Fear's musical cocktail of anger, beer and combustible live shows etched the band's name in punk rock -- if not musical -- history. A product of the late '70s Los Angeles scene, the band was so focused on their performances that, even though they formed in 1977, they didn't bother to record an album until five years later.
Lee Ving's intelligent, at times immature crude sarcasm was tempered by the band's solid musicianship, and their debut album The Record stands up as a punk-rock classic. Fear also benefited from their inclusion in the seminal documentary The Decline of Western Civilization. Of more trivial note, their song "Let's Have a War" landed on the soundtrack to the Emilio Estevez flick Repo Man along with other L.A. punk tunes from Black Flag and the Circle Jerks.
Fear had a famous fan in John Belushi, who somehow got the band on Saturday Night Live for the Halloween 1981 show. Fear repaid Belushi the favor by swearing on live television (long before the advent of the two-second delay) and introducing the East Coast to a poetic art form known as slam-dancing. Later that year, the band began a Spinal Tap-ian rotation of bass players, which included pre-Chili Peppers Flea. Fear disbanded in 1987 and re-formed in 1991, and has seen many, many lineup changes (with Ving as the one constant) in the years since.
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill in Tempe
Scheduled to perform with Agent Orange, D.I., Glass Heroes, and BYOW on Friday, January 23. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $17. Call 480-829-0707
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With their latest de-cobwebbing, Ving and company are giving fans the opportunity to have another beer with Fear. for more information.