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"Mad Marc Rude" was an artist and a punk rock icon. This documentary about Marc is told by the people who knew him throughout his life. 

Ever since I first heard about Marc in 1979, people have always talked about him very passionately, they either said he was one of the greatest people alive or that he was the biggest asshole they ever met, there was never an in-between.  This passion that people had about Marc is the main reason I'm doing this documentary.  Depending on where and when they knew Marc their comments can range from "He's a self centered prick who just likes to bully people and fight!", "He's a junky who ruins the lives of whoever he's around!" to "He was the most loyal friend a person could ever have!", "When fights broke out at shows, he would always save the guy who was being out numbered", "He gave me food, a place to stay and expected nothing in return".

Marc was primarily known throughout the early punk scene for the artwork he created - bands like; The Misfits, Battalion Of Saints, Tex and the Horseheads, The Offspring, L.A. Guns, Legal Weapon, The Little Kings and many more, but within the communities where he lived he was a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  Before he became known as an artist, since 1978, Marc was putting out fanzines, putting on shows, managing bands, etc... whatever he could do to support a scene which he believed and at that time the community around him didn't. 

Marc died March 14th, 2002 from failed health and not a drug overdose as rumored - though I'm sure the failed health was from using drugs throughout his life.

July 2011 / Production Status Update
7 years, 81 interviews and still filming!

UPDATE: Filming is almost completed - the goal is September.   In August we're making a trip back East to see where Marc grew up and do a few interviews, afterwards it's to Vegas for the last of the interviews.  For those who've been patiently waiting - I know the feeling, I'm as anxious as you are!

Q: "Why's it taking so long to get done?"
A1: Locating people. 
Since I've been working on this documentary, I've accumulated a list of over 300 people whom to contact regarding Marc.  Every person I talk to usually will say "hey, have you talked with so and so yet?" hence another person  is added to the list.  Not that I want to interview all these people, but I need to check them out, see what their relationship with Marc was and decide if it should be included.   The task of finding these people can take a long time, specially when most of Marc's friends were only known by their nickname -  there's not many "Testicle Heads" listed in the phone book.  Fortunately I've managed to find over 250 of the 300 people listed.
A2: Remaining Interviews. 
86 is a lot of interviews, but there are 3 key interviews I haven't gotten yet - soon as I do then post production can finally start.
A3: Unexpected Turns. The documentary has taken a few unexpected turns (for the better), which required additional research and fact checking. 

Q: "How's the documentary coming along?"
A: Fucking great!!! 
I've managed to find most of the key people needed.  Almost all the interviews came out better then I expected.  There's been a lot  of people coming forward with photo's, video, artwork, etc... about Marc. 

Q: "When's it going to be done?"
A: I'm not touching that one anymore!

I'm sorry to say that a few of the people who were to be interviewed and/or whom I've contacted for the documentary have passed away...

David Jove - 9/24/2004
(Director, Producer / New Wave Theatre, The Top)
David was to be interviewed about an incident which involved Marc on a TV Pilot he was directing in 1984.

Tony Chico - 9/28/2004
(Involved in the early San Diego punk scene.  Was the original member of Marc's punk click F.O.N.O. - Friends Of No One" in 1979)
Both Tony and Marc can be seen in many of the crowd scenes in the "Decline of the Western Civilization"
Note: Tony was a friend of mine during the mid 80's and someone who I had a lot of respect for!

Steve "Stevo" Jensen  - 8/25/2005
(Singer for the Vandals)
In the early 80's, at a Vandals show in San Diego an incident happened that brought conflict between Marc and Stevo.  Later, when Marc moved to Los Angeles and as a result of the Water Buffalos, Marc and Stevo had become very close friends.

Buddy Blue - 6/02/2006
(Guitarist for The Beat Farmers)
Like all the members of The Beat Farmers, Buddy is another legendary musician.  People that I respect as musicians respect Buddy!  As for the documentary, I had contacted Buddy about doing an interview after hearing he disliked Marc. 

Big Jason - 2009
(Was involved in the early O.C.. punk scene. Played in The Stains)

Brendan Mullen -

Lyn Todd -

- Carl

When the documentary started...

