Deb Frazin Photo Column—Keith Morris

Keith Morris, Los Angeles, 2017 | Photo by Deb Frazin

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For me, isolation has felt like jumping off of a runaway train. My life is always so hectic. I have to work during the day, take a long walk downtown every afternoon (while listening to new music releases), then I’m almost always out shooting a band or two at night. And when I get home, endless photo editing until the sun comes up. Unfortunately, because of my schedule, I just haven’t had any time to read books anymore.

When isolation started, I decided that I was going to use my time wisely. Catch up on everything I’ve been putting off, including the stack of books that have been sitting on my desk forever, waiting to be read. The one book I’ve been wanting to read the most is My Damage by Keith Morris (co-written by Razorcake’s own Jim Ruland).

Why My Damage more than the others?  Because Keith Morris has always been my favorite punk rock singer (since the early days of Black Flag), and I knew he’d have a great story to tell. I’m probably the last punk in L.A. to have read it, but so what?  It was worth the wait. His stories took me way back to the days of my youth and the early L.A. punk scene, the ‘90s and the nights at Smalls (I remember Keith behind the bar, slingin’ drinks, and blasting great music all night long), Millie’s, Al’s Bar, et cetera. I’ve always wondered how Midget Handjob got started, and now I know.

The thing I loved most about the book is how everything kind of came “full circle” for him.  From the early days of Black Flag and Circle Jerks, different bands and band members throughout the years, then finally finding his old-school punk rock roots again, and making killer records with his current band OFF! (a band that sounds as fresh as early Black Flag and the Circle Jerks Group Sex/Wild in the Streets era).

My Damage was a very enjoyable book. I’m so glad I finally had the time to read it!