The aftermath of Darby’s death was swift and sharp. The LA scene, which had been evolving into a beach scene since about 1978, became the sole property of the brawling teens. Many of Darby’s Hollywood friends left the scene altogether, becoming recluses and establishing new lives, marrying, having children. Others sank into deepening addiction themselves; ex-Bags and 45 Grave guitarist Rob Ritter, who in 1978 traveled to LA from Phoenix with a young Jimmie Giorsetti so the latter could audtiion for the vacant Germs drum stool, died of a heroin OD in 1991.

The punk scene divided into warring factions as the 80s began. The hardcore punks, who further refined Darby’s end-stage look of Mohican, leather jacket and combat boots, dominated, while the Goth scene was springing from the ruins of the Hollywood scene. Some key members of the former Germs contingent, including Don Bolles and Mary Sims (aka Dinah Cancer), formed 45 Grave and spearheaded the developing movement.

The class of 77, including the Germs, has gone around in a big blue circle and closed. In the age of MTV, it is easy to forget that there was a time when music was urgent, when culture was something you created, not copied. Darby Crash and the Germs defined an earlier time, and without them and their contemporaries there would have been no Nirvana, no Pearl Jam. Punk rock really did change the world, but not in the way its progenitors thought or intended. It changed the way people listen to music, the way bands relate to their audiences, even the way the industry treats its product (not that this ever was, or is now, anything to praise). Some scream that punk is dead, but the argument can be made that punk accomplished its goals and then was assimilated. It initiated and nurtured change. The spirit of punk might not be found today in the countless numbers of mediocre bands playing guitar, bass, and drums, but it’s out there, lurking in new places. In keeping with the spirit of change, rebellion constantly changes its guise.

It’s a circular rhythm Darby Crash would have understood.

13 Responses to “EPILOGUE”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thank you very much for posting this. As a hopeful fiction/short story writer, I’ve been mulling over ideas for a fictional representation of the early LA punk scene-Germs, X, Weirdos, Screamers, so on-and your document gave me new insights into the contradictions of Darby Crash.

  2. jayke Says:

    thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and inspirational biography about someone i’ve looked up to for many years.

  3. John M Says:

    Well written my man. True to the man and true to the scene. Now may Darby rest in piece.

  4. skinny t Says:

    absolutely loved it, considering what we do is secret misplaced almost every event in the movie ive been trying to find a biography. and yours takes the cake, you have my props

  5. PW Says:

    Thank you. That was the most well written and thorough write-up on the Germs that I have ever read. Wish more people would read this, especially if they are interested in the Germs; it makes Darby much less of a character and more human.

  6. J Says:

    Excellent account. Thank you for publishing it. Do you know what ever happened to Casey Cola (nee Hopkins)? Besides being in and out of institutions, do you know anything more. Is she still alive? Much appreciated.

  7. Phtysic Says:

    I am also wondering if there is any update to Casey Cola. Today, October 1 is her birthday, and I hope she is alive and okay. Can’t find anything new on her since her September 08 interview on You Tube. Much appreciated.

  8. Asher Says:

    Thank you for that. Great read.

  9. Sarah Says:

    Brilliant, simply brilliant. Glad you wrote this. :)

  10. Jenifer Says:

    This was fascinating. A lot shorter but contained details not in “Lexicon Devil”. I see many similarities between the Germs and the Gun Club but JL Pierce was able to move beyond LA into the world.

  11. Camila Says:

    I’m glad you published this. Just finished watching “The decline of western civilization” for the 1.000.000 time, and this has definitely given me some insight on Darby Crash’s life.

  12. Rosalia! Says:

    After reading this I have to thank you. I’m 18 and been part of the LA punk rock scene since I was 14 and knowing more about how this scene came to life is just… Awesome. Even after so many years Darby crash and the Germs are such an inspiration to many new bands today. He is also an idol to those who join this scene because of the freedom it have darby and themselves.

    • tralala Says:

      Casey was living in San Francisco in the mission district and was my dope dealer until I got clean in 1996. She was very sweet and quite motherly to me. Hope she is alive still and that she is clean.

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