Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cuckoo's Nest Club Punk Shows 1981 (Part 3)

Cuckoo's Nest Club Punk Shows
1981 (Part 3)

by Hanson Meyer 

Understand 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 5/22/2018)

This article is the Last Part of a three part series and details the chronological history of shows that occurred month by month at the Cuckoo's Nest during the year 1981 up until its closure in December of that year.

Cuckoo's Nest owner, Jerry Roach, allowed me to take photos of his booking calendar recently so that I could post them here and archive the exact order of shows during the 1981 calendar year. I have dome my best to add the correct flyers and photos from the period.


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - January 1981

January 1, 1981: The year of 1981 started off with "Rock Night". The Automatics, The End and The Badgers played.

January 2, 1981: This was the first of two nights that The Dickies played. China White and the Screws opened the show.

January 3, 1981: The Dickies headlined with Wet Picnic and BPeople opening.

January 4, 1981: The  Ristocrats, Insect Idol and Chaotic Stature played.

January 4, 1981. Flyer for Insect Idol
January 6, 1981: The Stepping Tones and Wild Kingdom played for "New Wave Night".

January 7, 1981: More New Wave with The Rentz, The Lobsters and Hey Taxi.

January 8, 1981: Rock Night - Bumper, Hyp-R and Alice Cooperman (an Alice Cooper tribute band) played.

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for early/mid January 1981
January 9, 1981: The Adolescents, 45 Grave and the Wounds

January 9, 1981. Flyer for Adolescents and 45 Grave

January 10, 1981: Middle Class, Circle Jerks and the Wounds were originally billed and an Ad ran in the local paper for this line up. Apparently a couple of changes happened before the show and The Circle Jerks were replaced by UXA (De De Troit). Mad Society also had a flyer out for this show, so they may have played as well. Need to verify this though.

January 10, 1981. Flyer for Middle Class, Circle Jerks and the Wounds

January 10, 1981. Revised Flyer for Middle Class, DeDeTroit (UXA) and the Wounds

January 10, 1981. Mad Society's Flyer for the show with Middle Class and the Wounds

January 11, 1981: Citizen Fear, Willard & the Rats and Youth Gone Mad played.

January 14, 1981: Jeffrey DARE and Claudet Balentine played for "New Wave" night.

January 15, 1981: Tux Dentist, Axcentric and Tabu played for "Rock" night.

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid January 1981

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid/late January 1981

January 16, 1981: A Rockabilly Friday night with the Blasters and Jimmy & the Mustangs

January 17, 1981: The Suburban Lawns, the Nu-Beams and Mnumonic Devices.

January 18, 1981: The Sub Humans from Canada headlined and Social Distortion and D.I. opened the show... each band was payed $50.

January 20, 1981: Bar Victom, Baby Knockers and the Badgers played.

January 21, 1981: The Stains, the Ionics and the Outlines played.

January 21, 1981. Flyer for The Stains, The Ionics and The Outlines

January 22, 1981: Rock Night - Heavy Music, Cosmic Wave and Finesse played

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for late January 1981

January 23, 1981: The Crowd, TSOL and The Convenience played. The Convenience was replaced by the Screws or vice versa.

January 23, 1981. Flyer for The Crowd, TSOL and The Convenience

January 24, 1981: The Adolescents, China White and the Chiefs played.

January 25, 1981: U.X.B., Red Cross cancelled and was replaced by Citizen Fear, and the Angry Samoans added to become the headliner.

January 27, 1981: The Frantic Ischnoids, Mike Knot's Rubber Band and the opener was supposed to be the Tweezers, but they cancelled.

January 28, 1981: Rumor had it that Black Flag was going to play, but it didn't end up happening... Rocker bands Tabu and Tux Dentist played instead.

January 29, 1981: Rock Night - Headliner was Vengence, a Rolling Stones tribute band called the "Rolling Clones" was supposed to play but they cancelled and were replaced by  L.A. Sleeper. The opening band was Future Gender. When I was in Uniform Choice the following year in 1982, we were scheduled to play at the Concert Factory but there was a time slot conflict. The club had double booked us with the band Vengence. They demanded that they play instead of us and the club folded and cancelled us and let them play. I remember we stayed and mocked the band their entire set. They were whiny, fat rockers that looked like a heavy version of Van Halen with shiny pants so tight you could see the veins in their balls. They mistook our mockery as being "Vengence Army" fans and gave us stickers... I still have one today on my old guitar case from that gig.

