Born Again at the Whisky A-Go-Go

I believe it was sometime around November 1980. My friends and I decided to go see the Dickies at the Whiskey Agogo. This was the original line-up of Leonard Graves Phillips, Stan Lee, Chuck Wagon, Billy Club and Karlos Kaballero. This night was a major turning point in my life. And it actually had nothing to do with the Dickies. This night was my first venture to Hollywood. I’d only had my drivers license for a couple of months and I was the only one 16. My other friends on this trip were Ken Hunt, Steve Dilley and Joe Brown, all were 14 or 15 at the time. We told our parents we were going to the movies and headed to the Sunset strip. Now here is a key factor to remember. This was like the first day of high school when everyone tells you that simple the fact that you are there will mean to you are going to get your ass kicked. I was very nervous, sure that some real LA punk was going to kick my suburban punk ass. The Whiskey at this point in time was the same as it had been in the late 60’s and 70’s. Booths and tables around the outside. We purchased our tickets and went in. There was a hall way you had to walk down and I remember thinking oh shit I’m going to die. I reached the end of the hall way just was the Alley Cats started playing “Nothing Mean Nothing Anymore”. At that moment everything changed. I had never in my life to that point felt like I was home. The crowd were all cool listen and dancing (pogoing) to the music. The band was awesome. The waitress came over and asked me what I wanted. “Shit, if I say beer, she will know I’m only 16.” “Bacardi and coke” I said. The only thing you know at 16. And she brought me one. This was my own personal Neverland and I never wanted to leave. We had told our parents we would be back by 11pm. At 11:30 the Dickies still had not showed up. The were 2 hours late. They finally arrived and we stayed for three or four songs, but we had to get home before we got grounded for life. By this time the club was so packed we could not get...

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The Records Stores

During junior high school I started finding new music. New to my anyway. First was the discovery of the licorice pizza records store next to a movie theater that I would go to. My first musical purchase was Ian Hunters “welcome of the club”. Followed by the Byrds “Turn Turn Turn”, The Knack “Get the Knack” and the Runaways “And Now the Runaways”. These four artists set me up perfectly for what was to come next. The great thing about records stores at this time was that the people working there were into music. A few were musicians. Licorice pizza was where I learn about rock music. I found little likable music on the radio during 1978 – 1979. I found myself getting deeply into the Byrds and 60’s garage rock. When I get asked the Beatle or Stones question, I answer the Byrds. The summer between freshmen and sofamore years in high school marked a big change. A friend and I discovered a punk rock shop in Pomona called Toxic Shock. This was during the Toxic Shock tampon scare, so it was always uncompartable to ask our mothers to drive to Toxic. Toxic was a new experience, there was something raw about the place. I remember a poster of Debby Harry and Devo but there were was quite a bit of new punk rock 7 inches. This was also where we found out about locate punk band shows at the PAL boxing ring, Arts Building and the Little theater in...

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in The Beginning – The Sounds of My Teenage Life

We all have pivotal points in our lives. Moments in time were the path taken changes everything. For me, several of those moments happened the year I turned 16. But before we talk about those events let me tell you something about my musical life before 16. Music was not something encouraged in my parents home. My mother and sister played accordion once upon a time, but I never recall hearing them play. I just remember seeing the accordion cases collecting dust in the garage. My parents were (and still are) hard working German immigrates, who spent most of their time working and keeping us busy working as well. I tried learning guitar during 6th grade summer school, but I was never able to get me fingers to make the right chords, so I gave up after the 6 weeks of summer school were over. My sister, who is ten years older than I, was a Monkees and Bowie fan. On those rare afternoons that I did not have to go to work with my parents I would listen to my sisters Monkees and Bowie albums. Musically they remain two of my biggest influences. This was my preteen musical...

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Music Changed My Life – My Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog. What you will find here are my memories or the music and bands that have been the soundtrack to my life. The tales told in this blog are as I remember the events, my point of view and my option. I’m writing this blog for a few reasons.  Primarily I wanted to stir my fading memory and document in writing my recollection of the events the let me to the life I have lives. Music and the people that led me and have played such a huge part in the paths I have chosen in my life.  This is my oral history , the history of bands and music largely unheard....

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