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Circle Jerks Biography

Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1980, this powerful hardcore band featured vocalist Keith Morris (ex-Black Flag) and guitarist Greg Hetson (ex-Redd Kross, later Bad Religion). Roger (Dowding) Rogerson (bass) and Lucky Lehrer (drums) completed the line-up featured on the quartet’s forceful debut album. Their second, Wild In The Streets, was initially issued on Police manager Miles Copeland’s Step Forward/Faulty label. It featured the services of hardcore’s number one drummer, Chuck Biscuits (ex-D.O.A. ), but he would leave in 1984 for a career in Danzig. Appearances on several influential ‘new music’ compilations, including The Decline Of Western Civilisation (they also had a starring role in the film of the same name) and Let Them Eat Jelly Beans confirmed the Circle Jerks’ position at the vanguard of California’s virulent hardcore movement. Long-standing members Morris and Hetson remained at the helm of this compulsive group which, by 1985, was fleshed out with the addition of Zander ‘Snake’ Schloss (bass; later Weirdos and Joe Strummer) and Keith ‘Adolph’ Clark (drums). Wönderful, from the same year, was something of a disappointment, but the Circle Jerks rescued their reputation with the staunch, Dictators -influenced VI. After releasing a live anthology, the group went their own ways, before unexpectedly returning in the mid-90s to sign with PolyGram Records. The ensuing Oddities Abnormalities And Curiosities featured one truly bizarre track, with former teen star Debbie Gibson providing lead vocals for a thrashy cover version of the Soft Boys’ ‘I Wanna Destroy You’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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