Bill Evans: The Black-Hole Son
Bill Evans didn't even have a band when Darby Crash of the Germs asked him to open for them at the seminal punk venue the Masque in Hollywood for Thanksgiving weekend 1977. Not about to pass up a golden opportunity, Evans lied and said, "No problem." He scrambled to get a band ready to play the hot-ticket punk show: Most of his friends from Fullerton High School were in hippie bands or, in the case of future OC punk icon Rikk Agnew, a KISS cover band. A few of his long-haired friends blindly agreed, and after a few haircuts and a trip to a hardware store for barbed wire to wear during their set, Naughty Women were born.
They certainly made an impression on the Masque: They got kicked out and banned because they trashed the place and broke equipment. They didn't even get to see the Germs' performance, but the night became just one of many incredible stories Evans was able to pocket from his youth and now retell as owner of Black Hole Records in downtown Fullerton. Go into the vinyl and music-memorabilia shop, plop down any record, and Evans will have a little-known fact or anecdote about that band—many of which will be first-hand retellings.
The bespectacled Andy Warhol-lookalike has a rapidfire story-telling style, and although it has been decades, when sharing stories, he's as bright-eyed as if they happened yesterday. When Izzy Stradlin (future guitarist of Guns N' Roses) was a kid, new to Southern California from Indiana, he met Evans and joined Naughty Women as a drummer. The pair sold air-conditioning units door to door and eventually had a falling out after Stradlin made an inappropriate move on Evans' girlfriend.
Fellow Fullertonian Mike Ness of Social Distortion roadied for Naughty Women when he was a teen. Ness was a tough kid who lived for trouble and had a fondness for starting fights, Evans says, and the young punk would go up to kids congregating in front of liquor stores and spit, "Get out of the way, you fucking faggots." The group of jocks, hippies or loadies wouldn't really know how to respond because no one really acted like that, let alone a scrawny kid such as Ness.
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A group of hippies followed the guys to a party at an apartment by the Brea Mall after one incident. Ness, in an arm cast and clutching a baseball bat, exited the car and approached the trio of pissed-off hippies. "Mike . . . goes up to the hippie and hits him right in the knee cap and shatters his knee," Evans recalls. "Dropped him like a sack of flour."
He then goes on to explain how Gordon Cox of the Detours made a spiked bracelet from track cleats, and as the second guy came up to them, Cox knocked him in the face with it, giving him a bloody facial piercing. The hippies finally retreated, and as they backed out, Ness threw the baseball bat at the car for good measure.
Another time, he saw Ness get Van Gogh-ed when a gutter punk bit off his earlobe during a fight at a studio party. Evans suggested a trip to the emergency room, but "he was like, 'I don't got coin for stitches; just get me a fucking beer.' I should've kept it for eBay and sold it," Evans says.
We could fill this whole issue with Evans' stories, but until he decides to write a book, pop in to Black Hole and treat yourself to a vinyl or two alongside a huge helping of music history.
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