LA Weekly Article
LA WEEKLY August 3, 1979
Rick Wilder originally played in a band called the Berlin Brats that more than lived up to its name. Wilder is emaciated, with wild, fuzzy hair, and acts like a rude street boor, getting into fights and playing practical jokes.
Frowned on by hardcore trendies for being too Stones-ish and rock ‘n’ roll based, the Brats broke up in 1978. Wilder formed the Mau-Maus (including Rod Donahue on bass and Greg Salvino on guitar), which made their debut at a Halloween party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. On the same bill were the Germs, the Go-Gos and much uncredited property damage. Three more gigs followed in a nightmarishly impressive volcanic spurt before the group disappeared due to the guitar player’s broken hand. Several recent gigs have been aborted even before the Mau-Maus could step onstage, courtesy of either overzealous fire marshalls or the LAPD. They play this weekend, August 5, with Black Flag at the King’s Palace, a black bar on Hollywood Boulevard adjoining the Pix theatre.
Sometimes nervous, quiet, soft-spoken, sometimes a maniac tackling you down a flight of stairs, Wilder ranks with Exene of X and Darby Crash of the Germs as one of the most visually arresting performers; for all his Mick Jagger damage, he has an electrifying amount of charisma. To date, no recordings are available by the Mau-Maus, although an out-of-print single by the Berlin Brats does exist.
Rick: I hate people. I hate their pretensions, the jails they’ve made for themselves. Above all I hate the fact that they try to make me just like them, just like them OR ELSE. …
“I can’t speak for any of the other so-called punk bands around, but our kind of music is a jailbreak; it’s a siren… something’s wrong, something’s busting free. And it can’t be packaged like the doggie-bag rock muzak peddled by the record companies and DJs to the great brainless public. It’s real and it’s honest. And it’s going to blow your house down.”