Cuckoo's Nest Club Punk Shows
1981 (Part 3)
by Hanson Meyer
Understand that this is a work in progress as there is so much to add. So bear with me and check back regularly as I'm constantly adding to this blog. (Last revision 11/21/2017)
This article is the Last Part of a three part series and details the chronological history of shows that occurred month by month at the Cuckoo's Nest during the year 1981 up until its closure in December of that year.
|Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - January 1981|
January 1, 1981: The year of 1981 started off with "Rock Night". The Automatics, The End and The Badgers played.
January 2, 1981: This was the first of two nights that The Dickies played. China White and the Screws opened the show.
January 3, 1981: The Dickies headlined with Wet Picnic and BPeople opening.
January 4, 1981: The Ristocrats, Insect Idol and Chaotic Stature played.
|January 4, 1981. Flyer for Insect Idol|
January 6, 1981: The Stepping Tones and Wild Kingdom played for "New Wave Night".
January 7, 1981: More New Wave with The Rentz, The Lobsters and Hey Taxi.
January 8, 1981: Rock Night - Bumper, Hyp-R and Alice Cooperman (an Alice Cooper tribute band) played.
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for early/mid January 1981|
January 9, 1981: The Adolescents, 45 Grave and the Wounds
|January 9, 1981. Flyer for Adolescents and 45 Grave|
January 10, 1981: Middle Class, Circle Jerks and the Wounds were originally billed and an Ad ran in the local paper for this line up. Apparently a couple of changes happened before the show and The Circle Jerks were replaced by UXA (De De Troit). Mad Society also had a flyer out for this show, so they may have played as well. Need to verify this though.
|January 10, 1981. Flyer for Middle Class, Circle Jerks and the Wounds|
|January 10, 1981. Revised Flyer for Middle Class, DeDeTroit (UXA) and the Wounds|
|January 10, 1981. Mad Society's Flyer for the show with Middle Class and the Wounds|
January 11, 1981: Citizen Fear, Willard & the Rats and Youth Gone Mad played.
January 14, 1981: Jeffrey DARE and Claudet Balentine played for "New Wave" night.
January 15, 1981: Tux Dentist, Axcentric and Tabu played for "Rock" night.
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid January 1981|
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid/late January 1981|
January 16, 1981: A Rockabilly Friday night with the Blasters and Jimmy & the Mustangs
January 17, 1981: The Suburban Lawns, the Nu-Beams and Mnumonic Devices.
January 18, 1981: The Sub Humans from Canada headlined and Social Distortion and D.I. opened the show... each band was payed $50.
January 20, 1981: Bar Victom, Baby Knockers and the Badgers played.
January 21, 1981: The Stains, the Ionics and the Outlines played.
|January 21, 1981. Flyer for The Stains, The Ionics and The Outlines|
January 22, 1981: Rock Night - Heavy Music, Cosmic Wave and Finesse played
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for late January 1981|
January 23, 1981: The Crowd, TSOL and The Convenience played. The Convenience was replaced by the Screws or vice versa.
|January 23, 1981. Flyer for The Crowd, TSOL and The Convenience|
January 24, 1981: The Adolescents, China White and the Chiefs played.
January 25, 1981: U.X.B., Red Cross cancelled and was replaced by Citizen Fear, and the Angry Samoans added to become the headliner.
January 27, 1981: The Frantic Ischnoids, Mike Knot's Rubber Band and the opener was supposed to be the Tweezers, but they cancelled.
January 28, 1981: Rumor had it that Black Flag was going to play, but it didn't end up happening... Rocker bands Tabu and Tux Dentist played instead.
January 29, 1981: Rock Night - Headliner was Vengence, a Rolling Stones tribute band called the "Rolling Clones" was supposed to play but they cancelled and were replaced by L.A. Sleeper. The opening band was Future Gender. When I was in Uniform Choice the following year in 1982, we were scheduled to play at the Concert Factory but there was a time slot conflict. The club had double booked us with the band Vengence. They demanded that they play instead of us and the club folded and cancelled us and let them play. I remember we stayed and mocked the band their entire set. They were whiny, fat rockers that looked like a heavy version of Van Halen with shiny pants so tight you could see the veins in their balls. They mistook our mockery as being "Vengence Army" fans and gave us stickers... I still have one today on my old guitar case from that gig.
|January 29, 1981. Flyer for LA Sleeper|
January 30, 1981: The NuKats, The Barbies and Null & Void played. Jerry had issues with bands for this nights as a lot of them cancelled including the Big Boys, the Lobsters, Shane & the Haircuts and the Stepping Tones.
