Skip to content

The Germs, Reincarnated

Friday night’s afterparty for the SF International Film Festival screening of punk documentary Punk’s Not Dead was decidedly un-punk: Staged at the W Hotel, the show cost $30 a ticket and included a VIP section stocked with socialites. Adding to the weird quotient was the night’s headlining act, a new incarnation of legendary punk act the Germs featuring actor Shane West on lead vocals; West portrays the late Germs frontman Darby Crash in the upcoming feature, What We Do Is Secret. “[The Germs] are so good they didn’t make it into my documentary,” said Todd Traina, co-producer of both Punk’s Not Dead and What We Do Is Secret, as he introduced the band. “I had to make a whole different documentary!”

Taking a surreal situation and making it even more Surreal Life, West led the band — featuring onetime Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Lorna Doom, and Steven Tyler-meets-Keith Richards-looking drummer Don Bolles — through a set that included “Lexicon Devil,” “Let’s Pretend,” and a new song, “Out of Time.” The festivities doubled as a benefit for the Nick Traina Foundation (dedicated to the memory of Todd Traina’s brother Nick, who, before committing suicide at the age of 19, was the frontman of punk band Link 80). STORY BY MELISSA GOLDSTEIN AND CHELSEA SIME / PHOTOS BY MUHAMMAD ASRANUR

We asked: If punk’s not dead, what would signal the punk rock apocalypse?