Sunday, March 16, 2008

1977 April Bomp! Kickstarts the Scene

  • Bomp! Records
  • The Orpheum Theater Show

April 1977
Bomp! Records was started by fanzine writer Greg Shaw.
Greg was a rock music aficionado. He was a record collector, archivist, historian, fanzine publisher, and indie record label owner. His particular area of interest was in '60's root music.

Bomp!Records store was dedicated to oldies, imports, punk and other newly emerging music that Greg was interested in to promote.

In 1977, Bomp!Records was the first independent distributor of music in the U.S. at a time when major labels dominated record distribution.

Bomp! was the closest thing to an indie label in those days. He did small pressings of 45s for local indie bands. He recorded bands and distributed records (on 45's) for; The Weirdos, The Germs and The Zeros, as well as Devo (their 2nd 45, "Satisfaction", Iggy Pop's first solo album, Kill City, Stiv Baker and the Deadboys.

Bomp!Record store would host several in-store signings in 1977-78 to promote indie bands. This was an opportunity for fans to meet and greet band members and get some pictures and autographs. Blondie and the Ramones from New York both had in-store events here.

On April 16, 1977 The punk band The Damned from England came to
L.A. and did an in-store at Bomp!Records.

This was a big deal in the local punk community. It was the first time a real English punk band came to the USA. All the local punk rockers/scenesters/fanzine writers and Damn fans showed up for the event, including show promoters Rodney Bingenheimer and Kim Fowley.

The Weirdos with Nicky Beat as drummer showed up to promote the show they were doing that night at the small 99-seat Orpheum Theater on Sunset Boulevard. Also there was Backstage Pass, the Screamers and the Nerves.

Others that showed up include: Black Randy, Billy Zoom, Lorna, Pat and Darby of their new band The Germs They promoted themselves by by wearing Germ T shirts long before they had written any songs or played anywhere.

Pleasant Gehman was there with friends Darby and Pat. She edged them on to ask the Weirdos about playing on the bill that night at the Orpheum Theater.

Bomp! Records was located at 5230 1/2 Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood.

At Bomp! Records
Darby and Lorna talking with Weirdo friend

Photo: JennyLens

Outside Bomp!Records

April 1977photo: JennyLens

Former site of Bomp!Records in North Hollywood


Looking south down Laurel Canyon today


Bomp!Records store only lasted a couple of years. In 1979 Bomp Magazine and label was shut down.
Voxx Records was begun in 1979 as a subsidiary of Bomp! Records
Greg died in Los Angeles in 200o at age 55.

The Orpheum Theater Show - April 16, 1977
That night, following the Bomp!Records in-store promotion, there was a show at the Orpheum Theater in West Hollywood.

The Germs crashed the Orpheum show where the Weirdos and the Nerves were headlining. They were first ones on stage and played for about 10 minutes before being booted off stage. Belinda was there (for Lorna) as Darby's prop girl, handing him peanut butter and salad dressing to smear on himself.

In the audience of the the Orpheum Theater show were: The Screamers, the Damned, Alice Bag (Armendariz ), Pleasant, and other scenesters. Alice Bag was going out with Nicky Beat at the time who was playing drums with the Weirdos.

Members of these bands
would all become part of Belinda's growing circle of friends.
The Germs had their first 'unofficial' performance (with Lorna playing bass) at the Orpheum Theater on April 16, 1977. On the bill were the Nerves, the Weirdos and the Zeros.
Belinda was in the audience.

The Orpheum was a small theater next to Book Soup across the street from Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. Jim Morrison use to recite poetry here.

The former site of the Orpheum Theater

2008photo: tlc

The Orpheum Theater was located across
the street from Tower Records

2008photo: tlc

Tower Records on Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood


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