By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Out of Voxx came the Cavern Club, one of Shaw’s more ambitious experiments. Located in the old KFWB building on Hollywood Boulevard, the Cavern‘s swingin’-‘60s-style scene was an immediate hit with a small but devoted coterie of Beatle-booted clubgoers, but it lasted only two years before Shaw pulled the plug.
”All of these [’60s-influenced] bands were having trouble getting booked at Madame Wong‘s and the Troubadour,“ he recalls. ”So I said, ’Here‘s a place where you belong.’ Anybody who was doing surf music, Merseybeat, groovy psychedelic music or any combination thereof could play there. But the audience didn‘t rise to the occasion; instead of trying to create an interesting culture of their own from it, they just criticized each other’s clothes. Eventually, I just got fed up and walked away from it.“
The past decade has seen Bomp go through several more changes, including a recent relocation to a new warehouse space that‘s as bright and airy as the previous HQ was rundown and disordered. 1993 brought the addition of partner Patrick Boissel and his AliveTotal Energy label, best known for its copious amount of MC5-related material; next year, Alive will expand to include Disaster Records, a punk-oriented imprint created by Duane Peters of the U.S. Bombs. Shaw himself has recently recovered from a kidney and pancreas transplant; though he continues to exercise final say on Bomp projects, Suzy and Boissel take care of Bomp’s daily business. It‘s an arrangement that seems to work well for everyone involved.
”Greg’s more the creative type,“ says Suzy, who first met Greg when he was a 17-year-old science-fiction freak and she a 16-year-old runaway. ”He‘s not the kind who’s going to efficiently put records in a box, you know. He‘s the brains, I’m the brawn -- but you‘ve gotta have both.“
Greg agrees. ”Suzy downplays her own contribution, but we would not have survived without her. She’s the one who makes sure we get paid, and that‘s the hardest thing with a small label -- getting paid! If I’d been a one-man company, I couldn‘t have done it. I can’t sell anything; I can‘t deal with banks. It’s a really good partnership.“
And, all in all, it‘s been a pretty good 25 years. As for the next 25, the ”record man“ remains open-minded. ”We’re just waiting for something good to happen,“ he says. ”Since I‘ve been sick for the past five years, I really haven’t been all that active; but now I‘m back from the dead, and I’m interested in finding a new band or scene that excites me. The doctors tell me I should be healthy for at least another 30 years, so I‘ve gotta find something to keep me busy!“
Bomp Records’ 25th-anniversary party, featuring performances by Beachwood Sparks, Wayne Kramer, the Zeros, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Davie Allan & the Arrows, Twink and Small Stone, takes place Saturday, November 6, at the Garage.
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