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Free Suicidal Tendencies Concert At Mural Unveiling, Sunday June 4th 2017

Los Angeles being a very busy town, you are always going to miss a few things… On Sunday afternoon, while I was visiting the fabulous exhibit Björk Digital, a free concert was happening downtown, not too far away from where I was. Artist Robert Vargas and Suicidal Tendencies’ singer Mike Muir were unveiling a huge mural, the new ‘Muiral’ and around 2 pm, Suicidal Tendencies played a free concert to celebrate the event.

When I arrived, the concert was already over but I got the chance to see Robert Vargas with Mike Muir, signing the mural and posing with family for posterity. The neighborhood had been taken over by Suicidal Tendencies fans, numerous police cars were parked around the site. There were a lot of them, and may be they were expecting a riot, a punk riot? According to a few videos I have found online, things didn’t go too smoothly, but I don’t think you could expect anything else during a punk show!

I got to see the mural once everyone was gone, and it’s really an impressive work. Vargas, whose work I have already admired around LA, is a very talented artist, who makes his giant black and white murals without the help of any projections or stencils and who apparently painted this gigantesque fresco during the nights preceding the event, because of some ongoing daytime construction work.

As the LA Weekly noted, Suicidal Tendencies were not really welcome in clubs around LA in the 80s, they were accused of being gang members, of inciting violence, and even of advocating suicide! They ended up being banned from every club in Los Angeles, so this official recognition comes as a big surprise for Muir, whose giant face now thrones on a wall in the Art District. This part of the city is currently going under a lot of transformations and renovation.

The mural is a truly official thing as it was commissioned by L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar (a Suicidal Tendencies fan), who represents downtown, Boyle Heights, Northeast L.A. and El Sereno. ‘This mural highlights the talents of two great artists,’ Huizar says. ‘I am a huge supporter of the arts and, in particular, our local artists — they help define Los Angeles as a city and as a unique cultural and artistic destination unlike any place in the world.’

When I saw Muir and Vargas signing the wall, they were all smile, Muir was posing in front of the wall, probably still in disbelief that the city had sponsored a 40 foot mural to honor one of its renegades.

Watch the clip below to see Robert Vargas in action, the wall is located 585 S Santa Fe Avenue.

More pictures here.

Muir and Vargas

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