Thursday, December 11, 2008

The History Of Brad X and Doggy Style



At this point if you've been reading DCXX, you've no doubt come across a Joe Nelson contribution. The guy simply knows how to tell a great story. This time around is no exception, as Joe fills us all in on the history of Orange County, California's Doggy Style and their frontman, Brad X. So gather the family, light up the fire place, grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate, get comfortable with your lap top and lay into another classic Nelson told tale. -Tim DCXX

Brad X and Doggy Style could only have come to be during the mid 1980s and in a place such as Orange County, California. In many ways they ARE the quessiential O.C. band for that period in time; incorporating skate thrash, comedy, funk, sex, and straight edge into one unit. Their shows were never the typical gig like the ones with 4 young dudes banging on their instruments while 1000+ other young dudes ran around in a big circle...they were events.


From the comedic stylings of their charismatic leader, Brad Xavier aka Brad X, to the random costumes, to the 500+ donuts hurled into the crowd during their semi-local hit “Donut Shop Rock”, to their “Green Period”, to the Doggy Hop, to the Go Go dancers, to the Mohawk helmets, to the “X” on the hand, you never knew what to expect. Some 10 years later, bands like Green Day and Blink 182 used the comedic punk thing along with some Descendents styled riffs to sell tens of millions of records. In 1985 Doggy Style used the same gimmick to sell tens of thousands...well, allegedly.

Their first release was 1984’s “Work As One” 7 inch which was pressed on the infamous Doug Moody’s Mystic Records. I remember picking it up and thinking, “what the fuck is this”? “Is it Straight Edge”? “Are they a Skate Band”? “What’s with this weird Congo line dance called the “Doggy Hop”? A couple months later I got to witness them for the first time, and left that show even more confused as to the true nature of their identity. At that show Brad X sported a day glo outfit, including the standard painter cap with flipped up bill, and hopped around stage singing to a combination of thrash and funk. At the time only the Red Hot Chili Peppers were known around L.A. for playing that type of music. Nobody considered the Peppers a punk band so watching Doggy Style kick out that same stuff in front of a the punk crowd, and get a great response in return was unique.


Watching them that night was like if Ian MacKaye, Weird Al Yankovick, and Flea decided to form a band under the management of P.T. Barnum. Then when “Donut Shop Rock” came on, the D.S. cronies threw garbage bag after garbage bag of donuts onto the “hard” L.A. crowd, effectively turning the pit into a glazed ice rink. The show deteriorated into a 10-minute food fight between the punks and skins, the L.A.D.S. and Suicidals. I was sold!



The next record to come from the quartet was the “Side By Side” record, released by the all mighty Flipside. Now there is no disputing Flipside was a classic zine, probably the best ever for that time period, but it was also no secret that the people who ran it were the self proclaimed “scene cool patrol”. They were also quite dismissive, almost to the point of mockery towards the new straight edge kids that had started to pepper the L.A. scene. Aligning themselves with somebody as overtly straight edge as Brad X only added another weird variable into the Doggy Style equation. Never the less, “Side By Side” was released in 1985, and is still a pretty fair record. The songs are style-wise and topically all over the proverbial map, especially when it comes to stuff like “Do It Doggy Style”, “Nympho”, and “Ladies of Neptune”. I would challenge anybody though to find melodic straight edge songs for that era better than “Be Strong”, “Straight”, “Enough”, and “Still Hope”. It’s classic O.C. musicianship; from the Rikk Agnew octave chords, to the forbidden beat, to the Kevin Seconds-esque melodies. Those songs are exactly what O.C. punk/hardcore was all about in the mid 80s.

The band also was able to release a pretty professional video for the song “Donut Shop Rock”. MTV even played it a few times during their program “Basement Tapes” which at the time was a major coo for any band, let alone a local punk band. The band also became the first O.C. straight edge type band to tour the United States, another seemingly impossible feat. Of course it was also around this time that Brad X decided to paint everybody in the band from head to toe the color green. I guess it was his punk rock answer to Picasso's “Blue Period". NOW...it was finally going to start getting weird. The shows started to feature Go Go dancers, as well as some sax wielding, bongo playing black dude painted up like The Great Kamala.


The best part of “the expanded” roster was Brad used it to get all the straight edge kids into his shows. He’d spot me and my crew in that pre-pre sale 2000 person line and come pull us out. “Ok you’re the kazoo player, you’re on triangle, you play the French horn, and you are our resident break dance team.” Their fake band roster alone was like 18 people deep per show. Next to Pat Dubar of Uniform Choice, Brad was the king of sneaking edge kids into shows.



