A ripped Naugahyde booth in the moldy basement of a long-gone Hollywood restaurant was no place for a young lady from the westside to be spending time in 1981. Not at midnight, not with the antiseptic burn of cocaine in her throat, not with her vengeful heart doing paradiddles against her ribcage and especially not with a potentially lethal weapon in her grip. When you're 18 years old, punk, and in love, it feels good to tighten your grip around the smooth neck of a beer bottle. And when the decreasing proximity between your boyfriend and a blonde named Stacy has reached critical status, broken glass seems like an efficient way to set limits. Especially with the wail of a live saxophone urging you from the stage. Fred was my first . . . everything. We had the kind of mad chemistry that makes for transcendent sex and dramatic exits.
The Plugz at the Cathay de Grande, February 1982, photo by Vincent Ramirez. (Greg Hetson and Alice Bag in foreground.
Our unhappy Hollywood ending took place at the corner of Selma and Argyle, at a punk club called the Cathay de Grande where years later I would witness heroin-addicted Social Distortion heartthrob Mike Ness take on two beefy skinheads simultaneously, leaving them both bleeding on the sidewalk. (But that's another chapter.)