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Monday, December 03, 2007

Mumps Settle Into LA for a Stay...

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Pleasant, Lance Loud & me during the recording of "Muscle Boys"

How fortuitous that Kristian Hoffman made possible an unveiling of newly printed vintage Mumps images... just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the gigs they did at the Whisky in 1977 opening for the Ramones - December 2 & 3, 1977.

The Ramones had made a total of 4 visits to LA during 1977 and it seemed like so many New York based bands were spending the winter months touring on the West Coast. However... California gave them something unique that winter... torrential rains for days on end... never ending days on end... right near Christmas.

My drive home immediately after class from UCLA was on the Pacific Coast Highway (my family home is west of Highway 1...) because it always seemed like a less-traffic-jammed option than the 405-to-101 option, especially on say the Friday that Christmas break started. However... torrential rains bring forth landslides, and driving through Malibu presented some flooding, mud and related driving snafus. Add to that, I forgot the gifts I'd procured (and procured indeed... as a student, I didn't buy much more than books and records) for my family, I had to double back to Hollywood and the Famous Lobotomy apartment and take the 101 after all.

At least I was able to avoid the 405 part, as Lobotomy HQ was only a couple blocks from the Highland Ave. on-ramp to the 101... it rained pretty much for two months... just thought I'd mention that... Strokes guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr's dad - Albert Hammond had a hit song in the mid-70s called It Never Rains in Southern California. This winter proved him wrong. The younger Albert wasn't even born at the time about which I write either...

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Kevin Kiely, Pleasant and Rob duPrey pay homage to the ultimate Sex Pistols fans - the Bromley Contingent

In December of 1977, all of LA was buzzing about the Sex Pistols, whose album Never Mind the Bollocks was released the previous month, and who would be coming to the States to tour in just one month. Lorna Doom was the first person I knew to actually own it, as she was the first person at Tower Records when that record was put out on the racks. Of course, everyone I knew had already bought the singles, all with fantastic picture sleeves... as imports. Anticipation for the Pistols tour was high. And yes, it rained for their show in San Francisco, too. Just about everyone I know drove up and back in the same night; me included.

kevin rutner pool table

But for me, with the exception of the grand Sex Pistols weekend in January, the winter of 1977 - 1978 was thoroughly characterized by all things Mumps.

By the time they headed back to NYC in late March, 1978... the whole punk rock thing had taken a stronghold, and scores of NY-based punk rock bands were finally making it across the country and we were flocking to their shows like crazy. Just about everyone cool we wanted to know from NYC, whom we didn't already know... Kristian and Lance had them call us when they arrived in LA... as was the case with The Cramps. More about them some other time...

The Cramps
Click on the Cramps picture!!!

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