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Bob Biggs, Founder of Slash Records, Dead at 74

Bob Biggs, who helped put Los Angeles punk on the map with his independent label Slash Records, has died, according to Deadline. He was 74.

Biggs launched Slash Records in 1978, coming on to the Los Angeles punk zine Slash and developing the label out of the publication after its original founding. Along with Slash, Biggs’ label helped establish Los Angeles punk as a serious presence to national audiences. The label’s first release was a three-song 7-inch by the Germs titled Lexicon Devil.

The label maintained a steady and even growing presence with its subsidiary Ruby Records in the 1980s. During the decade, Slash issued the Violent Femmes’ Hallowed Ground, X’s debut album Los Angeles, and three albums by Los Lobos. Slash issued Faith No More’s A Small Victory in 1992, plus several other records by BoDeans, L7, and Grant Lee Buffalo. After Warner subsidiary London Records bought the label in 1986, Biggs continued to lead the label until its closure in 2000.

In 2003, having bought back the rights from former London Records head Roger Ames, Biggs relaunched Slash as a reissue label. Its later releases included 2005’s Permanent Record: The Very Best of the Violent Femmes. Biggs worked as a conceptual artist outside of his work with the label and as a producer. In addition to co-directing Faith No More’s video for “We Care a Lot,” he built the burning X on the cover of X’s Los Angeles and painted the babies on the cover of Swans’ 2014 album To Be Kind.

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