Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brendan Mullen, Dead At 60

The last time I saw Brendan, at a late night diner in the Downtown Industrial District, we talked about our pasts, a future project we might do together - and how we were almost exactly a year apart in age.

That was almost a year ago and about a week ago as both our birthdays were coming up, I started looking for his phone number and the notes from that last talk. But I got too swamped with Fashion Walk and Fashion Week and promised myself I'd call him after all that was over.

Then in the middle of the day the calls and emails started coming, and by the time I had time to hear or read any of them - he was gone.

And for all he had accomplished in his life - one of my first thoughts was that he had died far too soon - and that he had so much more he was going to accomplish.

Below is the opening to the LA Times Obit:



Brendan Mullen dies at 60; founder of influential Masque punk rock club

The Hollywood venue, which opened in 1977, quickly became a crucible for emerging, anarchic L.A. groups like the Weirdos and the Germs and later X and the Go-Go's.

By Randy Lewis

October 13, 2009

Brendan Mullen, founder of the Masque punk rock club in Hollywood that helped launch the vibrantly anarchic music scene on the West Coast in the late 1970s, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend. He was 60.

Mullen died at Ventura County Medical Center, said his companion of 16 years, Kateri Butler. The couple had been traveling through Santa Barbara and Ventura celebrating his 60th birthday, which was Friday.

"The doctors are completely perplexed," Butler said. "They can't figure out why he had a stroke -- he had none of the indicators, his cholesterol was perfect. One of the neurologists summed it up best when he said, 'Sometimes, your number is just up.' "

At the Masque, Mullen created an underground space that became a crucible for musicians and fans who felt alienated from mainstream society. Anger, frustration and self-deprecating humor flowered in the assaultive music that had been roiling in New York and London, as L.A. bands including the Weirdos, the Germs, the Dils and the Screamers turned up regularly at the Masque for some of their earliest performances.

"He was the first promoter of punk rock in this town," veteran promoter Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice Presents said Monday. "Everything started with him."

Once word spread that a space had emerged that was hospitable to punk, which at the time was a frequent target of law enforcement, more bands quickly followed. The Masque became home to X, the Go-Go's, the Dickies, the Plugz, the Flesh Eaters and many more.

Mullen, who had worked as a journalist in England before moving to the U.S., remained humble about his role.

"For the record, I never claimed to have 'started punk in L.A.,' " Mullen wrote in his book "Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley," published in 2007. "I'd prefer the Masque epitaph to be 'Where the SoCal scene originally came together.' "

More at the above link....

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