Monday, June 30, 2014

Chapter Two: My First Black Flag Show... 1981

 by Hanson Meyer

Black Flag
At the age of 16, I made the long trek from Big Bear Lake to Hollywood to experience my first two punk rock shows at The Starwood nightclub. I saw the Dickies in December of 1980 and then again two months later in February 1981. After surviving these "soft-core" punk shows, I felt like I was ready to take it up a notch and make my way to either a Black Flag or Fear show in the ensuing months. Spring had arrived in 1981 and my friends and I were constantly scanning the sources we had for any shows coming up that we may, by some miracle, be able to attend. We listened to distant radio stations and checked the occasional copies of the Sunday edition of the LA Times Calendar section or BAM Magazine.
BAM Magazine - January 30, 1981 (Click to Enlarge)
On January 30, 1981, I ran across an article in BAM Magazine about the Black Flag show that had happened earlier that month at the Starwood on January 6th. The article was titled “The Black Flag Violence Must STOP!” We had just been there at the Starwood two weeks earlier to see the Dickies and saw how the violence had been ramping up even at that show…

It was also at this time that I became the official “punk rock barber”. Electric shears were too expensive, so I gave everybody their punk haircuts using scissors I bought at a local beauty salon. I gave everything from crop cuts to mohawks. Not knowing anything about coloring hair, my friend Scott Boyd and I experimented with bleach and peroxide. The only problem was that we used real bleach and peroxide and soon learned that your hair dissolves when using household chemicals. After our first couple of hair color disasters, we decided to ask for help at the same beauty salon where I bought my scissors. They thought we were crazy, but they steered us in the right direction and soon I was changing Scott’s hair color from dark brown to a sort of yellowish-blonde. As our other friends got their hair cut, we started using the bleach to create patterns and designs. One of our friends had a Mohawk that was about two inches high that I bleached so that it looked like a raccoon tail and with another friend we cut his hair on the back of his head into the shape of a crucifix leaving the bottom of the cross long… and then bleached the cross gradually from the top down going from dark brown to white. 

Once all my friends had joined me in committing themselves to "cropping" their hair, we set our sights on making it to our next punk show. Our minds were made up… We needed to earn our stripes by seeing Black Flag somewhere, someway, somehow. I can’t remember how we even found out about the show, but we heard that Black Flag was going to play at a small venue in Palm Springs called the Rumours Club during Spring Break on Saturday, April 19, 1981. Rodney Bingenheimer of KROQ radio announced on his program that Black Flag was playing a show that day... Here is a short clip of Rodney on the ROQ talking about the show: Rodney On The ROQ clip - April 19, 1981

My friend Scott Brett’s parents had a condominium there in Palm Springs and so we decided to drive down and make that our base camp. In addition to Scott Brett, my other friends, Scott Boyd, Mike Curtiss, Mike Schroeder and Eric Dakota decided to go and everyone piled into my green 1969 Buick Skylark and we headed down the mountain to Palm Springs. During the trip, we took turns picking music on home made cassettes and playing them on a small Radio Shack tape player that I had. None of us had too much money back then so we would always trade records and make mix tapes of our favorite punk rock bands. We all sang along with songs by the Dead Kennedy's, the Dickies, the Germs and Circle Jerks.  It was early afternoon and the winds became very strong and were sandblasting us as we made our way. At one point the wind seemed
Scott Boyd, Hanson Meyer and Mike Curtiss standing in front of the Buick
to die down a bit and the boys all decided that it was time to stop on the side of the road in the middle of the desert for a restroom break. And although I told them to walk a good distance from the car, the wind whipped up just as everyone was marking their own respective bushes and blew the piss back at the car and gave it a nice coating of urine and dust. We all had a good laugh and continued the rest of the way to our destination in Palm Springs.

Once we arrived at the condo, we ate some food and geared up for the show at the Rumours Club. The show was scheduled for the late afternoon and was “all ages”. When we got there, we thought we were wrong about the early starting time of the show because there wasn’t anyone around… The place was open, but there weren’t any patrons, only the staff. We asked, and they assured us that it definitely was the place and the bands were going to start very soon. The sun was still up, but we went inside the dark club. The place was very small with a bar to the right and a six inch riser for the band to set up on at the far side of the room. It was like the bands had to play on the floor with no protection from the violence that their music was sure to incite. A small 20’ x 20’ dance floor with vertical 4” poles holding up the roof consumed the open area just in front of the “stage” and the bathroom was located in the far left corner.

Black Flag at the Rumours Club in Palm Springs. Myke Bates playing guitar in back on Left
We were all decked out for our first Black Flag show. Knowing beforehand about all the violence, and not knowing how crazy the punks of the upper desert were, we decided to come prepared for anything short of all out war. We had boots, chains, spikes, etc... it’s amazing that the club even let us through the front doors because we appeared to be armed to the teeth. The first band was a group of local guys from Palm Springs known as Funeral Information whose singer/guitarist had written the song "Rodney On The ROQ" when he was with the band Target 13. They played for a fairly empty room and we kept expecting to see the masses pouring in any time to partake in the melee that Black Flag brought with them wherever they performed. After Funeral Information’s set, Black Flag came in carrying their own equipment across the empty dance floor and set it up on the stage. This particular early line up of Black Flag included Greg Ginn on Guitar, Chuck Dukowski on Bass, Robo on Drums and Dez Cadena (with a shaved head) on Vocals. By the time Black Flag went on there were about 15 or 20 other kids there besides us. No one else showed up. It was like we had our own party and Black Flag was there to play for it. My friends and I slammed on the dance floor encouraging others to engage of which only a few did. We had a blast… and without trying, we ended up really beating the crap out of each other. The back of someone’s head hit Mike Curtiss in the mouth and then he caught an elbow to the eye… swelling it shut and blackening it immediately. Eric Dakota caught his spiked wrist band on one of Scott Boyd’s chains and was thrown into one of the vertical poles on the dance floor breaking his wrist… We must have looked like a real parade of posers and we were too punk for our own good! The band played their entire catalog of songs and at one point they launched into Louie Louie and Myke Bates from Funeral Information took the stage and played guitar with them.

After the show was finished, the band started to slowly pack their gear on the stage and invited us to hang out with them. While Robo was loading up his drums outside, I remember asking Greg how Robo got his name… and he, probably sensing my young and gullible nature, told me that it was because they were so poor that Robo would drink Robitussin cough syrup to get drunk. The guys were really friendly and once we were done chatting, we helped them take their instruments out to their van. And then, just before we left (without saying who), a couple of the guys in our group, trying to live up to all the punk rock media hype, had scribbled “Big Bear Punks” all over the bathroom and broke a couple of fixtures. We learned later that as a result, the club took it out of Black Flag's pay and they only made $50 for the night… I don’t think they were too happy about that. And then to add insult to injury, someone stole Greg's guitar that night.

