Read on and prepare to be enlightened with much knowledge of one of punk rocks most influential people. There is a lot of good information in it, and there will be a few pictures scattered around also. Or click here to view more pictures of The Germs. You can also click here for contact info or to learn more about me, the creator of this web site.
Darby Crash was born in 1958. The name that he was given when he was born was Jan Paul Beahm. He grew up in Los Angeles and was the youngest of four children. Darby's mother, Faith, had no interest in marrying his father, William Beorkland. For the most part, though, Darby was raised by his stepfather, Bob Baker, who Faith married in 1964. Then, in 1971, Darby's stepfather died and this sent him on a mission to find his real father at the age thirteen. This would only lead him to find out that his real father had passed away. Darby also had an older brother who had died from a heroine overdose while Darby was still a young boy.
Later, Darby would meet Pat Smear (who is currently the guitarist for the Foo Fighters) through a common drug dealer. Pat and Darby would go to school together and were later both fortunate enough to be put in an experimental school for kids that did not fit in and that were outcasts. This school was called the Innovative Program School and was located on the campus of University High in Santa Monica, Ca. Most of the kids from this school made up the original L.A. punk scene.
After the I.P.S., Darby and Pat formed a band called Sofistifuck and the Revlon Spam Qweens.
When the band found out that they couldn't afford to put that many letters on a t-shirt, they had to change it to The Germs. The Germs weren't totally together yet. They still needed a bassist and a drummer. There was an audition held at Capitol Records where they offered anyone who looked half way interesting these positions. Eventually, they got a full band together. When they started to make songs, they started to do some shows. The Germs managed to get kicked out of nearly everywhere they played. They even performed at the Roxy while Cheech and Chong were filming the Rock Fight scene in "Up in Smoke".
The Germs probably would have appeared on this movie, but they got kicked out. Another thing that Darby did was, after opening for Devo and Blondie, he broke glasses over his head and dove off of the stage right onto the shards of glass on purpose. He was stitched up and was back in time to catch Blondie's set.
The Germs were around from 1977 to late 1980. When the band first got together, Darby told them that it will be over in about five years. Darby Crash did not have a good life. His life was filled with a heroin addiction and self-mutilation. On January 5, 1980, just two weeks after The Germs had broken up, Darby killed himself with a lethal dose of heroin. Darby was found dead in the bathroom lying in the shape of a cross. Just above his head he had written "Here lies Darby C.....". He had died before he could finish his last name. This is just what I have heard and might not be true. However, he had quite a following from being in The Germs so it was very tragic to those people when he died. The hardcore followers of The Germs wore black armbands with a blue circle on it. I guess this was The Germs' trademark. Another thing that fans of The Germs would do is take a cigarette and burn their wrists with it. This was called a "Germs burn".
By reading this report on the life of one of punk rock's most important figures, I hope that you will know much more about a culture that is severely looked down upon. Now that you know more about punks, instead of hating them just because of how they look and act, you have an actual reason to dislike them, or it is possible you might even accept their different kind of lifestyle.