December 23, 1979, Germs play the Masque Christmas Ball at Whisky-Au-Go-Go, performing what would be dubbed on-stage "art" by singer Darby Crash, self-proclaimed "Manimal" and possessor of "television and supervision," who read "every Bible story," and was educated in mind-control by public school Scientologists, an A+ hustler whose world-famous catchphrase was "buy me a beer" and whose demands for "beer and damage" do not go unheeded this night. Watch as Darby, spolight directly in his eyes, eats a lit book of matches, transforms into a panther, demands each audience member "hit the person next to you," sets fire to his (A+) lyrics (balls-on-fire-great teenage Blake) all before guitarist Pat Smear kicks a bouncer in the head (several times+) for crossing number one invisible line in rock n roll: the artists own the stage.
After the Christmas break, William Friedkin's Cruising premieres, featuring one new song by the Germs, "Lion's Share" (coincidently the same name of the SF club that hosted the debut performance of Tim Buckley's Starsailor band.) Starring Al Pacino as a wide-eyed NYC cop undercover in the gay S&M underworld looking for (or becoming) a serial killer, Cruising met with protests throughout its production and release.
Though the Germs recorded another five songs for an enthusiastic Friedkin, the lion's share of the soundtrack would go to Willy DeVille, whose contribution "Heat of the Moment" scored the film's iconic amyl-nitrate-huffing, all-male dance sequence, and whose "It's Easy" would be lifted by Quentin Tarantino for Death Proof -- whose theme song would be provided by Jack Nitzsche, producer of the Cruising OST.
A disappointment for the Germs, but notice how DeVille would later adopt the "Mohican" look sported by Crash after he dissolved the Germs to form his own "Darby Crash Band." And compare/contrast the all-male crowd for Crash Band's performance of "Lion's Share" with the all-male crowd in Friedkin's film. (Nitzsche would call DeVille the "greatest singer" he ever worked with -- and he married Buffy Saint-Marie.)
Fast forward one year to Decemeber 3, 1980, when the Germs would reform for "one more" show, at the Starwood, before Crash, pocketing the $400 proceeds of the concert and converting it to heroin, would share it with his then-current sugar mama in a suicide pact, of which only he would prove successful. Dying within the same 24-period as John Lennon's assissination would provide Crash, born Jan Paul Beahm, with an unfortunate "Paul is Dead" sync.
Crash's cryptic, parting on-stage phrase, "See you all at Oki-Dogs" would mystify both his fans and the surrounding Hollywood area to this day, Oki-Dog being Crash's prefered after-show hang out, a weird japanese hot dog burrito combo joint on Santa Monica Blvd open all night.
Though the original Oki Dog shuttered in 1983, two clones have since opened, The Oki Dog and Oki's Dog, both serving the signiature "Oki Dog," a double chili dog with pastrami wrapped in a tortilla, but only The Oki Dog on Fairfax also features the kind of junk visionary delirium championed by the late Darby Crash.
Ecstatic kitsch clutter the walls. Outside the shack, a trio of japanese old-timers commune around a large bowl of Cheetos in three shades of dark red. To the right of the order window hangs a waterfall mirror. To the left, a poster of dolphins swimming in outer space, lined with egyptian heiroglyphics and titled Sons of Sirius. (The artist, Michael David Ward makes a living selling Star Trek fan art and works on glass, setting his paint on fire, fusing the elements in an act of self-styled alchemy.) The "Dog Star" Sirius echoes the hotdogs on sale, just as the double dog of the "infamous" Oki Dog echoes the double dog dare of Darby Crash's suicide -- I will if you will -- a similar pact necessary for eating the Oki Dog.
There are no tributes to Darby Crash anywhere, but a yellowed obit to Don Ho is tacked on the wall. The sound of Pac Man still echoes through the place, along with Tom Petty and the sound of television news bringing us another gift from the state of Florida, a news report of a police officer who drove his car up a pole.
In the end the Oki Dog would defeat us, just as it defeated TV's Bizarre Foods host and his chrome dome doppleganger. (It wasn't the double dog, or the "Must-Tard" but the pastrami ... too salty, dog.)
In the end, The Oki Dog reminded us of the late, great Mars Bar of NYC, lamented autonomous zone for "madmen only" where the sloppy and the sublime could co-exist in street level glory. To quote the poet,
That punk shit belongs on Mars!