Friday, April 8, 2011

Scream: The Darkness and the Evil Flyers

By Cat Rose

By Mad Marc Rude, first of four shown
This one started out with searching online to find flyers for Scream (The Scream mid- to late-'80s "goth" club in LA, CA).  The term goth is in quotes, as it was really an all-types-of-cool-music club. It was where punk, rock/metal, alternative and goth types asked themselves the question, "what do you want to do?" and answered "I just want to dance" (gotta throw a "Dazed and Confused" line in there)... "but I want to do it in the dark as I don't really want anyone to see me."

I only found a few flyers online, so I decided to go to the archives---(our garage) and found many specimens, several attached.   

I started going to Scream with my best friend Bridget in the later days, from about '88-'89, so I missed Jane's Addiction, who was apparently the house band for Scream in the beginning. Scream was indeed an oasis in Hollywood/LA at the time from the lame Sunset Strip big-hair bands that were taking up entirely too much space...    

Park Plaza Hotel (Courtesy Photo)
My Scream days always come back to me whenever I see that Park Plaza Hotel and the staircase in
movies-- it's a classic location and I always wished we could go through the whole hotel as it was massive and had so many different secret rooms. The bands played in a different area than the dancing. When we first started going there, I was not 21 yet, so we would prefunk in the car before we went in.

Some of the bands I believe we saw at Scream were:  Faith No More, The Sea Hags, The Nymphs, Divine Weeks, Caterwaul and Living Colour among others. One of my favorite bands to listen (yes, dance) to was Sisters of Mercy (and yes, my punk friends make fun at will)..

According to the book "Whores:  An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction" (By Brendan Mullen), Scream lasted from '85-'89 at various locations.  Mike Stewart came up with the name based on the famous Munch painting and his best friend Steve Elkins created the logo. He is quoted in the book:

"Suddenly in the late '80s, everyone liked everything.  It was bizarre how everything opened up all of a sudden.  There were all these small factions: punk rockers, mods, rockabillys, the goths, all the different factions, but the timing of Scream was just right: We were able to draw a little bit of everybody.  They all liked looking at each other and hanging out together again and it all came together at one time."

I am not sure if I fully agree with the looking-at-each-other part.  Bridget and I frequented the historic Park Plaza Hotel location the most (although we also went to the Highland location).  We would check people out in the lobby and on the awesome staircase, but when inside the darkness, when you were in the large room from which the music pumped (at the Park Plaza location), where the people would either be dancing in the middle or in the blackened corners,  you could not see much except for the huge screen which ran various videos.  The music would range from The Cure to the Sex Pistols... but they would always end the night with Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz," then we knew it was time to go home...

***Most of these flyers were drawn by Mad Marc Rude (RIP), legendary punk artist who drew classic album covers for Battalion of Saints ("Fighting Boys"), Misfits ("Earth A.D.") and more.


  1. Excellent article and great "lost" Rude art! Thanks!

  2. Cat Rose...I am a fellow Sisters of Mercy dancer. Don't care who laughs! Nice article.

  3. some good ones andy! Damn those stairs were peligro

  4. True, but I never went ... It was my wife Carrie's thing. Cheers

  5. I remember Screams had a place in the garment district in a abandoned warehouse/manufacturing location in downtown L.A.

  6. I use to have a cassette called Scream Compilation. I had photocopied the artwork because I thought it was badass at the time. It was done by him in '85. I would love to find the cassette again.

  7. Nice! We've got the LP from back in the day. cheers!

  8. Great topic find, I went to Scream many times in the late 80's. I actually have a few of the posted flyers on this page and some more. Awesome times, miss going to Scream. Went to a KCRW Masquerade night about 10 years ago and it was a trip seeing the Park Plaza so cleaned up and bright. I remember it dark, dank and smoky. Great times and shows!

  9. It was another time and another place for me back in the 80's. Brings back great memories of seeing great bands and just hanging out. There will never be nothing like it again.