January 29, 1981. Flyer for LA Sleeper

January 30, 1981: The NuKats, The Barbies and Null & Void played. Jerry had issues with bands for this nights as a lot of them cancelled including the Big Boys, the Lobsters, Shane & the Haircuts and the Stepping Tones.

January 31, 1981: Again, a lot of cancellations and changes for this night. The final line up ended up being The Gears, TSOL and the Dischords. Bands that cancelled or couldn't do the gig were The Castration Squad, the Stains and the Assassins. An interesting note about this night is that on Jerry's calendar he has a note that says "Kid Shot". I had heard that at a show around this time period, a kid was shot and killed... Was this the night?


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - February 1981

February 1, 1981: Minute Men, Toxic Era and 4th Reich played. D.I. was supposed to headline, but cancelled.

February 1, 1981. Flyer for D.I. but they cancelled and the Minutement headlined the show
February 3, 1981: First Class, Pilot Ron and Octive played. I believe the local news program "Two on the Town" came to do a story about the Cuckoo's Nest this night and were scheduled to come by at 7:30 according to Jerry's Calendar.

February 4, 1981: New Wave Night - The Waves, Nu Direction and The Victor Broadcasters played.

February 5, 1981: Rock Night - Jet Ace, Dash 501 and High Velocity played. Finesse was slated to play but was replaced by Dash 501.

February 6, 1981: The Circle Jerks, The Crowd and Legal Weapon played. Originally China White was on the bill but they couldn't make it and the Crowd took their slot. Other bands Jerry considered for this show but couldn't do it were TSOL and the Stains.

February 6, 1981. Flyer for Circle Jerks, China White (who cancelled) and Legal Weapon

February 7, 1981: The Suburban Lawns, Mnumonic Devices, Wet Picnic and Tux Dentist played. This night started out to be a punk show, but the bands cancelled and it turned into more of a main stream new wave night. Originally booked were the Adolescents, Agent Orange and Middle Class.

February 8, 1981: The Bondage Boys, The Convenience and Movement played a Sunday punk show.

February 8, 1981. Ticket for the band Movement

February 10, 1981: The Badgers, Innocent Bystander and the John Scott Band played.

February 11, 1981: Wednesday Rock Night - No Sugar, Axcentric and James Dean played.

February 12, 1981: Suburbia, The Greg Young Band, The Steve Bass Band and Automatic Pilot played.

February 13, 1981: Not sure exactly which bands played this night. Five bands were listed but usually only three bands actually play. The bands listed were Frantic Technoids, the Stepping Tones, the Lobsters, The Pub Calsure and the Naughty Sweeties.

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid/late February 1981

February 14, 1981: Agent Orange, the Angry Samoans and the Hated played. The Dickies were on the Calendar for this date but they were apparently not confirmed and then replaced by Agent Orange.

February 14, 1981. Flyer for Agent Orange and the Angry Samoans

Cuckoo's Nest License/Permit "SUSPENDED"

February 16, 1981: Monday. The Cuckoo's Nest license/permit was "SUSPENDED" on this day pending a review. None of the shows following this date actually happened until the club reopened on May 1st... a total of two and a half months. One week later on February 23rd, the club permit was actually REVOKED. I'm listing the shows as they appear in the Booking Calendar anyway as they would have happened. Some of the bands had already printed flyers and distributed them.

February 17, 1981: The bands booked to play this date were M.I.A., Social Distortion?, the Diversions and Confederate. 

February 18, 1981: New Wave - The I's and 4 o'Clock were booked to play.

February 19, 1981: Rock Night - The Thai Breakers and Bumper were booked

February 20, 1981: Adolescents, Eddie and the Subtitles and TSOL booked. China White and the Hated were also on the Calendar this date but were crossed off.
February 13 - March 28, 1981 Show Listing. Cuckoo's Nest Listed Feb 20-21.

Cuckoo's Nest Ad for Late February and Early March 1981. None of these shows happened due to Club Closure

February 21, 1981: Adolescents, 45 Grave and Legal Weapon were booked. Others on the Calendar for this date but were crossed off were Middle Class and China White.

