On This Date in 1981: The Penelope Spheeris-directed Punk Rock Documentary, The Decline Of Western Civilization debuted in Southern California. Capturing the ferocity of the thriving and wildly influential LA and Orange County Punk music scene, Decline featured live performances from Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Fear, Alice Bag Band, X, Catholic Discipline and The Germs, whose now long-deceased lead singer, Darby Crash graces the central spot of the promo poster. Many of the film’s live performance scenes were shot at The Fleetwood, a cavernous live music venue near the pier in Redondo Beach, which I believe was formerly home to a Bowling Alley or Skate Rink.
CBGB music club saw it all – the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and so many more. The layers of flyers and playbills, graffiti, stickers and spilt beer seemingly coating the club’s every surface were as dense and sticky as the history of the place. Joe Holmes’ photos put the viewer right into the space – looking into the mixing board area, one can’t help but wonder at the cacophony of sounds that bounced off these heavily plastered walls. Purchase or read more about Mixing Board and Bench at This Link.
In another view of the infamous rock club, Joe presents the cavernous main room. Resembling sticker-encrusted saguaros, the pipes stand sentry along the perimeter of the room, from which, despite its signage proclaiming otherwise, there appears to be no exit. Somehow, though, the headbangers, thrashers, and mosh-pitters managed to stumble their way out onto the Bowery. And now they are all gone. Purchase or read more about Pipes at This Link.
Jen Bekman’s 20X200 sells affordable art prints priced from just $20! Browse around and see what strikes your fancy at This Link. And don’t forget: Art makes a great gift!
If you remember the old CBGB rock club located at Bleecker and Bowery in NYC, then you know that the above Gingerbread rendering of the club’s former façade is pretty spot on. These days, the space is home to the John Varvatos men’s clothing boutique, which is still worth a visit even if you can’t afford the $500 sweaters they sell.