Bingenheimer and Fowley went on the radio at KROQ, inviting bands to come audition at the club. Fowley screamed into the microphone, “Attention, unsigned new bands in garages! Guys and girls who are playing the weird underground music. Whoever shows up at the Whisky this coming Friday will automatically be guaranteed a spot. In other words, if you show up, you get onstage, even if you’re horrible.”
Once tryouts got underway that Friday, Berle observed the proceedings. “Oh my God. That’s when I first saw Kim in his Full Metal Jacket drill sergeant mode. It was, ‘What the hell are you doing? You can’t do that! Oh, you suck! Stop! Stop!’ Then it was, ‘Okay! Who’s next? Get up here!’ He was just screaming at everyone, just insulting people. I said to myself, what the fuck have I gotten myself into? But that’s how these ‘Kim Fowley Presents New Wave Rock & Roll’ nights got started.”

Crowd gathers outside the Whisky in 1979
A few days later, Bingenheimer, accompanied by future Go-Go’s vocalist (and former Germs’ drummer) Belinda Carlisle, climbed onstage and introduced a newly formed Hollywood punk quartet, the Germs. The band, which featured future Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear and vocalist Bobby Pyn, had the dubious distinction of having only one member, Smear, who actually knew how to play his instrument. Regardless, the entrepreneurial Fowley had made arrangements to record the show for a future live album release.
Unbeknownst to the club’s management, the Germs had encouraged their friends to come prepared for an unprecedented evening of crowd participation. Gehman remembers the results. “That whole night shows the difference between concert security then and now. People were smuggling in two-gallon Costco-sized jars of mayonnaise into the club, because they weren’t searched. Now we’d always brought booze in there, but that was in small bottles. This stuff was just badly concealed under somebody’s leather jacket.”

The Germs released their June 1977 performance at the Whisky on the album Germicide

Once the Germs started playing, food started flying. In between songs, Pyn baited the crowd by screaming, “Fuck you!” and saying, “We can’t play unless you throw shit!” Carlisle stood at the side of stage, passing containers of salad dressing and whipped cream to the Germs so they could hurl it into the audience. Gehman continues, “There was enough food that night to supply a food bank. I’m not kidding. It was crazy. It was everything you can imagine. There were melting containers of ice cream. There were jars of pickles. People brought refried beans. It was psychotic.”
By the time the set ended, the interior of the Whisky looked like the aftermath of a natural gas explosion in a grocery store. The club’s manager, Jimmy LaPenna, scanned the room and saw red. LaPenna, who could have just as easily been a casino pit boss, went on a rampage. The way Gehman tells it, “LaPenna was screaming, ‘You and you! Get up on the fucking stage right now! Clean up!’ There were kids there that night dressed in black who looked really menacing and really crazy. But he was seriously grabbing them like a schoolteacher, by the ear or by the scruff of the neck, and handing mops, dustpans and trash bags to them, and making them all get up onstage to clean up. Not one person refused him because he was so scary.” Unsurprisingly, the Germs were barred from playing the club for some months.
In the fall, Gehman and her friends were pleased to learn that the Jam, an English trio that took more cues from the early Who than from contemporary punk, were coming the Whisky. While the energetic band had already become stars in the U.K., this Whisky show would be their first American club gig.

John Cougar, 1977

In another example of the wide-ranging billings that characterized the Whisky during those days, one Johnny Cougar, another newcomer on the scene, would warm up the crowd for the Jam on their first night at the club.
Once again, Gehman and her friends were there. “We loved the Jam, but were were all really excited to see him too. Before he turned into John Cougar Mellencamp, he was really rockabilly-ish. I seem to remember him wearing like a pink Elvis-like suit that night. Then he took off his shirt. It was all teen-idol, the Devil’s music, rock & roll, thing. He had a big rockabilly pompadour.”
After Cougar departed, the Jam came onstage and proceeded to flatten the Whisky.

