Starcrawler are the best fuckin’ rock and roll band in Los Angeles! Okay… I said it! I wasn’t able to relate to the early L.A. punk scene. It just wasn’t part of my tribe.…I related to the ethos but not the style.. What encapsulated L.A. punk was three-chord songs that were bouncy and sneering. An overwhelming agro sound filled with brawny white-dude masculinity. In spite of the bad hygiene festered between the din cacophony it still made the scene too exciting not to explore. From 1977 to 1979 (most of you weren’t even born yet!) Los Angeles saw the birth and dissolution of a scene that was anything but homogeneous. The bands and fans who mobilized L.A.’s “golden age of punk” were made up of a wide cross-section of nonconformists, odd balls, rejects and perhaps some visionaries who couldn’t fit into mainstream society. The bands chose this not because it was the “de rigueur” of the day but it was the center piece for their anti-social behavior.
It manifested itself mostly in Hollywood, particularly because of its romance and the myths of success. The streets were made up of drug dealers, pedophiles, “transies”, hookers and petty criminals; all of which created a great melting pot for the scene. Diversity was the only mandate… gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class all welcomed. The only thing that was different were their varying entry and exit points… The moments of convergence and divergence so to speak. The bands had no unified sound, except for being fast and loud. The very first punk show I attended in was at the the Orpheum movie theater in Downtown L.A which was surround by skid row. It featured The Zeros (teenage, clean-cut, garage-inspired), The Weirdos (wacky outfits, sardonic power-pop), and The Germs (grit-spewing, utterly shambling — that being their first show). It was the first time I actually got scared at a concert. It twas’ violent as hell and I loved every fuckin’ moment. This was rock and roll!
But there was plenty of malaise and disenchantment to be had in the days leading up to the 80’s. The suburbs surrounding the punk scene in L.A. were as fertile a breeding ground as any. There were freaks and outcasts by the score in and around the city. Nobody ever had to make an effigy to keep Los Angeles different. This was the home of the Black Dahlia, the Watts riots, the murder of Superman… Sal Mineo… Sharon Tate…Bobby Fuller..and last but not least it was where Ronald Reagan sold out his Hollywood cronies. This urban sprawl served as an Ellis Island of the West. You can ditch your old identity and chose a new persona that makes you sound less like a kid from a middle-class family. The fuse was always lit by rock and roll…Punk, Glam and Metal were its progeny. The story has sadly gotten lost over the last few decades; so there’s no time better than now to write a new chapter.
This energy and passion has reemerged with local rock and roll band, Starcrawler. They are made up of four members who are in the tail end of high school and let’s hope they’ve finally grown out of using Clearasil. They have a big balls attitude to take on the world; and the world is theirs to be had! Singer, Arrow De Wilde is a genetic centrifuge of Ozzy, Iggy, Alice and Gene (Do I have to give their last names?)…she’s a chic and she’s amazing! She prances, parades and pirouettes around the stage wearing a white sequined codpiece covered up by only a hospital gown.. and sometimes she’s carried on stage wearing a straight-jacket by a dude who is seven feet tall ( He’s Arrow’s uncle and he resembles the likes of the late great wrestlers Andre The Giant and Haystack Calhoun). At a first glance she appears to be an anorexic misfit that’s titrating a mixture of Thorazine, Pop-Rocks and Fizzies…Quite a volatile cocktail! Its her attitude that makes her so captivating… Even when she has fake blood running off her mouth she just doesn’t give a fuck… There’s no banter between songs… there’s just that hyper-geek-girl non stare at the audience. Arrow’s parents in their own right are part of the bohemian culture… Mom’s a famous rock photographer and dad is Aaron Sperske, drummer for bands like Beachwood Sparks, Father John Misty and The Pernice Brothers. Trust us… Arrow can stand on her own!
Haystack Calhoun… Arrow De Wilde… Andre The Giant
Rock and roll guitarists are often the first to pay homage to the past and usually honest enough to say that they’ll never be as big as the legends of the rock era. We’d probably be a little kinder and give at least some credit to the musicians of today. They cannot be faulted for taking inspiration from the past even if they do struggle to replicate past successes for the future. The freshness and audacity of today’s L.A. rock and roll bands aren’t the same now as it was back then, but now there’s a glimmer of brilliance and hope. Starcrawler guitarist, Henri Cash takes the swagger of Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Pete Townsend, Wayne Kramer and Johnny Thunders to a greater bravado. He riffs, he rocks, he struts, he grimaces.. he fuckin’ electric! Fortunately, there would be no “center” for Starcrawler if it weren’t for Austin Smith powering through the songs on drums and Timothy Franco is on bass. I have two bits of advise… 1) Don’t be late to their gigs 2) Don’t be the band that goes on afterwards. Starcrawler will suck all the air of the venue and there would be nothing else you could do about it other than go home!
Henri Cash With Arrow De Wilde
Starcracrawler just completed a a short concert tour in England and the reviews were of course amazing. So phenomenal that they are heading back later this Summer.(Shit it worked for Jimi Hendrix so why can’t it work again?). Break in Britain and then the America public will then follow.Their first single, “Ants” which uses a minimal amount of chords; I count 3 and you can count on one of them is “E”. and the tunes are briefly not over two and a half minutes. This signature track has caught the ear of many radio stations here in America; including Sir Elton John with his nationally syndicated radio show… This is a serious rock and roll band.. Take the chance while you still have the choice. Rock Bands of L.A.com won’t steer you wrong….