Darby Crash Mural in Echo Park
I’m going to let Shep be the voice on this post, as there is a lot of history and thought behind this Darby Crash mural he knocked out last Friday. Read away and learn a little about Shepard and Gary Leonard.
Last Friday, my crew and I painted a mural of Darby Crash, the singer of LA punk band The Germs, on Echo Park Blvd. The location is owned by Gary Leonard, the photographer who shot the photo the mural was based on in 1980. Gary has been documenting LA culture for a long time, and has many amazing photos in his portfolio, but this Darby shot may be my favorite. Why? Well, I love the Germs, who were a seminal influence in the early LA punk scene, but also because Darby is holding a skateboard, and in the photo, you can see that he is about to go out to wheat-paste P.I.L. posters with his brush in hand. Punk, skateboarding, and street art are the trifecta that shaped my evolution, so the image has a symbolic weight for me! I threw nods to some other important LA punk contributors, like the Screamers, X, Black Flag, and Slash magazine/records into the image.
An amazing thing happened while we were painting the mural… a guy named James I believe, was walking past and said, “Oh, Darby Crash, the skateboard he is holding in the pic was borrowed from my friend, who still had it for many years after.” James and Gary then began a deep conversation about various people from the early LA punk scene! I felt privileged to eavesdrop on a bit of history. At that moment I was reminded why I love street art so much: it sparks conversations that might not happen otherwise. Thanks for the wall space Gary!
– Furlong out!