Interview with Greg Link aka Bad Otis Link continued from part 1.
Give us the lowdown on your ties to the punk scene?
I was in San Francisco on New Years Eve 1976? maybe 77 with a few of my best friends: Tommy Borghino and Scott Angle. The streets were so crowded that we ducked into a bar to get away. It was Mabuhay Gardens. Punk bands were playing. We weren’t sure if we liked it or not. We were kind of long haired greasers at the time, really into rock, Alice Cooper, Bowie, the Tubes along with old country and soul. Those are the shows we used to go to back then. We had a few beers and really started to have fun. We met some of the bands and had a blast. Tommy was living in Reno so he went back there after the show. I remember leaving and driving back to LA all night with Scott in the fog. We couldn’t stop talking about how cool it was.
As soon as we got back to LA we drove to Hollywood to find more Punk shows. Once Tommy got back to Reno, he and his brother, Jimmy, started their own punk band with two other brothers. That band was “7 Seconds”. Around the same time I bought a saxophone and tried to learn how to play. Me and Tommy were at a “Zeros” show in San Francisco and we met Dream Delon. Dream booked punk shows and tours, road managed every early punk band. Things went sideways once we met Dream. He hooked us up with early bands and we made shirts for his shows, we also sold shirts to record shops in Berkeley, San Francisco, LA and San Diego. It was an excuse to travel around and hang in the scene. With Dream, me and Tommy met the “Bad Brains” and made shirts for the Ukrainian show (infamous shirt). We traveled with Dream and the “Bad Brains” to Santa Barbara and met Gary Tovar, the promoter there. He later came to LA and started Goldenvoice concerts.
Eventually Tommy left “7seconds” after a while and came to LA to make shirts with me. We started a band with Nick Adams and Paul Schwartz (both from “MIA”). Tommy was on drums and I played sax. That Band was “The Panty Shields”. We wanted the most disgusting name we could come up with, 80s punk remember. Tommy went on the road with DOA and The Circle Jerks so we recruited Jeff Newlin on drums and that became the final band. We played around LA with all of the classic bands: “TSOL”, “The Minutemen”, “Social Distortion”, and of course “DOA” when they came through. “The Circle Jerks” loved us so we would often support them on their tours.
We recorded at Casbah in Fullerton with Chas from “Eddie and The Subtitles”. Before we finished mixing the tape Chas died in his studio, he fell while installing monitors in the ceiling. Our tapes were still in the studio when he died. Mike Ness took over the studio as a rehearsal place for “Social Distortion” but he was never able to locate the tapes. We only have the rough recordings now. Later Chuck Biscuits, myself, Nick, and Jeff started a band called “The Brown Sound” We were a punk/funk thing. We played around for a year or two with the early “Chili Peppers”, “UXA”, and tons of others that I can’t remember, many beers ago.
- Check out part 3 of the Bad Otis Link saga.