February 21, 1981. Flyer for Adolescents, Legal Weapon and 45 Grave

Cuckoo's Nest License/Permit "REVOKED" on Feb 23rd

February 23, 1981: Tazar, Charming Colors and High Velocity were booked.

February 24, 1981: The Lines, Jerico Shakes and Stage Fright were booked.

February 25, 1981: Metro Hotel, Heavy Music and Riff Raff were booked.

February 26, 1981: Naughty Sweeties, Nu-Beams and Nu Direction were booked.

February 26, 1981. Flyer for the Naughty Sweeties

Februrary 27, 1981: Circle Jerks, Castration Squad and the Hated were booked. Also on this date an article came out in a local newspaper. The article defended the club and cited how the police were a little too militant towards the club (article below).

February 28, 1981: The Weirdos and Discord were booked. Others were on the Calendar but crossed off for this date including Middle Class and the Blasters.


None of these shows in the Cuckoo's Nest Booking Calendar happened in the month of March due to the Club closing its doors at the hands of the Costa Mesa City Council. These shows were booked in February before Jerry's permit was suspended and then revoked and you can see where he started to call the bands to let them know the club was closed. He made an "X" through the days that he had officially cancelled. Word probably traveled fast and he finally stopped making notations in the Calendar. I'm listing the shows that appear in the Calendar as they would have happened even though they were all cancelled.

Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - March 1981

March 3, 1981: Black Flag was booked and an ad even ran in the local newspaper promoting it.

March 4, 1981: Channel 3, The Men, Axcentric and Chris Wolley were booked.

March 5, 1981: The Waves, No Sugar, Tux Dentist and First Class were booked.

March 6, 1981: The Adolescents, TSOL and the Hated were booked. Originally, the Dickies were supposed to play this date (and it was even advertised in the newspaper), but they were moved to the next night.

March 7, 1981: The Dickies, Rainbow School and the Brat were booked.

March 9, 1981: Political Crap (Duane Peters) was booked and cancelled.

March 10, 1981: The Badgers, The I's and Pop Rock were booked.

March 11, 1981: Maji, A Blind Man's Holiday and L.A. Bugs were booked.

March 12, 1981: X-Streams (ska band), Little Round World, The Stepping Tones, L.A. Sleeper and First Class were booked.

March 13, 1981: Circle Jerks ?

March 14, 1981: The Weirdos and The Blasters ?

March 15, 1981: Jerico Shakes and Spit Fire were booked.

March 17, 1981: High Velocity was booked but cancelled.

March 18, 1981: Black Flag ?

March 19, 1981: Byron and Red Scent were booked.

March 25, 1981: High Velocity was booked.

March 26, 1981: Greg Young Band, Axcentric and Chris Wolley were booked.


No shows were booked the entire month of April. Jerry had a court date on April 13th to see if he could reopen the club later in the month. At first he was hopeful to open on April 29th, but the date was pushed back to May 1st.

Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - April 1981


Jerry Roach won his battle in court and the Cuckoo's Nest was allowed to open again on May 1st. The first item entered into the uppermost left square of the Calendar was that the Club was closed a total of 73 days. He was upset over the whole ordeal, including the fact that the city had robbed him of two and a half months of income, and now that he had won, he vowed to "shove punk rock right up their asses". On the Calendar, he listed all the punk bands he wanted by "Headliner", "2nd Band" and then "Opener". He came out of the corner swinging with a healthy serving of punk rock that first night, but it appears by the number of bands written in and then crossed off that it was all happening last minute and rushed as bands he wanted already had prior commitments. Eventually, things stabilized as the captain of the ship sped things up to a insane pace and raced toward the edge of the world. He constantly tested the local law enforcement riding a fine with the city council and their rules and restrictions. He knew they wouldn't tolerate it for very long and he pushed it until it couldn't go any further later in the year. This is the time period in the life of the Club that Jerry said was the most intense.

May 1, 1981: Agent Orange, TSOL and The Hated played for the "Re-Opening" of the Cuckoo's Nest. The club was packed all night long.