January 31, 1981: Again, a lot of cancellations and changes for this night. The final line up ended up being The Gears, TSOL and the Dischords. Bands that cancelled or couldn't do the gig were The Castration Squad, the Stains and the Assassins. An interesting note about this night is that on Jerry's calendar he has a note that says "Kid Shot". I had heard that at a show around this time period, a kid was shot and killed... Was this the night?
|Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - February 1981|
February 1, 1981: Minute Men, Toxic Era and 4th Reich played. D.I. was supposed to headline, but cancelled.
|February 1, 1981. Flyer for D.I. but they cancelled and the Minutement headlined the show|
February 4, 1981: New Wave Night - The Waves, Nu Direction and The Victor Broadcasters played.
February 5, 1981: Rock Night - Jet Ace, Dash 501 and High Velocity played. Finesse was slated to play but was replaced by Dash 501.
February 6, 1981: The Circle Jerks, The Crowd and Legal Weapon played. Originally China White was on the bill but they couldn't make it and the Crowd took their slot. Other bands Jerry considered for this show but couldn't do it were TSOL and the Stains.
|February 6, 1981. Flyer for Circle Jerks, China White (who cancelled) and Legal Weapon|
February 7, 1981: The Suburban Lawns, Mnumonic Devices, Wet Picnic and Tux Dentist played. This night started out to be a punk show, but the bands cancelled and it turned into more of a main stream new wave night. Originally booked were the Adolescents, Agent Orange and Middle Class.
February 8, 1981: The Bondage Boys, The Convenience and Movement played a Sunday punk show.
|February 8, 1981. Ticket for the band Movement|
February 10, 1981: The Badgers, Innocent Bystander and the John Scott Band played.
February 11, 1981: Wednesday Rock Night - No Sugar, Axcentric and James Dean played.
February 12, 1981: Suburbia, The Greg Young Band, The Steve Bass Band and Automatic Pilot played.
February 13, 1981: Not sure exactly which bands played this night. Five bands were listed but usually only three bands actually play. The bands listed were Frantic Technoids, the Stepping Tones, the Lobsters, The Pub Calsure and the Naughty Sweeties.
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for mid/late February 1981|
February 14, 1981: Agent Orange, the Angry Samoans and the Hated played. The Dickies were on the Calendar for this date but they were apparently not confirmed and then replaced by Agent Orange.
|February 14, 1981. Flyer for Agent Orange and the Angry Samoans|
Cuckoo's Nest License/Permit "SUSPENDED"
February 16, 1981: Monday. The Cuckoo's Nest license/permit was "SUSPENDED" on this day pending a review. None of the shows following this date actually happened until the club reopened on May 1st... a total of two and a half months. One week later on February 23rd, the club permit was actually REVOKED. I'm listing the shows as they appear in the Booking Calendar anyway as they would have happened. Some of the bands had already printed flyers and distributed them.
February 17, 1981: The bands booked to play this date were M.I.A., Social Distortion?, the Diversions and Confederate.
February 18, 1981: New Wave - The I's and 4 o'Clock were booked to play.
February 19, 1981: Rock Night - The Thai Breakers and Bumper were booked
February 20, 1981: Adolescents, Eddie and the Subtitles and TSOL booked. China White and the Hated were also on the Calendar this date but were crossed off.
|February 13 - March 28, 1981 Show Listing. Cuckoo's Nest Listed Feb 20-21.|
|Cuckoo's Nest Ad for Late February and Early March 1981. None of these shows happened due to Club Closure|
February 21, 1981: Adolescents, 45 Grave and Legal Weapon were booked. Others on the Calendar for this date but were crossed off were Middle Class and China White.
|February 21, 1981. Flyer for Adolescents, Legal Weapon and 45 Grave|
Cuckoo's Nest License/Permit "REVOKED" on Feb 23rd
February 23, 1981: Tazar, Charming Colors and High Velocity were booked.
