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Basses Wild: Lorna Doom of The Germs

December 21, 2010

“Basses Wild” is an opportunity for Girl Germs to showcase a female bass player in a band that we might not normally play on the show – a “wild card,” if you will (get it?). This month we’re featuring Lorna Doom, nee Teresa Ryan, bass player in The Germs.

Despite the the fact that the band only released one studio album – 1979’s (GI), which was produced by Joan Jett – it became one of L.A.’s most influential punk groups, and not just to other punk bands. The Germs’ reach and connections extend to a multitude of more mainstream bands: The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters and Nirvana to name a few (in fact Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go’s was an early member of the band and good friends with Doom). The band, who quickly became notorious for its shows – which bordered on riots at times – called it quits soon after the release of (GI) and in late 1980 singer Darby Crash committed suicide. Guitarist Pat Smear went on to be in Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and collaborated with Hole for a Germs tribute band called The Holez. Hole also covered The Germs’ first single, “Forming.”

In 1981, Penelope Spheeris (who would later go on to direct Wayne’s World!) released a documentary called The Decline of Western Civilization, which chronicled the rise of the The Germs among L.A.’s punk scene. In 2008 the lives of Doom and the other band members were portrayed in What We Do is Secret, a biopic about Crash. The remaining members of the band reunited (with actor Shane West – who plays Crash in the film – on vocals) and are now active again.

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