Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Spock

spock and al

That photo above was taken a year ago today on my roommate's birthday... that woman standing next to Alejandro Escovedo is my roommate - Joanna Spock Dean, known to those of us in the music biz, and the LA punk rock scene simply as Spock.

So, that makes today her birthday again, and here's a shout out to a person who had more to do with furthering the efforts of so many punk rock bands, indie bands and worthy artists in general than anyone I know or know of. The funny thing is, Spock doesn't remember all that she's done... she's done so much and takes it all in stride just like taking a breath. Some highlights -- together with her all girl glam band from the 70s, Backstage Pass, Spock facilitated the Stiff Records crew in establishing a foothold in LA and became one of the go-to people for the likes of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe back in those days. In fact, Backstage Pass opened for Elvis Costello at the Whisky a Go Go on his first ever US tour. Then there was providing lodging for the suddenly kicked off a tour in the middle of the USA Damned in 1977. Oh, and the ladies secured the Damned some gigs, too. That punk rock mecca, The Masque operated by Brendan Mullen was a room that members of Backstage Pass helped find and lease with Brendan. They were one of the bands who rehearsed there as well.

Like I did, Spock moved to NY and continued her record label work (in A&R and later, video promotion) and we both worked at VH1 at the same time. While I was the first person in the LA punk scene to announce it was time to move to NY following the very quiet exits from the Big Orange by Lorna Doom and Phast Phreddie, Spock was among the first of the big city people to move to Nashville and after seeing her Nashville (as opposed to the one I grew to know in the 80s... Nashvegas anyone?), I moved here as well.

These are but a few tip of the iceberg things that Spock has done... It'll be her birthday all day long, so drink a toast to the Glue of the punk rock paperback book.... Joanna Spock Dean. Happy Birthday!

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