One of the most interesting people I know, who doesn't ride bikes, is Richard Blum. He has more stories than me and since he’s old, he got to experience the real southern California punk rock scene in the 80s. The following is the first installment of my 137-part series called A Brush with Blum, followed by a short bio of the man himself.
- “My buddy’s uncle had a wrecking yard. Every now and then someone would dump a car that still ran. One time we scored a diesel VW Rabbit and we took it to go see The Exploited at the Olympic Boxing Auditorium. Of course the Rabbit broke down on the way there - right under the interchange of the 10, 101, and 5 freeways in L.A. There was no shoulder so we got out and climbed up onto a wall to get away from traffic. While we were standing there trying to decide what to do an off-duty cab driver rolled up and offered us a ride at no charge. After we got in the cab we found out that he was high on PCP, but he got us to the show. After the show, there was one hell of a riot. It even made the TV news and the L.A. Times. We got a ride back to Upland after the show laying in the back of a Chevy Luv pick-up. Besides the wind, a light rain was falling so it was a miserable ride home. Good times.” - Blum
Richard Blum was born in 1964 in Newark, New Jersey, however his family moved to Upland, California when he was 2. Blum says that Upland used to be very rural with lots of lemon and orange groves. As a teenager he had a motorcycle and would ride all over town with his BB gun and shoot at anything and everything. When he wasn’t shooting things he was skateboarding and BMX riding at the famed Pipeline Skate Park and the infamous Mount Baldy pipe.
Blum was never much for organized sports although he did play some football and baseball at Damien High School, an all boys school in LaVerne. He was teammates with Mark McGuire and claims that he had a higher batting average than McGuire. Blum also says there was no evidence of McGuire’s alleged steroid use in high school. In the early 80s Blum gave up sports to pursue beer, girls, and punk rock music (the latter he claims is his calling). He spent the decade going to punk shows and seeing acts such as:
The Ramones (in Rubidoux!), Circle Jerks, Social Distortion (at a Chino backyard party in 1982), PiL (Johnny Rotten closed the show with God Save the Queen and Anarchy in the U.K.), DRI, GBH, Black Flag, The Adolescents, TSOL, The Addicts, Youth Brigade, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Minor Threat, X, and The Cramps.
Blum, himself, can be seen in the punk rock documentary Another State of Mind.
All good things must come to an end and Blum’s punk rock life slowed down when his daughter Amanda was born out of wedlock. Having a mouth to feed, other than his own, forced him to settle down and get a real job (kinda). Today Blum lives in Riverside, California with his wife April and his youngest daughter Annabel. Although he still loves good old fashioned punk rock, Blum also loves fast boats. Now 44, he says all he wants is a $100,000 cruiser boat with a slip at Dana Point and vacation homes in Hawaii and Wyoming. “I can’t stand crowds and the MTV false prophet lifestyle of southern California,” says Blum.
Sounds like he’s been watching a little too much of The Hills with Amanda.This man saw The Exploited at the Olympic Boxing Auditorium and lived to tell about it.