THE BLASTERS RE-ZOOM
Will somebody tell the X/Blasters ax-slingers to decide what bands they want to be in?
Remember when Billy Zoom left X a year ago, to be replaced by Dave Alvin from the Blasters, whose original plan was to be a member of both bands. Then Tony Gilkyson--formerly with Lone Justice--also joined X, giving the group two guitarists.
Then Alvin went full-time with X, handing over his spot in the Blasters to Hollywood Fats, who was best known for his work in the James Harman Band. When Fats died of a heart attack, Alvin stepped back into the Blasters until the band could find a replacement.
Now the replacement has been found. And it’s . . . Billy Zoom.
But wait--the story’s not over.
Now Alvin has said goodby to X. He’s planning to devote all his attention to his own band, the Allnighters.
So where does that leave us?
The Zoomed-up Blasters are headed for Europe for some concert dates before returning home to begin work on the group’s first post-Dave Alvin album. Elektra Records has just released X’s sixth album, “See How We Are,” featuring Alvin and Gilkyson (see review on Page 68), and Alvin’s debut album with the Allnighters, which has just been released by Demon Records in Britain, will be issued here by Epic shortly.
SCREAMS IN THE NIGHT: Sets by X and Caterwaul were scheduled to inaugurate the Scream’s new location at the Park Plaza Hotel (607 S. Park View St.) last night. The new, plush digs are quite a contrast to the bombed-out atmosphere of the old Embassy Hotel locale, where the club established itself as the local late-night leader. Whether that standing will move with the club remains to be seen.
However, there was a sense of history at the official farewell from the Embassy, as Jane’s Addiction played May 30 to a crowd that nearly burst the walls of the 2,000-capacity club, with at least 500 people waiting outside.
“I used to come here a lot and I thought I’d see it go out with a bang,” said Cathy Falanga, 18, drummer with the Superheroines, as she waited at the end of the line outside.
A bang is putting it mildly. The success was far more than co-owners Bruce Purdue or Michael Stewart anticipated. “This is a little absurd,” said Stewart as he stood watch over the door, nervous about the possibility of the fire marshal closing the club down for overcrowding.
His partner Bruce Purdue was off to the side taking pictures of the throng. “When I’m an old man, I can look at these and say, ‘This is how many people I drew.’ ”
Purdue wasn’t the only shutterbug. Liza Dazling, 18, of Manhattan Beach was also taking pictures. Why?
“For memories,” she said as she looked for her friends in the jammed patio. “I’ll miss this place. The atmosphere here is special. I would have come no matter who was playing. It’s the last night. That’s what’s important.”
Apparently. At 2:30, with Jane’s Addiction nearing the end of its set and the bar closed, the line outside still stretched around the block.
GEZA X REDUX: Back in the halcyon heyday of L.A.'s punk scene, Geza X was the modern Renaissance man, not only producing records ranging from the first Germs single to the Dead Kennedys’ cult classic “Holiday in Cambodia” to Black Flag’s “Six Pack,” but also writing magazine articles and fronting his own group, Geza X & the Mommymen.
Then in the early ‘80s, Geza X dropped out of sight, moving to Pomona and immersing himself in computers and MIDI-generated music.
Now Geza X is back with a new band, a new style and a new outlook. His band, Dizzl Whatsit (which debuts July 1 at Al’s Bar), is straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll and proud of it. The arty noodlings of past Geza projects is gone, thanks in part to his new partners: drummer Brian Hudson, guitarist Mike Martin (from Tex & the Horseheads), and former Raszebrae members Katie Child (bass) and singer Debbie Patino (vocals).
“Leaving L.A. and rebuilding my life was such a sobering experience,” Geza said from his East Hollywood apartment. “I’m seeing things from a different experience. I go out a lot more now because I notice not everybody is a junkie anymore and I’m really shocked by how many good bands there are. I don’t want to do any of the goofy art stuff anymore. Everybody wants to rock and I do too.”
And yes, he’s thinking of getting back into producing records: “I heard yesterday that ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ has sold nearly 130,000 copies. That’s a lot of records. I guess that makes me official.”
NIGHTLY NEWS: Flaming Colossus (850 S. Bonnie Brae Ave., (213) 202-4310, open Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.) might be just the thing for those dance-club fans whose idea of a night out is on the somewhat sophisticated side. Besides the dance room, the club has an ethnically oriented restaurant and an art gallery. The latter is complete with a 20x15-foot mural that is repainted every two weeks by different artists. Entertainment varies from African dancers and fire eaters to a variety of world beat artists, including (so far) the Bonedaddys and members of King Sunny Ade’s band.
“This isn’t like Power Tools or Scream,” said Sue Choi, who runs the club with two French brothers. “It’s a little older, more professional. It’s one of the few places where you can see a gallery owner dancing next to a punk-club-goer.”
THE DECLINE AND STUMBLE OF THE ROMANS: A crowd of fans and friends bade a fond farewell to the Romans last weekend at the Lhasa Club as the band followed its Down There labelmates Russ Tolman and Divine Weeks with a rollicking set of Celtic and/or country rock. Leader Michael Uhlenkott was in fine form as he stumbled about the stage, and the band sounded quite unlike an outfit on the verge of a split.
Oh, mama, is it really the end? The answer is “Yes, but . . .,” according to the band’s guitarist (and L.A. Weekly rock critic) Robert Lloyd, who said before the show that it’s not unlikely that the Romans will play together again on some future occasion “by accident.”
NEWS ‘N’ NOTES: Radwaste, the industrial-strength rhythm makers featuring four (count ‘em) drummers, is recording its debut LP with former Public Image Ltd. guitarist Keith Levene producing. . . . Rock-scientist Thomas Dolby sat in with Doc Tahri (which features another ex-PiL member, Bret Helm) recently at the Lhasa Club for encores of his own “Hyperactive” and a hot-wired version of “We Are the World.”