Punk's Little Secret

Darby Crash, lead singer of the influential '70s punk band the Germs, was gay -- and with the release of the new film What We Do Is Secret, the gay community may finally discover him as an icon



The real Darby Crash | Advocate.com 

Above: Darby Crash

In your film we see Darby have homosexual desires,
but it’s never consummated visually or even
confirmed through dialogue, and one could even
leave the film believing that he died a virgin.
Was this intentional?
His relationships with guys was something we
spent a lot of time thinking how to approach. We
decided it wasn’t really what the movie was about. It
certainly was a major issue for him that we needed and
wanted to address. I worked very closely with one of
the producers of the movie, who is gay, on how to
address [his sexuality] sensitively and honestly. People in
the audience who are gay have come up to me and told
me that they loved the way the movie dealt with it
–- in an honest and matter-of-fact way.

Do you have a sense of how Darby felt about his sexuality? He was very private about it. It was not
something he discussed. I think he was very
conflicted. I worked very closely with Darby’s
friends on this movie, and they felt it was important
that we address it, but they didn’t feel he was
comfortable enough about his sexuality for it to be a
movie about that.

An impressive accomplishment of this film is that
it catalyzed a reunion of the surviving Germs members.
How did this come about?
We had an aborted production. A financier funded
preproduction but didn’t follow through on the
rest of the fund. We had put the [actors playing the]
band together and rehearsed them, and the Germs were really
impressed. We had a wrap party for this movie that never
happened –- which was very Germs-esque. The
actor-Germs –- we call them the Baby Germs
–- performed, and during the course of it the Germs
reunited onstage with Shane [West, who plays Darby
Crash in the film], and they had so much fun that they
decided to keep playing with Shane, and they’ve
been doing it ever since. 

Tags: film