Since it was Spring Break and the streets were filled with people, we decided to walk around for the sheer shock factor. We really went over the top in terms of dressing for the occasion... And then you add Mike’s grotesque, swollen purple eye and bloodied fat lip, we were a true sight to behold. Although most people just gawked and stared at us, we did manage to talk to a few girls there. I can’t seem to remember what happened to Eric Dakota and how he managed the pain of his broken wrist that night, but he waited until we got back to Big Bear to see a doctor. We all made it back to our sleepy mountain community in one piece more or less and didn’t stop talking about the experience of it all for weeks. Each time one of us brought it up, we found ourselves reinvigorated and again chomping at the bit eager for our next show. Unfortunately for me, there would be a few obstacles and my next show would be little later than sooner… As it turned out, it would again be a Black Flag show, but it wouldn’t come until the end of summer vacation.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Chapter One: My Introduction To Punk Rock... And The Starwood

by Hanson Meyer
It was 1976… and a half a world away Punk Rock had started to take hold in London. I, Hanson Meyer, was unaware of the impact it would have on me just a few years later.
I was small for my age during my adolescent years and found myself bullied by most of the larger kids… usually those associated with sports. In 1976, I was 12 and our family moved from Costa Mesa, California to the mountain community of Big Bear in the local mountains. It was a big, but welcome change to escape from the stigma of being the smallest kid in the 6th grade. Unfortunately, I soon realized that my relocation was not a solution and my problems were compounded with the fact that now, not only was I the smallest kid in the 7th grade, but I was also the “new kid”... let the bullying resume. My father decided that he was tired of seeing his son coming home battered, bruised and depressed so he enrolled me in a Karate class. By the time I was a sophomore in high school my body had finally caught up to everyone else and even had passed the average height of other kids my age at that time. Because of the fact that I was bullied early on, I seemed to isolate myself and didn’t conform to the social norms that everyone else seemed so keen on creating and maintaining. I never did fit in with any of the social groups in high school… nor did I want to.

Me Learning How To Ride - Sep '79
Fads usually took their time to make their way up into our mountain community, and in 1979 disco was finally in full swing. And while everyone else was either learning the latest dance moves or clinging on to the worn out rock bands of the early 70s, I along with my best friends, Scott Boyd, Mike Curtiss and Scott Brett, were listening to new music coming from the student run Clairemont College radio station broadcasting from Pomona as KSPC 88.1 FM. Because we were so far away in the mountains, the signal was very weak, but we listened through the static and absorbed what we could. We tried to hear the DJ announce the band names and songs so we could special order records from Village Music, which was our small local record shop. Also at that time, Scott Boyd and I had built a small skateboard ramp at my house with lumber we had “liberated” from local construction sites and the ramp continued to grow in size over the course of a year until I had the largest, smoothest quarter pipe ramp that eventually even had PVC pipe for coping. (To view more information and photos on the Big Bear Skateboard Ramp in a new window, click here: Big Bear Skateboard Ramp )

Scott Boyd Riding The Ramp - Sep '79

It was also around this time that my dad took me on a trip to visit some family friends who lived in Mission Viejo located in Orange County. They had a son named Jeff Barnes who had a skateboard… so of course I brought mine along for the trip. While I was there, Jeff’s mom took us to Big-O Skatepark in Orange. It was an amazing place with one of my heroes, Duane Peters, from Skateboarder magazine actually skating there… all this while I heard all my favorite music being played through the overhead PA speakers. I wanted to live there so badly… these were my people! 

Blaise Ugolini Catching Air on The Ramp
In late 1979, two new skater kids who were brothers had moved up from Los Angeles, Blaise and Cam Ugolini. Blaise had been skating semi-pro for team Variflex but unfortunately, he had to give it all up when his family moved up to Big Bear. He and his brother both still had long hair as did I and my friends. I wanted to cut my hair so badly, but in this community at that particular time it would have been suicide. You have to understand that at that time the masses were not open to radical ideas and looks... there was a large barrier up and once you had made the conscious decision to cross it, there was no way of coming back. And believe me, there were consequences. You were truly alienated and people would stop being your friends. There was no way that any girl would consider dating you and you had a target painted on you by everyone from the football players in high school to the biker gangs who considered Big Bear a biker haven. You had to truly believe in what you were doing to make that kind of abrupt change and subject yourself to daily harassment and ridicule.

At the beginning of the new school year in 1980, another kid named Rich Parret had moved up from Huntington Beach. I first met Rich at a public indoor swimming pool and recreation center called Pan Hot Springs in Big Bear City. I overheard these jocks in the locker room talking about how they were going to beat up this new kid because he was a “punker” and he had short hair. I dashed out of the locker room to alert the new kid about his welcoming committee. While I was telling him in the parking lot about the situation, five or six of the guys from the locker room came outside and announced that the beating was going to begin. Although I recognized them because they were popular at my high school, I wasn’t friends with any of these guys or know them on a personal level. They apparently also knew who I was, calling me by name, and that I had a brown belt in Shotokan Karate… word gets around fast in a small community. They told me to step aside that their beef wasn’t with me. I told them that I listened to the same music that he did, I just hadn’t cut my hair yet. I also told them that he was my new friend and he had the right to look any way he wanted and that they were going to have to beat both of us up. Rich really had a mouth on him and egged them on, but they just pointed their fingers at him as they turned and slowly walked toward their cars and told him to just wait until he was alone. In all honesty, I was scared to death. I thought for sure we were going to get massacred… sure I had a brown belt, but in reality that’s all it was… a belt. I had some flashy moves I stole from Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, and I could kick and punch a bag, but I had never been in a real fight before. After they left, he thanked me for my help, but he assured me that he would have been okay without me. He reached into the small pocket at the top of his Levi jeans and pulled out a small razor blade explaining that he would just do what he did before when he got hassled in Huntington. He would let the first guy punch him in the face… each time stealthily swiping the razor blade at the aggressors forearm. Pretty soon, the guy would realize that he was bleeding badly. Rich would then hold up the razor blade, shoot them a crazy grin, and then welcome the next bully. He told me that the group would usually just take off freaked out at the sight of so much blood. Because of the smaller community in Big Bear, it’s good that things didn’t go down that way, and ultimately the end result was that I had found a new friend who was going to open the punk rock flood gates to me and my small circle of friends.

My First Punk Show

Rich really educated us about English Punk Rock and he brought a wealth of knowledge about the Sex Pistols, the Clash and other English bands as well as what was going on in the scene near the beaches and in Hollywood at that time. Although my friends and I were already listening to the Ramones, Black Flag, the Adolescents, Devo, the Dickies and a number of other random bands at the time, he had now introduced us to the full catalog of the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Sham 69 from England as well as just about every other band that we hadn’t heard of who were playing in and around L.A. at the time. Rich told us about how crazy and fun the shows were and that we needed to go to one as soon as we could find a way to get to L.A. So we started scanning the Calendar section of the L.A. Times and listened to KSPC Radio to try to find out what shows were coming up in November or December. I really wanted to see the Germs play at the Starwood on December 3rd, but at the time, there was no foreseeable way to get there and back on a Wednesday night. I had a 1969 Buick Skylark that my grandparents had given to me in June for my birthday, but there was no way that a brand new 16 year old driver was going to drive from the mountains all the way to Hollywood… or so I thought.

Because the Germs show was on December 3rd which was a Wednesday night, and logistically we couldn’t make it at that time, we decided instead to see the Dickies play during Christmas vacation about three weeks later. It was only when we found out that Darby Crash had died on December 7th that we realized that we had missed our last opportunity to see the Germs. Although we were saddened by the news, we were still upbeat about the possibility of our upcoming journey later in the month. 

It seemed like forever to reach Christmas vacation and what would be our first trip to the Starwood. During this time, my friends and I had plotted and strategized on how we could all go to the Dickies show on December 23rd and then be with our families the next night for Christmas Eve. 