In 1998 I was putting together some plans for my first "real" documentary which was going to be about independent artists (artists from all over the US as well as the ones involved with Black Market Magazine).  To do the voiceover narrative I thought Marc would be the perfect choice, besides being an artist himself he had this rough, fucked up, Tom Waits like voice that would have been ideal for it, I just need to find him. My last contact with Marc was in Los Angeles, late 1994, a week before he moved to New York to stay with his sister.  After some searching around making phone calls, it turns out that Marc had moved back to LA and I had just missed him - he was now living in Seattle.  So on that lead I started calling what few people I knew in Seattle, by the time I had found someone that had talked with him (about two months later), I'm now told that he had moved to Las Vegas.  As time mounted, I sort of put off looking for him, thinking I'll just try again later when I'm ready to start filming, which by then I'll probably end up running into him at a show, which is what usually happens.  Then in February 2002 I get a call from a friend who tells me that he spoke with Marc and gives me his phone number,  Like a dumbshit I put off calling him for a few more weeks.  A few days later I get a call from Marc's current wife Lyn telling me that Marc had just died.

About a month after Marc died I was talking with Iris Berry , Marc's  ex-girlfriend whom I've gotten to know over the years through Marc (Marc and Iris were both a sort of this high profile couple in the Hollywood punk scene during the last half the of 1980's.), suggested doing a documentary on Marc.  Since I only know the San Diego people he hung out with, Iris said she'd be more then happy to help out with what she could regarding names of his LA friends. 

Some words about the birth of the San Diego Punk Scene (and Marc)...

When Punk Rock officially started in the extremely conservative city of San Diego back in late 1977, residents were scared to death of it (you know - idiots fear what they don't understand.) and according to the press "they weren't going to let it happen in their city" and with that came the beginning of San Diego Punk Rock's enemy #1 "The San Diego Police Department!"   Meaning that if you were going to be promoting Punk Rock shows in San Diego you were going to need to have some pretty large gonads!   In those days there were only two places having Punk shows on a somewhat regular basis back then, The Zebra Club and The Skeleton Club (The Skeleton Club was run by the ballsy Laura Fraser - if Marc was considered the Dad of the San Diego Punk Rock scene, then Laura should be the mom.). 

At this same time, after a long year of hitchhiking across the country from New York, Marc makes San Diego his new home. He immediately throws wood on the fire that is this "punk rock problem" and starts a Punk Rock fanzine called "Rude Situation" (with artist/girlfriend Shawn Kerri), and if the wood wasn't already enough go get the fire burning, he pours gasoline all over it, as Marc and his group of scary looking, punk rock friends cruise the streets of downtown San Diego wearing armbands which read "F.O.N.O." (Friends of No One). 

However a few years into the scene, instead of it growing it was starting to die.  This was due to the cops, the pussies that they were, feeling threatened for no apparent reason except for the way we looked started really going nuts at every show, shutting them down and beating the shit out of any of the leftover strays. Punks would now refer to San Diego as "Slow Death".

Fortunately in 1981, Marc rescued Slow Death and started putting on core punk shows as "Dead or Alive Presents" with bands like GBH, Discharge, Angelica Upstarts, U.K. Subs, Misfits, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Black Flag, UXA, Subhumans, etc..In late 1983 Marc goes from promoting punk shows to running a club (along with Lisa, Don and Tom Tenoever) called "The Reptile House" every Sunday night featuring wide variety of bands such as "Howard Devoto" (Buzzcocks), "Alien Sex Fiend", "Hunters and Collectors", "Sex Gang Children", etc..  

How I knew Rude...  (I wrote this originally for another publication "Destroying Angels" after Marc died.  - Carl)

I first met Marc in 1979, about a year after he moved to San Diego, I was 16 years old and he was probably in his late 20ís. Marc was someone I sort of looked up to as I was growing up, he was a lot older then us, had this really rough voice that gave him that even more cooler presence, he was kinda like the "Dad" of punk rock.  At that time we were just acquaintances, saying "hi" to each other at shows and at parties. It wasnít until 1985 that we actually became somewhat friends. What I thought was kinda funny after hanging out with Marc over the years was that I could never shake that "looked up to" thing I felt about him. Youíd think it wouldíve turned into plain olí respect after time, but it didnít, it was like that all the way till the last day I saw him in 1994. I never really gave it much thought though until Dennis asked me to write something about him for his magazine. Unfortunately for Dennis and whoeverís gunna read this, instead of getting an article about what a great person Marc was, youíre gunna get an article about me trying to figure out why I "looked up" to a friend.