February 24, 1981: The Lines, Jerico Shakes and Stage Fright were booked.
February 25, 1981: Metro Hotel, Heavy Music and Riff Raff were booked.
February 26, 1981: Naughty Sweeties, Nu-Beams and Nu Direction were booked.
|February 26, 1981. Flyer for the Naughty Sweeties|
Februrary 27, 1981: Circle Jerks, Castration Squad and the Hated were booked. Also on this date an article came out in a local newspaper. The article defended the club and cited how the police were a little too militant towards the club (article below).
February 28, 1981: The Weirdos and Discord were booked. Others were on the Calendar but crossed off for this date including Middle Class and the Blasters.
MARCHNone of these shows in the Cuckoo's Nest Booking Calendar happened in the month of March due to the Club closing its doors at the hands of the Costa Mesa City Council. These shows were booked in February before Jerry's permit was suspended and then revoked and you can see where he started to call the bands to let them know the club was closed. He made an "X" through the days that he had officially cancelled. Word probably traveled fast and he finally stopped making notations in the Calendar. I'm listing the shows that appear in the Calendar as they would have happened even though they were all cancelled.
|Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - March 1981|
March 3, 1981: Black Flag was booked and an ad even ran in the local newspaper promoting it.
March 4, 1981: Channel 3, The Men, Axcentric and Chris Wolley were booked.
March 5, 1981: The Waves, No Sugar, Tux Dentist and First Class were booked.
March 6, 1981: The Adolescents, TSOL and the Hated were booked. Originally, the Dickies were supposed to play this date (and it was even advertised in the newspaper), but they were moved to the next night.
March 7, 1981: The Dickies, Rainbow School and the Brat were booked.
March 9, 1981: Political Crap (Duane Peters) was booked and cancelled.
March 10, 1981: The Badgers, The I's and Pop Rock were booked.
March 11, 1981: Maji, A Blind Man's Holiday and L.A. Bugs were booked.
March 12, 1981: X-Streams (ska band), Little Round World, The Stepping Tones, L.A. Sleeper and First Class were booked.
March 13, 1981: Circle Jerks ?
March 14, 1981: The Weirdos and The Blasters ?
March 15, 1981: Jerico Shakes and Spit Fire were booked.
March 17, 1981: High Velocity was booked but cancelled.
March 18, 1981: Black Flag ?
March 19, 1981: Byron and Red Scent were booked.
March 25, 1981: High Velocity was booked.
March 26, 1981: Greg Young Band, Axcentric and Chris Wolley were booked.
APRILNo shows were booked the entire month of April. Jerry had a court date on April 13th to see if he could reopen the club later in the month. At first he was hopeful to open on April 29th, but the date was pushed back to May 1st.
|Jerry Roach's Booking Calendar - April 1981|
Jerry Roach won his battle in court and the Cuckoo's Nest was allowed to open again on May 1st. The first item entered into the uppermost left square of the Calendar was that the Club was closed a total of 73 days. He was upset over the whole ordeal, including the fact that the city had robbed him of two and a half months of income, and now that he had won, he vowed to "shove punk rock right up their asses". On the Calendar, he listed all the punk bands he wanted by "Headliner", "2nd Band" and then "Opener". He came out of the corner swinging with a healthy serving of punk rock that first night, but it appears by the number of bands written in and then crossed off that it was all happening last minute and rushed as bands he wanted already had prior commitments. Eventually, things stabilized as the captain of the ship sped things up to a insane pace and raced toward the edge of the world. He constantly tested the local law enforcement riding a fine with the city council and their rules and restrictions. He knew they wouldn't tolerate it for very long and he pushed it until it couldn't go any further later in the year. This is the time period in the life of the Club that Jerry said was the most intense.
May 1, 1981: Agent Orange, TSOL and The Hated played for the "Re-Opening" of the Cuckoo's Nest.
|May 1, 1981. Flyer for the Re-Opening of the Cuckoo's Nest with Agent Orange, TSOL and The Hated.|
May 7, 1981: Dash 501, Axcentric and Tux Dentist played.