a shirtless white blonde boy with cuts on his chest and multiple ear piercings in front of a graffitied wall

Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs

by Brendan Mullen Author with Don Bolles and Adam Parfrey

In this riveting and visually engaging book, learn the true story of punk messiah Darby Crash and his band The Germs, told as an oral history by Crash himself, his bandmates, and other figures in the scene. Born with the name Jan Paul Beahm in 1958, Darby had a troubled childhood growing up in neighborhoods around Los Angeles. By the time Darby was a teen, he was skipping school regularly with his pal Georg Ruthenberg (a.k.a. Pat Smear) to drop acid, and developed a kind of following amongst his classmates at the Innovative Program School before being kicked out in 1976. Smear and Crash formed The Germs shortly afterword, and would go on to reach the heights of punk notoriety through their hectic, loud, violent, and drug-addled performances. Eventually, blacklisted by virtually every music club in L.A. for their increasingly wild antics, and increasingly unable to perform due to clashes between concertgoers and the L.A.P.D., The Germs broke up in April of 1980, and Crash left for England. He would only live another few months. With interviews and anecdotes from former band members and associates of Crash and Smear, as well as original photographs, Lexicon Devil is a fascinating deep dive into the fast times and short life of Darby Crash, and reveals the truly wild and unprecedented phenomenon that was The Germs in all its horror and glory.