Thursday, July 30, 2015


Every scene has it's own bands, and back in the days of fanzines, every scene usually had it's own fanzine that everybody read. In the pre-internet days, that's how groups of miscreants coalesced. Old school social media. Some scenes had several fanzines, all with different attitudes, writing styles and levels of slickness. Los Angeles had a bunch and the two biggees were Flipside and Slash. In the early days, the most popular was definitely Slash, a tabloid edited by the late Claude "Kickboy Face" Bessy, a transplanted Frenchman with penchant for spot on shit stirring rants. He was the heart and soul of Slash and his editorials alone were worth picking up the zine.

Claude Bessy aka Kickboy Face, rants, fields a phone call, and sings.

Other writers included Chris Desjardins (lead singer of the Flesheaters) and a pre-Gun Club Jeffery Lee Pierce (writing largely reggae reviews under the name Chatty Chatty Mouth). Among contributing artists were Gary Panter (who would end up designing the set for Pee Wee's Playhouse and still paints today) and brilliant collage artist Lou Beach. The magazine was (I think) designed by co-publisher Steve Samiof, and defined the L.A. brand of cut and paste. The other co-publisher, Melanie Nissen, one of several photographers, went beyond typical fan type band shots. There were so many other contributors that the magazine, taken as a whole, seemed at times like a collaborative effort by the entire scene.

If any of you aging Southern California punkers lost track of your tattered old copies of Slash, help is here. Circulation Zero just posted the complete 29 issue run, in pdf format. It's 600 mb, but a quick five minute download. This is as close to a complete overview of the Los Angeles punk scene from 1977-1980 as you're likely to find. The music below, hosted at Killed By Death, is by no means all of the L.A. bands of that era, and three weren't actually L.A. bands (but scene favorites regardless), but it's a damn good cross section. The copies of Slash, particularly the first dozen or so, along with the music below is about as close to being there, without the fog of time, as there is.

Slash magazine - 29 issues (in pdf format) at Circulation Zero 600mb, five minute download

The Dils - I Hate the Rich Two songs
The Zeros - Don't Push Me Around Two Songs 
The Weirdos – Destroy All Music E.P
Three songs
The Avengers – We Are The One E.P.
Three songs
The Bags – Survive
Two songs
The Dils – 198 Seconds Of… 
Two songs
X – Adult Books
Two songs
Black Randy and The Metro Squad – Trouble at the Cup E.P.
Three songs
Randoms – ABCD/Let’s Get Rid Of New York
Two songs
The Weirdos – We Got The Neutron Bomb
Two songs
What Records Comp. E.P.
Three songs, Contollers, Eyes and Skulls
The Deadbeats – Kill The Hippies E.P.
Four songs
The Germs – Lexicon Devil E.P.
Three songs
Black Randy and the Metrosquad – I Slept In An Arcade
Two songs

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