Fishbone Enters a New Phase as Members Look Back, And to a Future Without Curtis Story

One of Punks Founding Bands Continues On


Beyond Baroque has its hands full for 2017.

The historic arts hangout in Venice is one of the West Coast’s destinations if you want to know about the rise of punk in Los Angeles. This year is a pivotal year in punk as many of the bands we know celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Norwood Fisher and the Nextperience – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Fishbone’s Influence

“A lot of the bands you know started right here,” said Tequila Mockingbird, who works with the Punk Museum as well as Beyond Baroque. Among those bands she’s referring to are the band X, which also celebrates its 40th this year.

But punk is not without its diverse elements.  Fishbone was on hand the other night to screen the movie Everyday Sunshine and play some tunes. It was a celebration of the life of former band member Curtis Story and perhaps prepare the public for a new form of the Fishbone band.

2017 Donna Balancia
Angelo Moore and the Missing Links – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

New Bands

Splinter bands Norwood and The Familyhood Nextperience, and Angelo Moore and The Missing Links performed in honor and celebration of the life of ex-band member Curtis Story.

One of the big punk influences that emerged in that era was Fishbone, which featured one of the largest bands in memory. Anyone who has been to a Fishbone show knows it’s pure calamity, with stage diving, crowd surfing and great, upbeat ska-punk jazzy sound.

Angelo Moore and his theremin – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Beyond Baroque

In celebrating the “40 years of Punk” series, Fishbone members appeared at Beyond Baroque for a screening of the movie Everyday Sunshine. The film tells the story of Fishbone and how the band got its start, influenced by changing times in Los Angeles.

The band’s unique black-as-punk experience that started in the valley was the birth of a new sound.  At a time when Joey Ramone and the Sex Pistols took the East Coast by storm, Fishbone was one of the West Coast pioneers with its impressive perspective of punk from the multicultural view.

Flyin’ Jay Armant known for his stage diving and his horn – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Changes for Fishbone

But changes are afoot. In the movie Fishbone is depicted as the hot hit band that it is, but struggles are continual, many in part due to a changing record industry.  The loss of certain members has impacted the band greatly.

Norwood Fisher said a blood clot traveled up to Story’s brain from his leg and while he was ambulatory, he was never the same.

The Missing Links – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Party at Ground Zero

Fishbone is evolving yet again as the band members are doing their own thing. It’s not necessarily the end of the band, but the band may not present the way it has throughout its history.

The two new bands are entertaining as Angelo and his group scat it up with cool rythms and a fun front woman.  As for Fisher, he plugs along with projects and his music. He is hopeful Fishbone can keep on going. Judging by the sounds emanating from the Beyond Baroque it’s a good bet Fishbone will continue to “Party at Ground Zero.”

Angelo Moore with Tequila Mockingbird – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia