Photo By Vince Anton

Photo By Vince Anton


Stephen DePace has been the drummer of San Fransisco punk pioneers Flipper since they started back in 1979. The band are back in action with live shows next month including Dec 10th at Commissary Lounge  in Costa Mesa CA, Dec 13th & 14th  at The Fonda Theater  in Hollywood CA and Dec 30th & 31st at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Stephen gives some background on how he first discovered some of the bands that influenced him and talks about some of his favorite songs in this weeks edition of “Five For Friday” but first enjoy the Flipper classic “Ha Ha Ha”.



Stephen DePace


I can’t imagine listing just five songs that had the most influence on me as a musician. There are so many! But early on growing up with the songs coming out of my big sister’s radio, my first mono boom box and my first stereo, the songs that had great influence on me, were lodging themselves into my very soul. They would surface years later when I understood what business these songs had taking up space in my psyche. They were there for me to channel into my drumming as I got into playing with bands. They were there to teach me what I was supposed to do!
As difficult as it is to choose only five songs, I will do so with these. In chronological order, these songs influenced me from childhood, to early teens, to late teens, to age 21 when I saw the Sex Pistols at Winterland, January 14, 1978. After seeing that show, which included local punk bands, The Nuns and Avengers, I knew I didn’t have to have a music degree or be a virtuoso to be in a band. By this time,I had also discovered
 the Mabuhay Gardens. The punk club in San Francisco where I could find the people, to be in the band, to do the thing! Just a few months after seeing the Pistols I made it into my first real band, Negative Trend. Then in 1979 I cofounded Flipper, where I’ve been up to all sorts of shenanigans, ever since! 
The Beatles “Twist & Shout” (Ed Sullivan Version)
The first song on my Five for Friday list needs to be the Beatles, Twist and Shout from that Ed Sullivan show in February of 1964. What can I say, the lads from Liverpool were on fire! I learned from Ringo’s drum tech of many years that prior to performing on Ed Sullivan that night they had just come off something like 165 shows on a UK/Europe tour. On the studio version of this song, it was the last take of a long day of recording at Abbey Road. George Martin wanted to try to lay down this track before calling it a night. John said his voice was crapping out and he had only one take left in him before his voice would be shot. They did the one take and nailed it. You can hear it in his voice too! I chose the live Ed Sullivan version because I watched as a young kid, along with the whole country that night! And it definitely had an impact on me! In my first band Negative Trend we did a faster punk version of this song as an encore at our live shows!




Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze”(Live At Atlanta Pop Festival)

The next song on my Five for Friday list is Jimi Hendrix who I discovered when I was 13. The studio version of Purple Haze is off  Are You Experienced, which is one of those albums I played countless times on that first stereo. I used to put that record on and listen with headphones while laying in bed before going to sleep! I chose the Live at Atlanta Pop Festival version for the visual and audio quality and it took place in 1970 when I really discovered Hendrix and began buying his albums.



The Rolling Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” (Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out Version)

Next on the list is the Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil off the album, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, recorded live at Madison Square Garden, released in 1970. I chose this Stones album because I remember this being played at high school parties. it was the next evolution of things for me. The album cover is one of my all time favorites.The guitars on this song from Keith Richards and Mick Taylor are just “gnarly,” to borrow a term from high school. The studio version of this song is also quite epic and one of the defining songs from the Stones. There was a university study that looked at brain damage caused by guitar solos and Keith Richards’ solo on Sympathy for the Devil, topped the list at number one! Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out Version)



Iggy Pop “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (from TV Eye Live)

I bought this album in 1977 and it was really the first thing I heard that was very different from anything else I had ever heard. I loved it. I bought The Idiot and Lust for Life, after hearing this album. The original studio version of this Stooges song is fantastic, but this live version of the song off Iggy’s post Stooges, TV EYE is my favorite because it should come with a warning, that the opening guitar riff could potentially melt your face off.



The Sex Pistols “No Fun” (Live At Winterland)

Finally, The Sex Pistols. The raw energy was undeniable and it seemed accessible to me. I knew I wanted to do THAT! I chose No Fun because it was the encore that night at Winterland in San Francisco and captures the energy and attitude of the band. They had decided to end it all just prior to going out on Stage. Their intent was to do the worst show of their career and break up after that show. Hence Johnny Rotten’s comment at the end, “ever get the feelin you’ve been cheated.”  Also, No Fun is an Iggy Pop song and the Pistols sighted Iggy as an influence on them. So, it fits the chronology as well…  I have 2 links below, one is with video and the other with no video, is higher quality audio.