Fear (band)

Fear (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Fear
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California,
United States
Years_active = 1977-present
Label = Slash Records
Fear Records
Sector 2 Records
Associated_acts = MD.45, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Red Hot Chili Peppers, D.O.A.
URL = [http://www.fearband.com www.fearband.com]
Current_members = Lee Ving
Philo Cramer
Spit Stix
Derf Scratch
Lorenzo Buhne
Michael "Flea" Balzary
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Fear is a punk rock band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 1977 and is still a band today. The band started out as part of the early California punk rock scene, and gained national prominence after an infamous 1981 performance on Saturday Night Live. Throughout their history the band has included such notable members as Flea and Chuck Biscuits.


Early years

Fear formed in 1977 with Lee Ving and Derf Scratch searching for a drummer and eventually a guitarist. They received notoriety for their stage presence and eventually signed a recording deal with Slash Records. As part of the Los Angeles punk scene, the band was featured in Penelope Spheeris' 1980 documentary, "The Decline of Western Civilization". The film showed them angering members of the audience with personal attacks and offbeat humor. Singer Lee Ving asked one member of the audience "This is 1980—can't you afford a fucking haircut?" The bass player Derf Scratch tells the joke: Q:"Why do girls have their two holes so close together?" A:"So you can carry them like a six-pack!" The cult classic movie included other well known acts like Black Flag, X, and The Germs.

Spheeris met Ving and drummer Spit Stix when they were hanging handbills on telephone poles. After talking with the two, she abruptly asked if they wanted to be in her film. [http://markprindle.com/stix-i.htm] The band achieved notoriety through the movie and even attracted attention from actor John Belushi while being an unsigned act. The mixture of humor and music demonstrated in the film gave the band a unique personality, which seemed to lack in the later years with several member changes.

The "Saturday Night Live" affair

Their most famous performance was on the 1981 Halloween episode of "Saturday Night Live" hosted by Donald Pleasence. The band was booked at the insistence of John Belushi, who was a huge fan. Belushi initially offered them the soundtrack for his major motion picture "Neighbors". The movie studio eventually forced Fear off the project and to make up for it Belushi got them the spot on "SNL". Among the politically incorrect nature of Fear's songs, the band's appearance included a coterie of dancers, several of whom had been contacted for the event by both Penelope Spheeris (another avid Fear booster) and Henry Rollins (who, contrary to popular belief, was not in attendance); among them were Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and later Fugazi), Harley Flanagan and John Joseph of The Cro-mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach, causing destruction of the set. During rehearsals the director wanted to prevent the dancers from participating, so Belushi offered to be in the episode (it had been a few years since he left "SNL") if the dancers were allowed to stay. [http://markprindle.com/stix-i.htm] The end result was the shortening of Fear's appearance on TV. The band first performed "I Don't Care About You". The band started their second performance by saying, "It's great to be in New Jersey", to which the audience booed (the show was filmed in New York). Fear then played "Beef Bologna", "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones", and started to play "Let's Have a War" when the audio and video of the telecast faded into commercial.

New line-ups

After the band's 1982 debut release "The Record," Ving fired long time friend and bass player Derf and replaced him with Flea (who later joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Next to leave was guitarist Philo "The Foot" Cramer and drummer Spit Stix after the band's 1985 effort "More Beer." The two members cited financial disputes with Lee Ving and his attempt at acting as well as personality conflicts with Ving's "right wing" beliefs. With Fear sidelined, Ving continued his acting career in the late 1980s. Eventually, Fear completed two more recordings in the 1990s, "Have Another Beer With Fear" in 1995 and "American Beer" in 2000. While the most recent albums aim to respark the magic on "The Record," without the original members they did not achieve the success Ving hoped. The band currently performs and plays their classic songs, but Ving is the only original member. Philo Cramer has started a new band, Fighting Cocks, in 2004.

In a 2004 interview with former drummer Spit Stix, it was mentioned he would participate in a Fear reunion tour if Philo was part of it. [http://markprindle.com/stix-i.htm] He noted, "Well, Philo and I together can overpower Lee, you know? We can be enough.... Because it used to be Philo, me and Derf too in the beginning." Stix further stated that Philo, who has a degree in physics, is politically far left and balances out Lee's far right philosophy. Without this balance, Lee's political point of view is too overwhelming to deal with on the road for a reunion tour. Fear was recently added to play several Southern California stops on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour.

It was John Belushi, who discovered the band Fear and brought them to Cherokee Studios to record songs for the soundtrack of a major motion picture he and Dan Aykroyd were starring in called, "Neighbors." Music producing partners Steve Cropper and Bruce Robb (producer) remember recording the memorable band's music, but nobody knows exactly what happened with the final soundtrack which was ultimately replaced in the film by very traditional movie score. "How can I describe what it was like recording in the early days of punk? We had decided to track the song selection in order, and were on track 4 before the band realized they were all using different set lists. The irony is we couldn't tell," said music producer and Cherokee owner Robb.

