During their brief but prolific run in the mid 1980s, the all-instrumental LAWNDALE was a fixture on L.A.’s post-punk scene. The band performed in venues ranging from punk rock dives like Al’s Bar, Raji's, the Whisky a Go Go and the Anti Club, to art institutions such as Venice’s Beyond Baroque and downtown’s Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), as well as the proto-rave club Power Tools, and countless loft parties, barbecues, and anarchic jams on the beach, in the mountains, and any other oddball spot they could find 110 volts and a place to put the drums.

Jack Skelley had previously formed PLANET OF TOYS with legendary performance artist the late Bob Flanagan, with Rick Waddell on bongos.  Dave Childs was a founding member of LOT 6 with Brian King of Amok Books on vocals.  Steve Housden was playing in ELLA & THE BLACKS, and had previously formed BAD KARMA with future REDD KROSS guitarist Robert Hecker and Al Hansford, who went on to BULIMIA BANQUET.

LAWNDALE formed in the opening months of 1984; their first show was with THE NIP DRIVERS and ANIMAL DANCE at a publication party for Skelley’s literary magazine BARNEY in a downtown loft.  The second was a concert, dubbed “Joy at Sea,” on a chartered boat in San Pedro harbor with the MEAT PUPPETS and long-time friends THE MINUTEMEN. Always looking for a platform, LAWNDALE performed at Hussong’s Cantina (in Baja California), O Sole Mio Pizza (run by former Surfari’s manager Vittorio Regino), and Lawndale Jewelry & Loan to name a few, and soon earned their reputation as “the guys that will play anywhere.” The group brought audiences a slew of original tunes that some critics would call “Acid Surf.” LAWNDALE played with an almost perversely diverse array of acts, from BLACK FLAG, SONIC YOUTH, REDD KROSS and THE FALL, to DICK DALE, ST. VITUS, HALF JAPANESE and PENN & TELLER.

LAWNDALE ultimately landed on pioneering Southern California punk label SST RECORDS. (The fact that SST was at that time based in the city of Lawndale is purely coincidental).

LAWNDALE recorded two albums for SST: Beyond Barbeque in 1986 and Sasquatch Rock, in ’87. Both were widely praised by critics for their restless combinations of genres, mixing surf rock with country, punk, psychedelic, lounge, metal, TV themes, movie soundtracks and almost anything else that amused or delighted them. The country-oddity “Wingtips” is featured on the soundtrack of filmmaker Dave Markey’s cult opus Lovedolls Superstar.

Political differences concerning garden aeration systems and how they affect the true nature of existence were the basis of the band’s break up in 1988.

Drummer Childs went on to play with SYLVIA JUNCOSA and FISHCAMP (with BLACK FLAG founder Chuck Dukowski). Housden played guitar in “the glorious mess” that was THE IMPERIAL BUTT WIZARDS.  Skelley did occasional stints with THE INSECT SURFERS and, (with X’s D.J. Bonebrake) played with performance artist THE DARK BOB. Waddell formed THE RICK LAWNDALE BAND.

In 2006, after a 17 year hiatus, original members Childs, Housden, Skelley and Waddell reformed for a show at Childs' West L.A. bar, Liquid Kitty.

An ice-machine-related neck injury to Childs put the band on hiatus for 3 more years, but in 2009, they started performing again. Unfortunately, Waddell declined, opting instead to play with “his” band that “he is the leader of.”  LAWNDALE recruited BOMBORAS’ founder Mark Hoeschler to replace Waddell.

That was swell, but ultimatly it didn't work out. This shit is complicated.

So, in 2017 Lawndale was joined by long-time friend and veteran Phil Van Duyne (The Last, SWA, The Jack Brewer Band, Fishcamp, etc…listing them all would cause page load time issues with Google, so we’ll leave it there).

The results of the reformed and remastered LAWNDALE are, in the oft-expressed opinions of many long-time aficionados, “fan-fucking-tastic”.

LAWNDALE is Dave Childs, Steve Housden, Jack Skelley and Philo Van Duyne.

More Philo!