Lorna Doom, bassist for the groundbreaking Los Angeles punk band the Germs, died on Wednesday, drummer and Germs co-founder Don Bolles confirms to Rolling Stone. The cause of death was breast cancer. She was 60.
Bolles was the first to report Doom’s death. “She left this mortal coil today around 1,” Bolles wrote in a comment via Facebook in a post where he wrote the word “Lorna.”
“Teresa Ryan aka 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,” her family and bandmates said in a statement. “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.”
The Germs – whose classic lineup comprised Doom, Bolles, singer Darby Crash and Pat Smear, who later joined Nirvana and is currently in Foo Fighters – formed in 1976. The group released its influential album, (GI) in 1979. Produced by Joan Jett, the album has been heralded by Rolling Stone as one of the “Greatest Punk Albums of All Time.” However, with only one full LP under their belt, the Germs disbanded in 1980 after Crash committed suicide via a heroin overdose.
Born Teresa Ryan, Doom joined the group in 1976 after Crash and Smear had formed the nascent group. At the time, Belinda Carlisle (then known as Dottie Danger, she later became lead singer of the Go-Gos) served as drummer. After a few drummer changes, they eventually recruited Bolles for their classic lineup, which produced the seminal (GI).
Their influence has resonated for decades after their demise. The Germs-centered biopic, What We Do is Secret starring Shane West as Crash came out in 2007. Following the surviving band member’s positive impressions of West, Doom, Smear and Bolles recruited West as the band’s vocalist to reunite for the first time since Crash’s death. They began performing semi-regular reunion shows with this formation in 2005, according to Los Angeles Times.
“We were all consultants on the film and ended up having so much fun playing the wrap party we decided to continue,” Doom told the Los Angeles Times in 2007. “Shane isn’t channeling Darby but he still gets it right by being himself.”