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Published on May 18, 2007
The Bags were one of the first generation of punk rock bands to emerge out of Los Angeles.
The Bags was formed by Alice Armandariz and Pat Morrison, who had met at an audition for Venus and the Razorblades, Kim Fowley's next attempt at creating a band after The Runaways had left him. Alice and Pat decided to form their own band and from this The Bags were born. They took the band's name and their stage names "Alice Bag" and "Pat Bag" from a gimmick that the band used during early performances where they would perform with grocery bags over their heads (the practice didn't last, in part due to an incident where Darby Crash of The Germs ran up on stage and ripped the bag off of Alice's head). Alice Bag was the vocalist and Pat Bag played bass. The band was rounded out by guitar players Craig Lee and Rob Ritter, and Terry Graham played drums.
The Bags played their first show at The Masque on September 10, 1977. The band's live shows soon became legendary. The concerts were riotous affairs including altercations with celebrities, such as one between singer Tom Waits and drummer Nicky Beat at The Troubadour.
By 1979, they had released their first record, a single called "Survive", backed with "Babylonian Gorgon", released by independent record label Dangerhouse Records. "We Don't Need The English" was included on the Yes L.A. punk compilation released by the same label.
After this, Pat left the band. In 1980 the group, minus Pat, was filmed by Penelope Spheeris for the seminal punk rock documentary film, The Decline of Western Civilization, which also featured The Germs, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, X and other prominent L.A. punk bands. However, at the release of the film in 1981 the producers billed the group as Alice Bag Band to avoid any conflict with ex-member Pat. By then, however, the band had broken up.