Today it was announced on several Facebook posts, including that of Germs drummer Don Bolles, that Germs bassist Lorna Doom “left this mortal coil today around 1.” Born Teresa Ryan, Doom passed away after a year-long bout with cancer. She was 61. Out of all of the women I have ever known, there was none punker than Lorna. The Germs formed in 1976, and although they had a relatively short run they left their mark as one of the very first punk bands in LA. The Germs were the vanguard.
The band was featured heavily in the “Decline of Western Civilization,” and a biographical film came out in 2007, “What we do is Secret,” starring Shane West. They reformed the Germs for a short time with Shane West singing. I attended their movie-opening afterparty where the re-formed Germs first played, and Lorna was as punk as ever. I couldn’t handle the intense slam pit and climbed onto the corner of the stage to shoot. “As I was busy taking pictures, I felt a nudge. Then another nudge. There was definitely a toe poking me in the behind. I looked up to see Lorna smiling at me charmingly. She gently kicked me again, still smiling. It was very clear that she didn’t care who I was or what I was doing there. I needed to get my ass off her stage and back into the pit where I belonged.”
On Friday her family has released a statement through the band the Foo Fighters, who is connected to Lorna through her former bandmate, Pat Fear:
“Teresa Ryan a/k/a Lorna Doom was always a woman of mystery. So much so, that even in her final days as she fought a tough, year-long battle with cancer, very few people even knew she was ill,” the statement read.
“She kept a very close knit social circle, and those who knew her and loved her always respected her desire for privacy. When she finally lost her struggle with cancer at 12:50 pm yesterday, Wednesday January 16th, it came as a shock to many, as she had chosen to not burden others with what she was going through.”
Updated 1/18/2019 to include her family’s statement and cause of death.