Deb Frazin Photo—Joe Baiza

Deb Frazin Photo Column—Joe Baiza

This photo of Joe Baiza was snapped at a Saccharine Trust show at Cafe Nela in 2017. Baiza frequently played there with his numerous bands. I use to love popping into Cafe Nela on a slow evening in the middle of the week, sit on the floor up front, and watch Baiza play jazz with his band Mecolodiacs.

Joe Baiza is an L.A. punk rock legend who has played not only with Saccharine Trust and The Universal Congress Of, but he’s played guitar on countless recordings throughout the years, including albums and tours with Minutemen and Mike Watt. He is also an established artist—he lived above Al’s Bar in the infamous American Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles in the early ’80s, and you can hear him talk about that punk rock era in the 2018 documentary Tales of the American.

I recently enjoyed a happy hour downtown with Joe, and he told me an Alice Cooper story that had me laughing so hard I almost passed out from lack of oxygen! Joe Baiza is a man who can keep me mesmerized with his guitar skills and stories for hours!