Monday, December 22, 2008
Lorna Doom, bass player for The Germs was Terri Ryan when we first met. Today, when I was perusing my statistics for this blog, I learned that the number one most searched term for the past few days was "Lorna Doom."
She was Belinda Carlisle, nee Kurczeski's best gal pal from high school when we all first met. I graduated from high school before they did and was already living in Los Angeles... they came down on the weekends for some rock n roll and parking lot socials, and soon found an apartment on their own.
Belinda with writer Don Waller
Hollywood in the mid-to-late 70s was kind of wild and crazy. Los Angeles and all of her neighborhoods were destinations for people who wanted more out of life than their own hometowns could provide, whether that hometown was Podunkville, Middle of the USA, or simply a suburb of LA itself, which entailed a long sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Just like those masses, Belinda, Lorna and I migrated from the suburbs north of LA. We already had a lot of friends with similar taste in music and out of that mix, a bunch of punk rock bands were born.
The initial ideas for the Germs and the Go Gos were hatched in the Famous Lobotomy Apartment, called that because it is where Pleasant, Kid Congo Powers, Randy Detroit and I worked on Lobotomy, the Brainless Magazine when we weren't doing so at Pleasant's mom's house...
Pleasant and Kid Congo Powers in Lobotomy days
The Famous Lobotomy Apartment was the scene of many parties, and over the years, people who have attended those parties have sent me pictures of them... faded Kodak Instamatic shots, all of which hold a cherished place in my memory. There was a brief period of time that Belinda and Lorna bunked chez Lobotomy, when a murder happened in the parking lot of the apartment building next door to theirs on Holloway Drive... the same place where Sal Mineo was murdered not too long before.
Before Pleasant and Belinda moved into Disgraceland, the parties were always at the Famous Lobotomy Apartment or at Joan Jett's place, which was conveniently located across the street from the Whisky. The Lobotomy Apartment was walking distance from the Masque, although nobody walks in LA, this is true. Two minutes in a car, or 10 minutes on foot, Chez Lobotomy was at 7231 Franklin Ave at the corner of La Brea. The Beresford Apartments still stand, but entry to its 20 units and lovely pool are now shielded by a gate!
I think that "Lorna Doom" is the most popular search term that brings readers to this blog because Miss Lorna Doom is a shy and private person about whom very little is known - other than the aspects of her public life.
As a short-term roommate, the former Terri Ryan was a doll and an incredibly mature 19 year old.
As a member of the Germs, Lorna Doom is the pretty face with the big smile - kind of antithetical to the general conception of surly punk rockers. But in 1977, it was new and fun; it was uncharted territory and the idea of forming a band when you really couldn't play an instrument was a hoot. Witness the famous Lorna Doom laugh: