When one thinks of San Francisco rock bands from the mid-eighties, the Sea Hags are at the top of the list. The band dared to play heavy, riff-driven rock at a time when audiences needed a change from punk and hardcore.
Santa Rosa boys Ron Yocom (vocals, guitar) and Chris Schlosshardt (bass, vocals) started the group in early 1985 at the legendary Turk Street Studios, and at the Sound of Music, a small nightclub in the heart of the Tenderloin district. Ron and Chris recruited experienced drummer Greg Langston, who had previously played in Fade to Black, No Alternative, and Bryan Gregory’s band Beast, among others.
This unique combination of talents quickly led to frequent performances and travel. The Sea Hags did gigs in Los Angeles so often that many assumed that they had originated there. Making fans wherever they played, they shared the stage with countless, diverse other groups, including the Ramones, Jane’s Addiction, D.O.A., Soundgarden, 7Seconds, Motörhead, the Adolescents, Dead Kennedys, Frightwig, Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Jetboy, The Nuns, T.S.O.L., Faith No More, Primus, Social Unrest, Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity, The Flaming Lips, Our Lady of Pain, the Mentors, Green River, Johnny Thunders, Sonic Youth, The Cramps, Circle Jerks, Flipper, Butthole Surfers, The Toy Dolls, Wall of Voodoo, Meat Puppets, and Redd Kross.
The Sea Hags recorded as well, and their self-released cassette The Hag of the Sea sold rapidly. They landed a deal with Chrysalis Records, but a quick decline was to follow their steady rise to success. A second guitarist was added, and the group switched drummers. The magic of the original trio was gone. Although the band did a successful U.K. tour, the LP for Chrysalis didn’t sell very well. The record label became frustrated with the obvious drug use by the group, and the lack of new material being produced for a follow-up recording. The Sea Hags broke up in 1990, and Chris died shortly thereafter.
Fortunately, recordings from the Sea Hags’ early days have been preserved, and can still be enjoyed by fans, old and new.