Chris D.

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Chris D.
Born Chris Desjardins
(1953-01-15) January 15, 1953 (age 65)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Master's degree in film[1]
Alma mater Loyola Marymount University[1]
Occupation
Musician, songwriter, producer, actor, writer, director, film programmer, history professor
Years active 1977–present
Known for
  • Film director and actor
  • Musician
  • Author
Notable work I Pass for Human (writer and director)[2]
Spouse(s) Julie Christensen (Divorced)[1][3]
Musical career
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Punk rock, death rock
Instruments Singing
Labels Slash,[3] Ruby, Enigma, New Rose, Upsetter, Invasion/Bomp, Zippo/Demon, Expanded, Dog Meat, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Atavistic, SST,[3] Shakeytown Music/BMI[4]
Associated acts The Flesh Eaters,[3] the Divine Horsemen,[3] Stone By Stone[1]
Writing career
Period 2005-2009
Genre Poetry, fiction, non-fiction
Subject Japanese film history

Chris D. (born Chris Desjardins; January 15, 1953) is a punk poet, rock critic, singer, writer, actor and filmmaker. He is best known as the lead singer and founder of the early Los Angeles punk/deathrock band the Flesh Eaters.[3]

Desjardins was a feature writer at Slash magazine in 1977, when he formed the band with several friends from the Los Angeles punk scene, including Tito Larriva. The album, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, recorded and released in 1981, featured John Doe, DJ Bonebrake (X), Dave Alvin (The Blasters, X), and Steve Berlin (The Blasters, Los Lobos).[5] The band recorded two further albums; Forever Came Today (1982) and A Hard Road to Follow (1983) with Don Kirk on guitar, Robyn Jameson on bass and Chris Wahl on drums, Chris D. on vocals and occasionally Jill Jordan on backing vocals.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Desjardins was married to Julie Christensen. The pair divorced in 1988. Following the divorce, Desjardins sought help for drug and alcohol problems in a 12-step program.[1][7]

Music[edit]

The Flesh Eaters were a staple of the LA Punk Scene in the 1980s.[8] The band played alongside seminal bands like The Misfits and The Meat Puppets.[3] A number of original Flesh Eaters releases, like "River of Fever", were recorded through Shakeytown Music/BMI.[4] Others were produced by Upsetter, Invasion/Bomp, Zippo/Demon or SST. When not working with The Flesh Eaters during that time, Desjardins was the co-leader, with then-spouse Julie Christensen, of the Divine Horsemen between 1984 and 1988.[1][3][7] In early 2006 Desjardins performed several times in California, and once in London, with John Doe, DJ Bonebrake, Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, and Steve Berlin as The Flesh Eaters. This line-up of the band had not performed together since 1981.

Desjardins issued a solo semi-acoustic LP on America's Enigma Records and the French New Rose label, called "Time Stands Still" by Chris D./Divine Horseman in 1984. The album was later released in Australia by Dog Meat Records of Melbourne. It features guest musicians John Doe, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Linda "Tex" Jones and Dave Alvin. Desjardins issued a second solo album entitled "I Pass for Human" as Stone By Stone following the end of his marriage to Julie Christensen.[7] He released a further solo album "Love Cannot Die" through the Sympathy for the Record Industry label in 1995.

From 1989 to 1993 and from 1997 to 2000, Desjardins performed live with varying line-ups of The Flesh Eaters. Two albums, "Ashes of Time" (1999) and "Miss Muerte" (2004), were released during the latter period.

Chris D. worked as an A&R and in-house producer for Slash[3] and Ruby Records from 1980 until early 1984. He produced all the Flesh Eaters' albums and co-produced The Gun Club's debut album, Fire of Love, with Tito Larriva in 1982. Desjardins produced the debut albums of The Dream Syndicate (The Days of Wine and Roses), Green On Red (Gravity Talks) and The Lazy Cowgirls.[3] He remixed The Misfits' LP Walk Among Us with Glenn Danzig and the Germs' What We Do Is Secret (EP) with Pat Smear.[6]

Upsetter Records[edit]

Upsetter Records
Founded 1978
Founder
  • Chris Desjardins
  • Judith Bell
Genre
Country of origin United States
Location Los Angeles, California

Upsetter Records was a Los Angeles, California-based record label founded in 1978 by Chris D. and his then-girlfriend, the animation and graphic artist Judith Bell.[9][10][11]

Named in tribute to Lee "Scratch" Perry and the dub reggae, popular with the early punks,[10][12] Upsetter was specifically created to release the early discography of the Flesh Eaters,[13] The only exception in the label's catalog is the seminal Tooth and Nail compilation released in 1979, an album full of outstanding early Californian punk rock from the Controllers, Middle Class, the Germs, U.X.A., Negative Trend, and the Flesh Eaters themselves.[9][12]

In parallel with their record label, Desjardins and Bell, in collaboration with Exene Cervenka, published the short-lived punk zine The Upsetter.[14][15]

Writer[edit]

Illiterati Press published Double Snake Bourbon, a 139-page collection of Desjardins' poetry, lyrics and prose.[1][16] Desjardins wrote for the magazines Slash, Forced Exposure, Asian Trash Cinema and Cult Movies. He has spent almost twenty years researching and compiling an encyclopedia of Japanese yakuza films. Titled Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980, research for the book was partly funded by the Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship. He also wrote liner notes and audio commentary tracks for DVDs of a variety of classic Japanese genre films, Italian cult and arthouse films.

