Everybody knows the Mau Maus. Whether it’s some story of a chaotic back-alley Hollywood show, or dark tales of crimes real or imagined, the Los Angeles punk scene wouldn’t have been the same without Rick Wilder and the nefarious group. Reveled and reviled, taking the raw energy of Iggy and the Stooges and infusing an unhealthy dose of James Brown jive, the original Mau Maus (Wilder, Greg Salva, Rod Donahue & Earl Washington) was forged at the original punk rock haven the Masque and sprang upon the emerging Hollywood scene in 1978. The 1981 line up was Wilder, Michael Livingston, Scott “Chopper” Franklin and Paul “Black” Mars, and the Mau Maus proceeded to record the incendiary Robby Krieger-produced Mad Dog Studio sessions and 2 songs for Hell Comes To Your House Vol. 2. A scene-stealing performance in the OJ Simpson detective movie “Cocaine and Blue Eyes” accented this “Joyride to the End of the World”…
The violence, the women, and yes, the drugs, might have seemed to get in the way of commercial success, but talent is talent and songs are songs, and upon listening to this record one realizes that with punk rock still in it’s infancy, here was a band that was already mixing a current fresh sound with elements of American roots music, something the Kinks, the Stones and the Animals managed to do in the 1960’s.
As the 20th century wound down, Wilder moved to New York City, Franklin joined The Cramps, Mars toured the world as a front man for LA Guns and Livingston formed… the Livingstons. But now the quartet has recorded 8 more songs from their scorching set (with production help from Geza X, a punk rock legend in his own right) to add to the 6 Robbie Krieger-produced tunes from 1983, and have toured with some more of those infamous performances (no one called the cops). Love ‘em or hate ‘em…they wouldn’t have it any other way.
(You can read the entire Mau Maus biography [with many never-seen-before photos] in the 20 page, full-color booklet included with the Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now CD, and an edited biography is inserted in the LP release. Preview this historical release HERE)