Los Angeles punk greats Flesh Eaters playing new tunes

How difficult could it be to capture lightning in a bottle a second time? That was the reasoning behind “I Used to Be Pretty,” the new album by The Flesh Eaters, headed by Los Angeles musician Chris D. (aka Chris Desjardins). The recording features the classic lineup of the shape-shifting 1980s punk outfit, which has been playing live over the past few years. First heard on the 1981’s “A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die,” the stellar assembly includes X members John Doe and D.J. Bonebrake; Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin; The Blasters’ Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman; and Julie Christensen, D’s ex-wife (and partner in spinoff band The Divine Horsemen, also recording new material this year). “It’s just been very fortuitous that everyone has been so enthusiastic about this project,” he says, “because we’ve been wanting to record again since 2008, but our schedules just couldn’t match.”

It’s just amazing that The Flesh Eaters stars all aligned, for this album and its tour, too.

I know! I had always been busy with my day jobs. I was a film programmer at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood between 1999 and 2009, and I was going up to San Francisco to teach classes on film noir, the history of the horror film and other contemporary cinema. But in 2014, I found myself unemployed for the first time in years, and I thought, “You know what? I’m going to call the guys and see if they want to do Flesh Eaters again, and we’ll get some shows together.” During the eight shows that we did last year, I thought, “We’ve got to go into the studio and preserve this.”

It was that easy?

Everybody concerned was so into it. And we certainly had enough material for an album. We had songs that were Flesh Eaters songs, but not ones that this lineup had played on, and we had covers, like “Cinderella” by The Sonics, “The Green Manalishi” by Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and “She’s Like Heroin to Me” by The Gun Club. Then Dave Alvin and I worked up two new songs, “Black Temptation” and “Ghost Cave Lament.” And there’s your album!

Especially after the recent death of Jimmy Wilsey, it’s great that everyone’s not only still friends, but still here.

Mortality really came home to roost in a big way last year. Our collaborator Robyn Jameson — who played bass with us and The Divine Horsemen — passed away after trying to rescue a woman from a man who was assaulting her. He got hit in the head, went into a coma and never came out. That was a huge cold shower to get thrust under.

IF YOU GO
The Flesh Eaters
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 20
Tickets: $29.50 to $30
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com

Tom Lanham
Share
Published by
Tom Lanham

Recent Posts

Twin Peaks double homicide trial ends in hung jury

The trial of a 30-year-old man charged with killing two men in a Valentine’s Day shooting at the Twin Peaks…

26 mins ago

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion suit with NFL

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since the end of the 2016…

6 hours ago

Property owner sues city over order to rebuild illegally demolished house

A property owner who was ordered by the city to rebuild an exact replica of a Twin Peaks home by…

6 hours ago

Gavin Newsom says California will sue Donald Trump over border wall emergency declaration

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday that California plans to sue the Trump administration over the president's decision to declare…

7 hours ago

San Francisco Giants reportedly add versatile Yangervis Solarte

With rumors that Bryce Harper will make his decision within the next 24 hours, the San Francisco Giants have been…

7 hours ago

New ferry gate unveiled as part of ferry expansion project

As part of a $98 million project to expand ferry capacity on the San Francisco Bay, the second of two…

8 hours ago