39 Years Ago: GERMS Reunite for their Final Show

Daily Noise -

39 Years Ago: GERMS Reunite for their Final Show

This was for people who wanted to see what it was like when we were around. This is the only one, you're not going to see it again.

Derby Crash

That last show was our best ever. We played the best, and were the most comfortable, the crowd totally loved us, fans lined up all down the street, we sold out. We thought "Wow--we should go back, this is really good." But it was one thing for me or Lorna or Don to go back. None of us had failed, but for him it was, "Oh, I have to go back and do the Germs again, because I failed with my solo band." I don't think I'd have been very happy about it either.

Pat Smear, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs

In April the GERMS split up, Derby travelled to England and attempted to start a new band, the Derby Crash Band. That didn't work out and towards the end of the year a 'reunited' GERMS - including Pat Smear and Don Bolles - prepared for a show at the Starwood, Los Angeles. They played on this day in 1980.

At one point between songs when Pat was tuning up a bit, a guy with a bunch of blood on his nose jumped up onstage and grabbed the mic, and said, in a tone that was sort of halfway between a whine and a bellow, "...dudes from Huntington Beach thrashed on my node - look ad my node - look ad it! Awright? I didn't do nothin' to their shit - dey fuckin grabbed me like dis and dey go, 'Hippie.'" Then Darby says, "It was an accident." "It wasn't no accident! I'm just sayin' - we know who he is, and when he comes back here, we're gonna get his ass!" Later I found out that our mystery guest was none other than Mike Muir, who later fronted the band Suicidal Tendencies.

Don Bolles, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs

This was Derby's last show, he died of a heroin overdose four days later.

Darby was very specific about when and how he was going to kill himself. When we were rehearsing for the reunion show, he said "The only reason I'm doing this is to get money to get enough heroin to kill myself with." He'd said that so many times I just said: "Oh, right..." and didn't think about it any more.

Pat Smear, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs

Two nights after the reunion gig at the Starwood, I visited him at the Oxford house. His room was way in the back. When I walked into his bedroom, I couldn't believe what I saw. Here's a man who was obsessed with toys and gizmos. His jackets and all of his clothing were covered with buttons and clutter everywhere in his life. Especially when he lived with me. We used to have all these weird toys and lizarre little things laying around everywhere. But there was nothing in this room at all, except a foam rubber mat on the floor. No clothing, not a thing on the walls, not a thing on the floor, except the mat and his stereo system, with a small, little stack of tapes and a small, little stack of records. No pillow, no sheets, no nothing. I said, "This is where you sleep?" He goes, "Yeah." I said, "Are you sure you're okay?" and he goes "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm going to be fine. Don't worry about me, Tony. Everything's okay." He gave me a little bit of the white heroin that he was doing at the time. He did some and let me do the rest. He said, "It's real strong. You probably won't like it anyway."

Darby knew that the China White he got from his Hollywood connection was raw. You cannot shoot raw heroin, I mean, even a small amount will kill you. Right then, I knew it was the last time I was going to see him alive, and that I could not do a thing about it.

Tony the Hustler, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs