Personal: Putting the Crash in ‘Crash Dev’

I don’t get out to hear music as much as I used to, but last night was a worthy exception: a couple of old friends and I caught ’80’s LA punk pioneers X at the Showbox. I had seen the core of the group perform as the Knitters (most memorably at the now-defunct Croc), but this was my first chance to see them perform with Billy Zoom, their original lead guitar.

Despite the fact that Billy Zoom looked like Bill Clinton on the campaign trail, the band turned in a tremendous set (plus two encores) for a wildly enthusiastic crowd. His bizarre stage persona notwithstanding, Billy Zoom is a brilliant guitar player and the band’s sound and timing were incredibly tight.

I bring all this up because I realized at the show that I’ve never explained where the name for this blog – Crash Dev – came from. Given what I write about, you might guess (and it’s a deliberate double entendre) that it alludes to rapid software development or agile methods. But Crash is a nickname my brother gave me in high school, inspired (he says) by my similarities in appearance and attitude to punk rocker Darby Crash, frontman for The Germs (see photo above). Along with Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, X and The Germs are part of the soundtrack of my high school years, and seeing X play live last night was a no-miss opportunity for me. (By pure coincidence, DJ Bonebrake, X’s drummer, was wearing a Germs t-shirt during the set last night. I took it as a sign).