Archived
Interviews
    This website exists today only because courageous, intelligent and daring women
    back in the 1970's decided to break the rules of society. They rallied together
    under the banner of the punk movement. Many of them are no longer with us.

    This page is dedicated to their memories.

    I am sending out e-mail interviews to women who were actively involved in the late
    seventies L.A. punk scene. Everyone gets the same eight questions. No space or
    time limitations. Since I think that women's voices have already been over-edited
    by others, I reserve the right to refuse to edit these women's responses. Instead, I
    intend to publish them in their entirety, raw and unexpurgated.
    LET THE WOMEN SPEAK!  
    Interview with: Lisa Fancher
    conducted September 2005

    Paraphrased from the Frontier Records website: "Frontier Records was founded in
    1980 by Lisa Fancher. It was one of the first independent labels to document the
    nascent hard-core punk rock scene of Los Angeles before branching out into other
    scenes...The very first Frontier release was the self-titled EP by the Flyboys, soon
    followed with iconic punk releases by the Circle Jerks, Adolescents, T.S.O.L., China
    White and Suicidal Tendencies."

    Lisa was one of the first females involved on the business side of the indie record
    business. She got her start at Bomp, which was one of the first stores to carry punk
    music. Through her label, Frontier Records, Lisa was responsible for helping
    establish and distribute globally what became the blueprint for the So-Cal Hardcore
    sound. It would be hard to overestimate her importance to the modern punk scene.

    Because I limit my interviews to the same 8 questions, Lisa's interview skims the
    surface of her contributions. For a more in-depth interview with Ms. Fancher, you
    should also check out Spontaneous Combustion's site.  
Lisa, from a Bomp Records
group shot.
Photo by
Theresa Kereakes.
Thanks Theresa.

    1. What was/is your contribution to the punk community?

    In the ‘70s, I worked at the Bomp Records store from when it opened in 1977 to mid-’78. I sold
    every proto-punk there: copies of “New Rose,” “Anarchy in the UK” on EMI, “Spiral Scratch,” as
    well as ground-breaking indie records by the newly transplanted Devo and the Cramps. I waited
    on everyone from Craig Lee to Stan Lee! Besides working at the store, I went to Cal State
    Northridge (1.5 semesters and I dropped out!), ran the Dickies’ fan club, had a fanzine called
    “Biff!Bang!Pow!” and wrote for the LA Herald Examiner. I wrote about four things for the LA
    Times before Hilburn fired me for being “too enthusiastic”—what did he expect when he gave me
    the first Ramones’ album to review???  I thought writing was going to be my lot in life until I
    started Frontier Records in 1980.   

    2. Which artist, band concert and/or show had the most impact on your life?  

    That is soooo hard to answer, like records I feel like I’d almost have to make choices year by
    year. But no one cares that much so I’ll say Mott the Hoople at the Santa Monica Civic in 1974.
    Runaways with Mickey Steele in 1975. Pre-punk. Then of course seeing every show the
    Ramones played at the Roxy when I was in high school. Those were definitely life altering shows,
    that was the line between what was and The Future.  

    3. What was the role of women in the early punk scene?  

    There were women musicians and women photographers. Women rock critics and women band
    managers. Women club promoters like Michelle Meyer. Honestly, the majority were just
    girlfriends or groupies. I really, really could say otherwise… But whether they played in bands or
    paid the bills, they propelled the scene forward. It’s good to see so many more women involved
    in every facet of the the music world now, even production. Someday I hope to see the female
    Jimmy Page or Jeff Beck!  

    4. What is the legacy of punk in your life?  

    I know that punk as a musical genre changed my life completely but punk as a philosophy or
    lifestyle was always inside me, even as a child. I always asked too many questions and I was
    always an outsider. (Punk as a fashion statement, of course, meant absolutely nothing to me—
    my dress-up/act out era was glam.) So I would say my legacy, and punk’s legacy, is to always
    think for yourself, don’t join up or give in, and be original. Don’t believe the hype or anything else
    unless it comes notarized!  

    5. What are you listening to now?  

    The Rize soundtrack, any and all UK psyche comps circa ’66-’70, Jandek, Merry-Go-Round
    comp on Revola. Decemberists. Oranger. Feeling nostalgic for Rocket From the Crypt since they
    just broke up after 16 years. New bands? Bad Reaction!   

    6. Do you have any funny or interesting stories to share?  

    Yes. But they’ll be in the book I write for $$$!   

    7. Are there any punk women from the early scene that you feel have not been
    adequately recognized?  

    Mama “Zed” Zampelli- co-owner of Zed Records in Long Beach. Not only did Zed import all the
    coolest UK records before anyone else (I had to drive down there every Friday, usually with my
    buddy ML), Mama Zed made badges for most of the bands and labels! She even did my tax
    returns. R.I.P., she was the coolest mom and owned the real hub of the local scene for years.  

    Diane Zincavage- graphic artist. She and I both worked at Bomp Records, so I had her design
    my first handful of album covers. (She was very close to Frank Gargani from NO magazine and
    probably worked with him as well.) She will especially be remembered for creating the Circle
    Jerks’ “Group Sex,” the Adolescents’ “Blue Album," China White, TSOL, Salvation Army and
    Suicidal Tendencies' first LP.  

    Donna Santisi- photographer. She never tooted her own horn too much but she was very easy
    going and always on the scene, ever since her first pictures of Janis Joplin!

    Dee Dee Faye from Back Door Man fanzine, she was just my idol, I knew I could never be that
    cool.

    Johanna Spock Dean, member of Backstage Pass and all around FAN girl. Her enthusiasm is
    just always inspirational…

    The woman that was half of the POSEUR duo, that store was the great hang-out and she was
    super nice. Sorry, can’t recall the name!  

    8. What is something we should know about you that we probably don't know?

    I’ve been a member of the West Memphis Three Support fund since 1998. If you don’t know
    who the WM3 are, you should—they’re three men who were convicted of murder with absolutely
    no forensic evidence. They were the “weird” kids in West Memphis, AR. I think anyone in the
    music scene can relate to being shunned, ridiculed and singled out by authorities for the clothes
    they wore, nothing else. I visit them (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr, and Jason Baldwin) in
    prison at least once a year, attend hearings, raise funds, and fulfill all the merchandise orders
    through the Frontier offices. I’ve always been fascinated by serial killers but I never dreamed I’d
    be involved with the demand for justice for three INNOCENT imprisoned men. I blame the power
    of the documentary for getting me off my ass! In many ways this is the most important thing I’ve
    ever done, and it’s far from over yet.  

    And oh yeah, I’m starting my very own documentary! I learned how to be a TV producer after
    working at World of Wonder for four years, now I’m starting one about the beginnings of rocket
    science in Southern California called "The Birth of the
    Future."                                                                                                                         
Lisa Fancher, captured on film by
Jenny Lens in 1977. Check out
Black Randy in the background.
Thanks again, Jenny!.