RIP Brendan Mullen

Brendan Mullen suffered a massive stroke today and died in Los Angeles Hospital. I am really upset about this. For those who don’t know who he was and what he accomplished, I suggest you read the obit in Variety. It is amazingly comprehensive and well written. For insight into my feelings about the man, I suggest you read my review of his book Nightmare in Punk Alley. To say the guy was a hero to me is besides the point. His legacy as the proprietor of the Masque, arguably the coolest punk club in rock history, is already well known. His support of the early punk scene in LA was crucial to its early survival and it is unlikely that many of the bands who were regulars there would have found venues to play at without the Masque. Listen to the first Germs 7inch and think to yourself, who the fuck would book them besides a visionary like Mullen? Of course, Mullen himself would balk at being called a visionary. He and I chatted briefly after I reviewed his book and I can safely say that he was one of the most self-deprecating and witty guys I have ever come across while writing this here blog. Buy a copy of Nightmare in Punk Alley and you will see for yourself. His writing approach, which was informative while at the same time being dryly acerbic and off the cuff is what I aim for when I write. You don’t need a PHD to write about rock-n-roll. But at my best, I can’t come close. My biggest regret about the guy is that he didn’t pen more. Mullen was a class-act and I’m truly saddened by the news.

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7 Responses to RIP Brendan Mullen

  1. chris g says:

    HOLY SHIT! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
    TO SAY HE WAS A CLASS ACT IS PUTTING IT MILDLY
    I met Brendan once at the masque reunion two years ago, he was a swell gent man. unassuming, punk nerd til the end, happy to talk to all us kids who thought he was fucking god. A god of writing that is to say, i too have a hefty admiration for his style. about a month ago i was thinking of emailing him an invite out to see the new LA punk underground going on at the smell,l’keg, pehrspace and otherwise. NERDY ADMIRATION AM I RIGHT? i really thought “who would be a cooler guy to show all this too?” immediate friends, eh. Brendan Mullen? FUCK YES. it’s a funny, yet somber reflection i now have, wishing i’d emailed or somehow contacted this one time acquaintance while he was still alive.
    RIP BRENDAN
    ALL MY RESPECT

  2. Mike says:

    I had just finally purchased “Nightmare in Punk Alley” a few weeks back and have been repeatedly purusing its pages and Mullen’s commentary. Great stuff, one thing that caught my attention was his ability to identify almost everyone and give in depth detail on many of the bands and individuals in these pics. That was someone intimately involved with all these folks, not just some proprietor of a club. I am a product of the 80′s LA scene, at a point when the last remaining remanants of the original punk scene was trying to keep their bastard offspring at a very long arms distance. Very few made it through to the new era, the Weirdos, Fear, X… and I now realise, Mullen too. I had no clue that it was him that was booking the Lingerie back when it actually mattered as a club. The little I knew of him was from the Decline and old Slash mags I had. Again, different scene/circle/age group. But, it’s clear to see now in retrospect, that what profoundly changed me in the ass end of 1980, would not possibly have been there or not at least in the same form if it wasn’t for the likes of your Mullens and (Bingenheimers too) putting in all the groundbreaking work in 76/77.

  3. Man, we’ll miss you Brendan. I actually had the good fortune to DJ along with him at a friends house party. He brought all this crazy brit glam I had never heard of (Kenny???), and had incredible stories about every record he played. I knew I was in the company of punk/music legend.

    May he rest in bloody peace!

  4. Erich says:

    Total bummer. Riot in Unpeace.

  5. Mr Fab says:

    well done, Joe.

    Henry Rollins did a great tribute to Brendan on his show tonight:
    http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/hr/hr091017kcrw_broadcast_33

    It’ll be archived soon, somewhere in KCRW’s labrynthian website. A great listen.

  6. Mr Fab says:

    Ah, and I see that X-8, co-founder of Flipside fanzine left a memorial on the above link (they found & ate government crackers at the Masque because it used to be a bomb shelter?!)

  7. Marco says:

    a class act indeed. he was scheduled to dj at the part time punks festival, which i was hoping would be the chance to maybe meet this legend… like Erich above says, riot in unpeace, comrade.

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