Fear is an American punk band. It was was formed in 1977 by vocalist/guitarist Lee Ving and bassist Derf Scratch in Los Angeles, California, and it is still active today. hey recruited guitarist Burt Good, and drummer Johnny Backbeat to fill out the original lineup. In 1977, Fear released the single "I Love Living in the City". Shortly after this Good and Backbeat left the band and were replaced by Philo Cramer and Spit Stix.Credited for helping to shape the sound and style of American hardcore punk, the band started out as part of the early California punk rock scene, and gained national prominence after an infamous 1981 performance on Saturday Night Live.
Frontman Lee Ving has been the band's only constant member. Since their formation, the band went through various lineup changes and at one point featured Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass.
Film director Penelope Spheeris met Lee Ving and Spit Stix while they were on telephone poles in Los Angeles on Laurel Canyon. After talking with the two, she abruptly asked if they wanted to be in a documentary she was working on about the Los Angeles punk scene. The film, The Decline of Western Civilization, was released in 1981. The movie caught the attention of actor John Belushi, who lobbied successfully to get the band a spot as a musical guest on the 1981 Halloween episode of his former show Saturday Night Live. The band's appearance included a group of moshers, among them Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and later Fugazi), Tesco Vee of The Meatmen (and later Tesco Vee's Hate Police), Harley Flanagan and John Joseph of The Cro-mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach.