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Darby Crash
Darby Crash
Although he only appeared on a handful of singles, one full-length album, and one movie documentary during his short life, Germs frontman Darby Crash certainly left his mark on the punk rock world. Few rock "singers" (the term must be used loosely in Crash's case) pushed themselves to such dangerous and fearless extremes. Born Jan Paul Beahm on September 26, 1958, Crash endured a troubled childhood: his older brother died from a heroin overdose while Jan was still a child and he tried to find his real father (whom his mother never married) when he was a teenager, only to discover that he had died, too. Beahm found a kindred spirit in another outcast in school, George Albert Ruthenberg, whom he met through a mutual drug dealer and shared the same appreciation for troublemaking and distaste for authority figures. While Beahm's musical tastes at the time revolved around '50s-era rock & roll (due to his older sister's influence), Ruthenberg eventually turned him on to the glam rock sounds that ruled L.A.'s Sunset Strip in the early- to mid-'70s -- David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Queen, the Stooges, and New York Dolls.
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