Verbal Abuse (band)

Verbal Abuse
Verbal Abuse - May 19 2010 - Wilmington NC - by Will Butler.jpg
Live on 5/28/2010 in Wilmington, NC
Background information
OriginHouston, Texas (earlier)
San Francisco, California (middle years)
Oakland, California (current city)
GenresHardcore punk, crossover thrash
Years active1981–1995, 2004–present
LabelsBeer City Records, Fowl Records, Boner Records, Destiny Records, Century Media Records
Associated actsFang, Slayer
MembersNicki Sicki
Dave "Koko" Chavez
"Sick" Scott Stanton
Geza Szent-Galy
Past membersScotty Wilkins
Joie Mastrokalos
Jason Shapiro
Andy Schuman
Brett Dodwell
Nick Nobody
Gregg James
Radi Kilowatt
Jason Riquelmy
Mike Chubka
Chris Kontos
General Electric
Ed Loco
Ed Loco, Jr.
Jess Aaron
Sean Sutton
Greg Elliot
Luke Skeels
John Glenn
Bitchy Bill

Verbal Abuse is one of the founding and defining bands of the hardcore punk subgenre of punk rock. The group is originally from Houston, Texas. They later relocated to San Francisco and eventually to Oakland, California.

Early Years (1981-1983)

Verbal Abuse was established in 1981 by 17-year-old singer and songwriter Nicki Sicki, formerly of the bands Sick Pleasure and Legionnaire's Disease. Radi Kilowatt handled the bass duties, his brother General Electric (aka G.E.) was the original guitarist, and John Glenn played drums. The band members lived together in a church, where Radi was working. G.E. left the band after claiming to have found religion and declaring that Nicki Sicki was evil. He was replaced by guitarist Joie Mastrokalos. During this early period, drummer Jason Riquelmy from the band Skate Death occasionally assumed drum duties when John Glenn was not available.

In February 1983, Glenn was advised by a native American spiritual adviser named Rolling Thunder not to travel with the band to play a concert in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, since it was "a bad day to travel" according to his superstitious beliefs. The other band members told him that if he chose not to come with them, he would be kicked out permanently. Glenn proceeded to assume a meditative pose, sitting cross-legged in the parking lot and burning incense with a sad expression as the group left for the concert without a drummer. In New Orleans the band played with Toxin III, a band from Lafayette, Louisiana, and recruited their drummer Bitchy Bill to play the show with both bands, serving only as a temporary replacement in Verbal Abuse for this one gig. At the end of the concert, Bitchy Bill proceeded to load his drums into Verbal Abuse's van, to the dismay of his bandmates and girlfriend, who convinced him to temporarily abandon his whim to join them and to return with Toxin III to Lafayette. However, three days later, back at the church in Houston, Bitchy Bill arrived unannounced with his drums and officially joined Verbal Abuse.

With this lineup, the band decided to relocate to San Francisco. After Nicki Sicki had left for California, Radi Kilowatt was forbidden by his girlfriend to leave Texas and therefore decided to give up his position in the band. Lacking his own vehicle, Mastrokalos convinced his friend Brett Dodwell to relocate from Texas to California and become the new bassist of Verbal Abuse. Although he had limited skill at playing the instrument, and none of the other members had been informed about the personnel change, Dodwell did become the band's bass player upon arrival in San Francisco.

After a few weeks in California, Bitchy Bill began to annoy the other band members with his selfish behavior. The rest of the group was living on the streets in the van, while Bill rented a comfortable apartment and refused to allow his bandmates access to his facilities. While driving down Market Street in San Francisco, the band pulled over to the curb and unloaded Bill's drum set onto the sidewalk. He got out of the van, and they drove away.

During this time period, the members of Verbal Abuse all kept their heads shaved. When they met drummer Gregg James, his head was already shaved, so the band immediately accepted him as the new drummer without any further auditions.

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