Interview with Greg Link aka Bad Otis Link continued from part 5.
Tell us about the Otis & Biscuits operation?
There were four stores and many separate print shops. The first store was a small place at Pacific Coast Highway and 7th street in Long Beach, Ca. It had a crappy little apartment in the back with a kitchen, Chuck moved from the shop to the store, so it served a double purpose. We would use the kitchen to boil, dye, and custom make shirts. Chuck’s Dad would work the store for us while we were at the shop in Signal Hill printing. He was also a welder and he loved hanging around the shop and building contraptions for the shop. The store was more customer based.
I sold shoes, for Mike Roche from “TSOL”, at the store. He had a small punk store in Huntington Beach called the “Electric Chair”. The bands and friends hung around the print shop much more. We all rehearsed there and other friends moved into the area and also set up music studios and art studios around my shop. The print shop was far more of a scene than the store, it was bigger, and touring bands would stay there a lot. I let Mike Vraney live there, too, as kind of a home base when not on the road. Mike Vraney was the manager of “TSOL”, “Dead Kennedys”, “Tex and the Horseheads”, “The Accused”, and others. I also rented a part of the shop to Gary Tovar and he ran Goldenvoice Concerts between the shop and his house in Huntington Beach. We set up a xerox machine and designed flyers for all of the LA shows. So the shop was always full of bands, crew, concert crew, skaters, and others.
It was kind of a functional party place. I could write a book on the stuff that went on around there. Concerts were booked, tours were booked, and we produced the art, shirts, and posters, all from there. Bands were always coming and going from all over the world. I developed a reputation for being able to keep bands stocked with merch while traveling. There were not many other people doing shirts for the punk scene on any level back then. The only guy I remember even coming close to what I was doing was Steve “The Human T-Shirt”. He did amazing punk stuff, early “TSOL”, diamond design, and some of the coolest screen printed Olympic Auditorium Posters, etc. Steve was also the bass player in the “Vandals” and later “Detox”. But we were more consistent at the t-shirt stuff. We even ended up doing stuff for his bands. The stores closed when I got bored with it all and the Punk scene was slowing down as we knew it by the end of the 80s.
- The Bad Otis sage continues with part 7.