Wasted Youth (also known as LA’s Wasted Youth) was a hardcore punk band in early 1980s from Los Angeles, California. Theband followed in the footsteps of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, and were a prominent and popular act amongst the Los Angelespunk underground of the early 1980s
The band consisted of Chett Lehrer, Jeff Long, Allen Stiritz, and Danny Spira. The band’s first release, Reagan’s In, is a record of early West Coast hardcore punk music. This entire album, with its ten songs, takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and is famous for the Pushead artwork of Ronald Reagan on its front cover. The Pushead drawing was originally of Charles Manson with a swastika on his forehead. It was changed without Pushead’s approval, for the album. The back of the album features a photograph byEdward Colver of a stagediver upside down in midair.
Later releases moved toward a more heavy metal sound. Jeff Dahlgren front man after Danny Spira 1983–1985 left the band while recording what was to be re-recorded by Paolo Rossi and become “Get Out Of My Yard” culminating with their last album, Black Daze. Get Out Of My Yard was co-produced with Darin Scheff. Wasted Youth came out and prospered at the same time as bands such as The Adolescents, T.S.O.L., Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Agent Orange, The Stains, and others were dominating the vibrant punk scene in the early 1980s in Los Angeles. Chett and Paolo Rossi (the last generation of Wasted Youth front men) went on to start an indie label “Open Circle Records” in Glendale, California (Open Circle released Get Out Of My Yard LP). The final creation of Wasted Youth had a very successful “Crack Across America Tour” in the late 1980s to support “Get Out Of My Yard.” Michael Licalsi, a club and show promoter from the SF Bay Area, served as their manager, with Louis (VideoLouis) Elovitz taking part in management for a period of time as well. Michael booked their national tour at the age of 19. Wasted Youth performed with bands such as Bad Brains, The Ramones, Circle Jerks on this final tour.
Members went on to perform in the tribal-industrial group Savage Republic; Joey Castillo became a drummer for Danzig and later Queens of the Stone Age; while Dave Kushner, who played guitar on Black Daze, went on to become a member of the chart topping rockers, Velvet Revolver.
Footage of the original lineup (1981-1983) can be seen in the film “Slog Movie”, which is a film documenting the Orange County punk scene in Los Angeles at the time.
The guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, Slash, wears a Wasted Youth’s t-shirt in the Live At The Ritz concert of 1988 transmitted by MTV.