Social Distortion and 7 Seconds needed a ride one day…
Let me set the scene for you “youngsters” here. The year was 1984-1985…This is before P.C.’s and video games (yes, there was “Pong” and “Super Pong” but those don’t really count ), cell phones, Google etc… We did have a thing called the “Thomas Guide” (like an old school Google Maps) that you would have to buy and open (remember books? Watch out for paper cuts!) to get directions to where you wanted to go.
Anyway, I made a drive out to great hole in the wall record shop in West Covina, Ca. (20 miles east of L.A.) called “Private Eye”. Private Eye was a cool store. Maybe 300 square feet tops and owned by a hippy. Not the “Peace and Love” type of hippy but the “Rocker” type of hippy. (either way, cut your fucking hair! Am I right?) Lots of metal but also a good selection punk [and usually for a good price] because he wasn’t really sure what he had.
I drove my 1981 Toyota Corolla a.k.a. “The Red Scare” out there alone one week day just to see what I could get. I remember wearing my gig shirt I had bought earlier that year from The Stardust July 4th gig (flier pictured); Social Distortion, The Dickies, The D.I.’s (Gears members) and more. While shopping I noticed two other guys in the record store doing the same, a couple years older, and one of them walked up to me and pointed to my shirt and asked “Did you go that gig?”. I smiled and said “Yeah, it was a great show”. He said something like “Cool, I’m glad you liked it, I play drums for Social Distortion”.
He introduced himself as Chris and told me his buddy he was with Troy Moffat from Seven Seconds. (Both bands were two of my favorites at the time). We spoke for a little while (most likely about was an asshole Reagan was) and we all started to leave at the same time. I remember they had an older car (1950’s maybe?) that was parked on the street in front of Private Eye Records and I was behind the store in the neighborhood parking lot. Before I got to my car Chris came running after me, “Hey Bill, our car won’t start. Do you have jumper cables?”
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t” I answered. He then asked, “If I give you a couple dollars in gas money can you take us back to my apartment in L.A.?”
I had nothing better to do so I said “okay”. Now keep in mind friends, the fact that these were two members of great punk bands really didn’t mean much to me, or anyone else, at that time. This is just the way it was. Seeing another punk “out there” in the early 80’s instantly made him/her your friend and ally. Sticking together and helping out person that thought as you did was the order of the day. I would have done the same, and have, for any other punk. And like I said, neither one of these bands (especially Social Distortion) were really that popular outside of Southern California at the time. Chris himself was paying his rent by bartending and passing out fliers part-time for Goldenvoice. (A promoter of gigs)
So I drove Chris and Troy out to Chris’ apartment (not sure if they lived together?) and assumed that was it. I’d drop them off and drive the 40 miles back to Upland. But they said “Come in and hang out if you want”. I figured better to do that than sit in traffic. Chris has a small run down apartment, guitars in the corner, filthy ashtrays, fliers on the wall etc… Typical room of a “Twenty Something” then and now. They offered me a beer (I don’t think I took one, I may have been straight-edge then) and told me a little about their lives. Like I said, Chris was working for Goldenvoice at the time going to record stores and gigs to pass out fliers for upcoming shows. He said he could me a job doing the same out in my area. We exchanged phone numbers and kept in touch for a little while but I decided not to take that job. I was happy working at Baskin-Robbins at the time. Anyway, both of them were extremely nice to me and good people! Oh, and that “hippy” that owned Private Eye later went to jail for beating up his girlfriend. See, never trust fuckin’ hippy.
Pictured: me wearing that gig flier shirt (at Fenders with The Dickies).
*Want more info on this story? e-mail me directly at email@example.com or if you want music, shirts, buttons etc... from this band or others, visit the world's largest PUNK ROCK site at