Hardcore punker Sam Ilich now knows that the excessive punk lifestyle has its limits.
"After I lost my home and my marriage [in 2000], after a decade of destroying clubs and fights and turning down every record deal that came my way, I forced myself to open up and become a better man. I got lost for a decade."
From 1989--1999 as front man of local punk pioneers Peace Corpse, Ilich says he was the local version of G.G. Allin, the punk performance artist whose over-the-top behavior led to his death in 1994.
"I finally lost my cool. I hurt everyone I loved. I went to jail for six months. I wanted to be off drugs, off anger, and off the trip that I was the most important person."
Yet he is proud of his punk legend. "The only people who lasted longer in San Diego than the Peace Corpse was Unwritten Law."
Ilich says his punk pedigree makes him uniquely qualified to launch Theater X, an all-age live music venue in Escondido. His Tuesday night showcase is in Theatrix, a performance space in downtown Escondido that usually hosts community theater. "We pull all the seats out. We can have 100 people." He said he plans to charge $3 to $5 per person for his Tuesday night multi-band shows, which began last week.
"Instead of being a washed-out ex-punker, I want to be able to give back what God gave me. The curator of Theatrix is Steven Stork, who was [TV producer] Aaron Spelling's right-hand man for over a decade. Steve loves my band. We've already booked two months of shows."
Appearing Tuesday at Theater X (www.myspace. com/allagesescondido) is Killfast Casino, New London, and Ilich's new band, Flashburn.