Clown Alley

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One of the oft-forgotten contributors to the '80s crossover movement, San Francisco's Clown Alley wasn't around long enough to etch their name alongside those of Agnostic Front, the Cro-Mags, D.R.I.,…
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Circus of Chaos
One of the oft-forgotten contributors to the '80s crossover movement, San Francisco's Clown Alley wasn't around long enough to etch their name alongside those of Agnostic Front, the Cro-Mags, D.R.I., and other more notorious pioneers who dared mix punk rock and metal at a time when fans of the two styles tended to be mortal enemies. Composed of vocalist David Duran (ex-Jerry's Kids), guitarist Mark Deutrom, bassist Lori "Lorax" Black (daughter of none other than legendary child actor Shirley Temple-Black), and drummer Justin Clayton, Clown Alley was essentially four punks who were seduced by the seminal hardcore of Black Flag and Bad Brains, before being swept up by the Bay Area's burgeoning thrash metal scene. The result was 1986's inspired Circus of Chaos LP, which was produced and released by Deutrom through his Alchemy Records imprint -- later responsible for important releases by the Melvins, Neurosis, and Poison Idea, among other underground legends. As for Clown Alley, the same spontaneous forces that brought them together in the first place quickly split them apart, as each bandmember was involved in several concurrent projects, anyway. Among them, both the already famous-by-birth Lori Black and Mark Deutrom would eventually put in long tours of bass-playing duty with the Melvins, while the former also busied himself as a producer and local indie scene mogul for years to come. Following its original release, Clown Alley's lone album, Circus of Chaos, was reduced to a hard-to-find collector's item for years, but was finally reissued with bonus material in 2006 by Southern Lord Records.