There were a bunch of us who wanted to go but some of our crew couldn’t make it for a variety of reasons not to mention there wasn’t enough room in the one small car we had finally procured. Scott Brett, had just received his driver’s license and somehow he talked his parents into letting him use the family Subaru wagon to drive me, Scott Boyd and Mike Curtiss to Los Angeles so we could see the show. We were really hoping that Rich was going to be able to go but at the last minute he told us he couldn’t make it. Rich’s mother moved up to the mountains to get him away from the “bad influences” he had been associating with down near the beach so the last thing she was going to do was to let him go to a punk concert in Hollywood.

Dec 27th, 1980 in my Black Flag jacket

Since I was on good terms with her, I called my ex-girlfriend, Ann Todd, who had recently moved from Big Bear to Hermosa Beach and was living with her mother there. I made arrangements for us to go visit her there and so we could stay at her mom’s house the night before the show. Scott’s sister, Kelli Brett, ended up going with us and filling the last seat in the car as she was friends with Ann and wanted to see her as well. I remember that that same month the soundtrack for The Decline of Western Civilization was released on vinyl. I made it my mission while I was there to go to the local record store in Hermosa Beach and buy it as well as several other records including Jealous Again by Black Flag that had come out a few months before.

When I got back to the house we all congregated in the back yard listening to our favorite bands on a small, hand held Radio Shack tape deck. It was at that time that I made the decision to cut my hair. Kelli went at it with a pair of scissors that Ann had grabbed from a kitchen drawer. It looked like I was attacked by a family of rats! But I was feeling like I finally belonged to something and was excited to finally make it to my first punk concert.

The Starwood Marquis (photo courtesy of Starwood Facebook page)
That evening Scott, Mike, Scott Boyd and I all jumped into the Subaru and headed for the Starwood which was situated on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard. and Crescent Heights. We drove under the Starwood marquis and into the open parking lot. I remember seeing the names of other bands on the marquis for upcoming shows including the Surf Punks, Plimsouls and the Blasters. We arrived there fairly early and took the opportunity to talk to a few other early birds about our punk scene in Big Bear and then listened to them tell stories of all the shows they had been going to around Los Angeles. I also remember people talking about how Middle Class and Black Flag were going to be playing there in a couple of weeks and some other punks were talking about this new band called “Mad Society” that was made up of a bunch of really young kids including a really young singer. I also recall that there were “Plimsouls” flyers glued to all the telephone poles on the sidewalk outside the parking lot as the band was going to be playing there soon as well. 

Very Faint Starwood Ticket Stub with DEC 23 Stamped On It
While talking to a couple of punks next to my car, we noticed others starting to move toward the doors. Filled with anticipation, we made our way with the others to stand in line and wait for the ticket office to open. While talking with my friends in line, I noticed a girl standing just behind me with her girlfriend. She was a cute punk rock girl, thin, powder white with red hair and was wearing jeans and a short cropped leopard print top. Her name was Andrea Sill and we chatted the rest of the time we were in line.

Andrea and I were engrossed in conversation about bands and other shows she had been to when we were suddenly interrupted by the push of people towards the now opening doors. We squeezed through the entrance and we all quickly made our way inside. The club filled up quickly and before I knew what had happened, Andrea grabbed my hand, pulling me away from my friends and dashed toward a small table that she spotted at the back of the club with enough room for she and I and her girlfriend. Andrea and I sat there glued to each other and drank a few expensive cups of Coca Cola while listening to KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer play the music that preceded each band. He played punk rock and new wave records there every Tuesday and Wednesday night which were the Starwood’s designated “punk” nights at that time. After Rodney, we watched the opening band, the Great Buildings. The band was made up of a couple members of the Quick who were actually responsible for connecting Leonard Graves Phillips with Stan Lee making Leonard the permanent front man for the Dickies. The Great Buildings were more of a “power pop” band that really didn’t fit the venue that night so during their set I took the opportunity to get to know Andrea a little better. Although I was enjoying the long needed attention of a cute female, when the Dickies started I felt the need to get out front with the boys and immerse myself in the rough and rowdy experience of it all.
Christmas 1980
We were up near the front of the stage trying to better our view with “slamming” going on behind us when all of a sudden a group of punks jumped on a guy next to us with long hair and held him down while another guy set his hair on fire with a lighter. The bouncers jumped in and put the fire out before it could do any damage to his skin, but needless to say, the terrified concert goer darted out the exit doors not to return. For us, the show was awesome on every level. We only got a taste of the true punk rock playground and we wanted more. After the show, we knew we were hooked, so we started planning our next pilgrimage to the promised land on our way back to Hermosa Beach.

The next day, Christmas Eve, I made my way out to my grandparents’ ranch just outside of Hemet to be with my family. Needless to say, they were horrified when they saw my hair, as it was truly butchered and would not do for all the family Christmas photographs… so my mother tried to even it out with scissors of her own. It was still “hacked” but I made it through the family photos. Even though I had a collared shirt on, you could still see the “Sid Vicious” chain and padlock around my neck in some of the photos… 

The week after returning to Big Bear, I modified even further the way I dressed to match my new haircut. I wore jeans and brightly colored shirts with black boots that had chains around them. I also tied a red bandana around my right boot because it was the opposite of where the hippies were wearing them around their heads. Scott Boyd and I cut dog leashes up with bolt cutters to add chains to other areas of our clothing. 

Practicing my Guitar with Mike Curtiss (it must have been cold)
That same week Scott Brett, Mike Curtiss and I wanted to form a punk band.  Besides me owning a CAT SRM Synthesizer (sort of like a Moog) and a Les Paul (copy) Guitar, we really didn’t have any instruments. Scott did find somebody who needed to sell a bass and he was able to buy it for $35.00. Mike had an older brother who was a drummer and had a drum set, but he lived miles away in Costa Mesa. We never did get a band off the ground but it planted a seed with me and I started to practice my guitar… I gained some basic skills that I was able to utilize about a year later.

The Second Starwood Show

Feb 27, 1981 - The Dickies
It was around the end of January 1981 that we noticed a lot of negative press about the Starwood in the newspaper and heard that it had been closed down until further notice. Apparently, the city forced the Starwood to close down due to “riots” at the Black Flag concerts in January as well as drug use and underage drinking. Even though the club was officially closed, the L.A. Times Calendar Section kept publishing the concert ads. The Starwood's owner, Eddie Nash, probably kept placing the ads with their expected schedule because he believed that the city couldn't keep the club closed permanently. I kept in contact with Andrea and she told me that the club owner fought with the city and won the battle to get the club reopened before the end of February. So my friends and I firmed up our plans to go to the “Grand Re-Opening” of the Starwood on February 27, 1981 with the Dickies and the Blasters performing.

My mother and father had recently divorced and I stayed in Big Bear to live with my mother while my father and sister had moved down to Mission Viejo and so I didn’t get to see them too often. My dad had worked things out with my mother where he could pick me up in Big Bear and take me to where he was staying to spend some time with them. He wasn’t too happy when I told him I wanted to take time out of my family visit to meet up with my friends and go to a concert in Los Angeles. I promised I would see him the next day, so the day of the concert he reluctantly drove me to Garden Grove and dropped me off at the Fire Station Motel where Scott and Kelli’s dad was staying. There I met up with Scott, Kelli, Scott Boyd, Mike Curtiss and Pete Todd. I remember being in this small dingy “drive-up” motel room where several of my friends were doing “whip-its” from small nitrous canisters. After hanging out for a little while, Scott’s dad let him borrow his early 1970s light blue Cadillac Coupe DeVille the rest of the day to take us on our adventure. As luck would have it, within the first 30 seconds of driving the massive American car, another car had run into us in the parking lot. Scott’s dad was surprisingly relaxed about the situation… after all it was the other driver’s fault. I just wonder how he could have not seen such a large car.

