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Fear

Along with Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, Fear helped define the sound and style of L.A. hardcore. Although they actually formed during the first wave of punk back in 1977, Fear didn't release an album until five years later, by which time they'd honed a blistering, thrashy attack that, for all its fury, was surprisingly tight and sometimes even intricate. Which is to say that, musically, the band wasn't as crude as frontman Lee Ving's outrageous, humorously offensive lyrics, which were geared to piss off anyone within earshot, particularly women and homosexuals; his vulgarity was equaled only by his sincere love of beer. Fear's original incarnation fell apart after just two albums, but Ving began touring with new lineups again in the '90s.

Fear were formed in Los Angeles by vocalist Lee Ving (whose past is shrouded in mystery, though he's rumored to be a Vietnam veteran), with the rest of the original lineup including lead guitarist Philo Cramer, bassist Derf Scratch, and drummer Johnny Backbeat. Rhythm guitarist Burt Good became a member for a short time in 1978, but became unnecessary when Ving decided to take up the instrument. The same year, Backbeat was replaced by Spit Stix. Fear issued their debut single, I Love Livin' in the City, at the beginning of 1978 on Criminal Records. They were in no rush to record an album, however, and spent the next few years without a record deal; instead, they mostly played punk clubs around the Los Angeles area, cultivating a volatile, confrontational stage presence. Fear's explosive appearance in director Penelope Spheeris' punk chronicle The Decline of Western Civilization cemented their legend, and they found a devoted fan in comedian John Belushi, who talked Saturday Night Live into having the band on as a musical guest for the Halloween episode in 1981. Not a band to behave in a public forum, Fear invited a pack of skinhead slam-dancers on-stage for their performance, resulting in costly studio damage and a bit of on-mike profanity.

Now notorious on a national level, Fear finally landed a record contract with Slash in 1982, and released their debut album, The Record, which most critics still agree was their best and funniest outing. Scratch left the band later on in the year, and was replaced first by Eric "Kitabu" Feldman (who appeared on the late-1982 single F**k Christmas), then the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea; in 1984, Flea was in turn replaced by the Dickies' Lorenzo Buhne. Fear took some time off for side projects in 1983; Stix went to Europe and joined Nina Hagen's band, Cramer formed a band called M'Butu Ngawa, and Ving pursued a successful acting career, playing assorted tough guys in films like Flashdance (the strip club owner) and Streets of Fire, among others. In 1985, Fear released their second album, More Beer, but soon drifted apart into other projects; they disbanded in 1987.

In 1991, most of Fear's prime lineup -- Ving, Cramer, and Stix, plus new bassist Will "Sluggo" McGregor -- reunited and began playing concerts again. Live...For the Record was released later that year. Cramer and Stix both quit in 1993, ending the reunion; Ving began touring with another group, Lee Ving's Army, which included guitarist Sean Cruse, former Frank Zappa bassist Scott Thunes, and drummer Andrew Jaimez. This group eventually became the new Fear lineup, and entered the studio in 1995 to record the band's first album of new material in a decade, Have Another Beer with Fear, which was released by Sector 2. Over the next few years, Thunes was replaced by Mondo Lopez, and Cruse by Richard Presley; in 2000, the revamped Fear returned on the Hall of Records label with American Beer, another all-new album.

After a poor public response and fed up with legal disputes, Ving spent the ensuing years resting on his laurels, while touring the old hits under the Fear name with a rotating lineup. Eventually, in 2012, he delivered the ultimate middle-finger salute to the music industry bigwigs with The Fear Record, a completely unnecessary but otherwise inspired re-recording of the band’s iconic The Record, released on indie label The End. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Comments

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Teenager gets thrown in the Pit at the Brewery" in 1981 wearing Pete Stahels CB jacket"!!
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Spit Stix is an amazing drummer
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Punk Opera
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Hatred is purity!
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my favorite punk...these fools are it!
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@ ZOody... do you really believe that opening for Boingo made FEAR any less punk? yer an idiot...
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Seen an old man in Manhattan. As he died we just stood there lookin at em
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I had mad respect for FEAR until they opened up for OINGO BOINGO,then sadly it went bye bye, never looked at them the same
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Lee was in Get Crazy movie too. and FAME
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CLASSICK !!!
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Funniest story to me is an interview they did for a local radio station and whatever the DJ asked them about the meaning of a song, Lee would correct him rudely and say the song was only about beer and he had no idea what the f**k he was talking about.
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whos leaving?
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Don't forget he was wilhem dafoes sidekick badass in Streets of Fire.
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blingaling1
Lee Ving is a close and personal friend. Miss you Lee!
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He is awesome though and did some great things
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lee ving got fat and dyed his hair as if he was singinging to himself for when he aged! LOL
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Lee is also in the movie Streets of Fire as a biker gangster along with Willem Defoe as the lead villian, and Lee is his right hand man
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Fear at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis in the early 80s. Best show ever.
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Beer Anthems! Nobody wrote more songs about beer, songs never get old!
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thumbs up for the underated punk band - pure punk rage that meant something to someone -
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More BEER!
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and the cable guy in The Wild Life
Great band
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lee ving was in clue as well
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Derf Scratch crashed at my place after a party ...great band !
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jerrydonnaw
Dont forget the movie Dudes with John Cryer, Lee Ving played the villen
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timmytwotone 5 6 7
lee was also in the lost boys only for a short moments but it shows him twice then he is killed by vampires that rip the roof of his car off
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I want MORE BEER!
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Lee Ving was also in the movie Flashdance !! I forget his name in the movie, but he's the a**hole with the friend. my favorite quote in that movie is when he says "Wanna do the horizontal mambo?" it's great. you can look it up on imdb.com
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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN . I disagree with the first half of your anonymous review (who ever you are). Lee Ving wrote lyric's to piss off the status quo of punk at the time which is more punk than punk . Obviously like all people who think the Constitution (in this case the 1st Amendment )is something you can apply whenever it's moste convenient to you picked out what offended you the moste . Lee Ving's lyrics are intellegentl y crafted , intentional
Report as inappropriate
I read somewhere in the '80s that Lee Ving was originally trained as an opera singer. I don't want to start any rumors, but that could explain those pipes of his!
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curlyfoh
Not only is Lee Ving a great frontman for Fear. He is also an actor. I know he was in a movie called Dudes. I can't recall the other flicks he has been. Fear KICKS A**!!
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Let's Have a War is the old-school punk National Anthem
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I love livin in the city
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Have a beer with FEAR.
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if you say ur punk but have never heard of fear or blackflag your a poser
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bromide01
I hate when packs of skinhead slam-dancers get on stage and cause costly studio damage and a bit of on-mic profanity.
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The Record is their best album. More Beer is not as good but still worthy of owning.
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blood_oath13
Where's the second album?

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