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The Germs

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Los Angeles, United States (1977 – 1980)

Germs were an American band formed in 1977, disbanded in 1980. Their fast spit-and-blood sound mixed with singer Darby Crash’s (AKA Bobby Pyn, his real name Jan Paul Beahm) literate and dark lyrics made them, to many, one of the distinctive bands in the early punk scene. They disbanded when Crash, after long bouts with drug addiction and self-destructive behavior, committed suicide at age 22 on December 7, 1980. The Germs’ 1977 single, “Forming”/”Sexboy” (live), is generally regarded as the first punk record from Los Angeles, CA.

The band started when Jan Paul Beahm and Georg Ruthenberg decided they should start a band after being kicked out of University High for antisocial behaviour, allegedly for using ‘mind control’ on fellow students. They named themselves “Sophistifuck & The Revlon Spam Queens,” with Beahm (then ‘Bobby Pyn,’ and later Darby Crash) on vocals, Ruthenberg (then and later called Pat Smear) on guitar, an early member called Dinky on bass, and Michelle Baer playing drums. This lineup never played live.

In April ‘77 the band featured its final bassist, Lorna Doom, with transitional member Dottie Danger on drums, later famous under her own name as Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go’s (Carlisle never played live, due to her being sidelined by a bout of mononucleosis for an extended period, although she can be heard introducing the band on the Live At The Whiskey recording), and was soon replaced by Donna Rhia, who played three gigs and recorded their first single.

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