L.A. scenester icon Taquila Mockingbird made a heartfelt promise three decades ago to keep "keep punk alive," and she's been doing it pretty much everyday of her life since. It fuels her very existence. But this weekend, the writer/singer/artist takes it all to a bigger, more focused and fittingly in your face way new level, as creator of the brand new Punk Rock Museum, which opens today.
Taking over the main gallery area and some of the adjacent rooms at the popular art hub KGB Studios in Downtown, the permanent exhibit will be a place to relive the raucous music and rebellious spirit that fueled Los Angeles' (and the world's) hardcore music scene, concentrated mostly in the seminal late 70's and early 80's, and featuring an array of audacious art celebrating pivotal punk rock figures and bands of the era.
It was on Dec. 3, 1980 outside of the legendary Starwood club where Mockingbird made the fateful promise to Los Angeles' most tragic punk rock hero that inspired the museum.
"Darby Crash made me make that promise," she told us at an exclusive sneak peak viewing of the show earlier this week. "It was the Germs' reunion show and we were outside. He hugged me and said completely seriously, 'Tequila will you keep punk alive,? and I said, 'Yes Darby I WILL keep punk alive!"
Crash -- the subject of several music books and who was played by Shane West in the 2007 film, What We Do Is Secret -- committed suicide by drug overdose four days later.
The Germs are represented in fliers along with seminal punk bands from Los Angeles such as The Circle Jerks, Black Flag, TSOL, and Bad Religion. These will fill an entire wall near the back of the gallery. Infamous punk zine Flipside will showcase its old issues chronicling the scene on the opposite wall. The revered work of Ed Colver (aka "The Eye of L.A. Punk")covers another wall and there's some never before seen images by a photographer by the name of Tomasonic.