Chris D.

Chris D., real name Chris Desjardins, is a punk poet, rock critic, singer, writer, actor and filmmaker. Chris D. is best known as the lead singer and founder of the early Los Angeles punk/deathrock band The Flesh Eaters.[1] Desjardins was a feature writer at Slash magazine in 1977, when he formed a band with several friends from the Los Angeles punk scene, including Tito Larriva. The album, "A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die", recorded and released in 1981, featured: John Doe, DJ Bonebrake (X), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Bill Bateman (The Blasters) and Steve Berlin (The Blasters, Los Lobos).[2] The band recorded two further albums; "Forever Came Today" (1982) and "A Hard Road to Follow" (1983) with Don Kirk on guitar, Robyn Jameson on bass and Chris Wahl on drums, Chris D. on vocals and occasionally Jill Jordan on backing vocals.[3]

Contents

Producer

Chris D. worked as an A&R and in-house producer for Slash and Ruby Records from 1980 until the Spring of 1984. He produced all The Flesh Eaters' albums and co-produced The Gun Club's debut album, "Fire of Love", with Tito Larriva in 1982. Desjardins produced the debut albums of The Dream Syndicate ("Days of Wine and Roses"'), Green On Red ("Gravity Talks"') and The Lazy Cowgirls. He remixed The Misfits' LP "Walk Among Us" with Glenn Danzig and The Germs' "What We Do is Secret" with Pat Smear.[4]

Musician

When not working with The Flesh Eaters in the 1980s, Desjardins was the co-leader, with then-spouse Julie Christensen, of The Divine Horsemen between 1984 and 1988.[5] In early 2006 Desjardins was scheduled to perform on several dates in California, and one in London, with John Doe, DJ Bonebrake, Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, and Steve Berlin as The Flesh Eaters. This line-up of the band had not performed together since 1981.[6]

Desjardins issued a solo semi-acoustic LP on America's Enigma Records and the French New Rose label, called "Time Stands Still" by Chris D./Divine Horseman in 1984. The album was later released in Australia by Dog Meat Records of Melbourne. It features guest musicians John Doe, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Linda "Tex" Jones and Dave Alvin. Desjardins issued a second solo album entitled "I Pass for Human" as Stone By Stone following the end of his marriage to Julie Christensen.[7] He released a further solo album "Love Cannot Die" through the Sympathy for the Record Industry label in 1995.

Between 1989 - 1993 and 1997–2000, Desjardins performed live with varying line-ups of The Flesh Eaters. Two albums, "Ashes of Time" (1999) and "Miss Muerte" (2004) were released during the latter period.

Writer

Illiterati Press published Double Snake Bourbon, a 139-page collection of Desjardins' poetry, lyrics and prose.

Desjardins wrote for the magazines Slash, Forced Exposure, Asian Trash Cinema and Cult Movies magazine. He has spent almost twenty years researching and compiling an encyclopedia of Japanese gangster (yakuza) films. Titled Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980, research for the book was partly funded by the Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship. He also wrote liner notes and audio commentary tracks for DVDs of a variety of classic Japanese genre films, Italian cult and arthouse films.

In 2002, Desjardins wrote and directed his first feature film, I Pass For Human, which was produced and edited by Lynne Margulies. It was released on DVD in October, 2006.

In 2005, Desjardins' tribute to fringe directors of Japanese cult, action and exploitation cinema of the period 1950 to 1980, was published by I.B. Tauris, entitled Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film.

He worked in the programming department of the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles from 1999, and was a programmer there from January, 2006 until August 1, 2009.

In December 2009, A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die, a 500-page anthology of Chris D.'s written work, was published by New Texture Books. Initially planned as a reprinting of the earlier Double Snake Bourbon collection, the project grew to include all of Desjardins' lyrics, much of his poetry, short stories and excerpts from several unpublished novels. The collection features explicitly autobiographical prefaces, providing personal and professional context for many of the works contained in the collection. The book also includes a complete discography and an extensive appendix of recommended film viewing, a preface by Byron Coley, a foreword by John Doe, and an afterword in prose poetry by Lydia Lunch.

Chris D. is a founding contributor to the website New Texture, where Desjardins' writing from the 1970s to the present is featured.

List of Audio Commentaries

As Director

  • I Pass for Human, with producer Lynne Margulies

As Actor

As Historian/Expert

  • A Bell from Hell
  • Blind Woman's Curse
  • Death Smiles at a Murderer, with film critic Wyatt Doyle
  • Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess
  • Female Demon Ohyaku
  • Female Yakuza Tale
  • Masters of Horror: Imprint, with film critic Wyatt Doyle
  • Quick-Draw Okatsu
  • Sex & Fury
  • Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom
  • The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism, with film critic Wyatt Doyle
  • Violent Cop
  • Wandering Ginza Butterfly

Quotes

“Live, Chris D. would shriek like he was conducting the last performance before Satan’s bloody rapture, and as if he just might be taking the audience down with him.” (from Heavy Punk Thunder from the Lake of Burning Fire by Jay Hinman) [8]

References

External links



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