Part One: The First BombThe Bomb Bay Babies began as an act of punk rebellion against the bands dominating Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Whatever punk remnants the late ’70s left behind were absent from the hairspray haven of Hollywood metal at the time. Frontman Michael Knott formed the band in 1987 after releasing an album called Shaded Pain by his other group, Lifesavers Underground. Believing a punk revival was inevitable, Knott took his cues from the glam-punk flavors of the New York Dolls and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, as well as U.K. pioneers the Sex Pistols and early Adam Ant. Knott wanted to form a band that had the Hollywood look, but who delivered a shocking punk rock sound.
The band originally formed under the name Skinny Elvis. The line-up included a fourth member, Knott’s then-roommate Brian Doidge. A few months later, Doidge left to front his own band, Ball and Chain. In the future, Doidge and Knott would re-team in Lifesavers Underground and the Aunt Bettys. For the time being, Knott’s band had become a three piece. It was at this juncture that they changed their name to the Bomb Bay Babies.
The Bomb Bay Babies assaulted Hollywood and the Sunset Strip, packing clubs like the Whisky-a-Go-Go, the Anti-Club, and the Coconut Teaszer. Metal fans, drawn by the band’s flamboyant fliers, were blown away by the rebellious pop-driven angst which roared from the stage. After a year of playing, Windswept Pacific A&R representative John Anderson confessed to the band that he, too, believed in the inevitable return of punk rock, despite the fact that all of his colleagues felt differently. Anderson soon signed the Bomb Bay Babies to a publishing deal, helping to take the young band to a new level.
To learn what happened next, stay tuned for the Bomb Bay Babies, Volume Two.