8 thoughts on “Germs, Round and Round

  1. There used to be a rule, more I tradition I suppose, but universally honored: don’t release your first practice as a record. That might be the worst drumming I have ever heard. By an actual drummer I mean. Or is this the guitar player on a break?

  2. Obviously not polished, reminds me of the Sex Pistols covers when they were trying to find a new bassist I think. Rough and ragged but fun. My feeling here was that the bass player was holding the whole thing together, and the drums were driving it forward. And somehow Chuck Berry shined through. I’m sure he wouldn’t have liked it.

    Here’s what he said about the Pistols, Clash and others. He liked the Romantics.


  3. “It sounds like an old blues jam that BB and Muddy would carry on backstage at the old amphitheatre in Chicago. The instruments may be different but the experiment’s the same.” The experiment’s the same. What an interesting way to put it.

    When they’re out of sync it drives me crazy, unless it’s in some cool way that this is not. Their studio stuff is much better, although I never heard anything that grabbed me. The lyrics that I catch, few it’s true, are straight from the LURID TALES! songbook.

    Besides the Descendents, I think the LA punk band with the best songs is Fear. The college kids at work turned me on to them in the early 90s. I didn’t know that Belushi got them on Saturday Night Live in 1981. This is wild.

  4. From your quote though, Chuck was talking about Wire and Joy Division, who are a long mile from the Germs. And Fear.

    If I’m going to hitch my wagon to an LA band it’s the Minutemen, but X was there first, and the Germs came the hardest.

    In any case, the coastal wars are bull. Glad I got that out of the way. I think it was Biggie who would have been 50 this week.

  5. I never thought in war terms, the movements weren’t contemporary for one. I like some songs of X and the Minutemen and the odd tune by others from that scene (Agent Orange).

    Yeah, it’s interesting that Chuck says that about Wire of all bands. The word “experiment” is what struck me, and Wire certainly was an experimental band, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it describing Muddy and BB. Of course, Chuck goes back a long way.

    The Sex Pistols covers are different to me, first because they were rehearsal tapes never intended to be released, also because the band didn’t know the songs very well, but most important because no matter what they did Jones and Cook locked in. That’s a huge part of what I’m always listening for in rocknroll, in all its permutations. If I never heard another guitar solo I’d survive, but take away the rhythm guitar and I quit.

  6. Germs – The vocal on this is Darby being Darby. He’s a total mess, as always. Didn’t stick around to be a judge on “The Voice.” I think Pat Smears’ guitar quite sizzles in spots. Like I’ve said plenty before, I think if Joan Jett belongs in the Rock Hall for anything, it’s getting the Germs album out of the mess that was The Germs.

    Fear – First album was great, is still very good. Second album kind of exposed their shallowness. Lee Ving just wanted to be a star. He’d be a “Voice” judge in a minute. That SNL appearance is certainly a classic. Punk doesn’t get much better than “I Don’t Care About You.”

    The LA band I think you guys – and many others – are missing on is Angry Samoans. They never get mentioned and their debut album is 15 minutes of punk perfection.

  7. You’re right, I hardly know the Angry Samoans, so I listened to the album between innings of the WBC game. Three songs per break, concise. I finally get the skateboard connection, which is precision. This drummer, in contrast, is a motherfucker. I like most of it but I’d hate to be Jerry Curlan. And maybe I’m wrong, but is the irony here that the singer is actually kinda wimpy?

  8. I think of Metal Mike Saunders as more whiny and obnoxious than wimpy. That’s part of his appeal. Kind of Keith Morris one step further.

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