Friday, June 24, 2005

GERMS burns and sharing

Since I just posted a blog giving thanks to all the great people we have met and have helped us in some way, I decided to take a moment to reflect...please bear with me. About a year ago, I met a kid at a show who had this goal; he had to get a GERMS "burn" from someone in the circle. If you don't know what a GERMS "burn" is, it was a circular cigarette burn that everyone in Darby's clique had to have to show that they were a member of the GERMS gang, or fan club, or whatever. I know several people that have these, but I also know many people that don't have these as they thought it was ridiculous. Johnny Stingray and Alice Bag both elected NOT to have one. Point is, on one hand I thought this kid was silly for wanting a "burn", but on another hand I understand that thrill of connection to something you hold high respect and honor for.

I was thinking about this as I recently met former punk photographer Dawn Wirth. Here is a cool person who was on-hand and interacting with the bands during 1976-78 before she moved to England. She gave us the honor of purchasing a rare WEIRDOS fan club (test pressing) version of the "Destroy All Music" 7" EP. She could have gotten more money than what we paid for it by putting it up on eBay, but she wanted it to go to someone that cares for the music rather than a record dealer. She passed on her heritage to us. This type of sharing is not unlike the kid wanting to get the "burn" as we wanted to get, and cherish, the rare artifact of a special time that is becoming more distant every year.

Johnny Stingray has shared many hours with us of his own time. Talking over old times and new, building our website, giving us his music to release. Johnny knows that other labels might pay him more, but he's more interested in working with a label that cares about their product.

Alice Bag shares her collection with the world via the internet. She doesn't have to do it. She makes no money off of the site, except for a small "store" section with only a few items.

It is this kind of selfless sharing that inspires us at Artifix. Money is nice and we could all get rich if only we could sell everything we own to the highest bidder, but we are only exploiting (rather than truly preserving) our memories. The SKULLS have a recent song titled "Can Punk Rock Pay The Bills?"...the answer is an unfortunate NO for most of us with artistic principles. So why do we start bands, start labels, launch websites...if we know that we will make little, if any, money? Because we care about that special time that we had we were young and the world was ours to change. We do it to share those old feelings with a younger generation that is blinded by media punks. To share the good times, the feelings, and the truth. I don't mean to sound like a soupy James Stewart movie. Punk rock wasn't made for sentimentality was it? Yet, I can't help but feel sentimental when we meet such cool people that want to share with us too. We all grew up dysfunctional in some way, yet punk has given us a common link. Something we call our own that only the special few ever understood.

Okay, 'nuff said...get out there and "Destroy All Music"!!!


Blogger darkside777 said...

I hung out with Paul/Bobby/Darby as I knew him. I met him at the Capitol Records Swap Meet,we became friends, because we both LOVED David Bowie. We would tell each other, where to go to get various Bowie items.
I don't have this "famous burn" that he gave people in this pack or fanclub. Darby was a interesting guy, he always made me happy when I saw him. Rest in Peace Darby...

Thanks much Greg! You rule!

2:06 PM  
Blogger Johnny Stingray said...

Hey Greg, thanks for your generous comments, but i have to correct one thing...I confess, I DO have a Germs burn. It was given to me by Lorna one night when I saved her and Melissa from a drunken Eddie Snoid. Eddie was a member of the L.A. Shakers contingent and nice guy when sober, but this night he had had just a little too much and was hassling the girls. I stepped in and dragged him away and Lorna burned me out of graditude.
Go Artifix!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

I would kill to get a Germs burn. I'm no prophet but today's another day and I know another Crash. I grew up with every body trying to tell me what to do and it took me 19 years to figure out that I'm no fool to fall in with that; I don't see the rawness of punk anymore. I'll get a Germs burn eventually, the sooner the better, but I refuse ever to exploit it or any part of my life. If I ever sink to that level I pray the ghost of Sid Vicious comes down and mushroom slaps me to death.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Fifteen said...

I know this post is pretty old but just as you said the germs burn means alot to a young punk looking for something.
For me when i got mine it felt great to just know i was a part of the circle.

6:30 PM  
Blogger bossis1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:31 PM  
Blogger bossis1 said...

who here lives in FL?

2:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A while ago, I saw an online interview with Davey Havok of AFI, where he was asked for a tattoo story. He pointed to a blue circle on the inside of his wrist, and said that was his Ferrari, his midlife crisis. He loved The Germs, knew someone who'd had sex with Darby Crash back in the day, and apparently always wanted a burn but never got one. So he got that tat instead, finally.

That's how I found out about them. Not many punks here in Hawai'i, but I'll be watching wrists...

2:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:41 AM  
Blogger KentFriendly said...

Hi Greg,
Nice blog! You know it was the quest to get a Germs' burn that eventually led to Lorna giving me one at the Olympic Auditorium in front her good friend Bill Bartell. That was the first time Bill and I had ever met and the beginning of one of my most valued friendships. Damn it, now I'm crying at work.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Jim Stuart said...

i just went to the bill bartell benefit show where the germs and the adolescents played, both were amazing. but no lorna doom? lorna actually gave me my germs burn and my nickname... super fan.

10:25 PM  

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