What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

West Coast Punk - The Alley Cats

In the late 1970's, bands began popping up all over the west coast.  To outsiders, it was punk rock.  To me, it was a very exciting scene.   Not only was it a renaissance in music, but the scene also encompassed art, film and theater.  Bands were being booked into clubs playing their own material.  A far cry from the 'cover' bands that were currently being employed.  The scene was relatively tiny.  There were never more than a couple hundred people at any given show.  It was not uncommon to be standing next to someone from another band watching the current band.  (Hello Exene!).   Often upon exiting a show you'd be confronted by bands handing out flyers for their own shows.   

You'd see the same people at every show - whether or not you knew them.  There was this guy that looked and dressed like Dylan circa 1965.  A friend of mine named him Renaldo.   I saw a bunch of those people show up as extras in 'Rock and Roll High School.'

The major labels wouldn't touch any of these bands at the beginning.  

A few Do-It-Yourself labels popped up to pick up the slack.   Dangerhouse was the major player in Los Angeles.    I bought a lot of these as they came out.   The runs were small and many of them are now highly collectible.    I'll probably end up posting on them all in the future.

I start with this one.

The Alley Cats -  Nothing Means Nothing Anymore b/w Gimme a Little Pain

The band, led by the husband and wife duo of Randy Stodola and Diane Chai, was fixture on the early Los Angeles punk scene.  

According to the internet (so it's gotta be true), there were only 1500 of these pressed.

The Dangerhouse covers were often just a folded piece of paper inside a plastic liner.  I guess it was cheaper than actually gluing together a normal sleeve.  Maybe it's because they could be assembled in somebody's kitchen rather than a factory.

Eventually, a few of the bands got signed to major labels (X, The Go-Go's).   The scene kind of collapsed as it got popular.  The music became more hardcore.  The crowds got surlier.  The available places to play dwindled on account of the bad behavior.   The community wasn't as tolerant as it was in the beginning.  Punk became a fashion statement and not much else.

The Alley Cats put out an album on an indie label, then got signed to MCA were they put out another. Both are worth seeking out.

Nightmare City

Escape From Planet Earth