Painted Willie

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Painted Willie
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres punk rock
Years active 1984–1987
Labels Spinhead, SST, DC-Jam
Associated acts SIN 34, Circle One, No Exit, SVDB
Past members Dave Markey
Phil Newman
Vic Makauskas
Nick Delaney
Mike Vallejo

Painted Willie was a punk rock band started in 1984 in Los Angeles by drummer and film-maker Dave Markey after the demise of his first band, Sin 34. They were active from 1984 to 1987 and released one 7", two 12 inch EPs and three LPs.[1][2][3]


Dave Markey joined forces with SIN 34 bass player Phil Newman and guitar players Vic Makauskas from SVDB and Nick Delaney from Vancouver band No Exit to form a band. Newman chose the name Painted Willie from a 1950s thesaurus he had found in a thrift store which defined it as an old English acronym for homosexual, or more approximately transvestite or drag queen.[3][4]

Makauskas quit the band just before their first show at Cathay de Grande and Painted Willie became a trio and recorded a three-song (one song each from each member) eponymous 7-inch EP on Phil's own Spinhead Records. After a while, Delaney was expelled from the band because of tensions between him and the other two members.[citation needed] The band then recorded the My Fellow Americans 12-inch EP with Newman playing both bass and guitar. For the live shows played in 1984, the band recruited guitar player Mike Vallejo of Circle One, who had also been a member of SIN 34. The band's first two releases used a lot of adolescent humor, though tied more to straight-ahead rock than punk or hardcore.[4]

Vic Makauskas was back in the band in 1985 as Painted Willie wrote a new set of material, becoming more straightforward punk rock. They recorded two demos that got them a record contract with SST Records. SST also agreed to distribute Dave's new movie Lovedolls Superstar. The band re-recorded the ten songs they had done as demos with Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn, producing and released it as the Mind Bowling LP.[4]

Painted Willie then embarked on a six-month national tour opening for Gone and Black Flag in 1986, which would be Black Flag's last tour. The band recorded and released the Live from Van Nuys EP during that tour live EP during the tour titled simply Live From Van Nuys. Dave filmed eight years of footage for an eventual documentary of the tour that would be called Reality 86'd but Ginn didn't want it to be released. Black Flag singer Henry Rollins tried to have it released in 1994 through a distribution deal he struck with Time Warner but Ginn still refused.[3][5]

Painted Willie embarked on another US tour in 1987 in support the Upsidedowntown LP, that would be released in 1988, and broke apart soon thereafter while Newman joined the band I love you. In 1988 SST released a posthumous compilation of Painted Willie's early work on the LP Relics. This would be the band's swan song, along with a cover of Captain Beefheart's Clear Spot for The Melting Plot compilation. SST also re-released the 7" and 12" Painted Willie had released on Spinhead Records in 1988. DC-Jam Records re-released Mind Bowling on CD in 2009.[6]



  • Dave Markey - Drums, vocals
  • Phil Newman - Bass, vocals
  • Vic Makauskas - Guitar (Early 1984, 1985–1987)
  • Nick "Willie" Delaney - Guitar, vocals (1984)
  • Mike Vallejo - Guitar (1984)


  • Singles
    • "Painted Willie" 7" (Spinhead Records, 1984)
  • Compilations


    • Lovedolls Superstar LP (SST Records, 1986) - features the track Darling Shelah
    • The Blasting Concept Volume II LP (SST Records, 1986) - features the track The Big Time
    • SST Godhead Storedude In-Store Play Device No. 2 LP (SST Records, 1986) - features the tracks Upsidedowntown and Subject
    • SST Godhead Storedude In-Store Play Device No. 5 LP (SST Records, 1987) - features the track My Fellow Americans
    • SST Over 35 Videos Never Before Released LP (SST Records, 1987) - features the tracks Upsidedownton and Little...
    • The Melting Plot LP (SST Records, 1988) - features the track Clear Spot


  1. ^ "Painted Willie page on All Music Guide". 
  2. ^ "Painted Willie page on Trouser Press". 
  3. ^ a b c Rollins, Henry (1994). Get in the van: On the road with Black Flag. 2.13.61 Publications. pp. 215–247. ISBN 1-880985-23-3. 
  4. ^ a b c "The Painted Willie Story according to Dave Markey on the We got power Films website". 
  5. ^ Chick, Steve (2009). Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag. Omnibus Press. pp. 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358. ISBN 978-1-84772-620-9. 
  6. ^ a b "Painted Willie page on". 
  7. ^ "Painted Willie Myspace page".