In 1977, San Diego knew little about and had rarely seen punk rock. The Penetrators, founded by guitarist Harrington and drummer Joel Kmak, were on a mission to change that.
Prototypal SD punk venues like downtown's Skeleton Club might never have even existed, were it not for the Pens being ready to tear up the stage on any given night, at any given hour. The Pens got a big break in 1978 by opening for the Ramones at SDSU's Montezuma Hall, even though original guitarist Scott Harrington quit over the gig, feeling the band wasn't ready. “That was where it all came together for us,” says bassist Chris Sullivan, who lived in La Mesa at the time.
Music writer Steve Esmedina at the Reader teamed up with KGB-FM DJ Jim McInnes to increase public awareness of the band. When their first EP was released, Chris Davies had replaced guitarist Scott Harrington, having learned the songs by sneaking a tape recorder into Penetrators' concerts.
Gary Heffern (Monotone & the Nucleoids) joined up, as did keyboardist-turned-drummer Dan McLain, who operated Monty Rockers Records on El Cajon Boulevard and replaced original drummer Joel Kmak, who had joined the Hitmakers (and would later be a Beat Farmer). McLain would later found the Snuggle Bunnies and become known as Country Dick Montana, leader of the Beat Farmers.