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CIRCLE JERKS BIOGRAPHY

The Circle Jerks are one of the top hardcore acts to emerge from the Los Angeles punk music scene. Founded in 1980 by former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and former Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson, the original line up was rounded out by Roger Rogerson on bass and Lucky Lehrer on drums. They developed a huge following among the then-burgeoning Los Angeles punk scene, sharing the lime-light with fellow LA punksters Fear, Black Flag, The Germs and X.

In 1980 they released their debut LP, Group Sex and in early 1981 were featured in the Los Angeles "punkumentary" The Decline of Western Civilization along with fellow LA punsksters mentioned above. It is considered a classic punk documentary to this day. It was at this time that were signed to IRS offshoot Faulty Products and in 1982 released their second album Wild In The Streets.

About this time the first personnel changes occured with drummer Chuck Biscuits replacing Lucky Lehrer on drums. Roger Rogerson moved to guitar joining Greg Hetson, giving the Jerks a bigger "wall of sound." Earl Liberty was recruited as the new bassist. This line-up was short-lived, with Roger abandoning the group only a few gigs into a national tour, reducing the Jerks to a quartet once again.

Rhino Records released their third LP, Golden Shower Of Hits which featured their notorious punk medley of such pop staples as "Along Comes Mary", "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Afternoon Delight". The album sold extremely well and garnered the band heavy airplay in college and alternative radio markets. It also lead to performing songs for the Emilio Estevez film, Repo Man. Soon after, Earl Liberty decided to leave the band and Repo Man co-star Zander Schloss heard they were looking for a new bassist. He got the gig and drummer Keith Clark took over the reigns as drummer. They were soon signed to their fourth label, LA's Combat Records for whom they recorded and released Wonderful.

The Circle Jerks' sound started taking off in a new albeit still punkish direction as heavy metal music began to surge in popularity. They continued to perform heavily across America, releasing their fifth album VI in 1987. The extensive touring and performance schedule kept them out of the studio until 1992 when a live LP Gig was released. AT the end of the tour the band decided to take a break. Even though they did not "officially" break up, it looked like it was over for The Circle Jerks. Each member settled in a different part of the country and pursued new interests -- Hetson devoting time to the band Bad Religion, Schloss concentrating on film scoring and session work and Clark completely leaving music and starting his own accounting firm.

In 1995, with the resurgence of punk in the form of bands like Green Day and Nirvana the Jerks decided to reunite. Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities was the result. Released with a gimmicky marketing stunt featuring has-been teen queen Debbie Gibson singing on a cover of The Soft Boys' "I Want To Destroy You", sales were impressive and the band supported the album with a reunion tour (with Gibson making a cameo on a few gigs). Shortly into the tour, the bandmates had a falling out, cancelling the remaining tour dates and once again going their separate ways.

In 1999 Keith Morris was diagnosed with Adult Diabetes. Word of his ailing health and his inability to keep up with the bills led to a few benefit performances by his friends and compatriots in the Los Angeles music scene. There was even a Circle Jerks tribute album featuring cover versions of their tunes by other bands. Keith was soon on the road to recovery and formed a new band Midget Handjob who released their debut LP in 2000.

In May, 2001, The Circle Jerks returned, playing an almost unannounced show in Los Ageles and embarked on another national tour. All without an album to support -- in fact, even without a label! The current line up is Keith, Greg, Zander and (on drums) Keith Fitzgerald. Will The Circle Jerks continue? Only time will tell...


CIRCLE JERKS I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only CIRCLE JERKS' recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for CIRCLE JERKS, below...

Albums & EPs

Wild In The Streets Cover WILD IN THE STREETS
Faulty Products Cope 3 (Released 1981)

Vinyl and Cassette.

Produced by Dabvid Anderle & Hirstius
Engineered by Steve Katz & Paul McKenna
Recorded At A&M Records, Studio D
Art Carl Grasso
Drawings by Shawn Kerri
Photography by Ed Colver & Glen E Friedman


Musicians:
Keith Morris vocals
Greg Hetson guitar
Roger Rogerson Bass & Vocals
Lucky Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Wild In The Streets
  2. Leave Me Alone
  3. Stars And Stripes
  4. 86'd (Good As Gone)
  5. Meet The Press
  6. Trapped
  7. Murder The Disturbed
  8. Letter Bomb
  9. Question Authority
  10. Defamation Innuendo
  11. Moral Majority
  12. Forced Labor
  13. Political Stu
  14. Just Like Me/Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Review Coming Soon!


CIRCLE JERKS LINKS & OTHER COOL STUFF

There are far more links than we could list here pertaining to The Circle Jerks. These are just a few of the best in our opinion:

There are over 10,000 sites that have The Circle Jerks in them to some degree. Do a web search with Google for more!

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This Page Last Updated 19 September 2002

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