Chronology And History.
Hello. Here is a work in progress: a complete picture of the Screamers
in action. Additions and corrections are not only encouraged, but Required!
The kernal of this chronology came from the feature "A
Better World Begins With You" from Slash Magazine #10 1/2 (The
free issue). Original wording has been changed and corrections made.
Click on the pictures to make them bigger.
Spring: Screamers form. Tomata Du Plenty, vocals, and Tommy Gear
(formerly Melba Toast), ARP Odyssey, recruit David Braun, Fender Rhodes
electric piano, and KK Barrett, drums.
March 77: The Damned fly to LA with no gig and little money.
They are put up by Tomata and Gear. Dave Vanium told Caroline Coon (4-24-77):
"Rodney Bigenheimer and two great guys called Tomata and Gear,
put us up in their home. They've got Sid Vicious hair and the glasses
and everything, and they were so easy to be with. It was like living
in your own home. ", 1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion
May 77: The first issue of Slash Magazine comes out, featuring
pictures of the Screamers. Read article
5-28-77: On Tomata Du Plenty's 29th birthday, the Screamers debut
in a Slash storefront party on Pico Boulevard
Reviews: "Standing in the midst of the
frenzied crowd it dawned on me that the Screamers had tremendous potential
and truly epitomized everything associated with punk rock."-Bob Taylor,
Pictures: By Slash Magazine:
From June 77 issue:
An interview, conducted before the Screamers'
first show, is published in issue two of Slash Magazine.
(canceled) Whisky in LA.
Lineup: Germs, Zippers, Screamers.
Reviews: "The Screamers, who so far
have garnered more points on image than on music, had to cancel the
Whiskey due to illness.", New York Rocker #8, 7-77.
July 77: An article about the Screamers'
first show appears in Twisted Magazine. The Screamers fan club, managed
by Herb Wrede (w/ Brian Tristan and Diane Grove), releases its first newsletter.
Starwood, LA. Club debut
of the Screamers.
Lineup: Screamers, Shock, Backstage Pass.
fan Cheri The Parakeet (or was it Penguin?), attacked Tomata, trying to
puncture him with her stiletto spiked heel. When asked to what she attributed
this spontaneous act of rage, Cheri calmly responded, "It's the music
that made me do it."" - Brian Tristan, Screamers
Fanclub Newsletter #1
"'Ziggy Stardust came out
5 years ago, and now it's SHIT! In five years, punk will be SHIT!' screams
Tomato before the skull-crushing 'Peer Pressure.' Punks with a sense of
history. Will these marvel-filled days never end? Will I ever sleep again?"
- Kickboy Face, Slash Vol.1, #3. Read
"Tomata sings the first song without the aid of a mike, he uses a
bullhorn instead - - PERFECT", Peter Urban, New Dezezes, 1977. Read
the entire review.
"The Starwood closed itself
off to local bands after the Screamers abused the American flag at a 4th
of July gig. This managed to disturb the Starwood owner's sense of patriotism."
- Belsito, Davis, Hardcore California, Last Gasp, 1983.
Slash Vol. 1 #3):
Fanclub Newsletter #1
7-7-77: First Demo
tape made. Produced by Pat Garrett, and recorded on a TEAC 2340 4-Track,
the Screamers recorded: "Punish or Be Damned," "Anything," "Peer Pressure,"
"Magazine Love," and "Matar Dolores."
Recordings: This tape was played by Rodney
Bigenheimer on KROQ. This recording was the source of 77 Demos Vol.
1 7" (Punish, Anything, Matar Dolores) and a portion of SDCC '78
Demos (Punish, Peer Pressure, Magazine Love). Complete tapes survive.
Mabuhay Gardens, SF. First trip to San Francisco and first headline
Lineup: Screamers, Avengers(?), ???
had the audience up and dancing... they far surpass the better-known
new wavers (in L.A.) in terms of originality and ability to communicate
their art."-Jack Basher, S.F. Progress.
Photos: James Stark photographed this show.
Check out his book, "Punk 77."
77: On the occasion of their first trip to San Francisco, the Screamers'
Tomata Du Plenty makes the cover of Search and Destroy #2. Inside,
there is a thumbnail picture and small interview called "Screamers
on Media.": Tomata: "Twiggy is definitely on a pedestal. It's
kind of a twisted fixation I have." Photos by Richard Peterson.
First Slash benefit at Larchmont Hall
Lineup: The Screamers, Dils and the
8-7-77: The Screamer perform for Iggy Pop at a private
party at his home in Malibu. Iggy calls them "Tomorrow's Leaders."
The Whisky, LA.
[....] I'm Going Steady With Twiggy
8-16/17-77: Slash benefit at Larchmont Hall
in Hollywood. This was the second such benefit at this hall. David Braun's
last show on electric piano.
Lineup: The Screamers, Dils and the Germs.
Reviews: "The audience doesn't know
exactly what to do. Fighting doesn't seem quite appropriate. You can't
really pogo to it. Some just kind of stand there, locked in, as if watching
TV; with one important difference. They're interested." -Greg Burk,
Synapse Magazine, 11/12-77. Read the
Summer/Fall 77: David Braun leaves the Screamers to help found
Dangerhouse Records. Jeff McGregor, 17, is hired as a temporary keyboardist.
A benefit at the Masque Club in Hollywood.
Jeff McGregor's first show. Songs introduced: "Violent World" and "I
Lineup: The lineup for the 16th is the
Screamers, The Weirdos and The Skulls. The lineup for the 17th is The
Screamers, Weirdos, Deadbeats, Bags and the Plugz.
Setlist: (12-16-77) Better World, Punish
or Be Damned, Vertigo (Let's Go), I Wanna Hurt, Magazine Love, Violent
World, Peer Pressure, I'm Going Steady With Twiggy
stage is swamped with bodies. A chicken-wire 'fence' goes up as part
of the psychodrama... Coming closer, paying attention, the crowd crawls
into (Tomata's) hand. Eight songs, the set is over. Strong, hard, quick."
- Susanne, de Lotbineire-Harwood, Montreal Star.
"After a drunken brawl in the alley I thought I was gonna puke,
but it was time for the SCREAMERS. oh-hoh--let me tell you - NEVER IN
MY LIFE, NEVER .... Screamers are a fantasy from the darkest depths
of the mind. " - Pleasant Geham, Lobotomy Magazine #2, ca. Jan
1978. Read review.
Recordings: There are two recordings of
the first night of this show known to exist. The first is an audio recording,
which is complete with the exception of "Violent World" and
a few seconds of "Twiggy". Songs 2,3,5 and 7 of this recording
ended up on the "Masque Dec 78" EP. The
second is a film (18 minutes, black and white), recorded by a UCLA student
for inclusion on the documentary "Never mind the Sex Pistols--here's
the Bollocks." "I'm Going Steady With Twiggy" ended up on
the film, while it and the rest of the footage ended up on a bootleg
tape called "Live 77-79".
Mabuhay Gardens, SF.
Lineup: Screamers, Deadbeats, Avengers(?)
(Cancelled) Masque in LA
Lineup: Screamers, Eyes, Flesheaters.
December 77: The Screamers are interviewed by Vale for Search &
Song list: Better World, Punish or Be Damned, Magazine Love, G.O. Guy,
Violent World, Peer Pressure, Going Steady With Twiggy, Don't Pay The
Whore, I Wanna Hurt, Matar Dolores, Eva Braun, Anything and Sex Machine
(which was a hoax).
Screamers demo tape played on KSAN radio.