By subnormal magazine
The Vex History
Joe Vex opened The Vex in Los Angeles in 1977. The 80’s East Los Angeles Punk Rock scene revolved around this live venue largely because it brought notable bands like Black Flag, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Damned, X, Suicidal Tendencies, The Cramps, Social Distortion, Circle Jerks, The Germs, TSOL, The Adolescents, and many more through its doors and on its stage. Centrally located, The Vex bridge the gap between Hollywood and Orange County’s local Punk and New Wave music scenes. It also opened the door for many emerging artists by giving the live music exposure.
Today the Vex’s contribution to music is referenced in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Smithsonian, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as many other art museums and their music history archives. Joe Vex retired from the original club in 1984.
The Return of a Punk Rock Legend
In August of 2013, The Vex proudly returned with a fury back on the music scene with a massive new location, and the usual legacy of having the best independent music in the world. The new Vex Arts Center’s mission is “to provide high-quality arts programming that enhances the cultural lives of Los Angeles’ diverse communities and serves as a catalyst for civic participation and sustainable community development through the arts.”
With its exciting return to the music and art scene, The Vex states that they now “enrich the lives of children and adults by offering classes, exhibitions, special events and community workshops that provide opportunities for participants to develop their creative selves and learn artistic skills in a safe environment.”
The Vex Arts Center partners with local schools and community organizations to increase the vitality of the El Sereno neighborhood through music, painting, multimedia, sculpting, pottery, graphic arts, dance, video, poetry, theater, performing arts, artist markets, and multicultural programming among more.
The Founder of The Vex
Joe “Vex” Suquette – Executive Director and Founder, began his career organizing and promoting rock concerts in East L.A. in 1976. In 1979, he founded the Vex, a punk club that would have its home at several locations in East L.A., most notably at Self Help Graphics. He organized concerts at the Vex and larger venues throughout East L.A. until 1984, when he began an architecture and design firm. Although the Vex was closed for 29 years, its legacy grew among musicians and has been featured and commemorated in the archives of the University of Guadalajara as well as numerous other esteemed locations as mentioned above and throughout the world. Joe is pleased to return to the venue that started it all, adding artistic value to the city and community, and expanding the musical legacy of The Vex with a venue that is brave enough to play some of the most daring and exciting music of our time.
For more information on Joe and The Vex, visit the official website at: www.VexArts.com.