The Germs is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California. The band originally active from 1977 to 1980. The band's early lineup consisted of singer Darby Crash, guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Lorna Doom, and their most consistent drummer Don Bolles. The Germs have reformed in 2005 with Shane West replacing Darby Crash. They released only one album, 1979's (GI) (it was produced by Joan Jett) and were featured the following year in Penelope Spheeris' documentary film The Decline of Western Civilization, which chronicled the Los Angeles punk movement.
In December 7, 1980, The Germs disbanded following Crash's suicide. Their music was influential to many later punk rock acts. Pat Smear went on to greater notoriety performing with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.
Actor Shane West was cast to play Crash in the Germs biographical film What We Do Is Secret named after a song by the Germs on 2005. He performed with Pat Smear, Doom, and Bolles at a production party for the film, after which the Germs re-formed with West as singer. The new lineup of the band has performed a number of tours in the United States, including performances on the 2006 and 2008 Warped Tours.
The first single, Forming, was recorded on a Sony 2-track in Pat's garage and arrived back from the pressing plant with the note, "Warning: This record causes ear cancer" printed on the sleeve by the plant staff, much to the band's displeasure.