Lorna Doom, the bassist for the pioneering Californian punk band Germs, has died. Her age and cause of death are both unknown. The news was confirmed by the band's drummer, Don Bolles, who posted a short comment to Facebook on Wednesday: "She left this mortal coil today around 1."
Germs only lasted for a few years, releasing one LP and a few singles and disbanding in 1980, after the death by suicide of lead singer Darby Crash. But they left an indelible mark on the West Coast punk scene. Doom, born Teresa Ryan, joined the band in '76, and they cycled through a series of drummers (including Doom's roommate Belinda Carlisle) before settling on a lineup that included Bolles, Crash, and guitarist Pat Smear. From the start, their live shows around Los Angeles were chaotic, vomit-covered, and raw, with Doom's furious and straight-ahead style just about holding things together while Crash taunted the crowd. GI, their lone album, came out in 1979. Produced by Joan Jett, it's still considered a seminal hardcore record.
Doom, Smear, and Bolles reunited in 2006 with actor Shane West—who played Crash in the 2007 biopic What We Do Is Secret—standing in as lead vocalist for a few shows. "It was totally surprising to get the band together again," Doom told The Guardian in 2008, "but it's also the most comfortable thing in the world."
Musicians paid tribute to the late bassist on social media last night. "I can still see the 'Germs burn' on my wrist from when I was 14 years old," Laura Jane Grace wrote on Twitter. "Few bands had as big of an impact on me. Rest In Peace Lorna Doom."
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