Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies

40th Anniversary of Suicidal Tendencies’ Self-Titled Record + Possessed, Frolic

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Doors: 7:00pm • Show: 8:00pm

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General Admission Standing Room with Limited Seating

Judging from their name, Suicidal Tendencies were never afraid of a little controversy. Formed  in Venice, California, during the early '80s, from the beginning the group's leader was  outspoken vocalist Mike Muir. The outfit specialized in vicious hardcore early on -- building a  huge following among skateboarders and thus lending a major hand in the creation of  skatepunk -- before eventually turning their focus to thrash metal. Early on, the group (whose  original lineup included Muir, guitarist Grant Estes, bassist Louiche Mayorga, and drummer  Amery Smith) found it increasingly difficult to book shows due to rumors of its members'  affiliation with local gangs and consistent violence at their performances. The underground  buzz regarding Suicidal grew too loud for labels to ignore, though, as the quartet signed on with  the indie label Frontier; issuing Muir and company's classic self-titled debut in 1983. The album  quickly became the best-selling hardcore album up to that point; its best-known track,  "Institutionalized," was one of the first hardcore punk videos to receive substantial airplay on  MTV, and was eventually used in the cult classic, Emilio Estevez movie Repo Man, as well as in  an episode for the hit TV show Miami Vice (for which the group made a cameo appearance). 

Suicidal Tendencies proved influential for future speed/thrash metal bands, but despite their  early success, their reputation preceded them, as no other record label was willing to take them  on (in addition, Los Angeles banned the group from playing around this time, lasting until the  early '90s). Not much was heard from the group for several years afterward (leading many to  believe that Suicidal had broken up), but Muir and company eventually found a home  with Caroline Records. By this time, half of the original lineup had left; Muir and Mayorga were  the only holdovers, while guitarist Rocky George and drummer R.J. Herrera rounded out the  group. The year 1987 saw the release of Suicidal's sophomore release, Join the Army, which  spawned another popular skatepunk anthem, "Possessed to Skate," as more and more  metalheads began to be spotted in Suicidal's audience. Soon after, Suicidal were finally offered  a major-label contract (with Epic), as another lineup change occurred: Mayorga exited the  band, while newcomer Bob Heathcote took his spot, and a second guitarist, Mike Clark, was  added as well. This Suicidal lineup's first album together, 1988's How Will I Laugh Tomorrow  When I Can't Even Smile Today, showed that their transformation from hardcore to heavy  metal was now complete, as did a compilation of two earlier EPs, 1989's Controlled by  Hatred/Feel Like Shit...Déjà Vu.