Friday, April 22, 2005

The Last - LA Punk at its Best



This photo of The Last was taken in my studio - which was the spare bedroom in my apartment at 1140 North Clark Street (#306) in West Hollywood. I mention the address because those of you out there who watch my erstwhile employer, VH1 will recognize the address from an episode of "Behind the Music" about Motley Crue. They lived directly below me. I could tell you about the time they threw Lita Ford out their window, but this is about punk rock and not about the Crue.

Actually, the "spare" bedroom was the master bedroom of this two-bedroom apartment. It had a southeast exposure - meaning sunlight and daylight all day long - perfect for photos. It also had its own bathroom where my photo subjects could get ready and do their hair and make-up. I photographed a lot of people in this room. I ripped up the ugly orange shag carpet (remember, this is the 70s!) and put up a seamless against one wall that continued on to the floor. Instead of clothes, my closet was full of seamless paper in various colors and various colored lights and the usual photo trickery. Of course, when he came to town, the studio became Stiv Bator's room.

The Last were LA Punk's most versatile band. They were as angry as the angriest young men, but Joe Nolte wrote smart lyrics as well as thoughtful ones and in addition to being able to vent with power, he could jangle and the band could harmonize, making them a perfect fit on any bill. They could hold their own with the Weirdos or play well with others like power-popsters, 20/20, and they did!

The Last was there at every important punk rock show, either playing it or attending it. They had support from everyone who's opinion has come to matter, ranging from Phast Phreddie to Mike Watt.

I want to point you in the direction of two comprehensive websites that feature not only The Last, but offer a great timeline for LA Punk.

Dan Nolte's website is the official band site, and Common Thread Punk offers more about this LA punk thing that you want and need to know. They explain it better than I will.

I do have some photos of the band live from their second show and once I scan them, I'll share them with you.

But for the time being, read up on The Last and see why this photo of mine, which was used in the now defunct LA Reader shows The Last as "Critics's Choice" gig of the week.

PS - the LA Reader has become LA City Beat

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I used to have a "the last" ep. It had a song I think was called "up in the air?" Good stuff. I wish I still had it! With all this LA retro punk thing happening, I probably could have ebayed it and put a down payment on a house! ahaha..