Part of our plan was to head back to my ex-girlfriend Ann’s house on 4th Street in Hermosa Beach so that we all could visit with her, including her younger brother, Pete, who was also with us. But before we went there, we made a detour to West Covina. Since the last Dickies concert in December, I had been in contact with Andrea Sill both by letter and by phone and we had arranged to meet at her house there in West Covina before the  show. During this first leg of our journey, a winter storm had moved in and it had started to rain quite hard. Driving and navigating the large Cadillac was quite difficult but we finally made it. Unfortunately, she was not able to go out with us that night, but we were able to spend a couple of hours with her and have lunch at a Denny’s restaurant in not too far from her house. The rain did let up a little, and on the way back to her house, I cracked my passenger window open a little to help alleviate the foggy windows due to the number of warm bodies in the car. Not two minutes later a car drove through a large, deep puddle sending a wave of water our way, most of which made it through the opening in the window... I was drenched!

Once we had dropped Andrea off at her house, we made our way to Hermosa Beach. Fortunately, the rain didn’t return and it was actually dry there at Ann’s house. It was good to see Ann and her mother again. Pete was excited to see the Dickies and knowing about the stories of the punk crowd targeting anyone with long hair, he was determined not to attract any attention that night. I was entrusted to give him his first punk haircut and became the default punk rock barber from that point forward for years to come. I cropped his hair short and lent him what was sort of like a black and yellow “bumble-bee” striped rugby shirt. We decided that he looked “punk enough” and knew that he would fit in fine at the show. Then we asked Scott Brett if he was ready. Scott weighed his choices… One) cut his hair and for ONE NIGHT be safe inside the Starwood… or Two) leave his hair long, and be safe EVERY DAY back in Big Bear. In the end, he was the only one who didn’t succumb to a haircut and decided to take his chances at the Dickies show.

The time had come to make our way to Hollywood. It was Friday night, February 27, 1981 and I was on my way to my second punk show at the Starwood with some of my closest friends: Scott Boyd, Mike Curtiss, Scott and Kelli Brett and Pete Todd (or as we called him, Peeeetodd). We piled into the car, three in the front and three in the back. On the way, those of us who had been before, re-told the stories of the first show as if we were veterans and built up the level of anticipation and excitement. However, it was almost as if this feeling of excitement had some strong nervous overtones. As I mentioned before, there had been a lot of recent press about the violence at some of the punk concerts there at the Starwood, but we still understood it to be mostly confined to the Black Flag concerts and we had convinced ourselves that we were safe in our group and that it wouldn’t be too crazy for this Dickies show.

We, for the second time in a little over two months, pulled our car into the parking lot of the Starwood. The parking lot was filled with punks and although the doors weren’t open yet, people were starting to gather in a line at the entrance to the club. While in the parking lot, we took notice of a something that was completely strange to us… a group of about ten transvestites trolling up and down the sidewalk continually passing in front of the driveway to the Starwood. They were not there to see the show, but it was almost like they were a gang of she-males there to antagonize the punks… shooting glares from one strange looking group of people to another. We moved from the car to the line and took our place some 20 people back or so. Just as we did, we saw another bizarre sight… This massively tall man in camouflage army fatigues, black boots and large chains wrapped around his chest in an “X” pattern walked into the parking lot from the street with an entourage of about 25 short Asian kids all wearing white T-Shirts with fresh bloody hand prints all over them. We weren’t sure of what message he was trying to convey but he was seriously intimidating to a group of high school kids all less than 17 years of age. While we waited there and the line continued to grow behind us, an Eyewitness News crew
pulled into the parking lot. Anchorman, Paul Moyer, got out of the van with a microphone, bright lights
Paul Moyer - Eyewitness News
blaring and cameras rolling… Starting at the front, he walked down the line asking people what they thought of the violence surrounding punk rock and about this being the first concert there since the club had been recently closed. Paul Moyer skipped past a few people and then the lights and camera landed on Scott Brett. The red light of the camera came on and Paul Moyer asked Scott “What do you think about the re-opening of the Starwood?” Scott looked at the camera and replied, “I think it’s the greatest thing since Melba Toast.” We laughed and then Paul asked me and my friends if we were violent and if we were involved with the “crazy punk antics” that had been going on recently… I think it was right about then that my friend Mike Curtiss spit on Paul Moyer. We laughed and I just remember thinking, “How Punk Rock is that?!?”

Shortly after the Paul Moyer episode, the line started moving, we got our tickets, and before we knew it we were inside again listening to the familiar sounds of KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer spinning punk rock records. The lights eventually came up and this time the opening band was the Blasters opening for the Dickies. The Blasters were okay, but didn’t exactly match the crowd’s expectations. They were spit at and jeered a bit and I think even they were happy when their set was over. After much anticipation, the Dickies came on. The crowd erupted and seemed to be even more wild than the previous show I experienced. We moved up near the stage so that the swirling mass of people was just behind us. Back then there wasn’t really a “Mosh Pit”, it was more of a bubbling sea of people all doing their own thing. Even the term “Slam Pit” wasn’t actually coined as such until Jerry Roach had filmed it in action in its infancy stages at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa later that year. The Dickies played on and we were all having a great time slamming with the crowd singing along with our favorite songs. Scott Brett showed some serious balls by coming out of the shadows to join us in front of the stage with his longer hair. He was only there a short time before the massive punk with chains wrapped around his chest came up and tried to hit him in the face and grab him by the hair. Instincts kicked in and we immediately jumped in between the guy and several others who decided they were going to join in on the ass-kicking. We pushed the instigators back into the melee of the swirling crowd in front of the stage where they disappeared temporarily due to other bodies flying by. Although our small wall of force was only a distraction, it was enough time for Scott to dive down and into the open area under the stage and for the rest of us to find another position where we wouldn’t be hunted down for interfering. In those few seconds, Scott had managed to crawl on all fours staying down low until he was safely off to the side of the stage. He then made his way back into the shadows to avoid any further confrontations but fully enjoyed the rest of the show from the sidelines. We all agreed that it would have been better if he chose to get his hair cut that afternoon and it wasn’t too long after we had returned to Big Bear that Scott finally decided to cut his hair and join the rest of us… and it was a good thing too, because our next punk rock journey would take us to see Black Flag less than a couple of months later.


This Blog is Dedicated to one of my closest and dearest friends, Scott Boyd... RIP.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Starwood Nightclub 1980 and 1981

by Hanson Meyer
First of all, let me say that this is a work in progress as there is so much to add. So bear with me and check back regularly as I'm constantly adding to this blog. (Last revision 12/17/2017)

Before it became my punk rock mecca in 1980 and 1981, the Starwood was a fashionable club in the 60's known as PJ's and it catered to the stars of the Hollywood television and film industry at the time. During the early and mid 70's, it transformed into one of the leading rock clubs in Los Angeles when it was renamed the "Starwood". It was located at 8151 Santa Monica Blvd and sat on the corner of Crescent Heights where there is currently a strip mall type deli.
Looking at the Starwood from the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Crescent Heights
At the close of the 1970s in Los Angeles, it was difficult to find clubs that would consistently book punk rock bands and along with the Masque, Club 88, the Fleetwood, Madame Wongs and the Whisky, the Starwood became one of the few to do so. I was fortunate enough to make it to a couple of shows there in 1980 and early 1981 before the club eventually closed down permanently in October, 1981 due to underage drinking and a number of other citations. Shortly after it's closure, the building caught fire... and although it didn't burn completely, the city bulldozed the entire structure to the ground.

