In April 1976, another change in Paula's musical life occurred when she wasn't even there. Don and his girlfriend, Sue Greenberg, went to go see a rock 'n' roll show at an on-campus club at California Polytechnic University, Pomona. On the bill were two bands yet to release a record—The Runaways and The Quick, both proteges of the legendary Kim Fowley. The two were already sold on The Runaways, having read about them in Phonograph Record Magazine. However, they were really taken by The Quick, a band Don described as "a cross between Sparks and The New York Dolls" in a review for his college newspaper, the Mountaineer Weekly at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. He spoke with the band afterward and they invited him to see them play at The Starwood, a Hollywood club that catered to signed bands, as there was no local scene in Los Angeles in the Spring of 1976. This introduction to local music, along with the release of the first Ramones album a couple of weeks later seriously intensified Paula, Don and Sue's interest in music. The three quickly immersed themselves in the new local band scene that summer, and that meant lots of shows including The Dogs, The Pop, Atomic Kid (later The Zippers) and, of course, The Quick. Along the way, Robin Cullen, a 14-year-old friend of Paula's started tagging along to the shows. In the summer of 1976, Sue's youth group at Temple Shalom in West Covina promoted an early evening show featuring The Quick with an admission price of 50 cents. Kim Fowley and his entourage demanded to be fed after soundcheck and Don's parents stepped up with a pool party/BBQ on minutes notice. The Quick performed Master Race at the Temple with Danny Wilde wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap, much to the dismay of a few of the Temple's more conservative members. Fortunately, a few of members of The Quick were Jewish and able to smooth things over, explaining that the song trivialized Nazis. The crowd of suburban kids weren't quite sure what to make of The Quick. One person at the show, Jeff Johnson (a classmate of Sue and Don's) yelled out, "Play some Hendrix!" Danny Wilde's reply that instantly became part of Quick fan lore: "Hendrix? He's dead!" Regardless, the crowd was generally enthusiastic and supportive. A few months later, the Ramones and The Quick unwittingly conspired to set the wheels in motion for these four friends to form a band. The Ramones made it look deceptively easy to play in a great band, even if you didn't have virtuoso skills. That really didn't mean much to Paula and the other three until The Quick dropped their favorite song, Teacher's Pet, from the set list and it wasn't going to make the upcoming Quick LP, Mondo Deco.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Teens of Temple Shalom Present Mercury Recording Artists the Quick, July 10, 1976
I just finished Touch and Go: The Complete Hardcore Punk Zine '79-'83 by Tesco Vee and Dave Stimson, Ed. Steve Miller, Bazillion Points, Brooklyn 2010. Felt like I entered the confines of a fuggy teen bedroom straight into a high school detention with jocks only. To quote a Tesco fave: "I juvenile, I infantile." Kinda a dark age and an era I personally would not want to repeat, though it does boggle the mind looking at the number of great singles released and reviewed in each issue (at least as they moved closer to home and stopped the UK fixation). Would you probably pull out most of this stuff and play it today. Yeah, maybe if you are between the ages of 12-16. Beyond their worship of all things 999 (a midwest/DC thing you wouldn't understand - ask Rollins), the Misfits, baldie music and west coast punk/Slash, there lies in a single volume one of the great artifacts of the era, for better or worse. Their LA fixation was funny to me as I was writing to Negative Approach and the Necros in the opposite direction - LA was awash in UK/Vegas leather and stud save for the godhead chump rock of SST or the many garage revivalists of the day. Unapologetic, misogynist, anti-pc and arrogant, TV and Dave did mine the gold of the era and the reviews for the most part have held up. I did laugh at their top five worst ("woist") lps of all time (Issue #20, Pushead cover): They happen to be faves of mine and methinks that Tesco may actually like them as well in 2012: Von LMO's masterwork "Future Language" ("this one incorporates the worst elements of DEVO and bad Heavy Metal" - uh, such a combo sounds great to me), Milk 'n' Cookies ("if you thought Sparks or the Quick were the ultimate wimps . . .") - huh? and Budgie's 1st lp ("recorded like they liked the bass sound and forgot the other two guys") -dude, you probably don't like Dos or Jaco, do ya. Found this one in the barn the other day and figured it merited a post. Unfortunately, I have never been able to procure an original handbill like the pink one above but there is always hope (drop a note if you have one for sale). I have only had a xerox of it for all these years. Finding the flyer and then reading Tesco's diss had me thinking that "Mondo Deco" (and the Milk n' Cookies lp when I was finally able to get a copy) have had far more play in my house over the past 30 years than all of the baldie singles combined. I acquired a used promo copy for a dollar in Sherman Oaks when I was about 14. Danny Benair's drumming - his powerhouse intro on "Cantaloupe Girlfriend" that I enjoyed live too many times to count was then fresh in my head - anchors the lp and the name of the Quick (and the Falcons) always came up when the Salvation Army/3 O'Clock were interviewed. When I saw Sparks perform "Kimono My House" at UCLA a few years ago, before the show I saw Benair greet Danny Wilde in the foyer - that, my friends, is as close to a Quick reunion that I will be able to see. DB also got see the Stones at Altamont from the side of the stage. His account is here So take that wimps. I had always been curious about the story about the Quick show above. It was not until the great Avebury Records released some archival Paula Pierce material that I got the scoop. That first Pandoras' ep on Moxie is one of the best garage 45's of the entire 1980's hands down but that is the subject of another post. You can read the whole story here but this is a good start from the pre-Rage story below. Check out the Pandoras at the bottom - if I only knew at the time the Quick and Milk 'n' Cookies connection it would have all have made sense!