Sometime in 1987 another Bizzaro World move happened and the band split into 2 warring factions. The guitar player Ed Caudill, and bass player Ray Jimmenez formed the band Doggy Style II, while Brad X, and his musical soul mate drummer Lou Gaez created...ummmmm...Doggy Rock. DS2 actually released a fairly decent record more known for its Led Zeppelin II cover parody. Doggy Rock, which was filled out by Dag Nasty’s Brian Baker and Doug Carrion, took a swing for the fences with the release of “The Last Laugh” only to realize that The Beastie Boys had rounded those bases a year ago. The record was at most, remembered for having...well...Brian Baker on guitar...and for containing a free condom. Both bands fizzled pretty quickly with DS2 lasting long enough to squeeze out another record so forgettable I can't even remember its name.

Both Doggy Styles were officially dead and buried by the end of the 80s. Brad X, however, survived and thrived. He went on to become L.A.’s most successful club promoter forming something coined The Artist Groove Network. His most famous club was the Roxbury, and yes, it’s THAT Roxbury. At one time or another Brad made sure to employee most of the straight edge kids from back in he day. It was as if he was sneaking us into shows again, but shows of a whole different nature. He gave us weird jobs like handing out VIP cards to the hottest girls we could find, or by making sure Alyssa Millanos party was completely taken care of for the evening. “Just be her personal valet for the night and I’ll give you an extra $100” was the order. Ok Brad…ummm do I say “yes” or "thank you?”


We all worked either there, The Boogie Lounge, or his SICK 6 story club called Orbit which was located in the then crack infested downtown L.A. area. A club where one could always find Janet Jackson and sometimes even Madonna dancing it up on one of the 4 dance floors with 5000 other people. It sure was a surreal moment in my 23-year-old life to work the VIP list for a Brad club, which of course always featured the entire cast of 90210 in it. He was absolutely the “guy” to know for L.A. at the time. It would take an entire book to recap those days, and one that only he could write to do it any sort of justice.

To cliff note it just a little, when the movie “Swingers” came out - which was the autobiographical look at then unknown actor Vince Vaughn’s life, Brad's comments to me more or less were “That movie was boring...those dudes are soooooo weak...they shouldn’t have made a movie about Vince and his friends, they should have made one about me and mine.” He was 10,000% right!



Another thing Brad became known for was the talk show circuit cult hero Johnny Bravo. From Jerry Springer, to Rikki Lake, to Montell Williams. Equipped with his fake mustache, dark sunglasses, and surrounded by a harem of slutty girls, Brad went on more then 10 day time talk shows pretending to be the lead advocate of something he called “Anarchy Sex”. He and Lou also still played music throughout the years mainly in the very average punk band “Humble Gods”. Created mainly to take advantage of the major label punk rock buying frenzy in the 90s, Brad was able to secure the band a reported mid six figure advance just by being, well, Brad.


Then at the end of that decade in another stroke of marketing savvy, the still straight edge Brad (Daddy) X formed a white, suburban, tribal tattoo sporting, backward baseball hat wearing, monster truck driving, rap, rock, stoner group named The Kottonmouth Kings. Google them! The rest now I guess is just history, well a history of course as being scripted by Brad X.

27 comments:

Fly on the Wall said...

donut shop rock - still one of the best songs ever

Staffan said...

Absolutely awesome entry. I picked up the Work as one 7" randomly some time in the mid 90s from a used record store in Malmö, Sweden, mostly since it was on Mystic. Loved it instantly. Never read much about the band before so this was a real treat. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

after reading this I have a total new found respect for Doggy Style and Brad X. I never thought much of them before so thanks for the entry

Isaac Golub said...

I was never friends with those guys but I went to see them at a show that ended up being legendary for me, the infamous VFW Hall show with Uniform Choice and SNFU. I was X'ed up and Brad said, "Hey are you Straightedge? C'mon I'll get you in..." He handed me a drum stand and I was in. I still have the green one sided live picture disc they did.

Great post for us old timers. Thanks Joe

Bill "Nego" Case said...

Brad, Lou, Ed and Ray were four of the coolest dudes ever!

Kevinsted and I played a lot of basketball with Brad pre-Doggy Style. Brad was an a amazing basketball player...the guy could shoot!

As Joe stated Brad was famous for getting as many people he could into shows! I know on more than one occasion I carried in a cymbal, mic stand or drum and made it into the show free!

The Doggy Style video was made(i think) for an MTV contest. Kevinsted and I spent the day with Brad and the boys running all over Fullerton and Placentia filming it. Kev and I are in the donut fight scene. It's hard to makes us out, but we are there! The donut shop was thrashed and donut-less when the filming was done. The shop owner didn't know what hit him!

Good times! Good memories!

Anonymous said...

pure suck!!!!!!
horrible band.

timmy

Tito Taquito said...