For the two years leading up to its closure, the Starwood stuck to its mainstream acts on the weekends but they needed to fill the slower, mid-week slots with something else. Owner, Eddie Nash, allowed his staff to fill these nights with punk rock and new wave performers. My friends and I always searched through the Calendar Section of the L.A. Times for the Starwood advertisement with all of the upcoming shows.

I was able to collect a number of the advertisements, and I have added the relative flyers and tickets that were distributed back then by both the club and bands performing there. Many of these images are mine, but there are other tickets, flyers and photos that I have added from other contributors to create a comprehensive chronological collection to give the reader a true idea of what was going on at that time.

Jan 9, 1980: The Last and The Go-Go's

This show would have been listed in the first Starwood ad of the year in the Sunday Calendar section of the LA Times dated January 6, 1980 (not pictured here). Although their ads ran every Sunday in the Calendar section, the Starwood listed all their shows for a full month as of the date of the ad and so we would see many of the dates and shows every week leading up to the show. 

Sunday, January 13, 1980

Jan 13 - Feb 9, 1980: Starwood Ad

This ad was found in the Sunday, January 13, 1980 Calendar section of the LA Times.
The Plugz and the Gears played together on January 15th.

The Textones featuring Kathy Valentine (pre Go-Go's) performed on the 16th with Mick Smiley. The Textones had only been together for about a year but were gaining notoriety.

The Plimsouls performed on January 21st with the Great Buildings. They had been together for nearly two years by this time and were working on releasing and EP with what would become their hit single, "Zero Hour". The Great Buildings was made up of a few members of the band "The Quick". They were friends with members of the band, The Dickies and actually steered a few of the band members toward the Dickies including frontman Leonard Graves Phillips. Without the band the Great Buildings, the Dickies may never have existed.

It's also interesting to note that KROQ-FM DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney On The ROQ), was spinning records there at the Starwood every Tuesday and Wednesday and continued to do so until the club closed in 1981.

Some of the bands that played during the dates of the Starwood ad but were not shown in the ad had flyers and tickets for their shows there...

The Twisters and Tripper ticket (this show appears in the Starwood Ad)
The Robert Stoddard Band played at the Starwood with the Makers on January 23rd. Robert Stoddard later went on to play with the glam metal hair band, L.A. Guns in 1985.


Sunday, February 3, 1980

Feb 3 - Mar 1, 1980: Starwood Ad

Feb 7, 1980: Alternate "Weekly" Ad
The Alley Cats, Sue Saad and The Next (Not in the Starwood Ad)

Feb 12, 1980: The Go-Go's promo for the show


Unfortunately, I don't have any Starwood ads for the latter part of February and nearly the entire month of March, 1980. The following tickets and flyers represent some of the shows that happened during this time period at the Starwood.

Feb 26, 1980: Starwood Ticket for The Last and The Gears show

Feb 26, 1980: The Gears version of the flyer
Feb 26, 1980: The Last version of the flyer

Mar 4, 1980: The Bags and Alleycats flyer
Mar 10: 1980: The Twisters and Kingbees Newspaper Ad


Sunday, March 30, 1980

Mar 30 - Apr 26, 1980: Starwood Ad

Apr 9, 1980: The Gears version of the flyer
Note that the Go-Go's were playing there two nights... The first night with Wall of Voodoo on April 1st, and the second night with the Plugz on April 2nd. The Go-Go's didn't even have a record out at this time, only a five song demo that allowed them to tour with Madness later in 1980. Wall of Voodoo was just releasing their first EP with a very unique version of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire" on it. Their hit "Mexican Radio" wouldn't come out for another three years after this show. The Plugz had released a single in 1978 and their album "Electrify Me" in 1979.

Apr 9, 1980: The Weirdos version of the flyer
Berlin performed on April 8th, but it isn't known if this was the version of Berlin with Terri Nunn singing, or if it was the version with Virginia Macolino while Terri was pursuing an acting career... and even reading for the part of Princess Leia in Star Wars.

At the time of their show at the Starwood on April 9th, the Weirdos had an EP and a few singles out including the hit "We've Got The Neutron Bomb". The Weirdos were already veterans of the LA music scene starting out in 1976 and would break up a year after this show. Playing with them were the Gears from Huntington Beach. The Gears had already recorded a number of demos in 1979 and released their album "Rockin' at Ground Zero" right around the time of this show in 1980.

Apr 15 & 16, 1980: Starwood Ticket for The Pop and Alley Cats show
On April 15th and 16th, The Pop played with the Alley Cats. The Alley Cats had a couple of records out at the time of this show including the single "Nothing Means Nothing Anymore" b/w "Give Me a Little Pain" released March 30, 1978 and a track on the Yes L.A. compilation called "Too Much Junk" released in 1979 on Dangerhouse Records. Also around this time, they were filmed and would be featured in the movie "Urgh! A Music War" which was released two years later in 1982.


Sunday, April 20, 1980

Apr 20 - May 21, 1980: Starwood Ad
Interesting to see that John Doe from "X" performed a solo act on radio station KLOS's "Rock Night" on Monday, April 21st.

On Tuesday, April 22nd, The Robert Stoddard Band played with the Textones. Textones founder and guitarist, Kathy Valentine, had moved from Austin, Texas to Los Angeles in late 1978 where she formed the band. While in the Textones and during the time period of this performance, she had written two songs, "Vacation" and "Can't Stop the World" which she would take with her when she joined the Go-Go's eight months later in December, 1980. Her first show with the Go-Go's was New Years Eve, 1980 at the Whisky. 

The Bags and FEAR played together on Wednesday night, April 23rd.

Apr 23, 1980: Starwood Ticket for The Bags and FEAR show
The Offenders a punk band from a small town near Austin, Texas played with the Whizz Kids who were a pop rock band on tour from New Zealand to promote their single "Occupational Hazard".

Bates Motel performed on April 28th and was made up of members who would later be part of the band Sparks as well as the band Gleaming Spires who had a hit the next year in 1981 called "Are You Ready For The Sex Girls". Also performing that night on April 28th was a band from Richmond, Virginia called "Single Bullet Theory" who had released a self titled record a few years before in 1977.

 X and The Last played two consecutive nights on April 29th & 30th.

Phil Seymour was a multi talented musician who's primary instrument was the drums. He played with many bands who are seen scattered throughout these Starwood ads including the Textones and 20/20 who performed with him two nights, May 2nd and 3rd. He had even performed with Tom Petty at the time.

The Plimsouls were becoming increasingly more popular and were favorites at the Starwood back then. 

May 7, 1980: Starwood Ticket for The Kingbees and The Blasters show


Sunday, May 18, 1980

May 18 - Jun 14, 1980: Starwood Ad
May 20 & 21, 1980: Starwood Ticket for Gang of Four and Plugz show

May 20 & 21, 1980: Plugz version of the flyer
Gang of Four and the Plugz played two nights, May 20th and May 21st. Gang of Four had charted with their single "Damaged Goods" in England and they were playing the circuit in the U.S.A.

