Origin: Los Angeles, California
Genre: Punk rock
Years active: 1978–1983, 1996–present
Urinals (7″ EP, 1979, Happy Squid Records)
Another EP (7″ EP, 1979, Happy Squid Records)
“Sex”/”Go Away Girl” (7″ EP, 1980, Happy Squid Records)
Negative Capability…Check It Out! (CD, 1997, Amphetamine Reptile Records, 2004, Warning Label Records)
What Is Real and What Is Not (CD, 2003, Warning Label)
The Urinals are a punk rock band from Southern California. Known for their minimalist approach to songwriting and recording — their lyrics have been called “punk haiku” — the band influenced other punk rockers of the 1970s and 1980s including the Minutemen. They have also been known as 100 Flowers and Chairs of Perception.
Founded in 1978 by John Talley-Jones, Kjehl Johansen, and Kevin Barrett, the band’s first performance was a parody of punk rock performed for a talent show at their UCLA dorm. Though none of the group’s members could play their instruments well, they continued to perform in on-campus venues. Their songs were usually short, seldom utilizing more than two chords.
The band’s first off-campus show was at Raul’s in Austin, Texas. Returning to L.A., they appeared with such groups as The Go-Go’s and Black Flag. A roughly-recorded, four-song EP produced by Vitus Matare (of L.A.’s The Last and later Trotsky Icepick) followed. After developing a somewhat more sophisticated sound, the band changed its name to 100 Flowers (inspired by Chairman Mao Zedong’s famous quote), but disbanded in 1983.
In 1996, the band reformed as the Urinals, releasing a CD of new material in 2003. They later took the name Chairs of Perception (a reference to Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception) before again becoming the Urinals in 2008.