I Was So Heavy Man, I Lived On The Strand

30 Jan

Great new interview with Keith Morris reminiscing about his earliest Hermosa Beach stirrings is now up over at the Easy Reader, done by The Godfather Of Wildass 70’s South Bay Rock N Roll himself, Mr Don Waller. Keith: “it was taking Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath and ZZ Top, speeding it up, and taking it to the next step” – exactly.

Photo of Keith, ca. 1980 courtesy of Jennifer L7 Finch

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11 Responses to “I Was So Heavy Man, I Lived On The Strand”

  1. mark February 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Great article, almost a companion piece to Enter Naomi. Can’t say I give a rip about Pennywise or anything on Epitaph, but hey, those cats are laughing all the way to the bank.

  2. mrowster February 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Mark: a long time ago I went to small party at the Hermosa Beach house of Jim Lindberg, singer for PENNYWISE – what a drag that was. All I really remember was feeling uncomfortable as a bunch of well heeled surfer-types made snide jokes about what cops do to Hispanic-looking folks who’d venture into HB. Punk rock is alive and well!

  3. mark February 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    Not the most evolved of humor coming from that scene. All of the Epitaph/Fat stuff seemed so one-dimensional to me, especially when it came to interactions with, you know, people. If you know what I mean. Anyway, Keith Morris seems to be pretty damn cool, still. Too bad Watt wasn’t at that party!

  4. Anton February 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi there. I agree with Epitaph being pretty lame. But what’s up with all that sstish animosity against that label/scene? If I’m not wrong Bad Religion are not even mentioned in Carducci’s first rock book. Haven’t read the second though.

  5. mrowster February 4, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Anton – yes I know of what you speak. It’s something I could probably do an entire Pig State Recon post on :) . . . but in a nutshell I’d venture that alot of those early SST guys were just very weird/highly individualistic by nature, feeling totally unconnected – or downright antagonistic – to “scenes” in general, be they punk, metal, or whatever. While Bad Religion has made a good career capitalizing on the concept of a “punk scene”, Black Flag cared not one iota for that, often giving audiences exactly what they DIDN’T want to hear. And thank Christ they did.

    That said, I’ve never heard Watt say anything bad about the latter-day punk/HC scene, ever. I suspect that’s cause he’s just a real nice guy.

  6. Anton February 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I agree, Mrowster. SST for me is supercool and Epitaph sucks. But the distance in this case seems a little bit personal. I’m Third Worlder and definitvely can’t see it as clearly as a USA native. My point is that Carducci’s book, which I love, is full of rock/pop, good/bad “manichaeism”. I’m thinking about Bruce, Dylan… But Bad Religion are simply ignored. As it dind’t exist. Do that post, please!

  7. mark February 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    To me, that music, “lifestyle”, “attitude” etc., have all just been really boring and paint by numbers. SST seemed to present a wider scope of vision, and that’s something that continues to resonate, for me. Hardcore offered no vision that I could honestly pay any real attention to. Again, those guys are all making bank, so the joke has worked.
    I think that Bad Religion are mentioned in passing within Enter Naomi. I don’t think that Carducci wasted any time with animosity against Hardcore, but merely wanted to shine light on sounds/approaches that had been neglected by the traditional music journalism, for whatever reasons.
    Wednesday afternoon I saw an old punker I used to know at the Trans-Bay Terminal. He was clearly homeless, and had no tribe that I could see. In a certain way, that epitomized Hardcore for me, at least as it pertains to it’s foot-soldiers. You won’t see Jim in any of the documentaries that are coming out, but you will probably see him in soup lines for the rest of his life.

  8. mrowster February 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Anton: I think it’s a mistake to make too much of Manichaeism in Carducci’s book, or view it as a flaw as some have. It was the perfect tool to ram home some really vital points about the nature of rock and the confused criticism that’s grown up around it. Had Carducci chose to be more “level-headed” his argument woulda been much less emotionally powerful, imo.

    Mark: Give Jim a quarter for me the next time you see him :)

  9. mark February 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Ha! Good one. I’ll keep an eye out for him this afternoon. Now about that urine in the entryway……

  10. nazz nomad February 14, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Back in the early 80’s, during the great era of Cali Punk, I had the priv of hanging with Mr. Morris on a couple of occasions in NY. A nice guy. A couple of years back, I caught up with the jerks when they played NYC and old Johnny Bob was like the old Jewish uncle you wish you had. He was genuinely concerned the kids were gonna hurt themselves. I love those guys.
    And there’s plenty of decent stuff of Fat and Epitath… NOFX alone makes Fat worth it. And if you combined Bad Religion’s big vocabulary with Ginn’s post “My War” sonic ramblings, the universe would implode!

  11. mrowster February 14, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Leave it to an old fogey like Nazz to enlighten us about the joys of the Fat & Epitaph catalogues. Would love to read a series of posts on the subject over at Bleedin’ Out!

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