Personnel timeline 1976-2007

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BackgroundColors = canvas:canvas

Period = from:1976 till:2007ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:1 start:1977.0 gridcolor:grid1

bardata= bar:Vocals text: bar:Guitar text: bar:Bass text: bar:Drums text:


# set defaults width:25 fontsize:L align:left anchor:from textcolor:black fontsize:S mark:(line,white) width:25 shift:(5,-5)

bar:Vocals color:red from:1976 till:1993.5 text:"Lee Ving" from:1995 till:2007 text:"Lee Ving"

bar:Guitar color:blue from:1977 till:1978 text:"Burt Good" from:1978 till:1987 text:"Philo Cramer" shift:(5,3) from:1991 till:1993 text:"Philo Cramer" from:1995 till:1997 text:"Sean Cruse" from:1997 till:2007 text:"Richard Presley" shift:(5,3)

bar:Bass color:green from:1976.5 till:1982.8 text:"Derf Scratch" from:1982.9 till:1983.7 text:"Eric 'Kitabu' Feldman" shift:(5,3) from:1983.7 till:1984 text:"Flea" from:1984 till:1987 text:"Lorenzo Buhne" shift:(5,-13) from:1991 till:1993 text:"Will MacGregor" from:1995 till:1997 text:"Scott Thunes" shift:(5,3) from:1997 till:2007 text:"Mondo Lopez"

bar:Drums color:black textcolor:white from:1977 till:1978 text:"Johnny Backbeat" shift:(5,3) from:1978 till:1987 text:"Spit Stix" from:1991 till:1993 text: "Spit Stix" shift:(5,3) from:1995 till:2007 text: "Andrew Jamiez"



*"The Record" (1982)
*"More Beer" (1985)
*"Live...For The Record" (1991)
*"Have Another Beer With FEAR" (1995)
*"American Beer" (2000)

7" Singles

*I Love Living in the City (1978)
*Fuck Christmas (1982)


*"The Decline of Western Civilization" (1981)
*"Get Crazy" (1983)
*"Repo Man" (1984)
*"SLC Punk!" (1998)

Covers of Fear

*Guns N' Roses covered Fear's "I Don't Care About You" released on their 1993 "The Spaghetti Incident?" punk-cover album.
* A Perfect Circle covered Fear's "Let's Have a War" on their eMOTIVe album.
*From Autumn to Ashes covered Fear's "Let's Have a War" for the Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack released by Vagrant Records.
*Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.) covered "I Love Livin' in the City" on their Live at Budokan album.
* Turbonegro covered Fear's "I Don't Care About You" released on their Small Feces box-set.
* Dark Angel covered "I Don't Care About You" on their Live Scars album
* Sacred Reich covered Fear's "Let's Have a War" on their A Question EP and "Beef Bologna" on the Japanese version of their Heal album.
* Method of Destruction (M.O.D.) covered "I Love Livin' in the City" on their Gross Misconduct album.
*Blatz covered "I Don't Care About You" on the Shit Split.
*Poster Children covered "Let's Have a War" on their On the Offensive CD EP.
*Hellbillys covered "I Love Livin' in the City".
*Dog Eat Dog covered "More Beer" on their If These Are The Good Times EP.
* Soundgarden covered Fear's "I Don't Care About You" which appears on a few of their singles.
*Course of Empire covered "Let's Have a War" as a b-side on their 1993 single Infested!
*City Newton Bombers covered "I Love Livin' In The City" on their 2006 self titled album.
*Bad Religion covered "Fuck Christmas", though it was not released. They also covered "I Don't Care About You" during their May 18, 1998 show at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA.
*The Reatards covered "I Love Living in the City" which appears on their Teenage Hate LP/CD.
*Indecision covered "I Don't Care About You" and "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones" on Punk Rock Jukebox Volume 2.
*Harvey Milk covered "We Destroy the Family" on their 2008 album Life... The Best Game In Town

In popular culture

The song "Beef Bologna" makes an appearance in the 1987 movie thriller Summer Camp Nightmare. A band performs it in the camp talent show, angering the straitlaced camp director played by Chuck Connors.

FEAR's song "I Love Living In The City" was used in the "SLC Punk! Soundtrack", Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Video Game, and also appeared in the Video Game "The Warriors".

The song "Let's Have A War" appears on the soundtrack for the movie Repo Man (film).


External links

* [http://www.fearband.com/ Fear: The official site] (inactive link)
* [http://markprindle.com/scratch-i.htm Interview with Fear bassist Derf Scratch] Derf remembering the early years of Fear.
* [http://markprindle.com/stix-i.htm Interview with Fear drummer Spit Stix] Stix recalling the band on SNL and Lee's brief acting career.
* [http://www.sol-i.tv/Spit/Punk.html Spit Stix chronicles his time with Fear] From Spit Stix's personal page.
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2czyuFW33aw Fear on SNL]

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