Wednesday, June 12, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO PUNK: First Wave, Part Two (1979-80)

Frankie Fix and Johnny Strike of Crime
Some SF punk bands didn't record until late, and some broke up before their best-known records were released. The Avengers split shortly before their second EP came out in 1979. The Nuns broke up in 1980 (Jennifer Miro left before the '79 single), but they reunited to record their self-titled LP (a joint release by Posh Boy and Bomp! Records).  

The Mutants didn't release a record until 1980. UXA's debut album (also on Posh Boy) came out in 1981. The Offs' album was released in 1984, a year after Don Vinil's death. Crime broke up in 1982 with only three singles to their name. VKTMS also split up in 1982, but reunited in the 90's. VKTMS singer Nyna Crawford died in 2000.

Subterranean Records didn't exist yet when The Tools made their first single, but the No Alternative EP was one of the label's earliest releases. This set also includes the second and third Breakouts singles. (Check the comments for No More, the Breakouts' 12" EP from 1983. Thanks, Nathan!)
Avengers (Jimmy Wilsey on the right)

Johnny Strike (last surviving member of Crime, and a successful novelist) died in 2018, as did Avengers bassist Jimmy Wilsey (who was better known as lead guitarist for Chris Isaak).

In happier news, Penelope Houston will lead the Avengers as opening band on this year's US tour by Stiff Little Fingers.


  1. SF PUNK 79-80:

    One might ask why the Dead Kennedys are not included here. California Uber Alles (1979), Holiday In Cambodia (1980) and Kill The Poor (1980) quickly gained international distribution, and are better known than the majority of SF punk singles and EP's in this series.

    Those DK singles appear on dozens of punk rock comps. Even my kids know "Cambodia" through Guitar Hero. I have nothing against Jello, and nothing but respect for the DK's as musicians; but when I added the DK's to early versions of these compilations, the effect was a bit jarring because the songs are so familiar.

    Bitrates are all over the place, and I didn't clean up vinyl pops (with the exception of Los Nuns' single, which is my rip). I am convinced that "(Walking) The Beat" was an influence on Clinic's "Walking With Thee". The final Nuns single is sourced from Killed By Dentistry. (Thanks to for reposting it!)

    1. Jonder, Here's Breakouts - No More Ep:!sRcEnYgY!NYJD0AMNC6NxUtmwEyrzqrBpwv-yuCrCKI3EVgP8L_I

      I lived in San Jose during this period & traveled regularly to all things S.F. punx: The Mab, On Broadway, Tool & Die, & all.
      Thanks for all the memories.

    2. Thank you for the Breakouts, Nathan! Glad to stir up memories of good times.