Spent Idols started as an early 1980s Carlsbad-based punk rock band fronted by Mike Spent. After making their mark playing around town and opening for punk headliners, the band split in 1982, without having released any records. Over the next several years, Spent worked in the nuclear power industry.
Ten years later, Spent launched a new 1990s version of the band with guitarist Jon Pankopf (aka Lurch) and drummer Jesse Valadez. From 1993 through 1994, they released three cassettes: the six-song Punk Rock!, For Your Ears Only, and a concert album called For Your Ears Only Live, as well as several singles and split-singles. The lineup shifted again with Gabey Spent replacing Jon "Lurch" Pankopf, and the group split again in April 1997 after playing the Flipside in Hollywood.
After fronting a late '90s group called N.Y. Whores and singing with the Dead End Kids, Spent relaunched Spent Idols again in 2002, this time with bassist Diana (Dnile), guitarist Blane Bizzaro, guitarist Jake “the Worm,” and drummer Melanie.
Bassist Dnile (2002-2008) was replaced by Dead On a Wire bassist Jerm Lemaster (also a guitarist). 1990s drummer Jesse Valadez passed away from cancer in 2011. A few years later, 1990s guitarist Gabey Spent was battling throat cancer. The new century version of the band became mostly inactive after 2010.
DNile played with Blues Denial, featuring members from Big Brother & the Holding Company, Blue Cheer, and the Boz Scaggs band, as well as with Dead Blonde Girlfriend and Van Halen tribute group OU812.
Spent launched a new band in summer 2012, Last Years Heros (named after a song from the first Spent Idols cassette), alongside Joshy Capes on guitar.
The 2015 incarnation of Spent Idols featured Spent with longtime member Jerm LeMaster (guitar), Casey O'Brien (guitar), and Zach Gralnic (drums), with the quartet releasing a new CD in South America that year, Living in the Land of the Lost. "It consists of unreleased music and demos off cassette masters from the early days up until 2007," says Spent. "It was a 25 year anniversary release, to commemorate the band's late drummer Jesse Spent and all the past and present members. It was only released in South America due to Venezuela's fall. We did get some international airplay, and Micky from the Undertones played tracks on his BBC radio show."
In summer 2016, Spent and a new group called Black Belt released a debut single called "I Am a Lion," featuring DNile from Spent Idols and recorded at Into the Black Studio in North Hollywood by Richard Duguay (Duff McCagan, Peter Murphy). It was followed by a single for "Sun Goes Grey."
Spent Idols played several gigs in 2016, including August at Skinny’s Lounge in North Hollywood and at Lake Tahoe’s Geezer Grindfest in September.