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Got $4000 Germs-burning a hole in your pocket? Buy signed (pitiful) royalty checks of Germs members!
11.23.2015
08:59 am

Topics:
Economy
Music
Punk

Tags:
Darby Crash
The Germs
Pat Smear


 
Let’s say you’re an ageing ex-punk who’s made it in the world of high finance. You’re on top of the world, but still something is missing. You’ve got the McMansion and the porsche and the cabin cruiser, but you still wear your FEAR shirt on the weekends up at the lake and there’s always that Germs-burn on your inner wrist which serves as a constant reminder of your rebellious roots. You still feel connected to those glory days, but time has built a wall between you and your lost youth. If only this great wealth could somehow help you reconnect…

Perhaps…

Allow me to direct your attention to three pieces of punk rock memorabilia currently for sale on eBay that would be considered absolutely priceless if it weren’t for the fact that they have an actual price: $3,998.00.
 

Germs’ royalty checks. Click on image for larger version.
 
These three royalty checks were made out by What? Records owner Chris Ashord to Paul Beahm (Darby Crash), Teresa Ryan (Lorna Doom), and Georg Ruthenberg Jr (Pat Smear) for sales of the first Germs’ single “Forming”, which was released in July, 1977. They are endorsed on the reverse side by the band members.
 

Endorsements. Click image for larger version.
 
What’s most remarkable about these artifacts is the fact that the royalty checks are made out for $3.00, $2.57, and $2.56. One is reminded of the Opti-Grab lawsuit scene from The Jerk in which Steve Martin’s character is reduced to writing hundreds of settlement checks for “one dollar and nine cents.” A $2.56 check seems hardly worth writing, but considering the value of that check now, there’s at least one eBay seller that’s satisfied that the payments were made in a timely manner. 

Money can’t buy you authenticity, but these checks do seem to prove the street-cred of early punk bands like The Germs. No one was in it for the money, and here’s the evidence! These items prove that, at least once-upon-a-time, there were some things more important than money—and you can have that proof to hold in your very own hands today for only $3,998.00.

After the jump, the hit What? Records single from whence the Germs got filthy rich. Listen to it and ponder, “What happened to Don Bolles’ check?”

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Germicide: Darby Crash suicide pact described in the first person by the survivor in Dutch TV doc
09.16.2013
12:17 pm

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
Punk
Darby Crash


 
Surfpunks, a 1981 Dutch made-for-TV documentary vacillates wildly from rapturous to heartbreaking. Aside from footage of well-known bands like (a very young) Suicidal Tendencies, there’s deeper cuts, like a bit on little-known experimental family band, Unit 3 with Venus (their shrieking eight-year-old daughter on vocals). It’s also a really personal look at the tragedy and destitution of the scene.

The main reason for watching, however, is a brutally naked interview with Casey “Cola” Hopkins, who offers extensive details of her suicide pact gone awry with Darby Crash. Hopkins, of course, survived, only to be maligned by her peers and bounced in and out of mental institutions over the next few years. Accounts of Hopkins vary, but it’s fairly agreed upon that the primarily female, fanatical Germs’ followers, known as “Circle One,” disliked and mistrusted her. It’s difficult to figure out who’s reliable in a cultish environment of young drug addicts, but from the footage, one thing seems certain: Casey’s a depressed, lonely young woman, and it’s hard not to have some sympathy for her.

On a lighter note, you can see footage of the self-described “all-American Jewish Lesbian folk singer,” Phranc, performing startlingly earnest protest songs. Taking (understandable) issue with the petulant punk trend of sporting (supposedly de-signified) swastikas, she manages to make her legitimate anger stand out from a scene hallmarked by chaos and screaming, with sincere, literal lyrics and an acoustic guitar. Phranc even plays us out, with a sly but optimistic anti-suicide song.

The whole thing is great, and aside from a few spots of Dutch narration, you get to hear the snotty California accents of the young early 1980s punks.
 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
A great rock hero died 30 years ago: Darby Crash

image
 
May he rest in peace. And somebody get him a beer…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
The Death of The Germs
06.30.2010
01:55 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Punk

Tags:
Darby Crash
Germs

image
 
Although I was too young to ever see them live, The Germs loomed large in my musical upbringing. They made deliciously evil sounding records that were irresistible to my friends and I. The legend of Darby Crash made its way out to us in the suburbs of Los Angeles and tales of “Germs burns” and other sordid activities titillated us as we blasted their sole LP and gazed at the spooky photos of the band members on the back cover. I tell you this because Rhino Handmade has just put out a limited edition CD of the final Germs show from December of 1980. Now here’s the thing: The Germs sucked live. The redoubtable Jonathan Gold does a wonderful job of describing what it was like to be there, but still I must ask: Has there ever in the history of music been a singer so utterly incapable of singing in time live as Darby Crash ? Have a listen to the clip below from said show and hear for yourself, then compare that to the truly wonderful contents of their classic first E.P. from ‘78 after the jump. I’m pretty sure all I missed out on by never seeing them live was a head injury !
 

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
My Mohawk Saved My Life!
04.21.2010
06:15 pm

Topics:
Heroes

Tags:
Darby Crash
Germs
Mohawks
Fortuitous Haircuts

image
 
Well, it might not have worked for Darby Crash, but mohawks do save lives.  Look what happened to 3-year-old Maddox Tallowin:

When father Ben, 32, and mother Barbie, 33, from Kirby Cross, Essex, took the scissors to their little boy’s hair they were shocked to discover strange-looking lumps on the back of his head.  They rushed him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where doctors told the shocked parents the bumps were a tell-tale sign of leukemia.  Mr. Tallowin, 32, said: ‘It was more luck than anything else that we found it.

‘Maddox had a Mohawk haircut.  He has really big blue eyes and bright blond hair and it was a cut chosen by him a few months before.  But it had got too long, about four or five inches, and it was beginning to flop so I decided to shave it off.  ‘The sides were short but when we touched the actual mohawk there were these bumps on either side of his neck at the bottom of his head.  It didn’t feel right so we took him to the doctor.’

The youngster is now in remission and the doctors have reduced the level of leukemia in his blood but he still has to make long trips to hospital several times a week and will need chemo and intensive steroid treatment for three years.

Boy, 3, Has Life Saved by Trendy ‘Beckham-style’ Mohawk Haircut

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Superb Collection of Early 80’s Los Angeles Punk Photographs
01.15.2010
07:40 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Punk

Tags:
Darby Crash
L.A. Punk

image
 
Here’s a collection of photos (which are for the most part new to me) of our beloved early 80’s Los Angeles punk rock heroes by one Vincent Ramirez.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles California, living mostly in the San Fernando Valley. My first exposure to punk rock came about in the late 1970?

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment