Selections from The Punk Vault [Geza X]

Geza X – We Need More Power 7″ (1981 Alternative Tentacles Records)

Like a lot of tales, this one for me started with a compilation. It was the compilation called Let Them Eat Jellybeans on Alternative Tentacles Records (which for some reason remains out of print and never was reissued on CD) where I’d first hear the quirky art-punk sounds of Geza X. I’d seen his name in the credits of other records as being the person who recorded/produced them.

Geza X was around since the start of Los Angeles punk rock. His real first name is Geza, though I don’t know what his last name is. He took the X after Malcom X and he referred to his off-kilter art damaged punk as “X Music”. He played in The Deadbeats who were one of the earliest L.A. punk bands and put out a classic punk single on Dangerhouse Records. He was the resident sound man (and a resident) at the Masque, a club/punk flop house run by Brendan Mullen.

After the Deadbeats ceased to be, Geza went on his own and released a couple of singles and one LP. He, like many punks from back then, acquired a bit of a drug problem and dropped out of the scene and public eye. He managed to get it in check though and in the 80s started recording bands again, this time it would be rap music and he was involved with laying down to tape a lot of west coast rap artists at a time when the stuff was just starting to get noticed.

These days, Geza X still has a recording studio, this time in Malibu, CA and has evolved with the times and it is a state of the art digital setup. He was behind the knobs of Meredith Brooks hit “Bitch” among other things. A little while back Dionysus Records reissued the You Goddamn Kids album as well.

As always if you have any additional information, or are Geza X, please get in touch.

Click here to hear “We Need More Power” from the record (right click and “save target as…”)






18 comments

  • I think the reason for the Let Them Eat Jellybeans comp never being repressed or issued on CD was due to licensing issues over Police Story by Black Flag and the feud between Frank Discussion of the Feederz and Jello Biafra (I think Frank Discussion stayed with Jello and his wife, who subsequently left Jello for Frank, taking a substantial sum of money in the process). Hope that helps.

  • Someday I will find the person who took my Jellybeans album, and drown them in jellybeans. The brown ones.

    That was a truly great compilation!

  • I don’t think the Black Flag song would be a huge issue, I’m sure they would be able to work out something with SST. I can see him not reissuing it out of spite because of Frank Discussion though. I know of that story and planned on bringing it up when I feature The Feederz in an entry.

  • According to A.T.’s website, Jello doesn’t want to reissue the record unless it can be released with the entire original tracklist, which isn’t possible, of course, for the reasons listed above. Greg Ginn is wierd about a lot of stuff with Black Flag. Have you seen the DVD reisse of that Slog movie by Dave Markey? Ginn forced Markey to remove all of Black Flag’s music, along with Ginn’s image from the movie. Its weird to watch when the scene with Black Flag playing comes on. All of the sudden, the commentary track comes on and Ginn’s head is cropped out of all the shots. Its sad, because all throughout the movie you can see how much Black Flag was an influence. Ginn has also legally blocked the release of Markey’s documentary film of Black Flag’s 1986 tour since he saw its first screening. SST was once a great label, now they don’t do anything. That’s one of punk’s more pathetic stories.

  • I can relate to not wanting to release it unless it was the full lineup. Anything less would tarnish the compilation. Its a damn shame though that it isn’t available to the masses (both washed and unwashed).

    I think that the SST story, and some of the other questionable things (including that ultra bad black flag reunion for cats, had i not been blitzed out of my skull, it would have been a waste of time) is proof positive that years of smoking pot will affect one’s decisions in a bad way. If SST gave a shit, they’d remaster all those great old records and reissue them on CD as the current CDs now sound like crap, but they are content it seems to just coast along on what’s there and smoke the profits.

    I damn near forgot about them changing that thing in the Slog Movie. They had people speaking over it instead. That was pretty lame.

  • It would be nice if SST showed some care for their back catalog by remastering the old stuff and putting it in some nice packaging. It’d be even nicer if they reissued some of that stuff that went out of print, like the Dicks LP or the Overkill 7″ (the LP was pretty lame, but I love that first EP) or the Stains LP. I don’t know what Ginn’s problem is, its not like the label is busy releasing anything new.

  • SST has not even paid royalties for any of the albums that continue to sell (ie Black Flag, Husker Du, Minutemen). Ginn does not seem to be able to do anything. Having dealt with him once all I can say is that I do not want to deal with him ever again. Ginn has even alienated himself from his half brother Pettibone which is too bad because I loved those old sst books of Pettibone’s stuff (think we can get 2.13.61 to release that stuff). Somehow I doubt that the money even went to the cats most likely sitting in a coffeecan on Ginn’s table.

  • I believe Pettibon is Ginn’s full-brother (his real name is Raymond Ginn). Pettibon said somewhere that he’d never re-publish that stuff, although there was a book out of Europe that published a bunch of it.

  • “HELP! HELP! THE PARANOIDS ARE COMING! THE PARANOIDS ARE COMING! THEY’RE COMING FOR ME! THEY’RE COMING FOR ME!”…Geza X is a genius. Brilliant stuff.

  • His first/last LP, “You Goddamn Kids” is a ZOLO JUGGERNAUT. If you don’t have it, find it. If you can’t find it, try harder.

  • Saw Geza X at the Knitting Factory last night–super cool! Also a fun & vibrant set by Josie Cotton and her remarkably talented band. The show opened with Double Naught Spy Car! A raging set with special guests Vince Meghrouni and Dan Clucas as the horn section. WOW! What a fun night!

  • I was told by someone that used to work for AT that there were problems with other bands as well. Some where dust in the wind and rights could not be tracked down and some had gone even more underground (Christian Lunch) that they wanted nothing to do with the “corporate AT”. I loved that album. I agree about SST.. what a waste. I was told that Ginn used to be a good guy but somewhere went off the track

  • is the stuff with SST the reason the Decline isn’t being re-released on DVD, the website announcing it coming to DVD “soon” has been up for at least 5 years. My VHS copy looks like it was xeroxed and then colourized with crayons.

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