Who cares that Brad X did all this while being straight edge, is that what makes this piece interesting? Seems to me like if this story were centered around any other douchebag that wasn't into hardcore, none of you would give a shit. The guy has somehow managed to stretch his nonsense into a career, all the while making fucking awful music. Yeah, google Kottonmouth Kings, great idea. Right after I chew these razor blades.

adam said...

as cool as some of our old NYHC stories are.. sometimes I wish I had grown up in SoCal after hearing stories like these..

Bernie said...

Funny shit and a great story as always from Joe. For the record, many an 80s NYHC vet did their spell as club kids after the glory days either as security, willing participants or just looking to score pussy and drugs. Just ask Gavin.

What prey tell is the "forbidden beat"? Is it the Casey Royer / Derek O'Brien ride cymbal one or the Jeff Nelson ompa lumpa steak cutter beat?

Jake Jacobs said...

Nelson > Jacobs

ladiesfromneptune said...

One of my all time favorite bands!
Ed the guitar player is a very cool dude! Thanks for the great posting!
Awesome!
I wish I could have been there...

Red said...

I don't get this. What you're saying is the singer of the stoner rap-rock band Kottonmouth Kings is xSEx ??

WTF?

Anonymous said...

Doggy Style is the first hardcore band I ever got into. I was given a tape that had DS,bad brains and Kraut.Still a sentimental fav.

-Kevin Mack

Joe Nelson said...

Case.. It's good to see you around. Hope all is well with you. In that video I spot Kev pretty easily. I know Pat Dubar was there too.

Brad X was a gREAT basketball player too. He was definitly head and shoulders above me. Kevinsted was pretty decent too, as was Bear. Other H.C. dudes who were really good were...Jeff Banks, and Regis Geurin. Zack De La Roacha was pretty good too, but guys like Banks and Regis were better for sure.

Isaac..how great was that show? I totally forgot about it. It's funny that we went to these shows and didnt really know each other till pretty much the end of the 80's.

As for is Brad X still str8 edge.. It wouldnt suprise me. The thing about Brad being str8 edge at those clubs, was that everyone was doing E or blow, and X was just drinking his Evian, and making his $$$....so to answer that one dude.. Tito's comments.."yeah thats what makes it a little more intersting for me".

Also no matter how you feel about his band, just know that Brad and his brother Spike (Mind Over 4) are seriously 2 of the funniest, coolest dudes you will ever find.

Markus said...

"The record was at most, remembered for having...well...Brian Baker on guitar...and for containing a free condom."

LMFAO!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Double Cross It was good to see something on a band that isnt your typical Revelation Records hardcore band. I never considered Doggy Style a hardcore band, but I listened to that 7" after reading this, and it was pretty good.

I would like to hear about more obsure hardcore bands in the future. Keep up the good work!

-Josh

Ben Edge said...

Does anybody know if Token Entry were Doggy Style fans? Because Jaybird sounds a hell of a lot like the first Doggy Style 7".

The Roxbury! My babysitter hung out there, before she was legally old enough to get in, and dated this cheese dick dj/drug dealer named Troy. I was young, so I didn't realize until years later how fucking CHEESY and lame this girl's 90210 wannabe friends were, and how stupid the Roxbury is. I loved my babysitter though. I had no idea there was a sxe connection with that club! Hilarious.

Sarah Palin said...

After last night with Joe, I love doggy style too. Tee hee.

Anonymous said...

awesome band. great job. still have my Doggy Style tour shirt. man what a kickass band that never gets any run. Outface used to cover Stay Strong. thanks dudes
--erba

Anonymous said...

Used to love Doggy Style and can still remember how their t-shirt (LedZep goof) almost got me into a few fights in high school.

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Anonymous said...

The guitar player Ed Caudil who has written most of those Doggy Style songs has re-formed the band with mostly scene kids from that era that were in Doggy Style at one point in time or the pre DS band AWOL. You can see the new line up at this years Punk Rock Picnic in Irvine with headliner TSOL and many other great punk bands. There is also a 4th record coming out and has been praised by the famed flipside crew as stronger than ever! Google Doggy Style "Beat your meat" or "Punkers Anthem"

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Anonymous said...

Great article. I only disagree about the second DSII album being THAT bad or about the Last Laugh being awful. It was different than the earlier, but was amusing on its own. Maybe I'm just a Dag Nasty/Minor Threat Baker Carrion sort of guy though... Do it safe, but do it Doggy Style - so said the sticker on The Last Laugh. Still have a DS t-shirt in the drawer somewhere, and it'll probably stay in good condition since I'm not quite the same size I was in high school... Great article.

dandy evans said...

to that one guy who said he'd rather chew razorblades.... that's totally punk, jerkface- fyi,brad gave me a tamburine to carry into a show and i left with out going in, i was just outside waiting for my sister to pick me up from karate. sucker! RHCP in the hall of fame? whatever, they totally ripped off DS: look, style,energy,vibe= fuck the chilies,bunch of pirate fags= later, evan dando