Best Revenge

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Best Revenge is a queercore punk band from Los Angeles, CA. They were active as a studio and live act from the beginning of 1998 until December 2002.

History and Founding[edit]

Best Revenge was formed by members Ryan Revenge (vocals/guitar) and KT (bass/vocals) in early 1998. The two were previously in a band called Happybomb while attending college at the University of Southern California. After the breakup of Happybomb, Revenge and KT briefly lost touch with each other, but later reunited to plan a going away party for Happybomb bandmate and celebrated indie comic book artist Jordan Crane. Revenge took the opportunity to pitch to KT his idea of putting together a melodic punk rock band with decidedly queer-oriented lyrics inspired by homocore heroes Pansy Division and Extra Fancy, as well as traditional punks The Clash, X, Social Distortion, Ramones and Operation Ivy. He played her a few songs he'd been working on including one that would later become one of the band's anthems, "Punk Rock Fag." KT was in.

While searching for a rehearsal space and a drummer, the two found both when they answered an ad to rent a garage space in Venice Beach, CA. The garage space was coincidentally at the former home of Jordan Crane, and the current occupant of the house was Bilito Peligro, who later joined the band on drums.

Best Revenge's arrival came at a time when the first Los Angeles queercore scene was all but finished. Scene fathers Extra Fancy had disbanded and Club Sucker, the scene's home venue hosted by Vaginal Davis, was nearing the end of its run. Best Revenge, therefore, had to seek out new venues for their music and other like-minded bands with whom they could share stages. One of those venues was the Gauntlet II, a Silver Lake leather bar that had seen better days and needed something new to pull in customers. While the bar wasn't built to be a music venue, in true punk spirit, the bands took charge and made it into a venue. It became the flashpoint for the fledgling second wave of Los Angeles queercore.

A significant development was the creation of a monthly club night at the Gauntlet II called Freak Show. Created by promoters Eddie Hibbs and Steve Lozier, the club featured one or two bands per night along with various carnival sideshow-inspired acts. Best Revenge headlined the debut night of the club and went on to play it several times during the club's 3-year run. Freak Show created a gathering point which connected many Los Angeles' queer-oriented punk and rock bands to each other.

The gathering scene created the need for a record label to document the music that would probably never find a place in the major label mainstream. Peligro and Revenge responded by starting up Spitshine Records, which went on to put out all of Best Revenge's releases as well as releases by local acts IAMLOVED, $3 Puta, Brian Grillo (of Extra Fancy and Lock Up (American band)), Hot-N-Heavy, the Sharpease and a Freak Show compilation CD. In addition, Revenge and Peligro began their own monthly (later, weekly) club at the Gauntlet II. Club Trouble featured both queer and straight punk bands with DJ duties being covered by Peligro, Revenge, and other scenesters as occasional guests.

Best Revenge played its final show on December 6, 2002 at the Gaunlet II. KT, who had left the band one year prior, returned to the lineup for the final performance. Best Revenge returned for a one night reunion at the Gauntlet II (now known as The Eagle) on August 27, 2006 for the bar's Sunset Junction Street Fair after-party.

Discography[edit]

LPs and EPs[edit]

Year Title Label Other information
2000 Begin Spitshine Records Debut EP
2001 Pink On the Inside Spitshine Records Split EP with prettypony
2002 Starts With You Spitshine Records LP

Compilations[edit]

Year Song Title Album Title Label Other information
2001 Rockabilly Boy, Cockring for Christmas Freak Show, Year One The Freak Show Compilation
2002 Bash Back Stand Up & Fucking Fight For It Agitprop! Records Compilation
2002 Typical One Year Later...It Still Hurts: Queers Against G8 Speeddemon Compilation
2003 Bash Back (Live on KXLU) Freak Show, Year Three The Freak Show Compilation

Member Lineups[edit]

The band experienced several lineup changes, first spurred by the departure of bassist KT just after the completion of the Starts With You full-length.
Lineup 1, 1998-December 2001:
Ryan Revenge, vocals and guitar
KT, bass and vocals
Bilito Peligro, drums and vocals

Lineup 2, January 2002-May 2002:
Ryan Revenge, vocals and guitar
Bilito Peligro, drums and vocals
Shug, bass and vocals

Lineup 3, May 2002-December 2002:
Ryan Revenge, vocals and guitar
Bilito Peligro, drums and vocals
Glen Livid, bass
Frisky McNicholl, second guitar and vocals

Lineup 4, final show December 6, 2002:
Ryan Revenge, vocals and guitar
Bilito Peligro, drums and vocals
KT, bass and vocals
Frisky McNicholl, second guitar and vocals

Post-Best Revenge[edit]

After Best Revenge, Ryan Revenge played with the bands Exit Plan and Terrazzo. In June 2012, he completed his doctoral work in Political Science, earning a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. He is currently employed as an assistant professor at Bradley University. Bilito Peligro and Frisky McNichol played with the Gay-Gays, the all-gay Go-Go's tribute band. Bilito has continued playing drums for Los Angeles bands Miata, Temperamentals, and Local Channel (LCL CHNNL). KT skates as Trixie Biscuit on a banked track roller derby team called Fight Crew and performs as a stunt woman in film and television.[1]

The Best Revenge song, "Know You", was featured in the 2004 gay horror film Hellbent, which also featured songs by such notable queercore bands as Three Dollar Bill and Pansy Division.[2]

Best Revenge was featured in the 2005 book Homocore:The Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Punk by Ken Knox and David Ciminelli.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3995338/
  2. ^ :: arjanwrites music blog ::: Hell Bent Soundtrack Archived October 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ *Ciminelli, David, and Knox, Ken, Homocore: The Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Punk, Alyson Books, 2005

External links[edit]