The story of the Germs has been told often enough to have long since ascended into the pantheon of rock legend, the archetypal "live fast, die young" saga splashed through with sufficient sex and drugs and rock & roll to essentially negate any other contender you could think of. That a great deal of myth has crept into the legend goes without saying: for everybody who believes Darby Crash was the ultimate rock & roll martyr, there are just as many who consider him a posturing buffoon who believed his own press. In fact, as this remarkable document proves, he was both. Two DVDs purport to tell the Germs' story, with disc one amounting to a live anthology, as a seething 1979 show at the Whisky is joined with 18 further, audio-only performances taped throughout the band's career, at haunts as varied as the rehearsal room, the Hong Kong Café, and, again, the Whisky. And, truly, is there any more exhilarating introduction to the world of the Germs than the three-song rehearsal that opens the show, vintage 1977 performances of "Forming," "Round 'n' Round," and "Sex Boy"? The video and sound quality is not always perfect, but who would want it to be? The Germs were many teens' dirty little secret. It's only fitting that their music should be presented with equal grit and grime. The fun continues over on disc two, with the semi-legendary Germ Warfare documentary, as created by the band's final drummer, Don Bolles. To be truthful, it's probably not the final word on the subject -- too many other players are nowhere to be seen. But, again, cold hard fact is not always the best way to approach the Germs. Rumor, supposition, and exaggeration are far more entertaining, and this entire package meets each of those criteria head on.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
Track Listing - Disc 1