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L.A.P.D: Before They Were Famous
Leaving their native Bakersfield for LA in 1989, James "Munky" Shaffer, Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu and David Silveria headed for the beach front neighborhoods of Orange County. Completed by singer Richard Morral, and calling themselves L.A.P.D (Love And Peace Dude), the four-piece set themselves up in the punk haven of Huntingdon Beach with the aim of getting their musical vision a green- backed label endorsement. While Brian "Head" Welch had elected to remain in Bakersfield, the longtime collaborator would journey down to LA to double as roadie/second guitarist for the band's live shows, as well as chief consumer of alcoholic beverages. Particularly the ones he didn't have to pay for. Remembers Morral: "Brian was a great roadie. He didn't do anything except drink all the beer."
Working minimum wage jobs by day, by night they undertook the rigorous 3, club circuit grind of paying to play/playing for nothing to generate both fan base and label interest. Within the year, word of L.A.P.D's funk metal mutterings reached Dean Naleway, co-owner of Triple X Records, that counted releases by influential alternative titans Jane's Addiction and future KoRn signings Videodrone (then Cradle Of Thorns) among its triumphs.
L.A.P.D's career as a signed act, how- ever, was to be short lived. Although "Who's Laughing Now" sold well enough in the us and Europe, to war-rant a tour in support of it, the band themselves were becoming notorious for the kind of behavior that saw them barred from a host of LA venues.
As Naleway remembers, "They were pissing a lot of people off, they were into a lot of different mischiefs like breaking shit backstage, peeing in the dip, throwing food, just real immature kind of mischievous mischief."
Naleway informed the party-centric four-piece that unless they grew up, touring overseas would be out of the question. The band in turn felt they were being unfairly punished for the kind of behavior that was rife among their peers, particularly ones that had only just hit legal drinking age. Neither side would budge and by 1992, both band and label had agreed to disagree and go their separate ways.
With the ignominy of being sent back to square one, tensions increased between the band and Richard Morral until the singer abruptly left the group. It was a decision that would have by far the, greatest hand in shaping the future course his band mates would take.
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