Backstage Pass 1976-1979

Backstage Pass was a mostly-female American punk-pop band from Los Angeles. The band was formed in 1976 and was known as one of the city’s earliest punk bands and for helping to build and launch The Masque punk venue in Hollywood.

Genny and Marina at Hollywood Party at The Screamers 1977

Genny and Marina at Hollywood Party at The Screamers 1977

They Spent their earliest months rehearsing at Cherokee Studios in a room with a one-way mirror through which Alice Cooper, David Bowie and others would watch them try to figure out their instruments. Their relationship to Stiff Records founder Jake Riviera, Elvis Costello and British punk band The Damned coaxed them out of the rehearsal room and onto the stage. They played extensively in Southern and Northern California on bills with Devo, The Mumps, Wall of Voodoo, The Nuns, Elvis Costello, The Screamers, The Weirdos and others. Backstage Pass was often photographed by noteable rock photographers including Jenny Lens, Brad Elterman, Donna Santisi and James Stark.

Genny and Che' Zuro at Griffith Park Observatory 1978 UFO Obsession Show

Genny and Che’ Zuro at Griffith Park Observatory 1978 UFO Obsession Show

Their were several incarnations of the band, all which were composed of female musicians, except for an assortment of male drummers. Marina Del Rey (Marina Muhlfriedel) started the band on a whim with bassist Joanna “Spock” Dean. Before the band had ever begun to rehearse, it was announced in Britian’s Melody Maker and Sounds music newspapers and in Rodney Bingenheimer’s colum in Los Angeles music magazine, Phonograph Record Magazine. Genny Body (Genny Schorr), Che’ Zuro and Holly Beth Vincent were other key members of the group. Drummer Rod “The Perve” Mitchell played with Backstage Pass longer than any other drummer.

Tommy Gear of Screamers with Genny

The Band’s song “Legend, Come on Up to Me” appears on the Rhino Records punk anthology “Saturday Night Pogo”. The band was often featured in seminal punk publications including Backdoor Man, Slash Magazine, Flipside and others. Backstage Pass disolved in 1979. Marina Del Rey formed Vivabeat, which was signed by Peter Gabriel to Charisma Records. Holly Vincent created Holly and The Italians and had a hit record with “Tell That Girl to Shut Up”. Che’ Zuro became part of The Orchids which was formed by Kim Fowley. Genny Schorr had been a contender to join the Runaways before joining Backstage Pass, later turned down a role in The Go-Go’s. She instead went on to be in the original line-up of Cow-Punk band Screamin Sirens with Pleasant Gehman. Spock later played with The Faragher Brothers and other bands. Marina and Genny continue to be interviewed in books about the early punk era in Los Angeles.