The Flesh Eaters
Slash Magazine writer Chris D. (Chris Desjardins) began playing music in the summer of 1977 and would go on to become an in-house producer and A&R rep for Slash Records from 1980 – 1984. He pulled varying line-ups together for his eclectic punk rock band The Flesh Eaters, putting out 12 albums spanning the years 1977 – 2004. But the most critically acclaimed of the bunch was the one-time, so-called “supergroup” who played on the second LP, “A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die.” Released in 1981, the line-up consisted of Chris D. on vocals, John Doe (of X) on bass, Dave Alvin (of The Blasters) on guitar, Bill Bateman (of The Blasters) on drums, DJ Bonebrake (of X) on marimbas and drums and Steve Berlin (of Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs, and later Los Lobos) on sax. Their unique style showed a cornucopia of influences, from garage band punk to blues to jazz. Receiving rave reviews from publications as diverse as The New York Times, New York Rocker, jazz mag Downbeat to various homegrown fanzines, the album was compared to everything from The Stooges and The Sonics to Captain Beefheart to Link Wray and Bo Diddley. The line-up played a handful of shows, all in Los Angeles, in the spring and summer of 1981. They reunited in 2006 at the request of Mudhoney to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties fest in southern England and also played three shows in southern and northern California. Nine years later, in January 2015, the line-up has once again gotten back together to perform 4 shows in Santa Ana, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Coincidentally, Oakland-based label Superior Viaduct has recently reissued the “A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die” album on vinyl and CD.
The Alley Cats are a punk trio from Los Angeles’ South Bay area. Led by Randy Stodola (guitar/vocals) and Diane Chai (bass/vocals) and rounded out by drummer John McCarthy, the Alley Cats play a ferocious brand of pure LA punk.
Originally signed to Dangerhouse Records along with other California-based punk bands including X, The Weirdos, The Avengers, The Dils, and Bags, they released their first single “Nothing Means Nothing Anymore” backed with “Give Me a Little Pain” on March 30, 1978.
The band appears in the 1982 film Urgh! A Music War.
The Alley Cats were regular performers at such Los Angeles venues as The Masque, Whisky a Go Go, Hong Kong Café, and Club 88
Reformed as “The Zarkons”, they released two albums, Riders In The Long Black Parade (1985) and Between the Idea & the Reality…Falls the Shadow (1988), before disbanding in 1988.
Randy has reformed the Alley Cats and is currently performing in and around the Los Angeles area and San Francisco. The current line up includes Matt Laskey on drums and Apryl Cady on bass.