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Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter - 1978

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Pleasant and Kid Congo

In 1978, Easter fell on March 26. What was going on?

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Mumps Kevin Kiely and Paul Rutner

Well, in Los Angeles, Mumps were at the tail end of a prolonged stay, where they were recording the single, Muscle Boys b/w Rock N Roll This, Rock N Roll That and That Fatal Charm.

muscle boys sleeve front

Pleasant and I spent probably 99% of our time with the Mumps during the first part of 1978 - in the studio, and traveling around California with them as they played shows around the Southland and in San Francisco.

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Kevin Kiely and Pleasant

The constant companionship made for great copy in our fanzine, Lobotomy... not to mention, they were cover boys of our very first issue!


We saw dozens of shows, and I took hundreds and quite possibly thousands of photos

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Lance Loud and Rob duPrey

But what continues to stick with me about that time is how, on the holiday that recognizes a season of birth and of resurrection... Pleasant, Kid Congo and I nearly got ourselves killed by pipe-wielding low-riders in the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

On the Friday & Saturday leading up to Easter Sunday, we saw The Dickies and the Eyes at the Whisky.

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The Dickies

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Charlotte Caffey of The Eyes, later a Go Go

After the last note of the Dickies set on Saturday night, Pleasant, Kid and I were off to our usual post-show activity: drinking with Douglas Fairbanks. At his mausoleum. You might also take note that the decades-dead movie star smells pretty ... dead, but "Smelling Douglas Fairbanks" was part of the ritual back then. Families who had visited their departed on Good Friday and during the day Saturday had left lovely little Easter lilies on graves. Yes... I believe we not only acknowledged them, but certainly rescued a few that weren't dedicated to specific graves... and the pipe-wielding low-riders who also partied in the cemetery did not like that we did that. They gave chase on foot and moments later, it was hot vehicle pursuit - their whale of a car chasing my little Honda Civic across Melrose Avenue where I took advantage of the tiny turning radius, doing complete circles in the middle of Melrose to lose them.

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Paul Rutner

When we returned to my place, the Famous Lobotomy Apartment, Mumps drummer Paul Rutner was there, safely home on the couch (his LA crash pad for the duration)... and because he witnessed our white-as-ghost terrified faces, he did vouch for us the following night when Mumps played the Whisky with ex-Blondie bassist Gary Valentine's new group, The Know, and we recounted our tale of Easter cemetery madness.

mumps headline

Mumps returned to NYC a few days later... and the punk rock scene in Los Angeles began its meteoric rise, reaching an early high point for us in the following month with Blondie staying in town for a long stretch and building up steam that would, later in the year enable them to crack the mainstream... and there were the Lobotomy night shows at the Whisky beginning in May... Billy Idol's promotional tour on behalf of Generation X where we also spent maximum time with one of our favorite artists... all very much a dream-come-true period of time for a couple of music fans ....

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