1979 and the San Diego Punk Scene was barely walking having just come out of the womb. I was 16, it was my first day of High School in my math class I sat next to the only punk girl in the entire school, Rachel. I thought this girl was really fucking cool!  Her blonde hair had a big ol' black ring dyed in it that went around the top of her head, like someone who destroyed a beautiful piece of art by painting a black circle on it, she wore a leather jacket with a bunch of safety pins in it and had the letters F.O.N.O. stenciled in white on the sleeve (plus her being a senior and me a freshman made her that much cooler). At lunch time, the whole school would give her tons of shit and as the bad ass she was gave it right back. Though I was too nervous to even talk with her, it was always the highlight of my day just sitting next to her and checking her out.  Then one day in class she asked me if I wanted to hear a tape of the Clash, well need I say more, from that moment on, my life had taken on a whole new direction "Punk Rock"!.  She turned me onto all these cool bands, took me to what few punk shows there were in those days, these were good times for me!! Then after only two months she was suddenly gone. Wasn't in school, her mom didn't know what happened to her, she just vanished.

Anyway, later in the year, a friend and I started a punk band and it was a party that we were playing at when I first met Marc. Unknown to us, the party turned out to be for a bunch of surfers, which if we had known would have never done.  Surfers and punks were rivals at this time in San Diego.  Needless to say they hated us, every song we played made them more and more hostile, things werenít looking too good for us, nor for our equipment if we didnít get out fast, suddenly these punks, about 8 of them, came bursting out of nowhere, crashing the party! It was such a good entrance that we stopped playing in the middle of a song and didnít even realize it. Silence fell upon the surferís faces. Iím thinking, "There couldnít be a more perfect time for these guys to show up, now these surfer assholes are gunna pay for fucking with us punks!, however thatís not how it went.  Immediately two of the Punks went after our drummer, (Unfortunately for him he looked like the "poster boy" for surfing), grabbing his arms they dragged him towards the swimming pool.  The rest of the punks had started to pick fights with whoever they could. As I ran over to stop these guys from throwing our drummer in the pool,  I noticed stenciled on the back of their leather jackets those familiar letters F.O.N.O., then behind me I hear a female voice yell "Carl!", I looked back and it was Rachel, running past me she tried to stop her friends from throwing our drummer into the pool but was too late.  She explained to them who we were and these two bad ass looking punks who I thought were gunna kick my ass, came up to me and apologized and then apologized to our drummer (as he climb out of the pool).  Meanwhile the party had become a fight fest and getting more thrashed every minute, then like clockwork, came those famous words "the cops are on the way!"  We loaded our equipment into the truck as fast as we could and got the hell out of there, as we were leaving the same two punks who apologized to us had grabbed the keg from the party and threw it in the back of our truck along with themselves and asked us if we could drive them to their house.  On our way there I asked one of them what F.O.N.O. meant, he said "Friends of No One," and introduced himself as Marc.  

Now you've got to really picture this, hereís this very impressionable 17 year old kid who just discovered this brand new thing called punk rock who meets this older punk who (after hanging out at their place drinking the keg) seems to know everything there is about punk and he had this deep rough, fucked up voice that made everything he said seem really important!  Plus just how I meet him, he crashes a surfer party with 7 of his punk friends, and though out numbered 10 surfers to 1 punk, still manages to knock a bunch down scaring them to the point of calling the cops.  Then he steals their keg, invites us - total strangers, over to his huge punk rock mansion (which it literally was), to drink the keg with his punk rock friends (which included my punk godmother Rachel), and just when it seemed it couldnít get any cooler, his friends call him "Marc Rude"!   Wow!! ------ I don't care who the fuck you are, at 17 years old, nobody can get any cooler then this!  I looked up to this guy like Jesus looked up to God!!

And it only grew from there as the years went by. Every punk rock show always had something to do with Marc. His main purpose it seemed was looking out for the punk scene, doing whatever he could to keep it together, which was hard to do in those days in a conservative San Diego.

