He was once Landon Carter-Now he's Darby Crash. I'd like to welcome everybody back to the Mercury Lounge for the sixteenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight, I had the honor and the privilege of seeing The Germs, a band I have missed playing in NYC on many occasions. Not this time, bought my tickets around midnight last night. With public transportation not being friendly to me, I showed up about 9:30, same time the opening act 'The Krum Bums' were hitting the stage; The Germs slated to hit the stage at 10:30.
As we all know, the original lead singer of the Germs, a man by the name of Jan Paul Beahm later known as Bobby Pyn and then even later and most infamously Darby Crash is dead. He had “overdosed on China white heroin in a suicide pact with close friend Casey Cola,” And if her name isn't storybook enough here's the kicker- “who ended up surviving”. At the age of 22 in 1980 Darby Crash and the Germs were done. In the rock and roll history books the Germs are one of the first and most influential L.A. Punk bands to come out when punk was forming into it's own. Put it this way, your band has to be good if Joan Jett was so much of a fan that she produces your only record. Crash's death gets overlooked in hindsight due to the fact that the very next day he committed suicide another rock musician died. Some guy named John Lennon, you may know him.
As mentioned before I walked in at about 9:30, just in time to pick up my Germs tee shirt for $15 and a sticker for $1. Then on my way to the main room I grabbed a Heineken for 7 bucks. The Krum Bums seemed to have just started there set. They were loud. Almost every band member (5) had a mic and was singing harmony somewhere on a song-or should I say screaming harmony. The lead singer set the table, he had a Rancid style mo hawk and tightened up in leather. The band looked like they were Punk, but they played this loud, heavy all over the place hardcore stuff. You all know the riff, really fast and as loud as possible then the complete 3 second stop and back into it. We've all seen this one before. By their third song (or by the time I finished that beer), I had enough and it was time to go back outside and schmooze with my fellow punk rockers.
I was smoking a cigarette when I noticed Pat Smear sneaking into the door avoiding contact with anyone with that same old smile he's been rocking for 30 years. The Mercury Lounge is great spot because there are so many other bars and hot spots on that same stretch of blocks that the tail that passes by this place is amazing. One chick had on a pink dress thing on and the skirt was really short (don't worry this part of the story goes somewhere), boobs almost coming out and she just looked way past drunk. She was with someone who looked like her boyfriend and they headed in. 10:30 was coming up on me fast, so I headed in to try and nail my usual front row spot. I get up front, and I see that drunk chick lying on the steps that lead up on stage. Now she stumbles up, and she's in full slut mode by now lying on stage lifting her legs up, bending all sorts of ways and she's asking people if they have “connections”(to the band). Right now I'm thinking “damn, her boyfriend is going to go ballistic” but there was no boyfriend as she stood up and began to have her right boob pop out of her dress. And it wasn't even debatable, there was full nipple out. She was posing for pictures but is so whacked that she doesn't know her tit is hanging out while shes making these faces towards cameras. She was up there about ten minutes before event staff (one of the two dudes who are the event staff) tries to get her off stage and she's trying to make out with him. Then he escorts her out while myself and others booed the guy. I blurted out “hey, she coulda make a great riot girl.” The house music they were playing before the Germs came on consisted of heavy punk rock-and I can't believe they play D-7 by The Wipers. That was cool. But to the main event
About 10:39 here come the one, the only, THE GERMS!! On drums dressed in cub scout attire and a furry viking cap on was Mr. Don Bolles, he's a funny guy. Playing base the lovely Lorna Doom, who was outside on several occasions I just didn't know it was her. To be honest, she looked kind of like a high school teacher, but I got to tell you when she strapped that bass on-what is she 50 something?-I'd hit that. On guitar the one and only Pat Smear who gained more notoriety in the mid to late 90's when he played guitar in Nirvana for their In Utero tour and then with the Foo Fighters. And taking the place of Darby Crash, is Shane West-sporting a mo hawk and a glove on one hand that he said was “in memory of Micheal Jackson”. Shane West starred as Darby in the biopic of the Germs titled “What we do is secret”. The band members were so impressed with his portrayal that they decided to have him be the front man and reform the Germs. Don't think I'm fooled. In 2002 my girlfriend at the time dragged me to see “A Walk to Remember” starring Shane West opposite Mandy Moore. So it could have gone one of two ways: I could have enjoyed a great punk rock show or I could have made fun of this guy for an entire passage.
As soon as the first chord was strummed complete hell broke lose at 212 E Houston Street. I usually mean that in a figurative sense-as in the atmosphere, head nodding, etc. This time when I say hell broke loose I mean I'm physically bruised from the hardcore moshing and dudes jumping on stage and attempting to stage dive. I'm right in front, I'm getting pushed into other people constantly while trying to hold my camera steady because I was taking really long videos. I think Pat was trying to knock my camera out of my hand with his head stock, he was whaling away. Pat Smear,
definitely under-appreciated punk rock guitarist. He uses one switch, no pedals. The overall way he controls the sound of each song with how powerful his playing is. The riffs bleeding through the amps in unison with Shanye West's (He called himself Shanye- yes like Kanye)
rambling aggressive lyrics and style. He was nuts. He fell
off stage at one point I may have it on video, he had the Henry Rollins lean into the crowd thing going. He spilled water on us. Like I said before he was once Landon Carter and now he's Darby Crash. There were three main people that really kept the mosh going. I'm not even sure if it's a mosh it was just like a couple dudes bouncing off each other and slipping on the wet floor. Everything was with reckless abandonment except when one of them fell to the floor-that was when they were brought back to their feet quickly by their fellow moshers. But one of these dudes got on stage, sang some lyrics into the mic with Shanye, dived off stage and was caught by people, and then tumbled off of that crowd and landed into vacant space on the floor-trust me he hit the deck hard. But hey man, we're at a punk rock show this kicks ass. You could see Lorna smiling when she sees this, as if she's proud that there's still some people who know how to have fun. I mean, I'm bruised up, got poked in the eye, slapped in the face and my hair pulled and I was NOT participating-I wonder what these dudes will feel like in the morning. No one fought, people even lit up cigarettes and no one cared. They played every song in their catalog in about a hour, they went off stage 11:43pm. Such a fun time, so hard rocking. So punk, so.. well so friggin Germs!! amazing.
Keep checking back in the next couple of days as I will have added some videos to this. Thanks to everyone who gives a crap. Next stop is the Borgata in Atlantic City- Stone Temple Pilots with the Meat Puppets opening! going to be insane