There are numerous stories about where the first punk show was in LA, but most can agree that the first punk club was The Masque.
The Masque was born when Scottish-Irish transplant Brendan Mullen stumbled into a doorway from an alley off filthy Hollywood Blvd looking for a practice spot – the basement under the famed porn house, the Pussycat Theatre. On the corner of Cherokee and Hollywood, it was a steal in early 1977—$850 a month for 10,000 square feet. It quickly became the nexus of the Los Angeles punk subculture.
Many LA bands frequently performed there, including the Dickies, X, Germs, Bags, the Screamers, Black Randy and the Metrosquad, the Alley Cats, the Go-Go's, Suburban Lawns, the Mau-Mau's, the Weirdos, the Zeros, Rhino 39, the Avengers, the Dils, the Skulls and the Controllers. First generation punk fanzines like Flipside and Slash covered the scene at the Masque. In January 1978, just five months after the first show, The Masque had its last official show, so ordered by the Los Angeles fire marshall.
Today, the original graffiti covered walls have survived while the rest of the art deco building has been restored – many of the bands and fans were artists, and names, lewd sayings and poetic thoughts chronicle the building’s historic legacy.
I realize that the idea of a T-shirt or merch associated with this particular venue is absurd, but I didn't want to leave it out of the conversation.