‘Disturbing The Peace’ Tells The Story Of Bay Area New Wave Label 415 Records

[Cover photo features Deborah Iyall of Romeo Void at the Paradise, photo by Trudy Fisher]

The story of groundbreaking indie label 415 Records is being told via a new book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, due out February 14, 2022 from HoZac Books. The label founded by Howie Klein released singles, EPs, and albums that influenced other labels that followed. In the late ’70s and early to mid ’80s, San Francisco was a creative incubator, bringing forth all manner of new music acts. Ground zero for the scene was the Mabuhay Gardens, home to early Punk/New Wave bands from all over the Bay Area. Concert booker and renegade radio DJ Howie Klein joined with Chris Knab, owner of the local Aquarius Records, to launch a record label in support of that scene. Klein says about his objectives: “F-U-N. It was all about fun.”

Klein and his cohorts established new ways of doing business in the music industry, and were at the forefront of a resurgence of independent labels. Disturbing the Peace is Bill Kopp’s chronicle of the label founded by Howie and Chris, featuring the stories of Romeo Void (“Never Say Never,” “A Girl in Trouble”), Red Rockers (“China,” “Shades of 45”), Translator (“Everywhere That I’m Not”), Wire Train (“Chamber of Hellos,” “Skills of Summer”), Roky Erickson (“If You Have Ghosts,” “I Walked with a Zombie”), The Nuns, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, and nearly two dozen other bands.  

Featuring a foreword from Joel Selvin (Hollywood Eden) and based on Kopp’s nearly 100 interviews with the artists, industry execs, producers, friends, rivals, onlookers, journalists and hangers-on, Disturbing the Peace also features hundreds of photos and memorabilia from the archives of those who were there.   

Bill Kopp’s first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. Disturbing the Peace is his second book.

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