May 1, 1981. Flyer for the Re-Opening of the Cuckoo's Nest with Agent Orange, TSOL and The Hated.
May 2, 1981. Local Newspaper "The Daily Pilot" was quick to report on the re-opening of the Cuckoo's Nest

May 2, 1981: Lobsters, Null & Void and the Box Boys. Videos by Beateo. This was supposed to by a punk rock night, but with Jerry Roach not sure of the exact date that the club would be open, he couldn't book things too far in advance. All the punk bands he wanted for the night including Black Flag, the Crowd and The Hated couldn't do it on short notice, so he was relegated to putting on more of a "subdued" night.

May 7, 1981: Tuxedo Dentist, Axcentric, Dash 501.

May 8, 1981: Friday night "Benefit for Flipside". China White was the headliner, the Chiefs played second and the Asthetics opened the show. 

May 9, 1981: Saturday night show. The Adolescents headlined and Social Distortion opened the show. Jerry tried to book the band "Dead Skin" as the first band, but they couldn't do it. The Adolescents had just released their self-titled album less than a month before this show. Social Distortion had just finished recording their first single, "Mainliner" for Posh Boy records, but it hadn't been released yet.  

May 13, 1981: Wednesday night. The Vectors, the Lobsters and Incognito.

May 14, 1981: Thursday night in the order of headliner to opening band is Apple, P.O.W., Crystal Vision and Brian Beck.

May 15, 1981: The Weirdos, Agent Orange and the Hated

May 16, 1981: The Circle Jerks, Legal Weapon and Dead Skin  

May 19, 1981: Political Crap and Lost Cause were booked on this Tuesday night. Jerry also tried to book the band Civil Disobedience as the opener, but they couldn't do it.
May 19, 1981. Ticket for the band "Political Crap" with Duane Peters

May 20, 1981: Rockabillly band "The Rockaholics" played with The Badgers. Jerry also tried to book the Mnemonic Devices but they couldn't do it.

May 21, 1981: Finesse and the Bumpers.

May 22, 1981: China White, the Chiefs and AKA

May 23, 1981: Adolescents headlined this show. The Detours played the traditional 2nd slot and the opener may have been the Dead End Kids.

May 26, 1981: The Suspects and Civil Disobedience from the "Public Service" Compilation record played together this night with a band called "The Start" headlining and "Confederate" was the opener.

May 27, 1981: Nu-Beams, Beat-E-O and Craig playing music videos. "Larry Laroo" is meant to be a cartoon caricature of Jerry Roach.

May 27, 1981. Flyer for the "Debmutant Ball" with the Nu-Beams and Beat-E-O

May 28, 1981: Mike Knott's Rubber Band played with Europa and The Slider.

May 29, 1981: T.S.O.L., The Hated and Lost Cause.

May 29, 1981. Flyer for T.S.O.L. and the Hated

May 30, 1981: This flyer for the show was made by the Stains when they opened for the headliner Circle Jerks. Other bands Jerry tried to get to be the first band included, Social Distortion and Wasted Youth, but neither of them could do it, so he settled on a lesser known band at the time to be the opener known as KAOS.

May 30, 1981. Flyer for the Circle Jerks and the Stains



In June, Jerry continued to shove Punk Rock up the Costa Mesa City Council's ass.

Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - June 1981

June 2, 1981: Channel 3, Shattered Faith and the Mercenaries.

June 5, 1981: Middle Class, 45 Grave


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - July 1981


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - August 1981


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - September 1981


Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - October 1981


Officially, this is the last full month the club was open. It was due to a show at the end of the month that permanently closed the doors of the Cuckoo's Nest in December, 1981.

Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - November 1981


Here are the last few dates. Jerry thought that maybe he borrowed a PA System to try to keep things going at this point. But nothing was booked after December 5th as it was too much hassle for him to continue without a PA System and it was this that served as the final straw that broke the camel's back. The Cuckoo's Nest was no more...

Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - December 1981

Thank you in advance for any comments, stories or additions for this historical archive of the shows at the Cuckoo's Nest. If you have any flyers, photos or other types of attachments to add to this archive, please email them to me directly at hansonmeyer@yahoo.com.

The following years of the Cuckoo's Nest shows can be found at these links: 

Cuckoo's Nest Club Punk Shows 1977-79 (Part 1) 

Cuckoo's Nest Club Punk Shows 1980 (Part 2)

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