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The Circle Jerks

Formed in 1979 by Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson, the Circle Jerks combined the rebelliousness of the Sex Pistols and Ramones with the aggressive athletic elements of the surfer/skateboarder crowd from Hermosa Beach. This coastal city just south of Los Angeles ignited the initial explosion of hardcore bands. Including bassist Roger Rogerson and drummer Lucky Lehrer, the band recorded their debut album, Group Sex, in 1980 on Frontier Records. Containing 14 tracks, the songs ranged in length from 1:35 to 27 seconds, taking the hyper blast of punk to the next extreme. With the release of the album, an appearance in the documentary film about L.A. punk The Decline of Western Civilization, and their incendiary live performances, the group's stature was assured in the budding hardcore community.

Their second LP, 1982's Wild in the Streets, continued the intensity while injecting a humorous slant into the music by covering '60s pop hits "Just Like Me"/"Put a Little Love in Your Heart," applied with their slamdancing aggression. The joke was expanded on Golden Shower of Hits, their third album, released in 1983. The second time around they tackled "Along Comes Mary," "Afternoon Delight," "Having My Baby," and "Love Will Keep Us Together." Golden Shower also marked the incorporation of a few longer songs that hovered around the three-minute mark, including "Under the Gun," "High Price on Our Heads," and "Rats of Reality." At this point the band took a two-year break, which found Hetson joining the newly formed Bad Religion, taking on guitar duties for both bands well into the next decade.

In 1985 the Circle Jerks returned with two new bandmembers, Keith Clark on drums and bassist Zander Schloss, releasing the metal-tinged Wonderful album on the Combat label. The group's new approach received mixed reviews, as their hard and fast thrash was slowed down and replaced by an explicit hard rock thump, which carried over to their next Combat release in 1987, VI. The band kept a low profile into the '90s, with the only Circle Jerks record being the 1992 anthology of concert performances titled Gig. By 1995, the band released its first new studio album in eight years, Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities, their major-label debut on Mercury. A highlight among the 12 tracks was a cover version of the Soft Boys' "I Wanna Destroy You," featuring a truly odd vocal appearance by Circle Jerks' fan Debbie Gibson, who would sporadically show up at gigs and perform the song with the band!

By 1996 the years of rough touring caught up with the bandmembers and once again they went on hiatus. Morris in particular had been plagued by serious health problems, including a back injury that forced him to wear a brace, colon and stomach problems including appendicitis, and a 1999 diagnosis of adult onset diabetes. Since Morris had no health insurance, benefits were held to curtail his enormous medical bills, allowing the now dreadlocked lead singer to begin recuperating. In 2003 Morris was well enough to play live gigs with his spoken word jazz-punk ensemble Midget Handjob, and also tour with the Circle Jerks and the Rollins Band. An appearance on the Henry Rollins' orchestrated benefit album Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three would bring Morris full circle with a performance of "Nervous Breakdown," a track he initially recorded in 1978 with the first incarnation of Black Flag. ~ Al Campbell
full bio

Comments

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his name is stewart
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LOL !!!! Circle jerks!!!!!
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Hmmm no mention of keiths newest band OFF!, they kick a**, bringing back the old school punk, check em'
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:)
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��
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I love this band.
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tonyb5503
F**KIN BAD A** LP
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Society sucks
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Love the name
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All u want is a . They never give it to me
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joeygarofolo
Keith Morris is the s**t.
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lotta much skate shows n tween life never learned yet i still teach
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Play some. Circle jerks
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spensoid
Group Sex best punk/rock lyrics ever!
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My old band covered wild in the streets. Had people scratching their heads. Thank Oakland,Mick e y and buzz. Good times.
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They need Wild in the Streets and Golden Shower of Hits on here.
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samantha.vil l a g r a n
Coup d'état give me a bomb coup d'état
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max.fullpric e
This freaked me out. Copy and paste this on ten comments and you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or get asked out. If you thus break this chain you will see a dead girl In you room tonight. In the next 53 someone will say I love you or I'm sorry
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! Repo Man great movie, Circle Jerks great band, Keith Morris one of the all time greatest vocalists. Much respects...
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why no live stuff circle jerks are one of the best li
ve punk bands
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group sex is in the category of untouchable albums that must be played all the way through.no dead spots or filler.even some of the best albums have their low spots & comprimised drivel,none of that here. group sex is definetly in the top 10 albums in all generes for exciting your mind & body from start to finish
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By the way the ramones where the frist punk band..love the circle jerks
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firsties?
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I just want some SKANK!
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ajollygirl1
Agree with colby781, crass for example was a legendary albeit "british" punk band from the 70s far earlier than circle jerks and black flag. This in mind it does not change the fact that circle jerks were awesome just not the "start" or "beginning" of punk.
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actually second wave.
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pc2play
The Circle Jerks were the there at the very beginning of punk, as was i and it was one hell of a ride i tell ya.The decline of Western Civilization was my fav movie for a long time. Another state of mind is really good too
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circle fish jerk
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spensoid
Best rock lyrics of any kind, ever.
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i don't care what they say about keith, he's the f**king man.
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fear,circle jerks,misfit s , s l f , . 8 0 s man
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ludesedudes
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what can you say about the circle jerks ...LEGENDARY true pioneers in punk Thanks jerks...luvy a g u y z ! ! !
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kick soo much a**
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love their first album and thats about it. the singer is a total dick at shows now, though.
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buddahcon1
Seven Seconds and The Circle Jerks was the first punk show I ever saw at the Sparks Rec. Hall. These guys frickin' rock!
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gatkinson80
The Circle Jerks are a classic example of the punk rock attitude;ang r y , aggressive and snotty. They are part of an explosion of hardcore music that I have been lucky enough to see play live in the 80's,and I had a blast. Ditto the Ramones and the Dead Kennedys.
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Not a huge fan of these guys, but did see them in '83-ish when lead signer had a back brace on during the show. That is kind of bad a$$. GO GANG GREEN!
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jackman.dick
viva keith morris
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undergroundg r e n d e l
repo man

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mcpfin
miss seeing these guys - best fun ever
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Every song on this album has very original hooks. This album bleeds aggression, timeless aggression. Please, if you ever wanna cover any of these songs in your band, pay them the respect to play them right! I don't mean just knowing where the notes are, strumming and attitude, too. And ditto for Minor Threat!
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punx not dead
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f**k your metal
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Debbie Gibson? Now that is truely effed!!
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they shuld have more cds by them, theyz da letter bomb
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PBR
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\/Pure punk\/
http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / ? s c = s h 2 0 8 1 1 2 5 8 0 3 3 3 4 5 3 4 2 7
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more rekkids please pandy - this is seminal sh1t here...
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i agree with green day isnt punk, but as my own statement, they f**king suck so much balls!
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