On May 27th, The Bags and the Crowd played. It was around this time that Penelope Spheeris filmed the Bags for her first feature film, the Decline of Western Civilization. They had one single out at the time called "Survive". The Crowd was a Huntington Beach band who had been featured on the compilation album "Beach Blvd." that was released in 1979.

May 27, 1980: Starwood Ticket for the Bags and Crowd show
The Weirdos and Berlin were an odd combination but played together on June 3rd.

Joy Division was supposed to play on Monday, June 9th as a part of their American tour. But on the date of this ad, May 18th, lead singer, Ian Curtis took his own life the day before the band was supposed to leave for America, and as a result, the band did not tour and did not play this show. 

On June 10th and 11th, the Alley Cats played.

Also, interesting to note that Quiet Riot and Dokken were playing there as "The People's Choice"... Funny!

 Sunday, June 1, 1980

Jun 1 - Jul 9, 1980: Starwood Ad

Starwood Calendar for the Month of June, 1980
The Weirdos and Berlin performed together on Tuesday, June 3rd.

The next night on June 4th, Bates Motel (Gleaming Spires) performed with opening band Allnight.

On June 6th & 7th Phil Seymour and the band 707 played both nights. It was just about this time that 707 released their first record which contained the hit "I Could Be Good For You".

Interesting to note that since Joy Division cancelled their U.S. tour and hence their show at the Starwood on June 9th, this ad shows that the Starwood filled the date with the Textones and Dyan Diamond.

Jun 10 & 11, 1980: Starwood Ticket for the Alley Cats,
Wall of Voodoo, and The Offs show

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - On June 10th and 11th, the Alley Cats added Wall of Voodoo and a San Francisco band called the Offs to the bill. The very first show that the Dead Kennedys played was opening for the Offs in San Francisco.

Geza X and the Mommymen opened for Fear on June 17th. (more about this show in the next section)

On June 24th Wayne County of Wayne County and the Electric Chairs performed. (more about this show in the next section)

The Go-Go's played on July 8th and 9th.

Also interesting to note that the Plimsouls played the Starwood quite often.

Sunday, June 15, 1980

Jun 15 - Jul 5, 1980: Starwood Ad
Phil Seymour and the Blasters performed on June 16th.
Geza X and the Mommymen opened for Fear on June 17th. Geza X produced records for many punk bands at this time including the Dead Kennedys, the Germs, Black Flag, the Avengers and the Weirdos. Fear had one single out at this time "I Love Livin' In The City" that was released in 1977. It was also just a little bit before this time that Penelope Spheeris met the band while they were handing out flyers and she asked them if they wanted to be in her movie "Decline of Western Civilization". Filming of Fear for the movie happened right around this time.

On June 24th, self-proclaimed transgender, Wayne County, of Wayne County and the Electric Chairs performed. Wayne County had been performing since 1976 and although the band was from the United States, they were actually more popular in England and Europe. They had a number of albums and singles out by the time they played the Starwood, and they had even appeared in the Don Letts film, "The Punk Rock Movie". Interesting to note that Wayne had recently changed his name to "Jayne County" and had either made that change since the previous ad on June 1st or had clarified it with Starwood booking to make sure that they got his name right before the performance.

Jun 25, 1980: Flyer for the Falcons


Unfortunately, I don't have all the Starwood ads for the two month period of July and August of 1980. The following tickets and flyers represent some of the shows that happened during this time period at the Starwood.

Jul 29, 1980: Ad in Newspaper for FEAR

Jul 29, 1980: The Crowd's flyer for the show with Fear

Jul 30, 1980: The Gears backstage at the Starwood

Aug 4, 1980: Flyer for The Twisters and Beachy & The Beachnuts

Aug 5, 1980: Starwood Ticket Wall of Voodoo and Human Hands show


Sunday, August 17, 1980

Aug 17 - Sep 6, 1980: Starwood Ad
Aug 31, 1980: Black Randy promo card
Aug 19, 1980: Starwood Ticket The Gears and Suburban Lawns Ticket

Sep 5,6, 1980: Flyer for the Rubber City Rebels


Sunday, September 7, 1980

Sep 7 - Oct 18, 1980: Starwood Ad

Sep 9, 1980: Ticket for Wall of Voodoo and BPeople show
Sep 9 1980: Flyer for Wall of Voodoo and BPeople

Sep 10, 1980: Flyer for Human Hands and The Last

Sep 17, 1980: Flyer for The Crowd and The Weirdos at the Starwood and others


Sunday, September 28, 1980

Sep 28 - Nov 8, 1980: Starwood Ad

Berlin and the Nobodys played on Tuesday, September 30th.

Darby Crash of the Germs was doing his solo thing and played with the Chiefs on October 1st. This was one of only a few shows that Darby did as "The Darby Crash Band". Pat Smear of the Germs and Lucky Lehrer of the Circle Jerks played in this line up. This show was just a little over two months before he died on December 7th, 1980.
October 7th the Human Hands and Geza X performed together.
The Go-Go's and the Plimsouls are found again on this ad.

Oct 7, 1980: Flyer for Human Hands and Geza X
Oct 14, 1980: Adolescents Guest List (submitted by Eddie Subtitle)

Oct 14, 1980: Ticket for The Crowd and Adolescents show

Oct 21, 1980: Flyer for The Gears and The Mentors
Nov 4, 1980: Flyer for Alley Cats with the Circle Jerks and Middle Class

Sunday, November 9, 1980

Nov 9 - Dec 31, 1980: Starwood Ad

November 11th, Fear, The Screws and 45 Grave played.

The next night, November 12th, the Suburban Lawns played. Their single "Gidget Goes To Hell" had been out for a year before this show.

The next week on November 18th Black Flag headlined a show with Eddie & The Subtitles and the Minutemen. From a flyer perspective, this is an interesting show for Black Flag. Greg Ginn's brother Raymond Pettibon had created the bulk of the artwork for Black Flag's flyers and record covers. In 1980, he had developed the new 4 bar Black Flag logo and their trademark font for their name. They had just released and distributed all of their records from the 2nd press of Nervous Breakdown and that particular pressing with the light blue ink and large artwork on the back was the very first item released by the band that had the new logo and font. For more information on the Nervous Breakdown EP Pressings and Versions click here: Nervous Breakdown EP. Black Flag's second record "Jealous Again" had also just been released and SST was eager to promote it and created their own version of the flyer (the 4th). The four Black Flag flyers below show two different versions of the Black Flag font as well as the new 4 bar logo. Although there are other flyers with the new font and logo for other venues previous to this date, this would be one of the last times that a flyer was made by Ray Pettibon without the new logo.
November 19th, The Mutants and The Offs played. Both bands were from San Francisco and had been featured on the album "Can You Hear Me? Music From The Deaf Club" that had just been released earlier in the year and featured live music from a number of San Francisco bands. The Dead Kennedys also appeared on the album performing Police Truck and a few other songs.

Other bands listed on this ad include The Blasters, X, D.O.A. and the Surf Punks. Oh Yeah... and we can't forget "the people's choice"... Quiet Riot!

