“My Favorite Album” is a weekly column in which we ask a musician exactly what the title suggests — to name their favorite album of all time. This week, it's Louichi Mayorga, original member of Suicidal Tendencies and now of Luicidal.
It was summer of 1973. I was living in Santa Monica and my cousin gave me a recorded cassette of Led Zeppelin 1. Up until then the only music I knew was what my parents played, like big band, soul, Motown and traditional Mexican music. When I first heard Led Zeppelin 1, I instantly connected to it and it was as if the band recorded this album just for me. For the whole summer I listened to this album nonstop. When the movie The Song Remains the Same came out, I realized that what I wanted to do for the rest of my life is play music. I had basic guitar skills but after that experience I was fully inspired. There are no words for the feeling that went through me. I swear, when I walked out of the theater I felt like I just met God and it was like lightning hit me. I practiced nonstop.
I joined my first rock band in 1975-76 and it was like the Yardbirds of the Westside, with Mike Clark and Grant Estes, who both later were pivotal in the making of the crossover sound of Suicidal Tendencies. My biggest influence in my songwriting really came from the Dunnigan brothers. They wrote the music for “I Saw Your Mommy,” “Suicidal Failure,” “Fascist Pig” and a few more off the first ST album, and I wrote the other tracks based on their songwriting model.
The only album that equals Led Zeppelin 1 is Minor Threat's first release. Every song off that album is a hit. Like the Zep 1 album, I really dove into the technical side, but with this genre of music I felt I really was at home, and as a bonus I was finally getting laid by hot punk chicks. Punk rock is rough around the edges, hard, fast, and our ST punk was gangster. Growing up in Santa Monica/Venice back then, all you had was your friends and there was no one guiding us. We made shit up as we went.
When I left ST, I was lost. Although I played with a lot of great bands, I never felt the electricity I had with ST. I started Luicidal in 2012 and it is giving me the rush and energy I had back when I was in ST. We play all the songs I wrote or co-wrote and songs off our first two original albums. I still get a kick when fans ask me for my autograph or photos; it reminds me of the time I met Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat. We were on our U.S. tour for our first ST album and we got to park our mobile home on Ian's driveway at the Dischord House. Everything was about fun. They were fans of Dogtown and skating, so it worked out. I didn't ask for an autograph but if I wasn't sleeping in his driveway and I met them somewhere I'd ask.
Luicidal play at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6, at the Garage in Ventura.