Paul Weller & Bruce Foxton of The Jam performing at The Whisky

Hilburn wrote in the Times that the trio “gave an exhilarating display of the youthful intensity that has long been at the heart of the purest rock ‘n’ roll.” Playing song after song from their debut album, they barely paused to catch their breath during their concise forty-minute set.
As the Jam played, the crowd pulsed with energy. Standing near the dance floor were two future members of the alternative rock band Dread Zeppelin, guitarist Carl Haasis and bassist Joe Ramsey. Haasis recalls that they soon set their eyes on one particular fan who’d seemed to have lost his mind as the Jam blasted through their set. “All these people were pogoing and jumping up and down, but there’s this one fucking buff guy with his shirt off. He’s got on camouflage pants, and his entire head was wrapped in duct tape. I think he had a mouth hole, but head looked like a golf ball of duct tape.”
Once the show ended, Ramsey and Haasis walked over to the man as he pulled the tape off his head. “As unravels it,” Haasis says, “we see that it’s Bruce Moreland.” Just a year earlier, Moreland and his brother Marc had been the masterminds behind a pioneering L.A. glitter-rock band called the Sky People. But like so many other kids, Bruce, who’d later go on to fame with Wall of Voodoo, had gone punk.
Indeed, by the end of 1977, the bulk of Hollywood’s young rock fans had embraced the scene. The Los Angeles Free Press reported on the movement’s outrageous fashions by writing, “Garb can include Nazi memorabilia, black leather, greasy chopped up hair, an occasional plastic garbage bag worn as a vest, torn clothes fastened together with safety pins, and the latest rage from England, safety pins in the earlobes.” According to Fowley, these multiplying clutches of wildly dressed Hollywood street kids made for a human zoo. “The scene was like Kosovo meets Auschwitz. It was displaced persons, refugees from the suburbs… it was urine-stained, safety-pin-wearing, shit-ass motherfucker out-of-control fuckboys, fuckgirls… white dopes on punk.”

Young punk rock fans in 1977
This buzz kept business booming at the Whisky. Nearly one year to the day after he’d reopened the club, Valentine told Hilburn, “I kept reading about all of the new wave stuff in England. I saw that rock & roll was ready to come back. There were a lot of bands forming around town and [there was] all of the action in New York. It has been a real exciting year… probably the most exciting time for the Whisky since the 60s. There are some great new acts. And I don’t think it has begun to peak… Kids are just discovering they can see the next Jaggers and Zeppelins.” Hilburn, for his part, proclaimed in the Times, “the Whisky is the symbolic home of the new wave. As such, it offers the most consistently interesting rock fare.”
To close out the year, the Whisky booked Van Halen, now signed to Warner Bros. Records, for December 30 and 31 performances. Berle, who’d gone on to manage the quartet, recalls, “Those were great shows. They were packed. It was ridiculous. Everybody had a good time, and I think Van Halen made more money at those shows than any others they’d done at the Whisky.” These gigs would be Van Halen’s (and Berle’s) farewell to the Whisky, since they’d all leave town in March 1978 to go on the road in support of Van Halen’s debut album.
As it had a decade prior, in the late 70s the Whisky once again served as a phenomenal launching pad for new rock talent. By 1980, Van Halen, Blondie, the Jam, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had all become stars. John Cougar joined them in that status by 1982. In contrast, the Germs never broke out of Los Angeles, and the band disbanded for good in late 1980 when Pyn, now calling himself Darby Crash, committed suicide by injecting a massive dose of heroin.

For the Whisky, however, history came to repeat itself in a much more unwelcome way by 1982. Facing a poor economy, growing competition from a new crop of L.A. nightclubs, and a softening market for punk and new wave, Valentine shuttered the club in September. The nightspot would remain closed as a live music venue until the mid-80s, when it was revived by the armies of glam metal musicians who’d decamped to Hollywood in the hopes of following in the footsteps of former Whisky stalwarts like Mötley Crüe and Van Halen.
Today, the Whisky stands open for business on the Sunset Strip, and features a wide-range of local and national talent. Yet the days when Berle and Valentine could fill the gig calendar and then consistently pack the house are long gone. To help limit the club’s exposure to financial risk, the Whisky requires local bands to purchase upfront, and then resell, blocks of tickets in order to gig there, a scheme that musicians decry as a “pay-to-play” policy.

Whisky a Go Go in 2013

Despite this state of affairs, ambitious musicians still leap at the chance to play at the storied Whisky. And why wouldn’t they? When bands take the stage there, they are performing in the shadow of greatness, one that stretches back to 1964. Over and over again, as a look back at 1977 reveals, the club has served as the local mecca for musical trends that change rock history. When the next big thing in rock arrives, ground zero may very well again be at a little club on the Sunset Strip.