Nov 11, 1980: Ticket for FEAR, the Screws and 45 Grave
Nov 11 1980: Flyer for FEAR and the Screws

Nov 11 1980: Flyer for 45 Grave, FEAR and the Screws


Sunday, November 16, 1980

Nov 16 - Dec 31, 1980: Starwood Ad

Nov 18 1980: Pettibon Flyer #1 for Black Flag, 
Eddie and the Subtitles and The Minutemen

Nov 18 1980: Pettibon Flyer #2 for Black Flag, 
Eddie and the Subtitles and The Minutemen
Nov 18 1980: Pettibon Flyer #3 for Black Flag, 
Eddie and the Subtitles and The Minutemen
Nov 18, 1980: Black Flag on Stage at the Starwood
Nov 18, 1980: The Minutemen at the Starwood

Nov 18 1980: Pettibon Flyer #4 for Black Flag, 
Eddie and the Subtitles and The Minutemen

Nov 18 1980: SST Flyer promoting the new record at the show
Nov 25 1980: Flyer for The Plugz
Nov 18-19, 1980: Ticket for Black Flag, Eddie & the Subtitles, The Minutemen, 
The Mutants and The Offs

Sunday, November 30, 1980

Nov 30 - Dec 31, 1980: Starwood Ad
This particular ad is a very important one for me personally. It lists both the last show the Germs would ever play as well as my first Punk show I ever went to... The Dickies.

December 2nd, The Gears, The Crowd and Mad Society played. The Gears and the Crowd were from the southern California beach areas and Mad Society was a band made up of kids all under 12 or 13 years of age. They were only together for 11 months so, seeing them here in this Starwood ad is a rarity.

The infamous last Germs show happened at the Starwood on December 3rd, 1980. Darby Crash killed himself with a drug overdose four days later on December 7th. Middle Class and the Screws were the opening acts. Middle Class is considered by some to be the first "hardcore" punk band to come out of California as their "Out of Vogue" EP was out in 1978 before Black Flag had officially released their Nervous Breakdown EP in early 1979. See the history of Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown EP here:

On December 9th, Fear and the Circle Jerks played with the Adolescents opening. The Circle Jerks had only been together for a year and had their album "Group Sex" out for about the same amount of time. By the time the band did the show on this date, they had just signed a contract with I.R.S. Records to do the album "Wild In The Streets" which was released in 1982. The Adolescents had been together for less than a year and had their single "Amoeba" out which was getting airplay on KROQ. Their self titled "blue" album had not been recorded and released yet and wouldn't be until the following year.

The Dickies played with the Great Buildings on December 23rd. This was the first punk show I ever went to. The Dickies had already been playing for about three years and had already released two albums an EP and about nine singles. The band was in true form with its original line up of band members including Chuck Wagon who would die from suicide six months later. The Great Buildings was created from members of The Quick who wrote the song "Pretty Please Me" which was later covered by both the Dickies and Red Cross. Original members of the Great Buildings went on to become the Rembrandts.

The Surf Punks, although not really punk, were also a fun band to see and they played New Years Eve.

Dec 2, 1980: Flyer for The Gears, Crowd and Mad Society
Dec 3, 1980: Flyer for The Germs final show

Dec 3, 1980: Set List for the Germs final show

Dec 3, 1980: The Germs on Stage and Darby's final performance



Sunday, December 7, 1980

Dec 7, 1980 - Jan 3, 1981: Starwood Ad

This Starwood ad came out in the L.A. Times the same day that Darby Crash died... December 7, 1980. The Germs played their last show four days prior on December 3rd as can be seen on the previous ad.

Dec 9, 1980: Ticket for FEAR, Circle Jerks and Adolescents
Dec 9, 1980: Flyer for Adolescents, Fear and Circle Jerks

Dec 9, 1980: Flyer for FEAR, Circle Jerks and Adolesccents
Dec 9, 1980: Circle Jerks on Stage at the Starwood
Starwood Show is the last one shown on this flyer


Sunday, December 14, 1980

Dec 14, 1980 - Jan 17, 1981: Starwood Ad

Black Flag played two nights and if it wasn't violent enough inside, each night the riot squad was there to clash with the punks after the shows.

The Plimsouls had just released their EP called "Zero Hour" which was getting regular airplay on KROQ in Los Angeles. They were a club favorite and played everywhere in the greater LA area including the Starwood.

20/20 was a locally popular power pop band from Hollywood. They played all the local clubs and even played at one of my high school dances in 1982...

Dec 16, 1980: Ticket for Eddie & The Subtitles, Mau Maus and Castration Squad
Dec 16, 1980: Flyer for Castration Squad



Sunday, December 21, 1980

Dec 21, 1980 - Jan 31, 1981: Starwood Ad

Dec 23, 1980: Ticket Stub for the Dickies and Great Buildings show


Sunday, December 28, 1980

Dec 28, 1980 - Jan 31, 1981: Starwood Ad

When I was at the Dickies show the previous week on December 23rd, I was given a discount ticket for $1.95 to see the Blasters and Adapters on December 29th. It seemed that the Starwood was a little late in booking bands toward the end of December likely because of the Holidays and possibly because they were being threatened by the local authorities that they were going to be shut down because of problems with the local residents in the neighborhood and recent clashes with the police. I think they gave out discount tickets to the regulars who were attending shows in December to entice them to come and help the club hit "critical mass" during the nights leading up to New Year's Eve. I really think that the Starwood was afraid that there weren't going to be very many people showing up. I didn't end up making it to the Blasters show, but I still have the ticket. The Blasters' album "American Music" had just been released a little earlier in 1980 and they had started to become a local favorite and an early foundation for the second wave of Rockabilly. They played at the Starwood often in 1980 and 1981.

December 30, 1980 - Black Randy and the Metrosquad played with Human Hands and Speed Queen. Black Randy had a few singles out including "I Slept In An Arcade" which was released a little more than a year before this show date. The Metrosquad featured some revolving backup singers called the "Blackettes" and included frontwomen from other bands such as Exene Cervenka of X, Alice Bag of the Bags, Lorna Doom of the Germs as well as Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's.

Surf Punks played on New Year's Eve as written previously about the Starwood ad printed on Nov 30th.

Other notables shown on this Starwood ad are the Plimsouls, John Hiatt, 20/20, and Gary Myrick & the Figures.

Dec 29, 1980: Ticket for the Blasters and Adaptors Show
Dec 30, 1980: Flyer for Black Randy and the Metro Squad,
Human Hands and the Speed Queens

Sunday, December 28, 1980

Jan 4 - Feb 7, 1981: Starwood Ad
Although the Starwood had previous problems with the violence that followed Black Flag, and they were receiving pressure from the local authorities not to showcase punk rock bands, Black Flag ended up playing two nights back to back there in January, 1981... One on Tuesday the 6th and the other on Wednesday the 7th. On the 6th, Social Distortion (not listed in the Starwood ad but is listed on the flyer to the left) followed by Middle Class were the opening bands. Social Distortion was just getting ready to release their first single "1945" on 13th Floor Records but was fairly unknown up to this point. Middle Class had released their EP "Out of Vogue" in 1978 and had a good local following. China White (not listed in the Starwood ad but appearing on the flyer to the left) and the Adolescents opened the show for Black Flag on the 7th. Similarly to Social D, China White was just getting ready to release their EP, "Danger Zone" that came out later in 1981.The Adolescents had been together for less than a year and their single, "Amoeba" had just been released several months before this show. Both Black Flag shows erupted into violence and were met with the LAPD riot squad outside the venue.