He was promoting the shows, getting the halls, permits, dealing with cops (who would always try to shut them down).  As for the bands who played at these shows he always red carpeted them, giving them a place to stay at after the show.  A cool example is when the Misfits came down, he had them stay at his house, served them spaghetti dinner then partied with them afterwards. A year later he did the cover of their "Earth A.D." album. Thatís cool!! 

Wherever the shows were at he would always make sure that nobody was fucking up the place, which was a problem in those days because some idiots thought that it was punk to destroy property.  I remember for a while at almost every show at some point Iíd see Marc, who had caught somebody breaking something, yell at them at the top of his lungs "You hippies are gunna fuck the scene up for everybody else!" while punching them repeatedly in the face. At a Vandals show, Stevo (the singer)  held up a hand grenade and threatened to blow everyone up if he didn't get more money, as everybody panicked, Marc goes up to him and takes it away. He also did the second fanzine in San Diego called "Rude Situation" which is how he got his name "Marc Rude"  Managed bands like Battalion of Saints, Personal Conflict. The flyers he drew for the shows became legendary! They were punk rock masterpieces and "must haves" for any punk rock bedroom wall.  In addition to the art, seeing a Marc Rude flyer meant that this was going to be a fucking real, punk rock event.  So it didn't matter if you knew who the bands were or not, it was a guaranteed good show.  Since the scene was so new then and so many bands were unheard of, sometimes it was a gamble going to a show so the flyer was all you had to go by. In 1983 he started his own club called "The Reptile House", featuring all the bands that previously couldn't play San Diego because they weren't big enough to fill a hall for ticket sales.  So now Howard Devoto, Sex Gang Children, Hunters and Collectors, etc... bands whom normally you would have to drive up to Los Angeles to see, were now coming to San Diego.

My first real conversation with Marc was In 1983.  I had thoughts about doing a fanzine of my own, so one night, over at the "Reptile House", I saw Marc bartending and thought this would be a great way to actually meet Marc as well as get some advice from someone who's done a fanzine himselfHe was really cool and had tons of input, we ended up talking for hours and when I was leaving the last thing he said to me was that when Iím ready to do my first issue let him know and heíll give me some artwork to put in it.  What was funny though, later as I looked back at our conversation was that, though it felt like we we're both talking, I donít think I said more then one sentence the entire time we talked.  It was like everything he said was so important that I didnít want to miss anything. 

Well eventually, in 1985 I started putting together the first issue of Black Market Magazine and of course the most important piece of artwork for me to have in it was something by "Mad Marc Rude", it doesn't get any better then that!  Having Marcís artwork in the magazine would be like giving it the official "Punk Rock Seal of Approval"!  However Marc had since moved to Los Angeles, after being ripped off one too many times by the owners of where "The Reptile House" was at. I went up to see him and was a little concerned that he might not want to help me out since being involved with the LA punk scene now. Well not only was he open arms to me when I got there, but after being there less then a year he was already well respected within the scene and was setting me up with interviews with whatever L.A. band I wanted to do.  He just doesnít quit!

Now I could write a whole other article about all the good times weíve had and a novel of all the advice heís given me, but writing this article made it really obvious to me why I still looked up to him.  Marc Rude was much more then a great punk rock artist, because he believed in the music and what it stood for so much, he gave the San Diego Punk Scene itís life. He also taught us to respect it and to really appreciate it while it was happening. Though there are others that were key too, Marc was the one who was doing it all.  He was one of the reasons why punks had shows to go to in back then. 

Photos from top to bottom

  • Marc at his apartment  on Western Ave.   Los Angeles, 1985  - Photo by Carl Schneider

  • Marc and Jerry Only (Misfits show at North Park Lions Club, San Diego, 1982  - see above flyer) - Photo by Richard Pleasant

  • Marc and Carl discussing Black Market Mag stuff at Marc's apt on Western Ave. Los Angeles, 1985 - Photo by Testicle Head

  • Marc in front of Mayhem Tattoo in Los Angeles, 1994 - Photo by Carl Schneider  

Other Credits

  • Destroying Angel - P.O. Box 40667  Portland, OR  97240-0667

Contact  Address regarding Documentary


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