In 2005, Desjardins' tribute to fringe directors of Japanese cult, action and exploitation cinema of the period 1950 to 1980, was published by I.B. Tauris, entitled Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film.[17]

A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die, a 500-page anthology of Chris D.'s written work, was published at the end of 2009.[18] Four additional works, No Evil Star, Dragon Wheel Splendor & Other Love Stories of Violence and Dread, Shallow Water, and Mother's Worry were all published in 2012.[19][20][21][22] In April 2013, Desjardins' long-researched Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980 was published by Poison Fang Press.[23]

Film[edit]

Desjardins has acted in a number of films, both independent and big budget. In 1987, he had a small role in the Orion film No Way Out alongside Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman as an assassin.[1][3] The same year, Desjardins played a role in Border Radio,[1][3] an independent film that was later released as part of the Criterion Collection. In Border Radio, Desjardins plays a musician who struggles with the consequences of a robbery.[3]

In 2002, Desjardins wrote and directed his first feature film, I Pass For Human, which was produced and edited by Lynne Margulies. It was released in theaters in March 2004 and on DVD in October 2006.[2] Desjardins had been attempting to produce the film since the 1980s under the original title "Hell's Belle".[3] He worked in the programming department of the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles from 1999, and was a programmer there from January 2006 until August 1, 2009. He teaches film studies in California and also does DVD commentary for several films.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mike Boehm (1991-02-23). "Flesh Prince of Feeling Talks From the Heart : Music: After the demise of his marriage and band, Chris Desjardins is back with the Flesh Eaters, and he says the rough times have reinvigorated him". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  2. ^ a b Dennis Harvey. "Review: 'I Pass for Human'". Variety. Penske Business Media LLC. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Tom Popson (1987-02-13). "From Punk Wars To Spy Film With Chris Desjardins". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  4. ^ a b Byron Coley (1981-08-01). "FLESHEATERS '82: Masterpieces Hexed from the Dunes of Jive Broken Roads". Take It! Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  5. ^ Patrick Kennedy. "A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die - Flesh Eaters". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  6. ^ a b "Chris D. biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  7. ^ a b c "Divine Horsemen". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  8. ^ Jay Hinman (January 2001). "Heavy Punk Thunder from the Lake of Burning Fire". Perfect Sound Forever. Archived from the original on 2001-04-20. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  9. ^ a b Morris, Chris (October 16, 1999). "Declarations of Independents: Flag waving". Billboard 111 (42): 73.
  10. ^ a b Neff, Joseph (July 24, 2014). "Graded on a Curve: The Flesh Eaters, A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die". The Vinyl District. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Mullen, Brendan. (2002). Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs. Feral House. ISBN 9780922915705. p. 269.
  12. ^ a b Hinman, Jay (January, 2001). "The Flesh Eaters: Heavy Punk Thunder from the Lake of Burning Fire" Archived 2001-04-20 at the Wayback Machine.. Perfect Sound Forever. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  13. ^ Young, Jon; Sprague, David. "TrouserPress.com :: Flesh Eaters:". Trouser Press. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Hinman, Jay (December 2013). Interview with Chris D. Dynamite Hemorrhage (1).
  15. ^ The Upsetter, front covers. Fanzine Faves. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  16. ^ Desjardins, Chris (1989). Double Snake Bourbon (1st ed.). Los Angeles: Illiterati Press. ASIN B000GLE0SG.
  17. ^ Chris Desjardins (22 July 2005). Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-090-1.
  18. ^ Chris D. (December 2009). A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space. ISBN 978-0-615-33125-6.
  19. ^ Chris D (February 2012). No Evil Star. New Texture. ISBN 978-0-9827239-3-7.
  20. ^ Chris D (February 2012). Dragon Wheel Splendor and Other Love Stories of Violence and Dread. New Texture. ISBN 978-0-9827239-2-0.
  21. ^ Chris D. (26 August 2013). Shallow Water. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space. ISBN 978-0-615-86936-0.
  22. ^ Chris D. (26 August 2013). Mother's Worry. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space. ISBN 978-0-615-86934-6.
  23. ^ Chris D. (17 April 2013). Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space. ISBN 978-0-615-79880-6.
  24. ^ Lynne Margulies. "Chris D. Bio". The Flesh Eaters.

External links[edit]