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Redd Kross

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Hawthorne, Los Angeles CA, United States (1980 – 1997, 2006 – present)

Redd Kross, a rock band from Hawthorne, California had their roots in 1978 in a band called The Tourists begun by Jeff and Steve McDonald while the brothers were still in middle school. With the addition of friends Greg Hetson and Dave Keller on guitar and John Stielow on drums, the band’s first gig was opening for Black Flag.

At the time of their first self-titled EP, in 1980, the band changed their name to Red Cross, which was allegedly inspired by the masturbation scene in the film, The Exorcist. Ron Reyes became the drummer. Eventually, Hetson left to join the Circle Jerks (and later Bad Religion) and Reyes left for Black Flag. Keller left to join Trixie and the Doorknobs as its guitarist and singer. To complete the lineup on their first full-length album, Born Innocent, they assembled a revolving door of musicians including original drummer John Stielow and drummer Janet Housden. Full of the brothers’ pop culture obsessions, Born Innocent featured odes to Linda Blair (who starred in a television movie of the same name), a cover of “Look on Up from the Bottom” by the Carrie Nations from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and Charles Manson (whose song “Cease to Exist” they covered). The album also contains nods to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Tatum O’Neal, and Lita Ford. Not long after the release of the album, the group was threatened with a lawsuit from the International Red Cross and changed their name to Redd Kross, allegedly being inspired by Redd Foxx.

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