The page from BAM Magazine shown here illustrates the violence that impacted virtually every Black Flag performance regardless of where they played. Fists are flying in the "slam pit" in the center photo and in the bottom photo you can see Tony Cadena, lead singer for the Adolescents on stage overlooking the melee below him in the crowd. The punk who is seen crowd surfing just after a stage dive is Myke Bates, a founding member, guitarist, and songwriter for Uniform Choice which was formed a little more than a year after this photo. The writer responsible for the article in BAM Magazine, Mitchell Schneider, was very unimpressed with all the young Huntington Beach punks, referred to as "HB's" by Henry Rollins in his book, Get In The Van". They were like piranhas... after one of them took a bite, all the others followed the scent of blood and swarmed whoever was at the receiving end not even knowing who the person was or why he was receiving the ass kicking.

Jan 6 & 7, 1981: White Flyer for Black Flag, Middle
 Class, Social D., the Adolescents and China White

Jan 6 & 7, 1981: Pink Flyer for Black Flag, Middle
 Class, Social D., the Adolescents and China White
Jan 6, 1981: Flyer for Black Flag,
Social Distortion and the Descendents (no Middle Class)
Jan 6, 1981: Social D's Flyer for Black Flag,
Social Distortion and Middle Class (no Descendents)
Jan 6, 1981: Starwood Marquee
Jan 6, 1981: Black Flag on Stage at the Starwood
Jan 7, 1981: Dez of Black Flag

Jan 30, 1981: BAM Magazine Article about
Black Flag show on Jan 6th

Sunday, January 11, 1981

Jan 13, 1981: Ticket for Suburban Lawns (courtesy Christy Pulliam)

Jan 14, 1981: Flyer for The Toasters


Sunday, January 18, 1981

Jan 18 - Mar 4, 1981: Starwood Ad
Jan 20, 1981: Ticket forAlley Cats, The Gears and Gun Club

Jan 20 & 21, 1981: Ticket for two nights

Jan 20, 1981: Flyer for Gun Club

Jan 20, 1981: Flyer for Gun Club

Jan 20, 1981: Flyer for Alley Cats, the Gears and Gun Club


Sunday, January 25, 1981

Jan 25 - Mar 7, 1981: Starwood Ad

Jan 27, 1981: Ticket for the Circle Jerks, Crowd and Mad Society Show
Jan 27, 1981: Flyer for Circle Jerks,
The Crowd and Mad Society

Jan 27, 1981: Flyer for Circle Jerks,
The Crowd and Mad Society
Jan 27, 1981: Flyer for Circle Jerks,
The Crowd and Mad Society

Jan 27, 1981: Mad Society's Flyer for Circle Jerks,
The Crowd and Mad Society
Jan 27, 1981: Circle Jerks on Stage at the Starwood
Feb 3, 1981: Ticket for The Weirdos, Middle Class and Agent Orange show
Feb 3, 1981: Flyer for The Weirdos

Forming in 1975, the Weirdos were one of the first firmly established punk bands in Los Angeles. They had already released two EPs and two Singles one of which was the timeless classic punk staple, "We've Got The Neutron Bomb". They went on to record a number of other records before they disbanded  later in 1981.


Sunday, February 8, 1981

Feb 10, 1981: Ticket for The Adolescents, 
Eddie & The Subtitles and 45 Grave show
1981: Tony Cadena and Casey Royer of Adolescents on stage

Feb 17, 1981: Flyer for FEAR, China White and the Chiefs show
Feb 17, 1981: Ticket for FEAR, China White and the Chiefs


Sunday, February 22, 1981

Feb 22 - Mar 28, 1981: Starwood Ad

Feb 23, 1981: Ticket for Human Sexual Response and BPeople


Sunday, March 1, 1981

Mar 1 - Apr 11, 1981: Starwood Ad
March 4, 1981 - Memo to Starwood Patrons handed out at Wall of Voodoo show (image courtesy Michael Colacion)


Sunday, March 8, 1981

Mar 8 - Apr 25, 1981: Starwood Ad

Mar 10, 1981: Flyer for the Circle Jerks, Crowd and Mad Society show
Mar 12, 1981: Guest List for the band "X"


Sunday, March 15, 1981

Mar 15 - Apr 25, 1981: Starwood Ad
Mar 17, 1981: Flyer for Weirdos, Middle Class,
and Agent Orange show

Mar 17, 1981: Agent Orange's flyer for Weirdos,
Middle Class and Agent Orange show


Sunday, March 22, 1981
Mar 22 - Apr 20, 1981: Starwood Ad
Mar 24, 1981: Adolescents flyer for the
Adolsescents, 45 Grave and Gun Club show
Mar 27-28, 1981: Boxboys flyer for their show
with Gary Myrick & The Figures


Sunday, March 29, 1981

Mar 29 - Apr 20, 1981: Starwood Ad

Mar 31, 1981: Flyer for FEAR, China White and the Chiefs show

Mar 31, 1981: Flyer for FEAR, China White
and Chiefs show

April 1981: Starwood Calendar


Sunday, April 5, 1981

Apr 5 - May 2, 1981: Starwood Ad

Apr 7, 1981: Flyer for D.O.A. and the Crowd show,

Apr 7, 1981: D.O.A. on stage at the Starwood

Apr 21, 1981: Flyer for the Circle Jerks and T.S.O.L show

Apr 24-25, 1981: Flyer for Motley Crue show

Apr 24, 1981: Motley Crue on stage at the Starwood


Sunday, Apr 26, 1981

Apr 26 - Jun 6, 1981: Starwood Ad


Sunday, May 3, 1981

May 3 - Jun 6, 1981: Starwood Ad
May 5, 1981: Flyer for Weirdos show


Sunday, May 10, 1981

May 10 - Jun 6, 1981: Starwood Ad
May 12, 1981: Agent Orange's flyer for Agent Orange,
the Crowd and 45 Grave show
May 12, 1981: Agent Orange's flyer for Agent Orange,
the Crowd and 45 Grave show


Sunday, May 17, 1981

May 17 - Jun 20, 1981: Starwood Ad

May 19, 1981: Flyer for Alice Bag Band,
100 Flowers and 45 China White show (Alternate Flyer)

May 19, 1981: Flyer for Alice Bag Band,
100 Flowers and 45 China White show

May 19, 1981: Police at the Starwood
May 20, 1981: Flyer for BPeople, Human Hands,
and Johanna Went show


May 20, 1981:Starwood Ad


Sunday, May 24, 1981

May 24 - Jul 1, 1981: Starwood Ad

May 25, 1981: Flyer for A La Carte and Motley Crue show
Jun 1, 1981: The Starwood Marqee with all the bands
coming in the month of June


Sunday, June 7, 1981

Jun 7 - Jul 18, 1981: Starwood Ad

June 9th, Fear, The Chiefs and the Ozienares. The Decline of Western Civilization would be released less than a month later on July 1st where John Belushi from Saturday Night Live saw them and lobbied for the band to appear on the show on Halloween.

Jun 9, 1981: Flyer for FEAR show

Jun 9, 1981: Flyer for FEAR, Chiefs and Oziehares show

Jun 9, 1981: Flyer for FEAR, Chiefs and Oziehares show


Sunday, June 14, 1981

Jun 14 - Jul 18, 1981: Starwood Ad

Jun 16, 1981: Flyer for China White,
Mad Society and the Stains show
Jun 16, 1981: Stains flyer for China White,
Mad Society and the Stains show

Jun 17, 1981: Kommunity F.K. flyer for Geza X,
Kommunity F.K. and Wild Kingdom show


The Starwood closed down later the year in October, 1981 due to a number of challenges.

The old Starwood sign inside for the "Hot 100 Club"

 Content written by Hanson Meyer

Here are some links to other sites with information regarding the Starwood: