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Don Vinil, lead singer of 'The Offs' in NYC 1980s.
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Past members||Billy Hawk
The Offs are a punk/ska band from San Francisco, started by guitarist Billy Hawk and singer Don Vinil, and later joined by former Hot Tuna drummer Bob Steeler and a rotation of horn players including Bob Roberts, Richard Edson and Roland Young. The Offs were major players in the early days of the San Francisco punk rock scene.
The Offs first record was a self-released 7" single featuring a cover of the Slickers' Johnny Too Bad with the Billy Hawk-penned 624803 on the B-side. A subsequent release was the 1978 single Everyone's a Bigot, with 0° on the B-side, which was the first-ever release out of San Francisco's 415 Records. That song later appeared on the Alternative Tentacles hardcore/art punk compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans. Another early release was, "You Fascinate Me." Lead singer Don Vinil was known for his outrageous on-stage behavior. Fellow San Francisco punk group, Dead Kennedys played their first show with the Offs in 1978. They frequently played at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens.
The Offs also went through a number of bassists, including Denny Boredom (Denny DeGorio), Olga de Volga and Fast Floyd. Eric Peterson joined as bassist in 1980, shortly after the group decamped San Francisco for New York where they quickly became a regular fixture at such New York institutions as the Mudd Club, Danceteria and Max's Kansas City. The Offs counted among their fans and friends numerous people in the downtown New York art/music scene, including artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, musician and actor Richard Edson, who played trumpet with the band, and Glenn O'Brien, the peripatetic chronicler of the scene for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. In 1984, David Ferguson's label CD Presents released a full-length album for the band called The Offs First Record, with artwork by Basquiat.
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