Legendary L.A. punk promoter is mourned by many

“When Brendan started the Masque, it was a pure act, creating a place for people he liked, to do their thing, have fun and get wild, no salesmen allowed.”– Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Flea’s is just one of a rapidly growing collection of memories and tributes popping up in newspapers and on social networking sites, since Mullen’s sudden death earlier this week at Ventura County Medical Center. He was here traveling through the central coast with his long time girlfriend when he suffered a massive stroke.

Mullen founded L.A. punk rock flashpoint the Masque, booked music for years at Club Lingerie and authored a number of important books chronicling elements of the late ’70s to mid-’80s L.A. music scene (We Got the Neutron Bomb: the Untold Story of L.A. Punk, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs, Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley and others).

Beyond his many accomplishments, the Scottish-born music promoter and archivist/historian was by all accounts a dear man who impacted many people’s lives with his generosity and kindness. He was sincerely passionate about music and devoted to supporting it however he could.

And the stories are quickly amassing into quite a volume. From journalists and bloggers, such as Robert Hilburn, Kristine McKenna, Chris Morris, Kevin Roderick, Lisa Derrick (a friend who was with Mullen at the end), Nancy Rommelmann and Greg Burk to scene icons Tequila Mockingbird, promoter Carmel Conlin, film maker Modi Frank and Julie Christensen (Divine Horsemen, Leonard Cohen), nearly everyone has something to say about Mullen because nearly everyone who knew him, never forgot him.

I was not so fortunate, though I’m quite sure our paths crossed as Mullen and I traveled the same circles or, rather, I orbited the periphery of his universe. Many of the bands that were beloved to me, got their first break from Mullen, most notably the Plugz and the Chili Peppers (I’ve got my own stories about those boys.) I owe a debt to him, as so many of us do. Were it not for is vision, his chutzpah, his heart and soul, my life, and to some extent, my identity, would be quite different.

Cheers on you Mr. Mullen, until next time.


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