10 things you probably didn’t know about Darby Crash (The Germs)

Just about everybody in the punk scene knows the name Darby Crash.  A lot of you probably even know he was the vocalist for the 70’s punk outfit The Germs. Darby took his own life at 22 but his legend lives on and we’d like to celebrate it by sharing with you 10 things you probably didn’t know about this punk rock icon.

Expand your knowledge below.

1. Darby Crash’s real name was Jan Paul Beahm.

2. He was said by many to be openly gay, or at least bisexual.

3. When the Germs went on hiatus in 1980, Darby started his own band dubbed simply Darby Crash Band, which featured Circle Jerks drummer Lucky Lehrer. The Darby Crash Band only played a few live shows and never released an album.

4. Crash died of an intentional heroin overdose four days after The Germs played their final reunion show at The Starwood Night Club in Hollywood.  His girlfriend was meant to have killed herself with him in the same fashion but she survived.

5. Darby took drugs on stage to avoid feeling pain from fan violence.

6. He started The Germs under the name “Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens”, but changed their name to The Germs because they didn’t have enough money to put “Sophistifuck” on a t-shirt.

7. Darby (along with The Germs bassist Lorna Doom and band manager Rob Henley) can be seen on the cover of the Circle Jerks’ debut album “Group Sex”, which was released two months before his death.

8. He had a troubled childhood and lost several family members, including his older brother Bobby Lucas (who died of a drug overdose in 1969) and stepfather Bob Baker (who died of a heart attack in 1972). Darby was also verbally abused by his mother, who had a mental illness.

9. SPIN magazine claims that Darby wrote “Here lies Darby Crash” on the wall as his own obituary while he was lethally overdosing. In reality, he wrote a short note to Darby Crash Band bassist David “Bosco” Danford that stated “My life, my leather, my love goes to Bosco.”

10. When he was 17 Darby planned to make himself immortal by following a five year plan.  That plan was to form a band with his friends, spend a couple of years making it a cultish, outrageous live act, release one great album and then commit suicide to secure his legend. His only misstep was that John Lennon was shot one day after he died, completely overshadowing Darby’s own tragic demise.

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