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Pat Smear


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Pat Smear (born Georg Ruthenberg on August 5, 1959), is a U.S. rock guitarist who has been a regular member of several well-known bands, albeit of different subgenres: The Germs, Nirvana and Foo Fighters. He is also known as an actor and for co-hosting the MTV fashion show House of Style with friend and supermodel Cindy Crawford.

He was born and raised in West Los Angeles, California. He was born to an African-American/Native American mother and a German/Jewish immigrant father. As a teenager in 1972, Smear met Darby Crash and together they formed The Germs with bassist Lorna Doom and drummer Dottie Danger (the pseudonym of Belinda Carlisle who went on to front The Go-Gos). Smear renamed himself after learning about pap smears in high school, claiming they were the most disgusting thing he had ever heard of.

Carlisle was soon replaced by Don Bolles and, in 1979, the band released their first album, GI. Produced by Joan Jett, the record is now defined as a milestone in the history of punk rock. The Germs endured for one more chaotic year before finally disbanding in 1980 after Crash committed suicide.

Pat would go on to play with Nina Hagen, and make two solo albums of his own; So You Fell In Love With A Musician and Ruthensmear. He also appeared in TV shows such as CHiPs and movies including Blade Runner and Breakin’. While working on Breakin’, Smear became friends with Courtney Love.


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