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Thursday, December 07, 2006

San Francisco: The Avengers, The Dils

avengers BW

The Avengers were one of many great bands that sprung from the San Francisco art/punk/rock scene. I truly think that Penelope Houston could have become a huge superstar along the lines of Billy Idol, except she seemed to stay true to her punk roots, and always seemed to follow her own whims and path. She was a committed, riveting live performer, and in the 70s/80s, the original Avengers were a white-hot tight unit. Bass player Jimmy Wilsey went on to join Chris Isaak's band. Today, Penelope still performs as The Avengers, and has made some solo records too. Earlier this year, there was a "Fab Mab" reunion that featured the Avengers, Mutants, Flipper and Dead Kennedys as they exist today. It was a sold-out success story, and I'm glad that Dirk Dirksen was around to see that.

dils chip jumping BWsmall

The Dils represented to me everything that punk should be - right along the lines of the Clash, with their political awareness and socialist world view. More than any punk band playing in the USA, The Dils fulfilled my idea of what punk rock was all about. Chip and Tony Kinman continued (and continue)to make only the best music. Together with former Nuns guitarist, Alejandro Escovedo, they moved their base to Austin, TX and formed Rank and File, a move that helped to create a new genre: country punk.

I can't remember the venue these photos were taken at - but it was in San Francisco.
Usually when we took road trips to San Francisco, it seemed like there was always an LA band playing. I can't tell you how many times I saw the Alley Cats in San Francisco! But this particular trip was made for the express purpose of seeing the Avengers and the Dils.

Penelope Avenger & Rodney

Here's a photo of Penelope with Rodney on his show - obviously not from the same time period (notice the different haircuts - she looks fantastic with both long hair and spiky hair)...but what a great reign they had - the Avengers.

If you are in Europe, you can catch Penelope and the Avengers on tour early next year. Visit them on

Stay tuned for a different view of the Dils from this show...

Now - about December 7 itself:
Happy Birthday to Tom Waits
Remember Pearl Harbor
Memphis people, go see Jack Oblivian and the Tennessee Tearjerkers tonight at the Buccaneer

FRIDAY December 8th things you should know about
NYC - Exene Cervenka and The Bamboo Kids at Rebel/251 W. 30th St.
LA - Sandy West Tribute/Memorial - at the Knitting Factory

1 comment:

joly said...

See my vid of the Avengers playing CBGB recently here.

Now, if only the Dils would reform and come play NYC..